I was born into a souther style Pentecostal family. If you haven’t been to a southern religious event then you really haven’t experienced a major demographic of US spiritualism. It’s something to behold.
My career in getting in trouble and screwing with the system started in kindergarten. I was trouble. For reals. I remember I had 2 girl friends about the same time, I was flirting with the teacher, was spanked by the principal twice and almost expelled. I was also friends with the paster’s son who was way worse than me but I blame my bright orange ball of hair for my trouble. Stupid ginger genes.
My parents pulled me out of this school, Amazing Grace Chapel, and decided to school me at home.
Assemblies of God: Faith Tabernacle
From there we moved to an Assemblies of God mid-level mega church. Back then a few thousand people was a mega church but apparently that isn’t so much anymore. That is where I lived. I was in the orchestra. I was in the choir. I did “Royal Rangers” which was a AoG Boy Scouts. A much better version IMO.
Faith Tabernacle. Inside this church I learned a lot about religious politics. I got to travel as a musician and represent the church in contests. Where else can a 12 yr old play in front of thousands of people? My gosh my nerves were on fire.
Cathedral of the Hills
It was almost 45 minute drive to get to Faith Tabernacle once we moved into the country so we transferred our faith to another AoG church in Edmond. Cathedral of the Hills. It was a quiant community. Few hundred families. I lived here too. But it was a lot easier to deal with the community inside this church.
I had a couple girls that I really liked that never returned the feeling. I did Rangers here too. There was a fantastic youth group with game machines and foosball tables. My brother still has a scar from a competitive game we had. I’ll have to ask him one day.
We did Bible Quiz. A game where you memorize entire books of the Bible and can answer them in exact quotes based on timed buzzers. I memorized most of Corinthians. I’m not sure that was the best use of my young mind’s storage capacity.
When I left for the army I gave all that up. I almost never went to church and instead embraced the darkness. Yes, yes I should have warned you that i would transition my story. It’s kinda like that part in Dusk Till Dawn when the vampires suddenly show up and you are like WTF just happened, and I don’t know, but I’m painfully aroused by the wonton disregard for items of holiness.
The army gave me no support and instead basically forced me to extrapolate my virginity in order to be trustworthy. It was daily hazing until I would come back popped. So I did.
While out there a few times I went to some southern parishes.
A Broken Angel is A Redemptive Demon
About the end of my time I met a girl that was something to behold. She was culturally and pseudo Catholic and insisted that if I was going to be sharing a bed with her that I would go to Mass. It was awkward. I didn’t think Protestants and Catholics were different. I really didn’t care but she told me that I would have to sit there while she took communion. Eucharist as they called it.
Long story short - she was a destroyer of worlds. She rocked my world in ways that I normally would have control over. It was tough to reconcile what was going on but I learned what my emotional capacity was and how the nuances of anima and animus - this dogfight.
I had not converted but I was a bit stained by the event.
Family Friends are Family
Of my best buds, I was closely tied to a very religious Catholic family of greater than one dozen kids. Before I left for the army one of my best friends went to the Marines while I left for the Army. We planned to meet on the other side of the event. Eventually he was taken up by the Naval Academy and I went to Rangerland.
I left as soon as I could be he stayed in and lead a platoon in the Iraq invasion. He wanted to help people and was generally a good guy, but I was not. He took more mental impact than I did. We talked a bit over the years, but his mom kept him focused on the faith.
A California Girl
Countrywide Mortgage called and said we got a job for you. I show up and they don’t got no job. They are evil assholes and the execs should be doing prison time but that’s another story.
I had to take a job as a trainer for a while as I looked for a job where I met a girl that I would later marry.
I made a TON of mistakes with her as well since I was still decompressing from the army and didn’t have much of a respect for life. In fact I had no respect for life. I was not a nihilist but I was something of an dualist with a tendency to like neo-pagan styles.
I decided that it was time to slow down and stop my damage and we got married. We traveled back to OK where we got married at Cathedral of the Hills. Her family was so mentally ruined that they tried to ruin the wedding and my dad had to walk her down the isle. After the wedding it was crying and sleeping more than anything else. She was 20 and not ready for this. I was but she wasn’t ready for me.
Here is where things start to get dicy.
We were going to a non-denominational protestant church that met in a warehouse that was set up like a concert hall. Complete with a coffee bar out front. The paster wore flip flops and called people bro. I thought it was a bit too informal and disrespectful, but I was going with it.
