Linking up with Janine and Kate for another "Finish The Sentence Friday". I first thought about skipping this one, since well, as an atheist, the topic could be a hard one. But when I thought about it, there are plenty of things even I, as an atheist, have learned from the church.
In church, I learned...
... that I don't like organized religion. I remember the last Christmas service I attended with my family. I think I was 16 or 17 years old. My parents attended the local Lutheran church regularl... once a year for Christmas. I remember the minister taking the pulpit and talking about visiting a local family, who had lost their son in a car accident the very day, Christmas eve. The way he talked about it, the whole "God calls the best ones first" just seemed like a very cruel joke. How could you go to a woman's home, who had already lost her husband to a horribl desease a few years earlier, and tell her that her young son has died, but don'T worry, everything's better now. It made me mad. If a minister would ever come like that to my home, I'd probably beat him bloody on the spot.
A few years later, my colleague's husband died from cancer. It was a very emotional time for me, since I had just had a baby, who was born the day before his birthday. He died Easter Sunday. I remember going to the wake and coming home breaking down crying, crying for my colleague, crying for her husband, who has been such a special person, crying for their sons, and crying for their family, which would never be the same again. I went to the funeral, a Catholic service, and the priest's lamenting about sin, and what a sinner he had been, and mercy - maybe - I had to hold myself together to not walk up and tell the guy to shut it, saying what a wonderful person he had been, how much he loved his wife and sons, how unique his humor had been, how much he fought, and how hard he fought just to lose nevertheless. But this service wasn't for me, it was for his family, and I hope that it gave them some solace, even if it didn't give any to me.
If church taught me something, it is that I don't need it.