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« Culinary Adventures | Main | MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #33 »

March 09, 2011

Comments

Jenn

That is exactly how I feel on religion, too. I distinctly remember being in church as a kid (when my parents still felt like they should take us), and questioning all of it.

Veronica

Well-stated. I agree. On that note, Mike and I are giving up meat for lent. I've never given up anything for lent. I've never really had a religion. We just saw it as a concrete period of time where we could test the waters of vegetarianism. And for the record, it was his idea and I just decided to tag along! :) My hope is that it shows us that meat doesn't have to be a part of every meal.

OurLittleAshley

Existentialism - realizing that we're responsible for our destiny, not God - resounds with me. I have a long, long story of my faith journey - but I identify with what you've said. And wrote a whole post about how I find religion both wonderful and destructive. It's tough.

Lent isn't as much of a spiritual thing for me as it is a call to self-discipline. I need more of that stuff, and it's a good distraction detox. :)

Kendra

Well stated and I agree with a lot of what you said.

Kendra

Well put my dear. As usual.

Kay Bee

Agree 100% ... and despite anything I may have claimed yesterday, my heathen ass did not go to church today. Instead I went shopping. :) (Hey, God and I are cool. He knows where to find me and I don't need to go to some building once a week to find Him.) I still have some things I'm going to give up for Lent, but they're actually things that'll help me in other goals, so it's kind of a two-for-one.

Melissa

It was really nice to stumble upon this post today - as I feel much the same way as you- and so many blog posts today are about what people are giving up for lent. I was raised Catholic, always gave up something for Lent, but in college decided the Catholic faith was not for me (and now I share many of the same views on religion as you). Thanks for being so open about what you believe, I really appriciated your honesty.

Carolyn Rawson

I also agree with you, absolutely. There are so many people out there, it seems, that are so very religious, and I often feel like I'm the only one in this extrememly God-conscious world that feels that most if not all of the existing ideas are just mythology. In my mind, religions ATTEMPT to explain what is incomprehensible, but fail to admit that their doctrines are fallible. Like you said, Christianity has a lot of "kindness towards others" associated with it, but I sincerely detest when people use religion as a reason for their kindess or a source of morals. Love, kindness and virtues exist independent from religion/God. I just can't even come anywhere close to accepting religion as it is, even if I wanted to. And I believe that doubt is healthy - and human.

Anyway, it's great to be reminded (especially from such a close friend!)I'm not alone :)

sophie

I think I would call myself an agnostic at this point, but I don't really know if the label matters. I grew up Catholic (but not terribly strict), then went to a very fundamentalist Baptist church during high school and the first year of college. At some point I realized that I just couldn't handle the "narrowness" of organized religion. Like Carolyn said, the idea that religion produces morality infuriates me. I know that I am kind, honest, and giving (most days). I don't have to go to church to get that--nor to prove it. Long answer to say that I agree with you. Well said.

Emily Jane

this was extremely brave to post and extremely well put! Labels confuse most things - what matters is that you live out what's right for you. My dad once told me that bizarrely, I was probably the most "Christian" out of our family despite him having gone to many churches and my mum having been "born again" - even though I don't label myself with a religion or go to church, I like to think of myself as spiritual and believe in SOME parts of Christianity - like being good to others, being a decent person, leaving a positive impact in what way I can etc. but some of it, I don't know. And I don't feel comfortable labelling myself with something I'm not 100% behind. Even if I'm 90% there, I'm all in or all out. Labels be buggered!

Old Warrior

As Ruth Ann on the old TV series said to an avowed atheist, "It must take a lot of faith to be an atheist." The problem with every religion is that they quickly evolve into bureaucratic rules systems that are not dissimilar to unions or governments. A system evolves to support the bureaucracy and "tax" its members in exchange for guaranteeing them knowledge about the necessary secret handshake necessary to make it into God's favor and a great room in heaven. And, if you're Muslim, how to be sure the 72 virgins are there waiting for you when you arrive.

The really interesting thing is that Jews, Christians, and Muslims all have the same God, track their roots to Abraham, and all recognize Jesus as a great prophet. Makes you wonder why they are all so intent on killing each other or anyone who disagrees with their particular rules about who God likes best. Or as Ghandi said to some western leader, "I like your Christ but not your Christians."

If you actually want to live a life like Jesus of Nazareth (who was a Jew)just be a Christian (but not a Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Mormon, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, 7th Day Adventist, etc.)

We have not recordings or what Jesus actually said or did but we do know that he is an historic figure who changed the world. You just have to decide whether his simple message is going to take residence in you.

For me, the way to help make this a better world and maintain peace and serenity in your own life and family, just stick with the basics of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam:

--- there is a universal force, power and energy exceeding any level of knowledge or understanding that mere mortals can understand (God). The universe, our world, and sentient beings did not just appear.
--- you have free will to act or not act for good or evil
--- there are only two commandments that are important and cover the other eight, if followed:
= Love God
= Love your neighbor as you love yourself

You might also agree with Albert Einstein, who strikes me as a pretty smart guy. He wrote, in response to his receiving the book "Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt" that organized religion was no more than a "childish superstition". "The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this."

