The Un-Merry Millennial: Losing My Religion

We rarely missed church when I was a kid. Almost never. I had to go every Sunday like clockwork (and Wednesday nights too, yay). Basically Sunday was wiped out. I had a few hours after lunch to do something "fun". Which, basically consisted of me doing some homework and going on a run that my Dad guilted me into because I needed to keep my times down so I could make State. One thing about those Boomers, they are not only driven, but diligent. Two habits I will say us millennials have picked up that we can thank them for, but back to church... I grew up going to a Baptist church. You know, the ones that basically tell you everything you do in life is wrong and you're going to hell. Start off too strong did I? Let's call a spade a spade here. The Baptist denomination (especially the southern Baptist) is one of the most strict ones out there. If we look at extremists, I would rank this denomination pretty extreme, based on my experience with this particular sector of religion and the churches that I have attended. There is no moderation with the Baptists. Everything just cuts you off at the ballsack. Just hand em' over when you walk in because you ain't gon' by allowed to do nothing. Which brings me to missing church on that one Sunday...

I woke up at my regular Sunday time of 8:30 and dragged my crabby ass out of bed. I also never understood why we had to start so early on a weekend. Church never understood that us kids had to get up every damn day early for school 5 days a week. We only get one day to sleep in? Maybe some of us have insomnia?! Maybe some of us want to stay up late one night at a friends house? How many sleepovers I had to leave on a Sunday morning before everyone woke up because I wasn't allowed to miss church. Fucking church? Not one Sunday unless we were on vacation? So this Sunday, I guess my mom was really sick or something was happening in the family. I do not know what, but I thanked my lucky stars and went back to bed. I woke up, came down stairs in search for food (that was never in my house- the real reason I was skinny as a kid- my mom was on a permanent diet) and got a call from my friend. Millennials- don't you remember phone calls on the landline from your friends? I miss those days. Our cell phones were for emergencies. Our cell phones were just to tell our parents when we were leaving our destination. We rarely texted. Anyway, I got a call from my church friend and OMFG the ONE TIME I MISS CHURCH. After the singing segment (if you're unfamiliar with the Lord's house, this is when we wave our hands in the air and don't care), the Pastor (who usually gets up to start his 45-1 hour always runs over sermon) got up and needed to have a "talk" with the congregation. *gasps* He said he had something to confess. What does this mean, you're thinking? What does this mean? I asked my friend. She went onto say that he then proceeded to tell everyone that "He had been spending time counseling a fellow congregate helping her through a death in the family." and that "He didn't intend for things to turn the way that they did, but that he's been having an affair." Now, y'all. Let me stop you right there. On this phone call with my friend, I couldn't help but die laughing. Now, affairs are not funny. But what is hilarious is the fact that the married Pastor of my church was having an affair with a woman in the congregation. All of this preaching and God says this and God says that and then the one "closest to God" goes and does this? But wait...the story gets better...

So the following week there's gossip here and there over what has happened. I don't go to the private christian school that most of the kids from the church go to so I don't have a full grasp of what's gone on, but i've gotten some phone calls at night. So when Sunday rolls around I am ALL FOR GOING TO CHURCH. I AM READY. I wake up like it's Christmas morning. No alarm needed. Go downstairs to find out...we're not fucking going. Now i won't go into personal details, but my Grandpa was sick at the time so there was family stuff with that. But i was super bummed that we weren't going. I waited all week to see how the Pastor was going to pastor for that Sunday or if he was even going to be there. So I sulked off to go get my run out of the way so I could actually "enjoy" the day. Later, the phone rang. It was my friend from church and OMFG the SECOND TIME I MISS CHURCH! After the singing segment, (you know the drill) the Pastor wasn't there. Someone was filling in, but before the person could start their 45-1 hour long sermon, a woman from the congregation says "excuse me" and the Fill In Pastor calls on her, thinking she's going to ask a question. Nope. She makes her way down to the front (alter call isn't til the end of the show, lady) and starts to address the congregation. She starts telling her side of the story saying how long things have been going on with the Pastor and apologizes to everyone. The woman who it ended up being, well her son was a friend of mine. And my friend on the him! It's probably better I wasn't there because I don't think I could've kept a straight face. This is free entertainment people! I mean you never want to see someone's marriage break up because of people's reckless behavior, but I sort of blame religion.

Obsessing over anything is unhealthy. Diving into anything head on is unhealthy. What i've noticed with millennials and how they were raised is they never really had a choice to choose religion. They were just born into being taught what their parents wanted to teach them. Whether their parents were Catholic, Christian (Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Non-denominational,etc), Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, they learned it, believed it and went along with it, whether that's what they really wanted for themselves or not. Some of us, like me, didn't agree with a lot of the principles or "rules" of the religion. I mean of course there are rules I believe in like don't murder people and be a good person and dont steal etc. But what I was taught in regards to dating, sex, drinking, women's rights, shit- human's rights in general, are not things that I feel many religions fully understand. Yes there are LGBTQ friendly churches (especially in Los Angeles), but not many religions actually accept LGBTQ friendly people. And to me, that's not ok. Because if there really is a God, then he accepts all. I look at a lot of religious people as being some of the most hypocritical. If you're going to pick and choose with things you want to believe and not believe...then why believe at all? I didn't think religion worked like that. I was taught no sex before marriage, don't drink, don't do this don't do that. What I wore was a problem (by the way this was a Hollister jean skirt and a halter top-scandalous!). Imagine what people are wearing today! I know we all sat inside with Covid, but things are opening up. People are wearing things like just a piece of string at the pool. String! No, not a thong. Just like some Yarn wrapped around their body and called it a "bathing suit." That's the "fashion" these days. In all seriousness you have to have rules to protect your kids. They are growing and their brains are growing, so instead of parents forcing their views and opinions on their kids, maybe they should educate them on the differences between the religions. Religion is a view and opinion, whether people want to understand that or not. Each religion is different. Even if you don't believe in what I believe to be educated and understand the difference and to let your child choose for themselves and respect that allows them to develop their own personality and sense of being. I feel (strictly my opinion) that Boomers took that away from Millennials. They were so focused on creating us to be like them that they didn't allow us to fully grow into our potential. We are a very resilient generation. We may be late bloomers figuring out what we want, but we still are willing to learn, try new things and discover internally about ourselves. Don't feel bad if you want to lose your religion. Also, don't feel bad if you lost it and you want to get it back. Meanwhile, I'll be dumpster diving in search for merriness...

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