My Interfaith (?) Struggle/Relationship
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Article ID: 10150
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: September 25th. 2005
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Interfaith relationships are hard, but what if your lover/partner/spouse has no faith at all? Well, first of all, there is no such thing as having no faith. Even atheists believe in something. They merely hold that there is no God because they are bitter and angry or confused, or else they have something against people who do love God and Goddess.
I know about atheists because my boyfriend was one of them. When I first met him, his religious views were crushing and very disappointing to me. He held that there was no God (an utter shock to me, being the fervent Christian that I was); that he believed in nothing; and that, if there was a God, then God was vengeful and cruel. I could feel nothing but the greatest pity for him. The God I had known for the past five or so years was not vengeful or cruel. My God did not sit up in heaven wreaking havoc on sinful beings. My God loved us all, was waiting for us to speak to Him, and was waiting with open arms to receive our love. He didn't punish us with storms and hurricanes, fire and hail. My God was a God of love, and I let my boyfriend know this.
Looking back, I can remember just how lost and confused my boyfriend seemed. But I never had to wonder why once I met his mother. There are religious fanatics in the world - and then there is my boyfriend's mother. She tops them all; she takes the cake, and eats it too. She is the sort of person who seems (forgive me) a little obsessed with God. God is ALL that she ever talks about. I'm not exaggerating here. Even though, because of past events, I'm a little biased towards her, what I say here is the absolute truth. I can't look back and remember a time that she was WASN'T lecturing me about God and sex - and me, a devout Christian of five or six years. Lecturing me was like lecturing a nun. It was laughable.
It became clear that she did not know me at all, and she still does not know me, because instead of letting me talk WITH her, she talked AT me every time and never let me get a word in. Being with her in a car was like being lectured by your parents for all the bad things you ever did at once. And my boyfriend's mother's lectures, her "you're-going-to-hell” mania, made a little piece of our relationship crumble, if not a little piece of my heart.
My boyfriend, meanwhile, began to admit that God existed. We always had long talks about it in the dark. It's funny when I think about it, because most of the time we were lectured for sitting in the dark when, in fact, all we were doing was talking about God! You snicker, but I got a lot of grief for something that was very innocent. Yet, alas, even to this day, my boyfriend maintains that, and I quote, "God is there and he doesn't care." He thinks it's so funny when he says that, and he even joked about making up his own religion. He told me that he and others like him would stand together and sing, "God is there, but we don't care, ” and then go home and continue not caring. For the sake of not arguing or being dramatic, I laughed at his jokes. After all, his personal choices were none of my business. We aren't married, and I was never a very evangelistic Christian in those days. Other people's religions aren't my business. It's up to them how they commune with Goddess and God. But I couldn't help but feel a little miserable. No matter what I told myself, it hurt me when my boyfriend blew off God. I began to resent him and wish that he could be like me. Why couldn't he be Wiccan or Muslim or even Christian?
To be clear, it's not that my boyfriend is a narrow-minded monster. You see, it's the fact that he doesn't care at all. Being against Wicca would require his caring, and he's too lazy to put much thought into caring about people's religions at all. Not only is his mother's Christian mania a primary factor in his antagonism, but he has also had several bad experiences with Christians. Alas, there are good people in bad religions and bad people in good religions. Some people aren't necessarily "bad, ” they just mean well, and their good intentions get out of hand, leading to hurt and misunderstanding. My boyfriend, because of his appearance, was often perceived as being possessed of the devil. He was made a spectacle of in church as the church leaders proceeded to pray over him. (He likes to wear all black and cut his hair into a Mohawk, which doesn't help him much in a church scene, I know.)
My boyfriend is not a bigot, per se, he's just terribly ignorant. He asks questions, and I do my best to enlighten him, but the whole process is rather degrading. The way he brushes off everything just hurts. He bought me my first pentagram, and so I felt obliged to let him know, "Hey, I'm Wiccan now, not Christian!" But as far as things go now, I just flat out don't like to talk about religion with him. We are not like minds, my boyfriend and I, and so I always feel like it's a profound waste of time telling him what I believe and hearing him shrug and blow things off - when he asked in the first place!
And now that we've thrown a pity party for my boyfriend, where does that leave me? When I thought about a boyfriend in the past, religion was not a main factor. I was never keen on getting married, having three kids, and going to church every Sunday (not that there's anything wrong with that; it just wasn't my dream.) I feel like, the longer I date my boyfriend, the more hurt he can cause concerning religion. I suppose I shouldn't care, I suppose I should ignore him. He doesn't say things to hurt me intentionally. I wish sometimes that I could talk about religion with someone who's religious. I don't come from a religious background, and even so, I'm almost certain my family would frown on me if I started trying to initiate conversations about full moon rituals. Who understands what it is to love God and Goddess? To dance with Them in the light of the full moon? To light candles for Them and whisper prayers? No one I know.
And so, in the end, my Wiccan name really lives up to its title. I am Enola, that is, Alone.
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