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Oprah is My Jesus

I spent some time in a Mormon church recently for a funeral. In spite of growing up going to Mormon church, it’s been a hell of a long time since I’ve been in a church chapel… yet I couldn’t shake the sense of being home while I was there. A week later and I’m still trying to unpack my feelings on this. Jesus is weird like that.

I think in part, the sense of familiarity comes from the fact that basically all Mormon churches are the exact same, down to the scratchy wallpaper. I spent countless hours in my youth staring at that damn wallpaper. Religion has been on my mind anyway, so that could also account for the feelings.

For the past few months, I’ve been toying with the idea of exploring religion and how it plays into a need for some type spirituality in my life. I don’t necessarily believe in a god, but I am not adamantly sure there isn’t a god. You know… something I should probably explore.

In my 20’s, my belief system was mostly Karma. While in my 30’s that belief morphed into believing in The Universe, which is sort of god-like. Now that I’m in my 40’s, I really should figure out what my belief system is. I have a three-year old, and at some point she’s going to have religion questions. We live in Utah, after all, religion is EVERYWHERE.

I’m not exactly opposed to attending a church once in a while, but I’d like it to align with some of my core values. Since this is all something that’s been whirling around in my mind, I decided to make it real and talk to Chris about it:

Me: Do you think there’s a religion that’s progressive enough for me? I have specific needs… I want women in the clergy. I want a church that’s pro-LGBTQ… and the other letters I’m forgetting. I want uplifting sermons that aren’t all hell and damnation, and a real sense of community. And lastly, I really want something that’s pro-immigration and celebrates our differences.

Chris: That’s a lot of needs. I don’t really know…

Me: That’s OK. I’ll ask Google. Oh look, Gaychurch.com says this church by us is LGBTQ friendly. Ugh, it’s really hard to tell by the website though…

Chris: I can’t support a church that doesn’t have an excellent web presence.

Me: Wow, this other one by us has has women in the clergy, pro-immigration ,LGBTQ friendly, great website AND they have a beer class as a fundraiser.

Chris: This is obviously our new church. Sign us up!

I haven’t signed us up. Hell, I haven’t even committed to going once. I still can’t get past the idea of a white, male, Christian god figure, and the idea of listening to bible stories every Sunday makes me cringe. It’s too bad that Oprah’s Super Soul Session isn’t a physical church I can attend. That’s way more my jam. Is it cool to just tell my daughter that Oprah is my Jesus? It’ll have to be for now while I figure this all out.

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