My Grandpa R- my grandpa on my father’s side- is a Baptist preacher. Old-school Southern (he was born in the Peach State) Baptist Man.
While we are alike in many ways, e.g., our incessant fast talking, our height, my temper (which, although my mom likes to deny culpability, I know I get my hot-headed stubbornness from both sides of my family), we are not alike in how we think.
What my years of Catholic School, occasional Seventh Day Adventist sermons, and what felt like centuries of Baptist Summer Bible School, has taught me is to basically attempt to be the person you want to see in the world. He has also come to this conclusion but I don’t think that we are on the same page.
This notion that we are two different types of Christians, he being more of a strict bible reading one to my loose spiritual type, makes our conversations somewhat interesting.
Most of the time, they start of innocent. He asks me about school, I give a quick response about it. He then nods and moves on to whatever he is doing. A few minutes later, he will come back with a question that will start everything rolling. It almost always is about religion or politics (the two things that people hate to really talk about). This was true about the last conversation we had, a few months ago. He asked me about how I felt about a woman preaching in the church…
Me: I don’t mind. If she feels she was called by God to do it, then why shouldn’t she?
Grandpa R: She can do whatever she wants, I’m not stopping her. I just wouldn’t follow her.
Me: But why not? She believes she was called by God to lead people…
Grandpa R: Again, she can do whatever she wants to do. But it says in the bible….
This unraveled into us talking about the bible and women not being able to lead men in the sanctuary, which I am against. He, of course, is not because he is both old school and a stern advocate for following what is set in the bible. While I see the bible as more of a group of stories written by man to explain their life until hard sciences came along, my Grandpa R sees it as a rulebook to follow.
(There was once a time, I agreed with this notion of Bible = Rule book. This is until I took my first HS religion class and we went over the book of Genesis and in Genesis 4, after Cain killed Abel, GOD marks him so that he is wouldn’t be killed by other men and casts him out to live in another city. Yes, you read that correctly. GOD marks Cain to not be killed by other people…other people! If Adam and Eve were the ONLY PEOPLE on Earth in EDEN….where did these other random people come from? You can’t start a story with ” hey, in this world where this Almighty Creator only makes TWO PERFECT people who only have THREE children, there are a few cities full of other people whose back story will never be explained ” and still expect me to believe your story is hard fact. YOU JUST CAN’T! IT’S BAD WRITING! )
Finally, we hit the real question I think he wanted to ask which was…
Grandpa R: O.K, Baby Girl ( that is me), what do you think of gay marriage?
Me: I’m all for it.
Grandpa R: (face full of complete shock. Is utterly taken aback.)
For some odd reason, he felt the need to ask me my stance on gay marriage…AGAIN. We had already had this conversation a few years back and I told him how I felt then. Maybe he thought my stance would change as I got older…which it did because I have become an even more staunch supporter of LGBT causes. If we as heterosexual people can get married on Monday and then have a divorce party on Tuesday Night WITH our new love interest, then why can’t the LGBT community. They deserve the right to fall in and out of fast ill-prepared marriages. We, heterosexuals, shouldn’t keep that privilege to ourselves.
Sometimes I feel like he likes to try to get my goat because like him I am quick to answer if I feel that something is incorrect. I assume it is a full and bountiful joy he must get, watching my face change from apathetic to confused to confused-angry to angry-annoyed. OH! How his belly must shake from laughter. How smug my Grandpa must be…..
I think a tiny part of him also likes to do this because I remind him a bit of my father, who has been gone since 1998. My mother said that he and my father would get into these these types of arguments before I was born. And while he tends to irk the last of my nerves, she tells me he does it because he is really proud of how intelligent I have become. Also at the end of the day, I can’t fault him this since I do hardly ever see him or my Grandma R…even though we live about 20 minutes from each other in the same city. I’m really bad at the whole “coming together as a family thing” (it’s one of my many faults that I am slowly trying to work on. That and my love for ratchet reality t.v.)
But even though our conversations always end with me making this face…
I still love that crazy, talkative, tiny old man.
Happy Father’s Day!