Friday, January 30, 2009

Superbowl Sunday!

Oy, everytime I post something about MoCul I worry I'm the only one again who has dealt with stupid crap. It is an understood thing here that good Saints do not watch football on Sunday. They don't watch anything on Sunday except for church movies, Disney movies (cartoons), Mary Poppins, or perhaps Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Anything else will shoo dat Spirit away *snap* Like that.

But let me tell you something: being the wife of a man who barely made it through Church because he hadn't slept much the Saturday before and only managed an hour before Church (worked nights), with three young kids...Sundays sucked. Capital S. SUCKED.

I tried. I played Legacy and the kids really enjoyed The Restoration and we'd play some children's hymns and I'd try to read the scriptures (haha good joke, Lis) and do all the things we're allowed to do on a Sunday. For a while I did genealogy indexing and research. I actually really enjoy that, even still. I love doing research and know that when I learn about my family and the place I live, I have a greater love and appreciation for it. Then I lost my password and I'm lazy.

I tried to make Saturday cleaning day so I wouldn't go out of my mind on Sunday. It didn't always work. I often forgot to unload the dishwasher and in my fury to ensure I didn't go insane on Sunday I'd unload that puppy at 10 o'clock at night.

Slowly, though, I tired of trying so hard. Then I noticed that Mondays sucked because I had a really messed up kitchen and probably a few hundred loads of laundry to do. Saturdays sucked because of all the cleaning. Life kinda sucked anyway because I was alone so often, but this stuff didn't help.

I tried buying paper plates/cups/etc for Sundays. That helped a little, but some weeks we were strapped too much to worry about that.

I resented so much the worry over what I could or couldn't do, and trust me I'd calmed down over the years. Before I married, my stepdad offered to change the oil in my car for me, but the only day he could manage was Sunday. I saw this as a temptation of Satan (er, the Adversary) and a test of my faithfulness. When I was pregnant and not eating, Eric wanted me to try McDonalds or something - anything - but it was Sunday and certainly lightning would strike.

I learned quickly lightning didn't strike, but that doesn't mean I don't worry I'll be asked to account for my many Sunday-sins in the afterlife. Hellllllo guilt. Even now. Guilt. Always something to worry about.

If anyone says "the guilty taketh the truth to be hard," I will go insane. I hate that line. It's certainly not true. Not all the time.

Anyway. Back to can/can't do lists. I was never able to VT on a Sunday - I'm not bringing three children to some poor woman's house. There's no reason for it, really. I won't be able to talk with the woman because I'll be too concerned about what my kids are doing. They're sneaky. It's just not fair. I know many of you probably take your kids with you, but I never wanted to. Honestly it bugged me when a girl I actually wanted to get to know *had* to bring her kids with her. Her kids often ran rampant - this was back when I felt uncomfortable around kids - and I never felt like I could talk to her. I was too busy making sure her older kids weren't running Abbie over. She didn't seem to realize, and perhaps I was too touchy, but still. No kids. I try to avoid bringing the kids. If that means I don't visit someone that month, than so be it.

I know, but what about the numbers? We must visit teach so we can have the best numbers!

Tangent? Back to Sunday.

How many of us watch general TV on Sunday? BYU TV only? Disney? Anything we want? Kinda goes along with what kind of music we'll listen to on Sunday (or to the temple). My SIL's husband figures if it's not appropriate for Sunday it's probably not appropriate for any day of the week -

but wait. he means this in a more level headed kind of way. Yes we'll have leaders who preach nothing other than classical and/or Church music ever but he figures 80s hair rock is just as good on Sunday as it is any other day.

And the end of January brings us to the Superbowl. Every churchgoer has this issue - you've perhaps seen those sitcoms where the guy sneaks in a radio and discrete earbuds so he can listen to the game during the sermon? Yeah. Since my baptism, I've been taught it's not appropriate to watch the Superbowl on Sunday. TiVo it. Record it. Deal with it.

The Superbowl hasn't interested me in yeeears. I grew up a 49ers fan, a Joe Montana fan. Back when they weren't good, but *amazing.* Since they went down the path of suck, I stopped watching football.

But my four-year-old son loves football. It started during one night of mindless channel flipping when we heard


Dude wanted to watch some football. My squirmy dude sat through an hour of football.

So yes, we are having a football thing this Sunday for my boy. I refuse to kill myself on Sunday in the name of doing only "righteous" things.

I hate hating Sunday. I used to love it, but that was before kids. Anymore it just sucks. We'll take our kids out for a bike ride. If we happen to need something for dinner lest we eat bread and water, we will go to the store. I worry enough. Some Sundays we'll ditch church and go on a picnic. If it is the only day out of the entire week we can see one another, we will make it fun. Family first right?



