Jillian the other day was playing a game in her room where one of her toys was named -god-.
I think I worked myself into a frenzy thinking much the same as you Boom, knowing that ...at 4.. she would be clueless. Yet it took me a couple of days to realize that I was over reacting to her .. and it only took HER a few minutes to change the name of her toy.
But during my freak out I remember church much the way you describe it...and thinking what the HELL am I going to do now..
Church for me was where I went on sundays. Now, as an adult I know it was where I went to give my mom a break.. ..
She rarely went with me so it felt very alienating. But my grandmother would spout all kinds of christian stuff from her mouth and cuss me up one side and down another for some 'unchristian act'... then sit at the table and describe anal sex with a black man outside of her marriage.
My family was full of 'pretend' people in the christian faith and if I said that did not play a part in my ability to take that stuff seriously I would be lying.
The most fun I had at church were two different places.
The first one was a methodist I think.. where.. every sunday they would make you pancakes with blueberries, eggs, waffles, potatoes, juice and fruit.
The church was FULL of older white people, so I was always getting side ways glances. I was the only kiddo of color in a very backwoods, redneck area. The few times my mother went, she always ended up angry at someone for something they said about me so she would send me by myself with her friend who would NOT stand up for me as much. Not that she did not care, she just did not know how.
I still hear stories about those old women, and that was in the 70's and I was probably all of 5 or 6 at the time..maybe a little older.
On a side note--Not but 8 months or so ago, I signed up for a non profit called save our cemetaries and I got to catalog alot of those graves around that church and at some of their homes. Many of those people have 'slave graves' on their property and old dirty slave houses breaking down in the back. I told my mother about this and she acted as though she was not surprised...
When I questioned her about WHY she would send me to that particular church , her response was that it was more important for me to learn about 'god' then race..
I do not think I talked to her for a couple of days after that..
The second best place
A BLACK BAPTIST CHURCH
Now those women .. oh MAN.. those women were great!
They would swing me around by my arms, yell and dance, cuss, be loud, and have a blast.
There was never a shortage of people, women and men, who would let me sit on their laps so I could better see the very animated preacher.
During sunday school,we were allowed to not wear our shoes and sometimes we could just play. We were not required to sit down all prim and proper .. ohh no.. we were wrestling, squealing and running with our teacher sometimes just talking about lessons while we had fun, or playing with us themselves.
Black church was where it was at!
I asked alot of touchy questions there too. I got them all answered as well. I was even able to openly tell people I did not believe in jesus.. I just liked to dance. And that was ok. I do not remember a single person ever challenging that . No comments about how I should not say that, or even the question of why. Most people just smiled and kept going.
I was able to ask questions about sex as I got older. And that was ok as well.
Im not a christian now, and I do not think I will ever be.. but the best experience, and the one experience that would ever lead me back to a church for fun, was 'black church' . Better known as Southern Baptists..
It was a small, back behind some older houses kind of a church.
I think the congregation consisted of about 50 people . It may have been more.. my little mind did not have a concept of that.. but .. when I try to think about it, it really did seem small. Everyone knew everyone else and I am willing to bet everyone lived close to everyone else as well..
maybe a small tight nit church like that might do ....