25 Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.
" Gobble de Gook. All this talk is nonsense." said my father. "Here is Jesus asking us to forego all the love and pleasure in the world and follow him as a disciple but then he goes and rejoins his father in the sky. Makes no sense to me."
"Sounds like a cult." my mom said. She was always the one with fear in her heart and hatred for anyone who was slightly different or off the path.
"Well it is a mighty big cult then," my father signed. "They got the whole United States filled up. ' Hate your mother and your father and follow me.' That is the kind of double talk people just love."
I understood how my parents could not stand to join a church. It was just too emotional for them to try and understand the hypocrisy that echoed in the church hallways.
"Slut or Madonna. That is the question." My dad loved this debate. He would settle in with his Catholic buddies on the front porch with a couple of beers and accuse them of treating women either like a slut or a saint because the church had made them choose. "If God made women then they are all good. Not just some of them for some things and others for other things. You Catholics got it all confused and you are drowning in guilt and repression."
His friends would hem and haw about the evil that lurks in some women's souls and how they chose the path to heaven by being true to their lovely wives. But by the time my dad got through with them they were admiting to all sorts of fantasies about those 'other' women and he watched them stumble off to their homes with their minds all askew.
He did a number on me too. He loved to tell me the story of how God flooded the world and Noah built an ark to save the animals and himself. He would get all involved in how the animals propagated once they got to the dry land again and made babies. I think he would turn it into a morality play and try to educate me about sex as the story unfolded. We usually ended up laughing about the poor unicorns not getting any.
So when Jesus calls out to the people to come follow him and turn away from the love and pleasures of the world my love for my Dad and the way he taught me to think for myself and question every detail of life saved me. Thanks Dad for your lack of faith. That was the best gift you could have given me and my gift to you this Father's Day is to not hate you and turn away but to love you and appreciate what a fine mind you had.
Hopefully you still have it and you are zooming around in the universe somewhere still asking questions.