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Oh, It’s Tuesday: I (sheepish smile) Joined a Church

My church. Photo Credit: jinjian liang

My church. Photo Credit: jinjian liang

I haven’t really talked about this extensively on the blog or IRL since doing it, but here goes…

Don’t drop dead of shock, old friends (especially those who know me mostly as a playwright), but I joined a church. No, not a church of writing, or a church of reason, or a church of awesome — though I like to believe that I belong to all of those churches.

I joined a church-church. Yes, seriously.

But Ernessa, my old friends ask, what about hat play you wrote about Joseph slapping Mary around because she wants to confess that Jesus isn’t really the son of God but a product of rape?

Yeah, I wrote that.

Or that play you wrote about God being a suicidal manic-depressive drag queen who’s only mad at the devil because they went through a really bad break-up?

Yeah, I wrote that, too.

Or that play you wrote about —

Yes, yes, that one, too. But the main point is that I joined a church. I wouldn’t say I changed my mind, but I did make a decision. And when you live in a world of reason, I do believe that belief is a decision.

I’ve never been an atheist — though I do understand the appeal and don’t believe that religious belief or ceremony are a prerequisite for living a moral life. I’ve never met an atheist who wasn’t an upstanding citizen, but awful Christians make the news like every other day.

In some ways I do believe that there will always be a nagging voice of reason in the back of my head that wonders if belief isn’t an opiate or a self-imposed ball and chain to keep us from growing up too fast through science or our cowardly way of coping with the fact that we’re all going to die. Ever seen Logan’s Run?

In fact, my belief system might be different from others’ belief systems, but we’ll get into that on Thursday.

I thought and thought on it, and for whatever reason, at the end of the day, I do believe in a higher power. It doesn’t necessarily make sense, but I decided to go with it. Also, when we first started on our journey towards children, CH wanted to join a church, so I told him that I would attend church with him if he could find one that

1) Believed in gay marriage

2) Wasn’t hippie-dippy or cultish. Basically, I wanted traditional songs along with the progressive ones.

3) Didn’t preach that everyone who didn’t believe as they believed would go to hell.

And lo and behold, he found such a church in the Hollywood United Methodist Church. CH got baptized there and we’re getting Betty baptized there very soon, which has me thinking a lot about organized religion and how I grew up with it, rejected it and then found myself embracing it again.

Like I said, we’ll get more into belief systems on Thursday. But for now, I’m wondering how other people who grew up in the church and left it ended up coming back to the church. Was it a difficult time in your life that had you walking through your new churches doors? Or were you like CH and starting a family made you want to be part of a spiritual family? Either way, I’m looking forward to your comments.