[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

One of my favouritest things about no longer being Mormon is being able to do whatever the hell I want on Sunday and not feel guilty about it.

Growing up, my parents were even more strict than any other parents I knew - no TV or movies of any kind except church ones on Sunday. No reading of any books except scriptures or church books (this was the heinous one for me), and no music except church music.

It was insane. Fortunately my parents mellowed and while still don't watch tv on sundays (or any day, really), they're not quite as intense in their sabbath keeping as they used to be.

Katie said...

Wow, I don't know any guy in our ward that doesn't watch the Superbowl. Or that didn't watch the big Utah game a few weeks ago, for that matter. My biggest issue with teh Super Bowl was whether or not to go to the local pub to watch it with ward members when I was in the Single's ward (I opted out - no bars on Sundays :-) I even once attended a Super Bowl party on Sunday at a ward member's house that was entirely filled with other ward members.

After being at church for 5+ hours (an hour meeting in the AM for me, post-church tithing for hubby, and the 3-hour block), plus the hour commute by subway, plus the fact that my son doesn't get a nap, turning on Caillou and/or Mighty Machines is my first plan of attack on Sundays after we return home. On the other hand, we don't have a television set AT ALL, so the decision to watch movies on Sunday is limited to our DVD collection (read as: Disney and Veggie Tales) on our computer, and anything we own I would consider to be completely Sunday-appropriate material anyway.

Really, Sunday is my day of rest. Part of that rest is Sunday service (rest for my spirit), and part of it is trying to mentally prepare for the week ahead. Sabbath for the man, not man for the Sabbath and all that.

Katie said...

Oh, and - about your orignal concern that you are the only one dealing with MoCul stuff - you aren't. And even if you were, I would still love to hear about the worst that MoCul can be :-)

Steve M. said...

I might watch the Super Bowl at a friend's house (I normally don't watch football, and if I ever do, it's not NFL). Sundays aren't really that different than other days for me. I watch the same stuff on TV, listen to the same music, visit the same websites. Sometimes I go to the library to do homework.

One thing I have recently been trying to do, however, is make Sunday a day of rest. Saturday is always crazy (cleaning, grocery shopping, etc.), and it's not uncommon for Sunday to be crazy as well, between church stuff and homework. I've decided I need a day of rest. Which means not committing to anything church-related other than the 3-hour block, doing minimal homework, and even skipping church from time to time.

belledame2 said...

To me, those in the MoCul get too caught up in the letter of the law rather than the spirit of the law. Of course, attending church is the most important factor. My husband and try to refrain as well from doing things that would make another person work, like shopping. We also like to do family oriented activities like going on picnics in the park and similiar outdoor activities during the summer. To us, it's the spirit of the law that really matters rather than such strict rules.

As for TV, of course I'm going to watch the Super Bowl. Usually, we watch BYU TV or church oriented cartoons, family movies, etc. After 5 pm, regular clean TV is fine. We usually watch "Hee Haw" on RFD-TV.

Interestingly, my husband views the timing of the Sabbath like the Jews. Namely, that it begins at sunrise and ends at sundown or around 5:00 p.m.

As for the MoCul, whatever happened to "I teach them correct principals, and they govern themselves"? Reminds me too much of the Pharisees in Jesus' time!

Just my opinion.

Cindy said...

I once mentioned to a friend that on Sunday I was more motivated to clean than other days for some reason. She chalked it up to Satan of course. I think it was more along the lines of it isn't an OBLIGATION for me like on other days of the week so it doesn't feel like a chore.

We say no computer time before church. I usually tell the kids only church stuff on Sunday. I still try to get them to watch Veggie Tales, because I think it's cute. They aren't very interested anymore. I'm not too uptight about it all. Occasionally I'll let them watch Disney on Sunday but they don't watch a whole lot of TV in general. My own addiction to TV hasn't spread to my kids too much, fortunately. My own favorite Sunday activity is the nap.

Things have lightened up in Utah a lot in recent years. Or at least in my own ward. I don't think anyone cares anymore if anyone watches the superbowl. Back when I was at BYU I remember being dismayed that the guys were all gathered in an apartment watching the game. I was very molly at one time too. Now, neither my husband nor I ever watch it. But that is because we both find football extremely boring.

Matt said...

I have a cousin who when he was getting married had to have a formal interview with his future father-in-law to see just how orthodox he was. Call it a PPI. This whole Superbowl thing came up, because "I'm not going to let my little girl go to the temple with a boy who would defile the Sabbath with football!"

