Post # 61
I voted yes, I believe in God, though I want to explain that.
I don’t believe in any religious sense of God. I don’t belive there is anything like a Heaven or Hell happening after we die.
My God is the energy that all living organisms share, its knowing that at a molecular level we are built from the exact same building blocks that EVERYTHING is built from. That is what I think of when I approach God. I don’t even like capitalizing it because that makes it seem like a person and I absolutley DO NOT believe that.
Post # 62
I grew up in a vaguely Christian household that was big on ethics but indifferent on dogma. I nowadays teach at a Catholic faith school but can’t say that I’m a Catholic or even really a Christian. I see Jesus as a historical figure with some revolutionary ideas about how to live a good life and in some ways I try to follow his example. But I do not believe he died, rose from the grave and went to heaven. I don’t believe in virginal birth. And I don’t believe in a patriarchal god. I try to believe that there is a reward in the afterlife but am not convinced. I sort-of believe in a higher power because I can’t fathom how so much beauty and wonder exist without an original creative power but I don’t think this higher power takes much interest in our lives.
My husband is atheist and so are most of my friends with the exception of a lone Baptist who is serious about his faith.
Post # 63
Being of a different era, I see the movement toward atheism and agnosticism as generational, at least in part. This is not something I have studied in a scholarly way; just observed anecdotally.
It raises some interesting questions. Are younger adults reacting to their own religious upbringings? Or, is this part of a social and scientific evolution? We have certainly seen people drawn in the directions of more amorphous kinds of spirituality in the last few decades, and away from more traditional organized church-based faiths.
Post # 64
sassy411 : For reference, I’m 37. My dad is definitely an atheist. His parents were terrible humans, Baptists by name. My mom is spiritual but strongly disagrees with organized religion. Her mom was a devout Christian Scientist, her dad an agnostic. I don’t think his parents observed any formal religion either. So… apparently I come from a long line of heathens!
ETA: I don’t think religion comes naturally to people. Like it has to be implanted in impressionable minds. Which is why it has been used as a control method for so many years. Maybe because more parents are letting their kids choose their own path now less and less are choosing religion?
Post # 65
I was raised Christian and always attened church but started questioning the older I got. It’s hard to explain but I believe and don’t at the same time. Dh went to church some as a kid and stopped believing but we aren’t self identified atheist or agnostic or anything and I will still have reference of praying or receiving blessings. It’s really hard to explain my position now but some of the things that I’ve experienced and witness just don’t make sense without chalking it up to something greater than ourselves if that makes sense. But as a PP mentioned I don’t know what God who loves his children to allow all the bad things that happen to us and our society so that’s the part that really gets me.
Post # 66
sassy411 : I agree. My take is that education is more tangible whereas before everything was an encyclopedia that most people wouldn’t have taken the time to read or didn’t know how to use one. Now we have so much knowledge and information leading people to question things even if they came from the most religious household. Personally I studied different religions in college for an elective and enjoyed many things from different religions that meant more to me than the religion I was raised in. Then I started questioning things because I felt how did we know what religion is the “right one?” Like how do we know we shouldn’t be Buddhists or practice Hinduism. Then I came to the conclusion that depending on where we were born that would influence our religion. If we were from India we’d probably believe in Hinduism or Sikhism and how would we know if it’s right or wrong? I came down to the conclusion that most religions teach the same basic principles which none of us need to believe an any specific one to follow. Treat others how you’d want to be treated, don’t kill, steal, or destroy, honor your neighbors, etc. I mean these are all “magic rules” most people are taught even without religion so for me it came down to being a decent person and caring about others and it really is the goal of all religions. Organized religion tacks on all the rules they want people to abide by which I don’t agree with because it is made up and you can talk to one Christian who agrees with it and one who doesn’t so who is right? Look at the Duggars for instance. They can’t do so many things in the name of religion but look at other Christians who aren’t like them. Makes no sense. So to me it all comes down to education and having easier access to obtain more knowledge and not just believe everything you’ve been told.
Post # 67
I believe in God, but I have huge criticism toward every single organized religions I ever encounter so I just try to follow my conscience to do good 😉
Post # 68
desertgypsy : Agreed. As the song from South Pacific goes, “You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught.”