However, Einstein also saw beyond the scope of other mere humans and his most famous quote is “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” His version of religion was not organizational or rules based but a recognition of power and knowledge that was obviously beyond our own.

He appreciated the fact of a God, a Supreme Being that designed,created and manifested the greatest idea of all space and time - the Universe.

I agree with him that science and religion are inextricable-they go go hand in hand. God is the Ultimate Scientist...

A Super Girl

While I think the whole "giving up chocolate (or booze or smoking or whatever vice/addiction you have) for Lent" thing has gotten lost in translation, I am Catholic and consider myself somewhat-practicing. I try to go to mass, but when Sunday brunch (or sleep or a good book) sounds more appealing, then it doesn't happen. More than anything, I have faith and I think faith is a good thing to have, whether it's in a God, a spouse, a family member, etc. etc. Faith stops me from being a complete cynic.

On a completely unrelated note, when I was growing up as an Army brat, I distinctly remember my mother having "coffees" and other social gatherings with all the active duty wives. I always thought it was so cool. Now that you talk about that kind of stuff, it makes me all nostalgic...and also a little freaked out that we are now old enough to be doing these things!!!

Charise

I was raised Catholic and over the last 5-7 years have also moved away from that, and from any organized religion for that matter because of all the bad they can lead to around the world in addition to the fact I just plain don't believe what they teach. I am also in the "not atheist, not agnostic, still learning and thinking" camp. I consider myself a secular humanist, in that I think this is "it" for us too (no heaven), and that we should treat each other the best we can while we're here, and live by a set of morals, values, and ethics and not because that makes us "good Christians". This world and it's beauty and the amazing people in it are spectacular, and I do think I believe in some sort of common thread/soul/whatever between people, but that doesn't mean some being manufactured it.

Religion is a fascinating and very personal topic - it's great when we can gave rational conversations about it online. :)

Sara

I was raised Catholic but a strict Catholic dad (his family joked they were suprised he didn't become a priest) and my mother a basically non-practicing Baptist but attended church with us. At the age of 15/16 I was Confirmed that I wanted to be a Catholic or something like that, I don't remember, but I do not believe taking that class at that age is right. Only a year and half to two years later I started to make some big decisions for myself and it all came to a head when my parents divorced when I was 17. And my Catholic father thought it would be awesome to have his marriage annulled. Since that day I have not gone to confession, participated in Lent, and maybe gone to a service twice because I was visiting my grandmother and well, don't mess with grandma. ;)

Now that I'm married to a man who knows NOTHING about religion because he was raised in a house that chose to not participate in any of it, it's different. I still have faith and believe but I just don't attend a church because I don't feel like that's where I belong or need to be right now.

Molly

Brave post, girly. I appreciate your transparency. It's really great to know how you're feeling, what you're thinking and how your faith is evolving... especially when it's very, very different than me. Love getting to peek into your brain and your heart. Thanks for allowing me to do that.

Kate P

I can see what you're talking about. Interestingly enough, and I wish I could remember who said it, the whole "giving something up" part of Lent--while it does have to do with denying one's self--also creates a sort of "hole" and the question is, what are you gonna fill it with? Some people get so fixated on the sacrifice that it consumes them, and that's no good.

I tend to be really private about what I do for Lent. I figure that business is between God and me, and I'd rather people didn't know I was "doing something good" or whatever.

Thoughts Appear

I'm dying to know...did you put the baby in the king cake?

Roller Coaster

What a great post! Religion is such a touchy subject these days. I don't think I've ever discussed religion on my blog. Religion and politics...2 topics I steer clear of. But I'm glad you found the path that's right for you. That's all that matters. :)

Visiting from the Mil Spouse Weekly Roundup. Have a great weekend!

xoxo
Wife on the Roller Coaster

natalia

I agree with all of this 100%! My parents chose not to raise their children with religion, but rather teach us kindness, communication, acceptance and compassion for all. They did not like the "us vs. them" mentality of most religions.

I also find religion and the role of religion in history fascinating and studied many different ones in college. Just last night I was trying to decide what to put on my dog tags for the Army, I think Agnostic is the best description. I don't like the "No Preference" choice because I actually do choose NOT to have a religion. My husband is Roman Catholic (although more like a Cafeteria Catholic) and we often talk about how we will raise our children...should be interesting!

Jen

I feel like the journey of faith is an ongoing, ever-changing one. I think it's important to continue to ask questions and seek answers in trying to figure out what journey is best for you.

Have a good weekend!

Brittany Sco

I was so excited to read this! I was very a devout Methodist through high school and super involved in my youth group. It was in college when I started to realize that what I believed didn't make any sense...it's been about 5 years since I started to question my beliefs, and am so proud and happy to be and Athiest. I used to think it was a dirty word, but I really feel like a happier, freer, and kinder person because of my change in beliefs. It is difficult because I feel there is such a stigma against "godless" people, but I really think that as our generation grows older and raises children that we can make a big difference in the way the world is run. Maybe we can eliminate much of the pain and suffering that is the direct effect of religion. Anyways...I was just glad to see that another intelligent, classy lady has similar beliefs.

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