Now I remember why I haven't been to church in a while...

I recently attended a friend’s wedding, well he was just one of the couples getting married. It was a 24 couple wedding, something I hadn’t ever seen or really heard of before. It was in a warehouse building made into a church, the groomsman each made their way down to the front of the stage. They were then followed by their brides, all 24 of them. While this seems weird, I guess it was cheaper for all the couples. However, I think maybe something else was going on as well.

I remember my friend telling me the church had been preaching about premarital sex and manning up with your woman. Then this wedding talk was happening. I think it is possible they herded these couples like cattle to the wedding arch because they were trying to please god. Fear is often a great tactic when trying to get people to do things. It is entirely possible these couples were feeling shame and guilt about having sexual relations before marriage, therefore deeming marriage the key to making god happy with them again.

But that isn’t what I really wanted to talk about, I wanted to focus on some heinous things the pastor said, let’s begin.

1. The pastor said his wife is in charge of decorating the house and he’s okay with that as long as it looks like she married a man. He didn’t want “people coming in and thinking she’s gay.” He also stated “If you want your husband to kill himself, get a flannel or floral bedding.”

I was as shocked as you were just now. I don’t understand what he thinks about the gay community, but apparently lesbian women like to decorate girly? I don’t get it. But then to also group men in a category of not liking floral or flannel bedding seems weirdly suggestive of the male community. I wouldn’t mind it.

2. “Before you get a new car, talk to god and not the salesman. Before you get a house, talk to god and not the realtor.”

This sounds like terrible advice, but it is often the advice spit out from religious people and pastors. It sounds super spiritual and the type of thing people would hear and think someone is “more holy” because they do that. But when you think about it, it makes no sense. Why would you talk to god and not the person actually selling you the car? Why would you talk to god and not the realtor? This kind of thinking permeates the church and religious circles, but I think it is paralyzing and poisonous.

God also gave us brains to think and make decisions. I’m not even convinced god cares if you purchase a new car or get a house. Our relationship with god is not like a life coach. Our relationship with god is more about receiving his love regardless of our car or house decision. These choices are the freedom and gift he has given us while we live on this earth. You should probably talk to your salesperson or realtor, in my mind.

3. “Ladies can multitask, men can’t. If your husband is driving and you ask him what he thinks, he’s only thinking about driving and nothing else.”

This was weird because I literally was thinking about creating this blog website and what I wanted to do with it as I was driving the hour to the wedding. I think a lot when I am driving. I think about numerous things while I do other things. It was gross generalization and typical gender stereotypes. Everyone has different personalities and quirks about them. I don’t know if it is always about gender.

4. “You need church because if your marriage is hell, we know about heaven.”

This is the same dangerous way of thinking that led to the crusades and groups of catholics being subjected to the catholic church’s teachings on purgatory, indulgences and not being allowed to read the scriptures for yourself. The idea of “needing” the church sounds dangerous to me. Of course, community is always a benefit to have and a healthy part of being a human. But to tell people they need you to know about “heaven” or anything spiritual when they themselves have a brain and the same book the pastor reads out of is highly sketchy.

Following the christian framework, the spirit of god lives in you. Why would I need a pastor or a church when I literally have god with me? It is risky rhetoric and people should be weary when anyone with a mic and standing on higher ground than them says something of this nature.

All in all, I was happy to see my friend get married. This was no shame to him. I am excited to see his marriage grow and for him to walk with me through mine. However, I remembered why I hadn’t been to church in so long. It is because they peddle such garbage out of their mouths. But then again, maybe so do I.

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