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Monday, May 28, 2007

My Early Childhood: Early Christian Influences

Early Christian Influences

Christianity was part of my early childhood experiences. I believed in God and Jesus and liked going to Church and Sunday school. There was a Catholic influence on my father's side since both of his parents were firm believers is Catholocism. But, I did not have any real formal Catholic experiences. ( These experiences were mainly later on in life while attending funerals. I was quite impressed by these funerals actually and I could feel the souls of the dead passing into heaven. I even congratulated a priest once for his wonderful service since I thought it was very professionally done. )

I mentioned earlier that we had to recite the Lord's Prayer at the beginning of our school day. ( This was in the fifties at our school Lord Byng in Steveston. ) So, you can see that the Church was able to influence us children in profound ways early on in life.

My sister and I were influenced mainly by different types of Protestants. As I said, I enjoyed church and Sunday school. I was even a choir boy and sat in the front row. I remember when the plate was being passed around for donations and I reached into my pocket and deposited some money on the plate. I guess you were not supposed to do that. I think people laughed at me.

My sister and I were actually " saved " one time by a minister in his car. I remember closing my eyes and accepting God or Jesus, I can't remember which one it was. But, I don't think anyone can really hold me to this pledge since I was too young to be making contracts with anyone. So, I guess we will just call it symbolic acceptance. Because I certainly do not feel like a Christian or someone who is saved. I just feel like me. Butch Baydala. That was my childhood name.

I remember drawing pictures of the Pope though at a very early age. He was my idol. I recall making the Pope having lavish robes. So, you can see how easily influenced I am by these authority figures at a very early age. I don't remember if I knew the difference between a Catholic and a Protestant though. But, I did like the idea of church and believing in God. For me, it was the thing to do and to believe in. I was interested in doing good at a very early age. And, this idea has kind of stuck with me throughout my life. I am not saying that I am perfect, I am just saying that I learned about righteousness and doing good early on in life.

Both my father and mother were not the slightest bit religious. This seems unusual though, especially on my fathers side since both of his parents were die-hard Catholics. My mother would have nothing at all to do with religion. She scorned it and had no use for it whatsoever. I remember one time my father invited a missionary over to the house for coffee or whatever. My mother, being the strong figure that she is, did not tolerate this kind of activity and asked this Christian person to leave the house.

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