My mother has taken a turn for the crazy.
It’s been just me and her since I was 13 so we’re very close. My mother is a lapse protestant. She hasn’t voluntarily been to church since I was in elementary school at best. God/Jesus has little to nothing to do with our Christmas and Easter. Despite my catholic high school’s best efforts, I am not religious. Apparently, that doesn’t allow her to have an accurate perception of my ‘faith.'
When I was in college, I told her “I don’t consider myself a Christian.” She corrected me to say, “Well I consider you a Christian.” I dropped it then but a couple of years ago I finally set her straight. It was the exact same conversation as before but I told her that she shouldn’t consider me a Christian because I’m not religious and do not worship Jesus. When it finally sank in, she said that she felt like that meant she had screwed up at raising me.
I will say the same thing I’ve always said about Christianity. To paraphrase Gandhi: I like Christ; he’s so unlike Christians. Jesus had some great things to say. It’s just a shame about 50% of his following opts to ignore them in favor of being judgmental hypocrites. I have met people who practice what they preach and are better human beings for it. I’ve just met way more of the other kind. The more I deal with Jesus’ followers, the less I want to deal with him (no offense dude).
Now I’ve been single for a while and found OKC just as underwhelming as I remember it. I’ve tried Match with unimpressive results. I was thinking about trying JDate since gentiles can and do sign up and I’d be willing to convert. Most of my friends are curious and supportive especially since I’ve been tripping people’s Jew-dar for years.
The first time I said this, my mother calmly said she didn’t like the idea because she dated a Jewish guy in college and his parents always looked down on her. She also pointed out her sister’s parents who are nothing but awful since she didn’t convert. I pointed out that I could have the exact same problem with a Christian MIL who thinks I’m not adequately obsessed with Jesus and my aunt’s in-laws just suck as people.
The second time I mentioned this she got upset and said that she is “completely against the idea” and is “not at all supportive.” When I asked why, she had no good reasons to give me. It just bothered her that I may convert to Judaism if I do this. When I pointed out that I wasn’t raised to have God in her house she said “I guess I was a bad parent and screwed up raising you."
When I asked the obvious question, “So you think I’m a bad person because I’m not Christian?” she ‘clarified’ that I’m not a bad person, she was a bad parent. I’m surprised Jesus isn’t a bigger part of her life. She’s got irrational, closed-minded, hypocritical, and judgmental down cold.
I feel like she has no right to be upset because my forced church attendance was sporadic at best. I never went to Sunday school so whenever I did go, nothing said ever meant anything to me. And all of this was Catholic mass with my father. My mother almost never went to mass with us, never found a protestant church for us to attend and never made an effort to bring her version of God into my life.
Because of high school, I remember more of what’s in the bible than she does. I’m the only one in the house who can locate a bible because I’m the only one of us who actually owns one. (It was for a mythology class in college but they can come in handy sometimes.) She has never had a problem with Jews or my Jewish friends until it became possible they could change her daughter. While there’s something comforting and familiar about Christianity, no one has ever forced Judaism down my throat.
I am not an atheist. I know enough to realize that, cosmically speaking, human life is miraculous. With so many things that could have prevented our existence, I believe there is some higher power running this show. I just don’t think any one religion has it exactly right.
Uber-religious guys are a turn-off for me. I won’t share their commitment and I’ll feel judged. I’m not nuts about atheists either. They’re entitled to their opinion but it always makes me think of the phrase “dead inside.” To paraphrase Einstein, I’d rather see life as a miracle rather than some lucky spin on the cosmic wheel of fortune.
She is the only person who has a problem with me doing this. One of my friends said that it was worth a shot to find a decent guy who will treat me right. Before my mother said anything, I was leaning away from doing it just because it cost money. If she had been as blasé as I was, I probably wouldn’t have done it. After her inexplicable bout of crazy, I’m in. She’s barely Christian and she’s epitomizing everything I think is wrong with the faith. Why shouldn’t I date outside of it?
She said it’s my life and my choice and she doesn’t have to approve every decision I make. This is true however I know her. She won’t say anything directly about me dating a Jew; she’ll just be a world class pain in the ass in other ways. When I was dating a guy in college she hated (with reason, damn hindsight), she didn’t do or say anything directly. She was just noticeably nicer to me once he was gone.
Since I’m on OKC, if I have a date, I won’t tell her which site I found the guy on if and when I tell her. If I want to show her pictures, I’ll save them to my computer so she can’t tell which website they came from. If she meets the guy in passing, I won’t reveal if he’s a gentile or not then either. You want to risk alienating your only daughter over something you can’t control then risk being on a need to know basis.