Tuesday, November 17, 2009


You would think I would know better. After 38, going on 39 years of being my dad's daughter. But no, I am an idiot.

Just one week before the big wedding in Indiana, I got all psyched up about our Presiding Bishop being in town (at my church!) and I sent off a message, with a link to the Sac Bee article which covered her visit, to some close friends and to my family members. The subject line read: "Our fabulous Bishop!"

And what was my dad's response? A scathing message back about how "scary" she is as a leader and "how could his own daughter's Christian faith have gone so awry?" Which was followed up by multiple phone calls today (he goes weeks without talking with me and THIS is the reason that he actually attempted to track me down?) and two more nasty emails which detailed what a *problem" she is as a leader and once again, how could I possibly call myself a Christian?

To that last question, my response was: "Oh, let me just count the ways. Let's start with communion. EVERY single Sunday. Liturgy. Prayer. Baptism. And lest we forget, that age old book that we ALL study: the Bible.

But beyond that, to me, Christianity carries a certain sense of responsibility to our community. Like feeding the hungry. Check. Housing the homeless. Check. Taking care of our neighbor. Check.

Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. Check. CHECK.

I'm embarrassed to write the full scope of what my dad put in the email. It's intolerant, narrow-minded and downright wrong. It's nothing I would ever want Ben to know about. There wasn't a hint of compassion, love or understanding in his messages.

I don't know what I was thinking when I sent the link to him. Oh wait, yes I do. I was thinking, actually, I was reveling in the experience of being with our Bishop. I wanted to share the details with anyone, everyone. I wanted everyone I care about to be sitting with me in church during her message. It was that powerful.

Every child looks for validation from their parent/s. Even when the child is 38 years old. Of course I want my dad to approve of my choices - how I raise Ben, how I make money, whom I choose to date, how I experience faith and spirituality. But once again, he disappointed me. This time around though, I'm not taking that disappointment to heart. It's kinda helpful to look at him like a neanderthal; like someone who cannot even try to be evolved. And then it makes me feel that much MORE evolved.

He thinks we're going to have this great "sit down" in Indy; he's told me he'll pull out the book of John and show me the error of my ways. Good thing I have an ally in my lovely sis. Somehow, an incredibly big job involving tons of bows and candles and I-don't-know-what-else has materialized and my name is all over the task. I'm assured that it will take the better part of two days so any talk of religion will just have to wait until the next family get-together. Which happens to be next week: Thanksgiving. I don't care if I have to pluck the feathers off the turkey to keep busy, I am SO. NOT. HAVING. THIS. CONVERSATION. WITH. HIM.

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