What are your spiritual/religious beliefs? And why do you believe?

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I'm curious to hear everyone's spiritual/religious beliefs and why you believe what you believe. Meaning do you just accept what your family taught you? Did you do a lot of reading and/or soul searching? Or some other path?If you could elaborate on the very basics of your beliefs too, that'd be cool.

Let's PLEASE try to keep this civil. Some will accuse me of trying to stir the pot, but Im really asking the question because Im questioning my own beliefs right now. (Go ahead and cheer...lol).
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Last edited by The New Black; 11-11-2012 at 06:06 AM.
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Let's PLEASE try to keep this civil. Some will accuse me of trying to stir the pot, but Im really asking the question because Im questioning my own beliefs right now. (Go ahead and cheer...lol).
Originally Posted by The New Black
Yes, let's keep it civil and be respectful of other's beliefs.

The second this thread starts to go downhill, it will be locked.
I'm curious to hear everyone's spiritual/religious beliefs and why you believe what you believe. Meaning do you just accept what your family taught you?
Originally Posted by The New Black
No. I was raised Catholic, my whole family is still Catholic. Both my mom & dad were raised Catholic and stayed that way. My paternal grandmother was LDS but never observed in my lifetime. I think she just let grandpa have his way with their family. Catholicism never sat well with me or felt right I guess you'd say. I did everything a good Catholic girl is supposed up to the point of confirmation, that didn't happen. My mom had died, my dad didn't really care all that much and I cared less so I just stopped going to the preparation sessions.


Did you do a lot of reading and/or soul searching? Or some other path?If you could elaborate on the very basics of your beliefs too, that'd be cool.
Originally Posted by The New Black
After I left home I didn't really think about religion. When I was 25 and still at Fairchild AFB I became friends with a woman who attended mass with her mom and I went a couple of times but it was the same, meh. It was different as well though from the mass I grew up with because it was on a military base or different part of the country, IDK.
I got curious about other religions and started researching. I discovered Wicca but it was too light and fluffy for me. I've always been grounded more than Wicca could give me and was an entirely too serious child for even my parents to understand me. I'd always been interested in hearing more about Greek/Roman gods while growing up but in school you don't learn crap on the subject really. After that I found out that there are lots and lots of flavors of Paganism and I call myself an eclectic Pagan now.

I'm more in tune with the earth and seasons, the energy of the land than I ever was. I've always kind of felt the native americans had it more right than any other polytheistic religion except maybe the druids.

I'd say it's animism and polytheism mixed together. I don't think I've ever believed in one god. It just doesn't make sense to me and it seems to me more like the one god of monotheistic religions was a bit greedy wanting all that attention to itself so decided to start their own religion(s).
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Last edited by missbanjo; 11-11-2012 at 07:46 AM.
Im a Christian. My family didn't teach me anything but I just picked up a Bible one day when I was little. I used to be depressed and reading the Bible made me feel better. I always believed in God but I didn't start going to church until I was about 18. I liked the message. I like that it's about love and doing right by people.
I believe that those who do good things in life will prosper. I believe that in the "end", whenever that is going to be God will be the merciful being I believe he is. I don't believe in the notion that if u don't automatically believe in the Christian/Catholic God that u will be damned lol. When ppl r judged I think everyone will be given a chance to make that final decision before whatever god we face.

Um, what else....I use the bible for guidance when I have issues and it always helps. I go to church sometimes. I give God some glory everyday.

Also, (this is just something I think, not connected with anyone's beliefs here or judging anyone
) I think it's better to believe and worship something that in the end just wants to see u do good and love you, and promises u happiness. I could never understand the devil worshiping ppl who say Satan is better #shrug. What will Satan do for u when the crap hits the fan? (And by devil worshipers I mean the ones who actually say they worship him,not the "anything that isn't God is the devil" thing) lol hope that makes sense.
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I was raised an Episcopalian. I'm grateful that it was a pretty mellow congregation. I loved the pomp and circumstance, the wine, the stained glass, the massive pipe organ, the incense at certain times of year, the marble floors at the altar,breakfast after church, etc.

But, as young as elementary school, I had religious/theological based doubts. I didn't like the idea that it was stated or implied that Christianity was the only valid religion. I thought that eternal damnation for 6-10 decades of sinful behavior was illogical. I though God was like Santa Claus - making a list and checking it twice.

