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Friday, May 30, 2008

Can I get an amen?

Today has already been an inexplicably boring day and it’s not even three o'clock yet. It's raining and all day yesterday my Thursday felt like a Friday, so I don't even have that great, it's Friday thing going on for me. I had a dream last night that I was cheated on, so I woke up in a bad mood and defeated anyways. The drive to work was just stupid. I’m an English major and honestly, that’s the best way I can describe it. So I guess this means only one thing…yep, a post on religion.

I grew up with religion, though not in a very strict sense. It was always there, like a benchwarmer for me, waiting to get in the big game. As of yet, I haven’t had much use for it, though I can’t say for sure I never will. I was confirmed Presbyterian, but that was the last time I actually went to church. The worst thing I can think of is making up your mind about religion without ever going to church. It’s like trying to take the MCAT without ever having cracked Gray’s Anatomy.

I prefer Thomas Paine’s view of “My mind is my own church.” I’m a walking contradiction. A natural born skeptic on one hand, but I do believe nothing is impossible. I guess that romantic part of me is what leaves me open to anything. To the possibility that we can create our own religion and be just as fulfilled as those who choose to belong to someone else's.

Not believing in anything at all would make me sad. I believe in goodwill and conviction and myself. I believe in human compassion. Democracy. Science. Hope. You don’t have to be religious to have faith. For a while there I didn’t know where I fit, I was somewhere between agnostic and atheist, though I really don’t have any clear cut desire to be any one thing.

I think one of my biggest problems with religion is that I don’t like people telling me what to believe. Part of me also feels like people use god or religion as their excuse. My friend died in a car accident because it was part of god’s plan. I am homeless because this is what god wants for me. I murdered him because my religion called for it. That’s just bullshit. Your friend died because someone else was drunk and driving. You're homeless because you can't get a job because your parents didn't make you go to school. You killed him because your DSM-IV test indicates that you're legally insane. It's all about free will. I can't stand when people don't man up to the consequences of their actions and it happens more frequently every day. There is no integrity in placing blame and for me, that's no way to live.

Though the saying “religion is the opiate of the masses” rings particularly true with me, I can see the good in it. When people can’t explain why bad things happen in the world, religion is a good place to turn to. Religion means all is not lost. Religion is hope. I see the worth in it, but it’s just not for me. I see too much potential in the human race and sooner or later, we’ll get it right. To me, that’s much more powerful than any religion.

3 comments:

sam said...

"I was confirmed Presbyterian, but that was the last time I actually went to church. The worst thing I can think of is making up your mind about religion without ever going to church."
I agree with your statement, but you were confirmed at age 12, and you haven't been back. Go back as an adult and give it a shot, then make up your mind.

GMan said...

I agree with everything you wrote. I was a catholic and while some people say I am a non-practicing catholic, I consider myself to be anything but catholic or religious.

there have been lots of religion posts lately, in fact I did one too. check it out.

SocialTyrant said...

Amen!

Religion never really took to me, despite being baptised & churched throughout my schooling.

I agree with you when you say that Religion can reduce accountability for your actions - I also think life shouldn't be that simple. If the answer is that obvious then what's the point!?