It seems my frustrations with religion will never cease. I guess one of the contributing factors is that we are still attending a rather conservative church and when you place yourself in the path of the religious what else can you expect besides narrow mindedness and legalism. I find there are aspects of church I don't want my family to miss out on. Corporate worship is nice and we always listen to the message and then disect it as a family on the way home. We try to talk about what we do and don't agree with and why. We have really been wanting to stay focused on our children having a relationship with God that is not dependent on church. I even let them go to youth group early on, but when they came home and they were telling me how the youth leader was talking about how he was witnessing to a Jehovah's Witness at his work and was offered a Watch Tower he told her, "Thanks, I was running out of toilet paper", I knew we were dealing with more of the same. Such bigotry from thoses who should be showing the love of Christ and not cramming a Bible down their neighbors throat. Now I mostly believe I find myself sitting in church so often so God can teach me the same tolerance and love I want to see in others. I find it usually easy to love the outcasts and "sinners" but more difficult to love thoses who are in my eyes modern day Pharisees. I guess over the years as I have truly come to know God I have found how badly He had been misrepresented to me and I hate to see that happening to others. When I was deeply entrenched in some really rough stuff, it was those who loved me unconditionally that brought conviction into my life and made me pray to God for change. Thoses who spouted scriptures only made me want to rebel all the more. I want to train my children to be tolerant and loving and to accept people as they are. We pray for others, for God to move in their lives, and for us to be used to help people whenever and however we can. I have friends of different religious persuasions from Agnostic, to Christian, to Mormon. (And yes people, in case you have been falsely taught Mormons are Christians too). And even for those we know who don't believe exactly as we do we just love one another and don't cram our interpretation of scriptures down their throats. I guess I just had to vent a bit this morning. Instead of walking away from the church as a whole (as I am often tempted to do, I am going to keep pressing on.I know I am being taught tolerance and grace. I try to see past their words to their misguided hearts. I used to be just like them, even worse than some I know. I need to direct an equal amount of love and prayers their way as I do for others. So readers of my blog and fellow misfits send a praer out that God will keep teaching me what I so desperately want to see others learn.