February 25th, 2008 | 23 Comments »

A bloggy friend of mine, Zoe is having some teenage curfew problems with her son, who has recently been very ill.

Even at the height of Ass Burger Boy’s teenage rebellion I had to laugh at the irony of it all.

Did he do drugs? No, he did not.

Did he drink? Again, no.

How about whoring around with women? Nope.

None of that, and yet? His rebellion caused much angst in the household.

It was about church. Let me hasten to say, not just any old church. It was a get-the-survival-gear-the-heathens-are-coming type of church. One with no affiliations to a sane church. Just a standalone congregration making it up as they go along. But hey! They had food! And they offered ABB a social interface which he was sorely lacking. And their exclusionary preaching pitted him against the person who loves him most in this world.

They scared the living daylights out of me. Whenever we rationally tried to discuss religion, the hand would come up, and the mind would shut down. He was so convinced that I was a Tool of Satan that he was afraid anything I said would compromise his salvation.

I understood his longing to connect to his spirituality. I had done the same thing when I was younger than he. I went to several different churches, and one of them was a similar nutbar church. They offered free! church camp! with games! and zany contests! I was all over it.

I was very disillusioned at the free! church camp! however. The elders became verbally abusive when the little darlings were away from their parents for two weeks.

I left the church after camp, and formed my own conclusions about spirituality. One of which is that it doesn’t necessarily have to do with religion. It’s what is in your heart. And that Jesus got it.

ABB was so wrapped up in this church that he sabotaged a great paying job he was offered by the promoters of a psychic fair. He was to greet customers, and hand out flyers. He took the opportunity to proselytize. He even went so far as to admonish one woman that if she valued her soul, she would run away from the psychic fair. Strangely enough, this didn’t ensure job security.

A lot of the same kind of things went on until I.Had.Had.Enough.

After one outburst from ABB where he shouted “Satan is speaking through you!” I felt I had to take a hard line.

I told him that he could live with his mother, or he could attend this church, but he wasn’t to do both at the same time.

He was certain that Satan had won.

I encouraged him to find other churches in the area. (Some of them even had food!) to see if he could find a place where he felt he fitted.

He did find a church or two that he enjoyed, and yes, they had food. He knows what is important to him.

We got to a point where we could converse rationally about religion, and he allowed that the first church was a titch tightarse.

Ya think???

One of the churches he discovered was a charismatic Mennonite sect, where the emphasis was on the Holy Spirit rather than looking down your nose at others. I found the people quite charming and sincere. He decided to join the church and was baptized. They had a lovely outdoor ceremony and picnic. I was happy to attend.

He also got very involved with the Greek Orthodox Church. A little strange, but, hey, they have strong ties with an organization, and don’t make up their dogma as they go along.

When he announced that he wanted to be baptised in the Greek church, I reminded him that he was already baptised. I knew this because I watched. I accused him in jest of being a baptismal slut. I attended, because it was so important to him. I have reasons of my own why I don’t feel comfortable in churches anymore. The ceremony was about an hour long, but there was a nice meal afterward.

He still attends both churches. The first for social reasons, to visit with the nice and charming congregants. He doesn’t take communion there, though. The second is his spiritual home, and I am fine with that.

And? I’m happy that his spiritual life keeps him from doing the stupid things that most young people do like drugs and partying.

I have to tell you though, I truly feared for him when he was at the nutbar church. I don’t regret taking a very hard line to get him away from them, either. Not one bit.

Posted in Ass Burger Boy