Bruce from Manna In Christchurch just sent me Bono's "book" that contains a speech he made to a prayer breakfast in Washington. It's great, should be on the required reading for any one. While there were many things that struck me I think the following lines echoed my story, with the parenting roles changed;
"I remember how my mother would bring us to chapel on Sundays… and my father used to wait outside. One of the things that I picked up from my father and my mother was the sense that religion often gets in the way of God.
For me, at least, it got in the way. Seeing what religious people, in the name of God, did to my native land… and in this country, seeing God’s second-hand car salesmen on the cable TV channels, offering indulgences for cash… in fact, all over the world, seeing the self-righteousness roll down like a mighty stream from certain corners of the religious establishment…
I must confess, I changed the channel. I wanted my MTV.
Even though I was a believer.
Perhaps because I was a believer.
I was cynical… not about God, but about God’s politics."
For me growing up the son of an Irish Catholic father and an English Salvation Army Mother caused much confusion. I always felt that my mother was never accepted by our local Catholic Church, the priest was great he knew that my parents believed in the same God, but many of the congregation were not so accepting. I guess that shaped my decision to wander away from church as a teen (only to eventualy return), but it has also shaped my faith now, I am not so interested in denomination as people's heart commitments, in the words of Bono I am still cynical... "not about God, but about God's politics."