Post # 69
- Wedding: August 2019 - Kelowna, BC, Canada
Athiest here. My fiance is agnostic but really more Atheist than agnostic
Post # 70
Yup. I believe in God. 🙂 I am Catholic, so is Darling Husband. We go to a very welcoming and forward-thinking parish. I don’t think God can be distilled or simplified down into some guy in the sky. I think God is much more all-encompassing and immesne than that. We simply use very specific images of God and Jesus’ to tell the story. Something I like to remember is that God sent down his Son in human form, so really, we don’t have any real conception of what God could be.
One of my priest friends says that we don’t know about Heaven or Hell or until we “cash in our belly button,” which I feel is pretty apt.
Post # 71
Aaaahhh. Christian Science. We don’t hear about that one every day. My parents hauled me to CS church when I was little. I recall finding all church services of any denominations that I experienced to be boring. The only exception was when my parents switched to Religious Science after we moved. The Sunday stuff was dull, but, one week night, I think it was Wednesday’s, people would stand up and tell their stories of how they had been healed. That was cool.
My parents weaponized Christian Science. There is a prohibition against medical treatment; what a splendid arrangement for abusers.
My mother really took to the part about how if I thought bad thoughts or said bad things, I would be “malpracticing”, which would cause horrific things to happen to me, like awful, fatal diseases.
She also convinced me that if I watched a medical show on TV, I would get whatever disease was the topic of the show. OMG, the anxiety I suffered after watching an episode of “Marcus Welby” in which a woman was diagnosed with a brain tumor. To this day, I get a twinge if a medical show comes on.
Post # 72
It surprised me to learn that many Buddhist monks celebrate Christmas. Their thoughts are similar to what you said, ie that the teachings of Jesus are in harmony with their beliefs and he is recognized for his loving kindness.
A lot of my musings about religion bring me back to my 2019 mantra: does it matter?
There is much disagreement over whether the story of the life of Jesus is factually true; or is it a set of parables? In consideration of the number of times the Bible has been translated and the various mechanisms by which some of the translating was done, one could make a cogent argument that the accuracy could be less than 100%.
What if the story of Jesus isn’t true? Does it matter? There are still plenty of good takeaways. Why does any one church’s dogma have to be the absolute, ultimate truth? Does it matter? Aren’t we accountable for what we do?
Yes, my perception is also that younger people do a lot of questioning now. But, you guys missed the 1960s. America’s youth not only questioned, they resisted everything and broke a lot of stuff.
Post # 73
Both of us believe in God. We had a very traditional church of England wedding.
I was raised in an evangelical family & husband’s family is Anglican
Post # 74
Both of us are Christian.
Husband grew up in practicing Christian family whereas I chose to explore what Christianity meant on my own (before I met him.)
I was 25 at the time – I’d like to add that I wasn’t impressionable, I was simply interested, then learned and then came to believe. Faith stories vary widely 🙂
ETA my parents never told me who Jesus was and I grew up in a French school that didn’t mention religion as it was totally secular
Post # 75
I absolutely believe in God. And I am a Christian. I believe God is a genderless spirit person, with no particular appearance or preference (i.e. I reject that blonde-haired blue-eyed surfer guy with a halo imagery). Even though I know God is neither male nor female, I do tend to use he/him pronouns due to Biblical references to God as a father, king, and so on. I’ve been solid in my faith since I was a teenager, whereas my husband has done so in adulthood (he grew up going to church here and there with various relatives, but aside from a general belief in God and Jesus, and a basic Christian “love thy neighbor” approach to life, he didn’t cling to a particular doctrine). Even though I came to know God at an early age, it was not because of my parents. They both believed in God, but were quite secular and we didn’t go to church, etc. Because my husband and I are now on what we consider the right path, we have every intention of raising our children in a full Christian context. Interestingly, some of the things that the atheist PPs have said seem illogical about God/religion (such as hellfire), our faith also doesn’t believe in.
Oh, and “organized religion” doesn’t bother me as a concept, but it’s undeniable that the people involved in religious movements (and their actions) can sometimes be a complete mess. I agree with a PP who said there are few things that religion can’t make worse. I assume that’s because humans literally ruin everything.