Stepfamily Issues

Personal stories about stepfamilies, childhood and general family issues.

January 13, 2007

torn between two faiths

Honey grew up in what was once called a 'mixed marriage' - her parents were of different faith rather than different race - and although raised in one faith she ended up, like a mixed race child, having a foot in both camps but not quite accepted by either.

"My mother is Catholic and my father is Jewish and I grew up in the Catholic faith," explains Honey, "but when I reached my teens I went through a personal crisis in faith that left me terribly mixed up."

"I was always tormented as a kid because my father was Jewish." says Honey. "The Catholics said that the Jews are agents of Satan, they murdered Jesus and all that stuff, and even though my parents told me to take no notice of these torments I was hurt by their verbal attacks on my lovely, gentle father."

"For all the drilling I received in a Catholic school my teachers left me in total ignorance as far as religious history was concerned," says Honey. "It was only when I did some reading of my own that I realized the truth of a lot of things, such as Jesus himself was a Jew, the early form of Christianity was a Jewish sect and the Catholic faith was based on the expansionist plans of the Roman Empire and had very little to do with Jesus!"

"I could have gone through my whole life -- as I'm sure a lot of Catholics do -- without knowing the true history of my religion," says Honey, "and it was at that time that I felt incredibly drawn towards the quiet faith that my father practiced at his synagogue."

"I became torn between the two faiths and I didn't know which way to go."

"My father told me that it was easier for me to be a Catholic than a Jew," says Honey, "and I suppose he was right. But because I was so disillusioned by what my church had failed to tell me, I ended up solving my crisis of faith by turning away from religion altogether."

"When I was about thirteen I refused to believe that Jesus even existed -- that it was all lies," laughs Honey, "but I've mellowed since and now accept that Jesus was a real person. But I don't believe all the rubbish about virgins births, resurrections and miracles. I believe that Jesus was an opportunist who took advantage of Talmudic prophecy to get himself accepted as the King of the Jews and when that failed his followers formed their own breakaway Jewish sect."

"Similarly, it was over his claim to take as many wives as he wanted that Henry VIII broke with the Catholic church and established the Church of England," laughs Honey, "but it wasn't a new religion any more than the one the followers of Jesus started."

"Until the Roman Emperor Constantine embraced Christianity in 313, it was acknowledged by most as a Jewish sect. In fact, the early Christians were all Jews and operated in accordance with Talmudic teaching."

"Ultimately, the need to gain more support and money led to unclean, uncircumcised Gentiles being included as followers of Jesus," says Honey, "but the whole issue of including these 'dirty' people remained a thorn in the side of the new sect for many generations. Even today, Catholics practice circumcision without knowing why, other than it promotes cleanliness - but it is the sign of the Covenent with God in the Jewish religion!"

"After persecuting the early Christians for three hundred years, it's ironic that the new state religion of Roman Christianity adopted by the Emperor Constantine ultimately persecuted every other faith it came across, including Judaism from which it sprang."

"What's happening in Ireland between the Catholics and the Protestants is a farce," laughs Honey, "and what's happening in the Middle East is a tragedy."

"The traditional Jewish faith has thrived over the centuries despite terrible persecution simply because it's believers were dispersed and generally minded their own business," explains Honey. "When Israel was created in 1948 as a home for the Jews the stage was set for more religious wars."

"Mix religion with power, war and territorial expansion," sighs Honey, "and, like the Roman Christians, the persecuted fast become the persecutors. My father fears that Israel is going to become more expansionist than it is already - claiming huge tracts of land, including Turkey and Cyprus, as ordained in ancient Judaic law - and the Jews will become more hated than they are already."

"I went through terrible spiritual agony over all of the differences and similarities and lies and more lies about religion," says Honey, "and I'm glad, now, that I owe no allegiance to either. I'm free!"

"It's like all things in life," says Honey, "when you can't choose between two things -- boys, movies, food, religion or whatever -- the best action is to leave them both or try something else."

"As far as religion is concerned there is a veritable smorgasbord to choose from," laughs Honey, "but I'm opting for freedom. I've read enough now to be satisfied that there is no god, no heaven and no hell and while my mother is horrified my father is amused."

"He says it is good that I am learning to think for myself, and although I am obviously biased because he is my father I think he's the nicest dad in the world."

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