We were having marriage issues and I wanted to get outside help. I thought the church had rules on divorce so I asked her to talk to the paster. The pastor said he was too busy and referred her to an “associate” that was some junior bible college marketing guys.
His basic message was, “You gotta let her live her life and not hold her back. If she wants to go let her go.”
Ah hell no. That is bullshit right? Wipe out a marriage in a single counseling event?
My Friend’s Brother
My friend, Marine Cpt., his brother is finishing seminary. I needed to find out more academic answers and he was always very academic. He was about 4 years older than me and always engaged in work.
My conversations with him took me back through about 1k years of religious history. Basically theological jurisprudence. The things we base western philosophies on or off of.
Canon Law and Philosophy
I spent a few hours studying canon law. And a few more hours studying history and cases that were impacted by the covenant of marriage. That is the thing that makes Catholicism unique among all other religious systems.
Marriage is a sacrament
What is the point of marriage if it is dissolvable? There isn’t any. It’s a weak contract that has tax benefits. In California the risks are greater if you are married so for a guy it’s stupid to do it except for religious purposes.
I always knew this to be true. There is a union that exists outside of time and location. That is marriage. It’s a basic philosophical premise. Basic enough that I had learned this before having studied philosophy.
I started deep diving philosophy and history trying to have all the answers lined up and the only logical religious system that would support me in my attempt to save my marriage was the traditions of the Catholic Church.
The fact that there is basic education that people should go through before being allowed in is a great rule. I think this should never be changed and should only be increased.
We talked about it and she was skeptical about converting to Catholicism. The Nolan family who had already produced 1 priest and 1 seminarian, were very supportive. It helped to get me in.
The Church that I decided to do RCIA through was a total joke. I didn’t realize there was sects inside the Church but I was to find this out.
Since we were still having marital issues I suggested we talk to these people instead.
Rite of Catholic Idiots having Affairs
Let’s just get to it. My ex’s sponsor was a married lady at the Church who was having an affair with the married deacon that was putting on the class. WTF right?
She came home one day from class and said that both encouraged her to leave me and go to find herself. And they confided that they were having an affair and that we can’t control our feelings. That is just how God makes us.
So here I am trying to save my marriage and holding a job and trying to make it alone in LA and I get this nonsense.
I went back to my buddy who is well versed in the law and told him what was going on and asked for enough information that I could go to the pastor of this Church and have it out with him. So I did. I studied for hours and prepped to meet the deacon.
He called me in and attempted to counsel me on feelings and bullshit. I told him that what he was doing was heresy and cited canon law and the places where he was committing possibly mortal sin by leading fresh converts into a lifestyle that was anti-Catholic. I might have slammed my fist on his desk. I might have raised my voice.
He stopped the conversation and walked me to the pastor’s office. He was a normal effeminate Irish fellow. The stereo typical Novis priest. I liked him. But he was weak sauce. He told me that love conquers all and that I need to be nicer to people and if my actions with the deacon are anything like how I treat my ex that I might need time away from her and to think about what I am doing with my life.
I might have raised my voice. I didn’t slam my hands on anything this time. But I told him that their suggestion to get an annulment goes against the statistical data that the Vatican puts out related to the legitimacy of the legal system in the US specifically. That if we are wagering our souls and the souls of those who are in our care that our risk if far higher than the feelings of some weak-minded feminist who thinks that my marriage is better off dissolved. I asked if he knew what type of private lives the leaders of his Church are living. Of course the moment I said that they terminated the conversation and told me to leave.
I Accept Her
My ex left the Church and I can’t blame her. I stood alone that Easter getting accepted in. Her family left her alone when she married me. I guess that is poetic enough.
Truth Never Ends
After that I decided that I was still in possession of the truth. If logic is true, and the purpose of life is to seek truth, then I have an obligation. What I determined has been backed up by years of follow-on philosophy and therefore I am stuck. Many people have come to me to ask me to dissolve the marriage. So many people want me to have children. I have had many marriage proposals from wonderful women. They leave confused when I have to tell them that some ancient book blocks the situation from happening.
Philosophy dictates that time does not exist. It’s a construct. Science says that love does not exist. Philosophy is right and science is insufficient and hollow. Because science is incapable of measuring something like this it is incapable of naming it. Love exists outside of measure and time and is affixed on an immovable point that all else surrounds. Other things are measured off of logical truths, but the measurement itself is not the point of truth.
Because I chose to un-know I cannot reverse the course. A covenant still stands and my future is permanently linked to the search for a never-ending love.