Thursday, February 28, 2013

Losing my religion

I was about 12, maybe 13, when I started to question the validity of the religion I had been taught. I couldn't fathom some huge figure in the sky controlling the way the world moves, damning me to hell for lying to my parents or "borrowing without the intent to return" my sister's clothes, unless I go into a box and tell my sins to a priest. God would forgive me right? I know, I know, that's not how it works.

I began to research different religions and different theories on creationism, to find what did fit my beliefs. I tried my hand in Wicca and Paganism, found it to be all a bit nonsensical, but took from it some beliefs that were similar to my catholic background. I researched into Taoism, Hinduism, and Buddism. While I felt more connected to Taoism, I still couldn't commit myself to the religious practices them self. I concluded that organized religion is just not for me.

Religion stemmed from the questioning of how we got here and where do we go when we die. People needed to find comfort that their loved ones weren't gone forever, but just continuing to be in a different form, or a different place. People needed answers, stories were told, and those people chose to believe them, much like children believe in the tooth fairy or Santa Claus.

Do I believe in Santa Claus? No - I am "Santa Claus" I know how it all works. Yet, Do I still feel excited on Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning? Do I still fill up with the spirit of the season Beginning November 1st? Yes. Because Santa isn't a person, it's a concept. It is love. Giving to others, treating others kindly, helping the needy.

As is the same with those who say they feel Jesus alive in their hearts. They are filled with love, they feel blessed, they are thankful for the day, and they need to spread the word. I have felt that, I have felt connected to some "energy source" with in my own body, but I still can not say "yes, I do believe" and I don't know why.

My biggest hang up is that if I say that this "energy source" has a name, like The Goddess, God, or Jesus, I am committing myself to the religion of that name. That religion which has rules and rituals that I am not comfortable with. That religion which uses it's beliefs and teachings to put shame on to people who are different than them. Religion to me, is a clique, the popular club to belong to. Religion should be embracing everyone, connecting together to bring positive forces in the world, not the negative ones the religions of today's world are spewing out to eachother! I can not stand for a religion which teaches of an all loving God, yet allows hatred of a certain race, ethnic background, sexual preference, or anything  of that nature in His name.

The hardest thing I have to do as a parent is teach my children a religion which I don't agree with. Love has asked me numerous times about God and Heaven. I don't want to fill her head with all these beliefs, but I also don't want my lack of faith to stop her from finding her own way. So we have enrolled her in religious ed classes for next year. Here is hoping she finds her own path.

What are your beliefs? Do you have a mixed religion family and find it hard to teach your children one over the other?


  1. My families religions are mixed. None of us are very religious at all. I grew up in England with my Mum and Step Dad. My Step Dad doesn't really believe and my Mum isn't sure. She had me christened though; she said 'Just in case!'

    My Dad is a devout atheist, my Step Mum is more agnostic.

    My Husband flits back and forth, he used to believe a lot more than he does now.

    I, to be quite honest, have the same feelings as you do. I have never been bought up to be religious, nor do I attend church unless I have to. I did religious ed when I was in school and aced it, only because I enjoyed learning about the different cultures and opinions more than anything else.

    I believe, that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If you believe in god or have a certain faith, then that's great. I detest it when people try and tell me that my opinion is wrong and that my life is unfulfilled without god and 'aren't you worried about your Son going to hell?' (Yes, I was asked this by a baptist church that came uninvited to my door)

    People in England are a lot more private about their religious views too. I had an Uncle and I had absolutely NO IDEA that he even went to church until after he died. It's a big deal to some people still, but they don't try and make anyone feel bad because they don't share the same opinion.

    Organized religion to me is pointless. I do get why people have faith, it does help people to believe in things sometimes. It's the people that contradict themselves by being 'religious' when they want to be and following gods way, only when it suits them.

    With my Son, I am going to leave it up to him. I will let him find his own way. If he asks me questions, I will tell him what I think about it but I won't make a decision for him.

    1. Thank you for the comment! My jaw hit the floor when I read that! If someone told me my kid was going to hell I'd more than likely punch them. The only one who can damn him to hell is me! lol! But you are right, we are all entitled to our own opinions.

      I think it is very important to let our children to make up their own minds and keep them open to new religions and cultures.

  2. I am in the same position. I believed, lost belief after my brother died, got some of it back.... but every time I watch "Through the wormhole" it makes me think this is all we have. But I will tell you one thing. I felt safer when I thought someone was watching over me and that I could talk to God whenever I wanted. So I think has more positive than negative. I want my children to believe that I will be waiting for them when I pass on. Even if it's not true.... because if there is nothing in the end we won't know it anyway. wow. thanks for helping me make up my mind:)

    1. Lol. You're welcome. ;) I have never seen the movie, but now I have to look it up.

  3. Bethanne,

    Thanks for such a thought provoking post. My mother was a tried and true Catholic, even having gone to Catholic school. My dad claimed to be a Southern Baptist, but I don't recall EVER seeing him in church (he died several years back). My brother and I were shuttled back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

    A lot has happened since then. I moved away from the rituals and sacrifices of the Catholic church and find it hard to follow a religion that covers up the problems they have with priests and young boys.

