I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church but tuned it out INSPIRED by the honesty of John Lennon who told a reporter who was also a friend that the Beatles were more popular with my generation than Jesus was, and he was most correct.
My friends and I knew every lyric to every Beatles song, but nobody ever quoted Jesus and Lennon's off the cuff remark sparked a 'fundamentalist revolution' of album burnings all over the south.
I THANKED GOD that I lived in Levittown, Long Island at the time, and didn't have to see any of that idiocy except on TV.
I was aghast -and ashamed-at how judgmental and hypocritical Christians could be. Lennon also made me think about my own hypocrisy, and that led me to drop the institutional church; for the first time.
It happened at weekly confession; in the late summer of 1966, just a few weeks before I began the 7th grade.
There I was at the altar, on my knees and mindlessly repeating the same old prayers as the week before. In the middle of the three Our Fathers and ten Hail Mary's, it hit me like a light. Those words that I uttered never changed anything, and I got up and walked out; knowing I was DOOMED for hell, for I had failed at confession!
Not until I was 27, did I yell HELP, and there are no words to describe the PRESENCE of God that came upon me; I knew I was loved and accepted JUST AS I WAS and that God understood everything about me and all was OK!
I didn't go back Roman until I was about 45, and that lasted but one year; from Good Friday to the week after Easter, and I left for the LAST time, because I could not accept the Roman Catholic Church conditions of worthiness in receiving Holy Communion.
They insisted I do paper work and request an annulment, but I know if we are truly sorry, God forgives us our sins as well as our mistakes, and Jesus never said paperwork was required.
I was married for the first time in my early twenties, but it was a mistake and error in judgment on my part. He was a nice guy, had a day job, played guitar at night and he was a consistent source of cannabis sativa; a flowering seed bearing plant that when dried and smoked, will get you high.
Cannabis sativa once grew wild throughout America, but became illegal to grow or possess with the passage of the Marijuana Act of 1937. The Marijuana Act was determined to be unconstitutional in 1969. That led to the passing of the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 and although:
On the third day, God said, "Let the land produce vegetation; seed bearing plants." And it was so. The land produced plants bearing seed...And God saw that it was good.-Genesis 1: 11-13
In 1984, when my daughter arrived in the world, I desired to be clean and sober and my battle with my psychological addiction to pot began. Only through the struggling and wrestling to be clean and sober did I begin to realize how unhealthy a marriage I was in.
By 1988 I was tired of living a lie and knew the only way out was a divorce and to begin a new life.
It has been said that an employee should never date their boss, and maybe it was the rebel in me-but I also am totally convinced, it was God's plan for my life, for I did date my boss and today we celebrated our 17th year of marriage.
Neither of us are who we had once been, and now I nightly imbibe in a Vodka and tonic; sometimes two, and will drink a bit more at weddings and parties. I also have no doubt, if cannabis were legal, it would be my drug of choice.