Posted by: Amanda | September 20, 2006

Car Conversations

As I have likely said before, the majority of Em and my most meaningful, enlightening, or emotional conversations happen either in the car or just before bed when she is stalling.  The one this morning is worth remembering.

Em was wearing her new Notre Dame hoodie sweatshirt for the first time.  It is very cute. Pink with Green clover leafs and Big letters across the front.

Em said – I like this Sweatshirt, I like Notre Dame.

Me:  Notre Dame is a good school; plus because it is Catholic you can talk about Jesus openly if you go there.  The best Christian School is Wheaton in illinois but it is not the same league of school as Notre Dame nor as famous (insert discussion on what makes a college famous) 

Em:  What is Catholic.  Catholic is a part of Christian, it is a very old denomination. There is also Protestant which is a bunch of denominations not catholic Like baptist the church we go to, or Nazarene.  It is has the Pope.  (insert conversation where she asks whats a pope and I try to explain to seven year old).  I said the main difference between what we believe and the catholics is that they put more emphasis on Mary, Jesus’ mom  (I didnt’ go into the whole confession/ priest thing even though I sometimes think the whole confessing to a priest thing was another big issue – but I sort of kind of understand how some catholics still see that Jesus is the one that actually does the forgiving and the church somehow thought they were making it more understandable to common people – kind of like Jesus with the skin on kind of thing or using a ritual to help us achieve the inner meditation – and while I don’t agree – the whole thing about Peter and what you bind on earth, what you loose on earth) – but I am not intending to go into that – and I have just enough knowledge of the catholic faith to be dangerous and/or offensive)

But it is all Christian.  Because Christian means you love and follow Jesus, accept his death to cover your sins, know you need him and want to serve him. Mary was a lady, a human.  But only Jesus was both God and Man.  All God in a human’s body.  Mary wasn’t God.

Emily:  What am I?

Me: with a little giggle – you are human of course, honey – only Jesus is God.

Emily:  just looks at me blankly.

Me:  Did I answer your question?

Em:  I meant – what am I like Catholic.

Me:  Oh.  Well, we are Christian.  Because you became a Christian too, last June.  I don’t really say I am of one denomination, because following Jesus is the most important.  But I guess if you wanted to identify with one – we are Nazarene because that is where our church membership is – back in San Diego.  We haven’t changed membership.


Now that I think about it, last night we had a conversation about what makes you Christian because Em said she didn’t think someone was a christian because they don’t go to church. 

As an aside, I am really struggling with the culture change out here that a lot of people who do not have a personal faith in Jesus Christ – but just think the religion is a good or beneficial one, or that you should have religion – go to church faithfully out here.  I knew it happened in California, but didn’t encounter it so much directly before moving.

And I know if my blog was widely read, I would get lots of flames and criticisms but since I know most of my readers are just friends and family who know me, hopefully that won’t happen.

Anyway, I just wanted to note the “what am I” of Em’s development and my funny at thinking she was talking about divinity when she was talking about denomination.


  1. I have heard of that “religious culture” and have experienced it. It is the hardest group to witness to, I think, because Jesus Christ is so much a part of “being good” and going to church that people miss the power behind who he is and what he did. My two cents. Hope you can find your way through it.

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