I didn't like that a female priest was booted because her daughter had two kids from two Black baby daddies.

I didn't like the uptight old ladies who saw sin everywhere.

I hated the implication or direct statements that women were inherently inferior to men, and all the lame excuses used for justification.

As a young adult, I just didn't bother with anything for awhile.

I found the Unitarian Universalist denomination when I was living in DC. It is a good fit for me.

I'm not a strict Unitarian in that I am fine with polytheism. I just feel that all Gods and Goddesses are different faces of the same being.

But, I am a big Universalist. I don't believe in heaven and hell as I was taught. I believe that we all came from the same place, and that we all go back to the same place.

I like that UU congregations will essentially let you define your own theology. There are even classes for it. Politically liberal Atheists can be found at a UU Church because some enjoy the camaraderie. I like that they focus on social equality and justice issues and don't put women in a subservient position. I liked that the marginalized were welcome and given an equal voice.

But, my favorite part is where one is trusted enough to hammer out your own theology. The power structure of most groups is tied to keeping everyone on the same page, and that bothers me.

I don't participate often now because my work schedule isn't Sunday morning friendly.

I still attend Episcopal Christmas Eve services. Sometimes with my parents, and sometimes at a liberal, yet old-school fancy pomp and circumstance church that is near where BF lives. A nostalgic part of me enjoys the trappings, sometimes.
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Last edited by redcelticcurls; 11-11-2012 at 12:06 PM.
I'm an atheist.. I copied this from a website but it best describes how I feel.

"An atheist loves himself and his fellow man instead of a god. An atheist accepts that heaven is something for which we should work now – here on earth – for all men together to enjoy. An atheist accepts that he can get no help through prayer, but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue it and to enjoy it. An atheist accepts that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help lead to a life of fulfillment."

My mother is a Christian and my dad is an atheist (former Catholic raised in a strict Catholic family)
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I'm Jewish, somewhere between Reform and Conservative.I believe in a lot of the Reform precedents- ie patrilineal descent is still valid as long as you self-identify as Jewish and halakha, or Jewish law, is not binding and can be changed- but I much prefer Conservative services and attitudes as they tend to be more traditional and much more actual learning about the religion. I was raised Jewish in a Reform congregation, but did a lot of self-searching and research to find my own identity in regards to it. The thing about Judaism is that it's not only a religion, it's a culture, so it encompasses so much more to me than just the handful of holidays. I'm considering going to cantorial school after college. (A cantor is a member of the Jewish clergy.)

I think my religion is incredibly beautiful for so many reasons. It's a place built around arguing and disagreeing opinions- the old adage of "two Jews, three opinions" really is true. I love that the word Israel means "to struggle with G-d" and that is what the entire religion is based around. In fact that's what the entire Talmud is, thousands of pages of people arguing, and it's incredible and beautiful and I get so much from always learning that there is going to be a different side to every argument. I love learning all the small, interesting facts about my faith. I remember being moved to tears by the Book of Ruth when I read it on a whim. I love the acceptance and that even people who self identify as atheist are still a welcomed part of the Jewish landscape. I love that we have such a resilient, strong culture despite going through so much in our history and today. It's always been such a big part of my life, especially since I come from a family of Soviet Jews who came to the US to be free from discrimination.

Also, one thing that I found really amazing was a Jewish teaching on atheism I read a while back. A man asks how an atheist can have morality of he has no G-d leading him. His rabbi answers that in fact atheists are the most righteous of us all; they do good things not out of service to G-d but out of their own goodness. When somebody asks you to help them, then, we should all be atheists for a moment, thinking not "I hope that G-d helps them" but rather "What can I do to help them?"

It's things like this that makes me love my religion so much.
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I was raised christian. I doubted the existance of a god from a very young age. I remember being taught in Sunday school as a 4-5 year old that god watched us every minute of every day. I took no comfort from that. In fact, I was terribly discomforted by it. I remember thinking that I did not want to be a part of a god who watched little girls pooping, or naked in the bathtub. I was forced to attend services until I was about 12. Then I was FREE, and sort of just went about my business for a lot of years.

