Thursday, January 29, 2009

the cross

Here's another old pic from last winter.

I like to tell the story of the cross, because in different phases of my life I have been a Jehovah's Witness, an agnostic and an athiest and none of those required a cross.

Bill's entire family is Catholic, but it was when he went to live with his grandmother that he began to practice it daily. He became an alter boy, said his thanks at the start of every meal, and asked for forgiveness each week. As he got older he got wilder and eventually stopped going to services, but Catholicism remained at the core of his beliefs.

My mother introduced us kids to the Witnesses when we were little. My dad had been running around partying and leaving her at home, making her vulnerable to isolation and depression. I even have a vague impression of the day they knocked on the door and she invited them in. They must have given her some hope, because it wasn't long before we were attending bible studies and going to the Kingdom Hall on Sundays. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus Christ was killed, but they believe he was nailed to a huge stake, with his arms above his head.

When I was fifteen I refused to attend anymore services.

I must have been atheist for awhile, at least until after Jamie was born. After that I took on a bit of spirituality, becoming more open-minded about different beliefs. To this day I believe that most of the bible and the ten commandments were written by men in organized religion, for the purpose of keeping parishoners in line. That doesn't mean I don't believe in the principles behind them, like having respect for other people and helping them when you can. And, when I say that I will pray for someone, I really mean it. I send those good thoughts and hopes out into the universe, hoping something good comes from it.

Anyway, when Bill moved in it was important to him that his home have a cross, and this one in the picture was a gift to Emily from her grandmother. The first time Jamie saw it she exclaimed, what the hell?!! We used to tease the shit out of her, saying that she should be careful it didn't fall on her head. Since she's such an evil child, we thought for sure that every time she came up the stairs and passed the cross, it would start to shudder violently, lol.

I think we're all used to it now. I don't associate it with religion - it's something sentimental to soothe Bill's mind and to honour his past and his family. I like it.


  1. I tell others what ever comfort your beliefs bring you. Then you should keep them. If it makes your life better than go for it.

  2. I hung a cross on my bedroom door. It didn't mean that I was religious, per say. I hung it there because, quite frankly, it was a nice decoration.

    I used to attend Sunday school at a Catholic church when I was younger. I was Protestant, by the way. I stopped attending church and floated through my teenage years, my 20s and most of my 30s.

    I hung the cross in my late 30s.

    I started going back to church not long after, and now the cross has a different meaning. It isn't just a decoration anymore.

    It's a soothing addition to my home. It gives me a bit of calm and peace when I look at it.

  3. I was raised Catholic. My aunt is a nun. In my teens I studied all different spiritual paths--buddhism, taoism, paganism, various branches of christianity, positive thinking/manifesting, etc--but Bill and I settled on being Catholic. I'm a very strange Catholic, I don't believe every little thing or follow every little rule (unless it means something to me) and I mix in other beliefs I've found along my years of searching. :)

  4. i got out of organized religion altogether after the gossip and backstabbing at my church got really unreasonable. i still have a crucifix, however. it isn't so much God that i turned my back on, just his so-called followers.

  5. I don't go to 'church' because....I think "there's not a place where God is not.'

    Therefore, my church can be on the beach, or in my home, or on the bus...

    I am spiritual, and have my own belief's...and pray and have talks with God frequently.

    When I say or type that I'm praying for others, I really do pray for them.

    Really good entry, Kate! Makes us think! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

  6. I was a big believer in JS. But, unlike JC the resurrection wasn't successful

  7. I think that a lot of people go through different views on religion in their mom was Catholic and dad was Baptist, so my religious upbringing was practically non-existent because they could never agree which faith should be taught to us. SOOOO....over the years I've formed sort of my own ideas...they're sort of a hodgepodge of my life experience & various faiths I've been exposed to.

  8. I was lots of different things, always searching for my spiritual "home".. I discovered it wasn't in any religion. But I do have respect for all of them. I think all the prayers and energy we send out goes to the same place anyway.

    Tee's Dad is a JW. Today is his birthday but of course he doesn't celebrate so we can't even call and say Happy Birthday. I find that really sad. But whatever floats your boat right?? Hope you are doing good tonight.

  9. I was brought up Catholic and even wanted to become a nun. But life had other directions for me... I came to Germany and the Cathlic church does so many things diffent, that it blew my mind! Not I'm a non practicing something... still a Catholic by baptism, but hanging in the air.
    But so much has happened in my life that makes me unable to NOT believe!

  10. As you say, it’s a symbol, and a sort of emotional prop for those Christians who want such things. It isn’t even a requirement; just something some people like to have as reassurance, or simply because it’s part of their upbringing. And the great thing about being an unbeliever is that you can see it in that way, whereas if you’re the member of another religion it would give you problems.

  11. I like that pic. You know, with your hair like that it sort of looks like a nun's habit...