    With that being said, all religions have their issues. Just like all families have their issues. All companies have their issues. I have tried just about every Protestant religion out there and you're right...they can be very much like a clique.

    Personally, I am a follower of Jesus Christ but I do not belong to any church or religion. I read my Bible every day and have a strong relationship and core beliefs but honestly, I think that it's all about the relationship. Not whether you do or don't eat meat on a Friday. Or whether you do or don't wear makeup, or pants, or whatever. Or whether you pray kneeling, or sitting, or standing. It's about the relationship and the belief.

    Just my opinions on the subject. Like I said, I was exposed to all different kinds of beliefs and eventually carved out my own belief system. Nobody pushed me or beat me over the head with a Bible as some "well meaning" Christians like to do.

    I wish you the best in your journey through this part of parenting. Parenting is hard enough without the Judgey McJudges out there!!


  4. I whole-heartedly agree on the whole it's a relationship's unconditional. Modernized religion has changed vastly from the religions of 100's of years ago. It wasn't about going to church every week to prove that you believe, it was about having that faith and not flaunting it.

  5. I am a Christian. I Southern Baptist one at that, and I hate how certain individuals have not only created a bad name for Baptists, but for Christianity as a whole. If a person really were a Christian they wouldn't do those things. Or they would at least feel bad about doing so. I try not to be judgemental, but i'm human and I fail. I am not Perfect like Jesus. I try my best to be like him but when I mess up I pray for forgiveness and try to do better next time. I don't believe in TELLING people that I am a Christian. I hope that one day I will be better at it and people will KNOW that something is different about me.

    I don't believe in rituals and religion. RELIGION will throw EVERYONE in HELL. Religion can save no one. Only A relationship with God can save someone from hell.

    I know this because He changed my life. I thought I was worthless, and useless. Time and time again I made mistake after mistake. My own church turned their back on me. Then I got worse and worse. My aunt finally dared me to listen to to an all Christian radio station for one week. I heard a song that I totally related to called "You Are More" I realized then That I was worth something. I started going to another church. A church I went to as a child. People who knew me my whole life who knew my story. I thought they would hate me but the love I felt when I walked in was so overwhelming. I cried halfway through the sermon. He changed my life. HE kept me from going down a path of drugs and self mutilation. He brought me back from a life of sex, parties, and drinking.

    I still have an occasional drink, but I don't get into that stupor if I can help it... like I said... I'm human... I mess up... but I know without Jesus I'd probably be a crack whore by now

    1. I am glad that you found Him, I certainly wouldn't know you now if you were on drugs!

      I think everyone chooses their own path. For some, it's an easy path to find, just follow in your family 's footsteps, for others, we wander and meander around until we stumble on to the path that is right for us.

      I don't hate on anyone for having that faith, it's theirs to have, in fact I am quite jealous of it, but it's not for me. I do agree there are good people out there who practice their faith kindly, not judgmentally. I just long for a time when we are free to live as one, peaceful, world. But that would be a miracle!

  6. Oh yes, religion is a topic that gets people talking... because it's at our very core... our own values and beliefs, our spirits... something people can talk to us about, but only we can feel/not feel. It is ours alone.

    I love religion! I love talking about my church, and other churches!
    I am a Mormon. I think Mormonism fills in a lot of blanks doctrinally. I see it myself, and hear it from others who feel like the questions they've had were finally answered.
    I belive in truth, I believe it is eternal. I believe something in us resonates when we hear and practice truth. I believe all that is good, comes from God.
    I am a woman of faith, and it makes me happy, brings me peace, and gives me stability in our ever-changing world.

    I think organized religion is good, when it is based on truth. I don't believe every organized religion is based on truth... completley.
    I also believe in authority from God himself, and I don't believe all organized religion has authiority from God. Although I think the majority have both goodness and truths.

    I think in today's world it is harder to find God, to see him and feel him. But, I do believe He can be found to those who will seek Him.

    In our own home, well I'd love to say that we are unified in our beliefs, but no.
    Both my husband and I were raised in the LDS church, but his feelings veer down the lines you are feeling.

    As for our children, we teach truth. Love is truth, goodness and kindess. I teach them of a Heavenly Father who loves them, because I belive that to be true. I can see that it gives them light and hope, and happiness. They have had their own experiences with faith and I try to foster that when I see it.

    I believe good that comes from that, teaching them that someone loves them, that there are boudaries, and forgivness. It works for us, we are happy!
    PS, I'm sure there are a ton of spell errors! Please forgive!

  7. I have awarded you a Liebster Award! Stop by my page to pick it up!