When I was in my mid-20's, and in a terrible marriage, I got involved with a couple who were born-again christians. They tried VERY hard to bring me into their cult. I was vulnerable, and did try to belong for a while. I even went through the motions of accepting-jesus-christ-as-my-personal-savior. I think I even spoke in tongues one time. I wanted to believe. Very badly. But I didn't. I happened to arrive late for service one Sunday, so I stayed for the next service. It was startling to me to watch the very same people who fell down in the power of christ do it in BOTH shows...er, um, I mean services. I slowly fell away from that couple, but did continue to explore various sects for a couple years. I thought I was supposed to be religious to be a good person. I had a lot of guilt. It took me years of my life...wasted years...to figure it all out.

Then I realized I didn't have to be religiouis. I could be truly free and be non-theist. I really could. It was an epiphany to me. Wow...free at last, free at last, thank god almighty, I was FREE AT LAST!

I've been FREE ever since.

When I had kids, I thought about bringing them up with religion, even if I had to fake it for myself, because that's what a large part of society thinks is the right thing to do. But, then I decided to give my kids the GIFT of freedom from the beginning, so they would never need to free themselves later. When I see the freedom they feel, I know I made the right decision. They are good people. They are contributing members of society and they have good morals. They are merely free of the longest running scam in human history.
Agnostic.

Jewish father; Baptist mother; I wound up most comfortable at an Episcopalian church led by a gay priest. Ours must be "lower" (if that's the right term) than RCC's, since we never have incense.

I like the community, and I love singing with other people. I mostly attend only on major holidays. However, and I think this is where the uncertainty comes in, when something very serious or bad happens, that's where I go to face my feelings and ask for spiritual or practical help from "whatever."

Needless to say, I very often pray for the welfare of animals, being fellow creatures of the world.
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This thread is so interesting. Glad nobody has highjacked it!
It's so interesting how people who are forced into the church end up strongly rejecting it later. I don't think religion should be "Forced". I think it should be used to instil good values and how to treat others. At the end of the day. That's what's important

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I believe that if there is a God he/she/it wants us to love each other and put us on earth to help each other.

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An Angel writing in a book of gold:

Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said,
"What writest thou?" The Vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord
Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."

"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
Replied the Angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerily still; and said, "I pray thee, then,
Write me as one who loves his fellow men."

The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And, lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest!
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Also, one thing that I found really amazing was a Jewish teaching on atheism I read a while back. A man asks how an atheist can have morality of he has no G-d leading him. His rabbi answers that in fact atheists are the most righteous of us all; they do good things not out of service to G-d but out of their own goodness. When somebody asks you to help them, then, we should all be atheists for a moment, thinking not "I hope that G-d helps them" but rather "What can I do to help them?"

It's things like this that makes me love my religion so much.
Originally Posted by Hropkey
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I am a Christian and for me it's more of a spiritual connection than a religious one. Sometimes there are things that I don't understand but I think that God works in such mysterious ways that we can't understand a lot of the things that happen in life. I will tell you this though, things have happened which have made me believe in Him and not doubt his existence. When my father passed away, I was obviously very upset and sad. He was already dead and I hugged him and kissed his cheek and I kid you not that I heard a kiss back in my ear. I was taken aback and I realized it was God sharing my dad's spirit with me.
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I have never, ever had an experience like that, and yet I know that the people who have swear by such occurrences. ^

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I believe in God. I believe he is an all knowing, all powerful, omnipotent being, but I do not believe such a powerful entity is involved in the average persons daily life. The comments like 'God will protect you' 'God is watching you' etc, seem ridiculous to me. I don't think he's involved in what the average person does daily. I don't think something is 'in Gods hands'. Decisions are in your hands. You are responsible for making decisions. I don't think he really cares if you're gay, have premarital sex, get drunk, etc. I think He, as a being, is far beyond that.

I believe that God is too far a being from humans so that He really doesn't understand us, just as we don't have the ability to understand Him. I believe Jesus was sent to bridge the gap between God and humans. He was sent to be the voice, to be the one to understand. He was to tell us what was expected of us, and to live life to show God what we were up against.

I believe some things written in the Bible may be true, and some may be sort of fables, teaching people right from wrong, consequences and such.

I believe that God is powerful and angry and vengeful. I do not believe he is the kind, patient, understanding God Christianity depicts.

