Although I have been a mother for seven years, last year was the first year I celebrated Mother’s Day. While growing up I was told to answer any one who asked why I didn’t celebrate this holiday with, “I celebrate my mother all year long, not just on one day.” I vaguely knew that this holiday supposedly had pagan origins of non-Christians worshiping their mothers.
What I didn’t know about my faith was that a great deal of the religion I was raised in was formed based on the opinions and decisions of a man named Rutherford. For instance, the book Vindication, published in 1931, says “On the face of it the arrangement of “Mother’s Day” seems harmless and calculated to do good. But the people are in ignorance of Satan’s subtle hand in the matter, and that he is back of the movement, to turn the people away from God… neither the man nor the woman should be worshiped for doing right, because such doing of right is their duty. Creature worship of any kind is wrong and an abomination in the sight of God.”
My first experience personally celebrating Mother’s Day was last year, 2015. My family took me out to dinner. They made cards for me. The girls presented me with popsicle stick flowers they had made the night before at the babysitters. There was a whole lot of gratitude and love that day, but I can’t say there was one act of worship towards me. After dining out, we went to a local outdoor shopping area and sat on a bench. We watched as family after family walked by, arm in arm. All ages and ethnicities were represented, but every single one was wearing a smile.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that there is a group of people who believe that mothers receiving a day of breakfast in bed and handmade gifts are allowing themselves to be worshiped. It’s hard to believe that over eight million people go along with these beliefs; that they aren’t allowed to question, for fear of losing their loved ones through shunning.
“Evil prevails when good men do nothing.”
I just can’t sit silently; I can’t do nothing. I have to at least try.
It’s not that I want to keep identifying with something I once was. It’s not that I want to destroy their beliefs and organization. I feel like I escaped a prison, where I had been trapped in grayscale surroundings and was never allowed to see outside. And now that I’m out, at times I am overwhelmed by the beauty of the world and the people in it. Days like Mother’s Day bring out the best in families, and I can’t see the point in condemning anything that brings beauty and goodness.
So many loved ones remain trapped in that windowless, grayscale prison. I just want them to be free.