One of the pieces of being a Catholic school teacher that I am having difficulties with is the being an "active member of my church." This is difficult for a number of reasons, the two biggest being I have never attended church regularly and I have some misgivings about organized religion.
My issue here is not with the faith itself, it's with when faith becomes something else: political and monetary. And that's where my stand on church gets a little uncomfortable. I believe that religion is a personal choice, and I believe it should be worshiped in a personal manner. I don't feel I should have to prove my faith to anyone but God. Sometimes, church becomes more about who is doing more, giving more, praying more and less about thoughtful worship.
It's not that I have anything against church. I think it can be a great social tool--getting to know others that share your faith. And, it can be a great learning tool to discuss your faith and to pray with others. It makes you part of a community and in that way, it's wonderful.
But, at times, it can also divide. It can also become about money and power. It can also mean a mere mortal man thinking he can dictate to a group what to feel and believe about any manner of thing.
And for me, someone not very comfortable in group social situations, someone who prefers to be more private in terms of emotional things such as faith and love, being an active member in a church isn't something that I feel is necessary. It doesn't fit me, and it doesn't fit my relationship with God. And, even in a parochial school setting, I think that should be okay.
So, as the school year sits in the not-so-distant future, one of my biggest fears is that I will be quizzed on what church I go to.
I don't go to church, but I still believe my faith to be strong and my ability to teach unmarred by this.