Looking back at religion

     Religion seems to be a topic people shy away from these days.  But reviewing family history i realize that my fore-bearers at one time or another were deeply immersed in it.  At the tender age of maybe five a lady knocked on my mothers door and introduced her self as a neighbor and mother from the next block.  she was a Primary Sunday school teacher and had a son of my age and asked if she could pick me up on Sunday mornings to take me to Sunday School.  This was my first real introduction to church.  I believe the church in question was Pennicostal and I attended on a regular basis un till my mothers last hospitalization before her death for at least three years.  After my mothers entrance to the hospital the last time I lived with my maternal grandmother who did not attend church.  After about one and a half years I was moved to my fathers brothers house, his wife was always religious orientated and I once again resumed attendance.  With my fathers remarriage and acquiring a small step-sister           our parents continued sending us to Sunday School.  My father was never a church going man and I believe this was because of something to do with his childhood. And possibly the long hard illness his young wife suffered.  All I know is her could not be dragged to church with a team of horses.  He could not stand some of the opinionated long wind pompous preacher we encountered in the country churches we were exposed to.  But some how he wanted us to be exposed to the fundamental teachings of Sunday school.  I was one of those kids that did not want to miss a sunday because of that danged little tin six month pen you got for attendance.  I was a regular church  attender untill I entered the Marines at seventeen and a half.  After boot camp when I came home on week ends I attended with my sisters.  Later when I started working for a living many of my friends were Catholic and eventually I took instruction and joined that church.  I worked hard at being a good Catholic, even eventually teaching Saturday instruction.  The straw that broke the camels back was when at the age of twenty-five they gave me the seventh and eighth grade girls.  This was one of the most stressful times I ever experienced in my religious experience I tried repeatedly to get out of that class.  The Mother Superior kept saying persevere.  Those little girls would flirt and make sexual passes at me, I had little sisters at that age and it disgusted me.  But it was while teaching this class that one day while in front of that class I realized that I did not believe what I was teaching them.  At the end of the semester I quit the teaching and eventually drifted away from the church.  The church tries to discourage a lot of reading and I have always been a heavy reader, I guess I just started to think and question too much.

     Anyway I have rambled away from what I intended to talk about this time.  I recon that’s why I selected the title ramblingbob.  On my dads side of the family one of the first men of the family was instrumental in building on of the first churches in the community.  His son would  serve as a Lieutenant in the Missouri State Home Guard in the civil war for the Union.  He Farmed before and after the war and eventually became pastor of the church.  a family cemetery is located next to the old church.

     Over on my mother’s side my double great grandfather served as a Sergent in the same regiment as the other grandfather but a different company.  His brother was hanged by Missouri Bushwhackers in a terrible manner while he was away.  After the war he and two brothers tracked down and killed all but two of the villains.  Later in his life he became a pastor as did his son.

     My wife’s double great grand father was circuit riding preacher through Oklahoma and Arkansas.  He is credited with baptising over two thousand souls and lord only knows how many marriages.  He founded a church in Heavner, Oklahoma, that had a stained glass window of him in it.  It later burned down but the window was saved and installed in a large modern church in the rectory.  This is a side bar I will not elaborate on, but after my step mothers death in the late 1970’s some how my father married my wife’s long widowed mother.  And this happened while on a trip in the Oklahoma area and they were married in the rectory of this church below the stained glass window of this ancestor. 

     We put our daughter through christian school because the public schools had deterioared so bad in our area at that time.  I attende Sunday School with her for those years but never caught the old fire.  I am a little confused about my belief today, but am severly dissapointed with modern religion.

     My oldest son id very religious and has raised his children in the church.  His wife made a church trip to the Holy Land and was re-baptised in the Jordan.  My son has made two trips to Guatemala to preform missionary work by doing electrical work on a mission school.   He does this at his own expense and loss of wages while gone.  I have a tremendous amount of respect for him for his endeavors.  He also used to go to Tijuana to work on a orphanage when attending his former church.

     So as I say, religion has played a part in my destiny.  through my forebears and my early life.  I am greatfull for the early molding of my principals that I live by.  Mostly the fact other people have the same right to everything I do.  With out some honor           for others you have no right to expect honor.  Oh yes there were family members who walked the other side of the line, but that is for another days ramble.  Gonna go play with my kitty so long for now ramblingbob.

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