Note: For privacy reasons, living people are not identified in this blog without permission.


If you would like to be contacted about a comment, you must leave me a way to reach you. Please include your email address. Thank you!

Follow This Blog!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Yes, Religion and Genealogy

In my life, I have been confronted at different times by beliefs, standpoints, and "Bible quoters" that present a differing view than my own.  I consider myself an educated person.  Additionally, I have bit of an education in theology and world religions that, to be quite frank, the everyday person probably does not have or even choose to have.  I generally do not talk much about my religion as I do consider it a private matter and would not want to impose my beliefs on someone who thinks differently.  

As I seek my ancestors, I cannot help but delve into their religious beliefs.  From my Roman Catholic ancestors of Ireland to my Evangelical Lutheran's from Germany, the basic belief system of my family lives on in me as a Christian.  However, I am not just a Christian, I am Catholic.  What that means is something others, especially modern day Protestants, other Christians, and non-Christians may not understand....and actually misunderstand.

The choice of my German Lutheran family and their ancestors was to leave behind the Catholic religion that was riddled with indulgences and the sale of forgiveness by God's representatives with gold.  I can't even imagine the initial disbelief of those Catholics faced with the knowledge that people were buying forgiveness for a fee and actually thinking that would absolve them of their wrongdoings.

So, Martin Luther lived during the 16th Century and "protested" against the Catholic Church's selling of indulgences.  I do believe that he was not wrong.  In his quest, he actually got the Catholic Church to reform what they were doing but not before he formed his own church.  That would be the church that my German ancestors belonged to even years later to present day.  I have the utmost respect for the Lutheran Church and think of them as kin within my own Catholic religion.  They are most definitely welcome and, yet, they probably don't want much to do with the Catholic Church.  We are so alike and yet different.

Maybe my great grandparents realized the "alike" part when my own grandparents married.  My Roman Catholic grandfather married my Missouri Synod Lutheran grandmother in 1940.  They had actually eloped to Reno, Nevada, from Napa.  And no, they were not married at a casino or strip mall chapel.  They were married in a Catholic Church in Reno.  I must note here that the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church is much more conservative than the Catholic Church in this day and age but maybe not before Vatican II.

At any rate, my grandmother's Missouri Synod Lutheran parents accepted their Roman Catholic son-in-law without much discord.  Most of the disappointment at the time was because they had eloped.

Religion can be such a sticking point with family and friends, alike.  I must keep that in mind as I seek my ancestors and discover that they were of more than one Christian Faith.  It brings to light another way of looking at information gathered to create my family tree.  

No comments:

Post a Comment