Since both my cousin and his wife are both card-carrying members of the John Birch Society, raised with firm anti-anti-family values, homeschooled by hardworking MLM employees, and fully versed in the political writings of Ezra Taft Benson, he passed with flying colors. With her father's blessing to marry, off they walked into the sunset, pulling their handcart forward into an eternity of bliss.

Today: After about eight years of marriage, he's unemployed with five dirty children and another on the way. She looks like a cancer patient, and not just because stress is making her lose her hair. He may start looking for a job if the home business idea du jour doesn't work out -- but he'd hate to have to go out and work during the day and leave her at home with his kids. Until recently they all lived together in one bedroom at his widowed mother's house, but they've since moved in with his sister.

Remember, kids, that not watching television on Sunday is the true heart of the gospel.

Cadeyz said...

I'm also a guy who is no longer part of the church, not to say the experiances there havn't stuck and that I'm not greatful for it...but it's the controlling nature of the church (actually most church's/religions I know) that I dont agree with, all in the name of being faithful.

Please, aren't there better things in this world to abide by that you know internally that you're doing the right thing? Such as working on a marriage? Spending time with your children? Helping a neighbour? These are things that you know is right because you FEEL them inside to be right. When anyone tells you not to do something because some prophet once said it's wrong, or not being faithful - and you follow them, in the end you may start to feel resentful or even restricted in life. Life isn't supposed to feel restricted but to be unrestricted to allow yourself to be all that you can be. If you are resenting doing something because it's expected of you - that will only bring negative aspects to your life, and perhaps even eventually towards the church you're with, and then you start feeling guilty when you do break them, but when you do, you're just happy. You're living. You're being a human being - but at the same time there's guilt that you're going against the church's wishes....and this is a form of internal manipulation and control that I'm talking about. yes lightning wont strike if you buy something on sunday. Yes you wont go to hell if you watch anything other than a G-rated program on sunday. If you really respect what the church has to say, life their life all 7 days - because what you say and what you do ultimately shows people what you believe. Control is one of the reasons why I left. It didn't seem right to restrict one's freedom for the sake of somethign that was said by a 'prophet' over 100 years ago.
SO my advice is to embrace life and embrace Gods love just as much for giving you the things you have. He loves you no matter what you do, despite what any church thinks. You're relationship with him is much more important than your relationship with the church. Focus on that and feel free. Jesus died for us to be free - but then to be controlled by standards set by various churchs for their own making?

Man, in general, is that, only man. Even a police officer, a judge, and yes, even a prophet can and perhaps will abuse their power for the greater good of how they interpret life should be. That is dangerous - because if you stray away from the truth of God and Jesus which is the essence of Christianity, what's left?

Man, and his self-defined religion that has been greated to cater to the ego of man - to feel included in a group, to feel unique and endorse the, 'My religion is right and yours is wrong' philosophy - which again builds up the ego of being unique and part of something bigger than our own.

That's my 2 cents :)

Cadeyz said...

Oh and Matt - watching Football on sunday didn't create the end result. If you wish to argue with that - my guess is that you look at everyone else in the church who watch's football on a sunday and there are some successful ones I know off. So please dont use that story to represent your whole,

"that not watching television on Sunday is the true heart of the gospel"

The true heart of the gospel is about love. Everyday should be Gods day, why take a day off from your cursing or drinking (if indeed you drink) or what not to dedicate to God? wont he see through your mask and see you are as a PERSON on the other 6 days? This whole church is about sitting in a corner and figuring out ways to pelase god in order to get into the celestial kingdon - a 3 tiered kingdom at that. If you are a parent reading this, how would you feel if your child was in a corner trying to think of ways to please you in order to get your glory? I know I would just cry if I thought they needed to prove themselves to me in order to recieve my love. Who they are as a person and how they end up in life would mean more to me than the things they do.

Stop trying to find out ways to show God you respect him or love him - and just BE. Be that person interally....wake up everyday being greatful for what you have. God will always love you no matter what - even if you watch football on sundays!

Hawaii50 said...

Life is stressful. We each have limits. With the Lord's help, we exceed those limits and grow.

If I am not trying to learn the Lord's will concerning me, I am not growing. Then I plateau and usually lose ground.

Jesus commanded us to be perfect like Him, we just aren't expected to do it all in one day.

Nearly all our changes will come gradually, for better or worse.

We can pray more, ponder more, read his word more, humbly listen to his servants, and we will improve.

@former mormon commenters:
Give the church another try. You may still have a thing or two to learn.