God is a higher power, a stronger feeling of spirituality. You don't pray to get something given to you, you pray for that voice inside you to give you clarity. Whether you're talking to an inner self, a God, the Earth, whoever, it is the same being. It doesn't matter what you call it. But its the belief in something to help you walk through.


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It was a beautiful moment and one I will never forget. I heard it soo very clearly. It really has made me understand and believe ever-the-more in the spirit and the soul and this is the way that Jesus/God can reach us/talk to us/affect us. I have family members who have some amazing stories in regards to Jesus. I cannot doubt that He is real and He really is the epitomy of love even when my life is disappointing or when things have not gone my way.
My dad is Catholic, my mom Methodist. They are not religious and I've never known them to go to church. My grandmother and aunts were the typical Italian ladies who went to church every day. There was no question that my cousins, sisters, and I would all be full fledged Catholics. We all had our baptisms, First Holy Communions, and Confirmations in the Catholic church.

My older sister is still Catholic, my younger sister is Jewish.
I've been an atheist since my late teens. It just seems logical to me that we are born and we die and that's that. My gods are Mother Nature and Father Time.

I see no reason why non-believers wouldn't know right from wrong or why they wouldn't have a moral compass.

I still love studying religions, love churches, church icons, church music, and the rituals of religion. It just doesn't have any spiritual meaning to me.
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I was raised LDS, my dad was raised Unitarian, my mom was raised LDS, also. My dad initially started learning about the LDS church to please my mom's parents, then he had his own belief in the religion.

While I believe in the basics of the LDS church, there are just too many things I can't get in board with. The hypocrits that are plentiful, the church's aggressive lobbying to keep marriage defined as a man and woman (I think it's fine to believe that, I just don't think we should force our belief's on a whole state or country...it's not my job to tell someone who they can love and marry. And honestly, if the situation was reversed, everybody would be crying foul). I have a hard time with the levels of heaven they teach. So if I don't follow alllll the rules, then I won't achieve the highest level of heaven and/or get to be with family members and friends who DID reach that level of heaven. Dude, if what I did is so heinous that I can't be around family members in a heaven...do I really want to be part of that? Not so much. I think Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are a lot more compassionate and understanding than to say "Too bad, so sad" and that I didn't do everything is supposed to and I'm hosed. I can't get on board with a vengeful God.

I do believe in the Bible and love to read it. I even enjoy reading the Book of Mormon. I just think our religion (I will still identify as LDS as I don't disbelieve the gospel, I just don't believe in what people are turning it into) has strayed far afield of what it was originally meant to be. The spirit of the religion I like, the interpretation and sullying of the true religious premise, I don't like.

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Meaning do you just accept what your family taught you?
No, I am an atheist and they're seventh day adventists.

Did you do a lot of reading and/or soul searching?
Yes and I still do.

Or some other path?If you could elaborate on the very basics of your beliefs too, that'd be cool.
I believe in evolution and natural selection. I do not know or care how the universe came to be. I believe that we will never know and I am absolutely fine with that. I am aware that one day I would be dead. I am not afraid of that either, but I am afraid of how I'll get to that point. I hope it's peaceful.

My goal in life is to be happy. I surround myself with positive people and try to live my life the way that I want it to be. And I'm all about accomplishing goals. I do not think about the beginning of time or the end of it, because I do believe time is never ending and there perhaps never was a beginning and probably never will be an end. The universe works in a circle and so does everything else. I am a combination of everything that was and when I pass on, the energy that I had will live for an eternity.

As for Christianity, what I was raised in... I feel quite indifferent towards it. I don't care for it, but it doesn't bother me as long as people mind their damn business and stop trying to impose their views on other people. I do not think a bearded dude lives in the clouds so no, I do not want to pray before class and I find it disrespectful how many Christians disregard other religions or people without faith. And the outcry of being "oppressed"; Christians make up close to 70% of this country, they are not being oppressed.

I arrived at my atheism because of research. That's it. And I questioned things, because I always have. None of it ever made sense to me.

I can say, my life has been better without religion. I take full responsibility for my actions, I'm proactive because this is my only chance of life and I don't sit home at night wondering if I've been naughty or if I'm going to hell. Such things do not live within me and my life has been carefree and stressfree since my atheism.
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