Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Thoughts on Religion

Some people hide behind their religion, some people use it as a weapon, some people are ashamed of theirs, and others ignore it all together. For me, I think that religion or spirituality is a personal thing. If you find something that gives you peace and makes you feel good, then that is the religion for you.

I have a person in my life, whom I admire, but who feels that there is only one way to be close to God and if you are not on that path, you are doomed! I don’t understand this narrow view of God. There is a line from the movie “Saved” that has always stayed with me “If God wanted us all to be the same, then why did he make us all so different?” Having only one way to reach God does not really make sense to me. There are different approaches to almost everything in life, from politics to child rearing to how to cook eggplant!! How can there only be one “right” way to love or be close to God??

I took a world religions class one semester, and found that in all the religions that we studied, the basic principles were the same. Love each other, peace, faith, hope, happiness. The other thing that I noticed was that most of the religions failed to follow these basic principles in the name of their religion, such as the Smug-Hubtian Ten Commandments – “Thou Shall Not Kill” and the Crusades - total opposite from the main law of their religion. Killing in the name of faith is not a principle of ANY of the religions that I know about.

I have been burned by “Smug-Hubtians” in the past and I have found most of them to be hypocrites. I believe that God is all knowing and all seeing and I believe that God knows that I do my best to live and let live, have peace and balance in my life, be good to others, not litter, you know, stuff like that. I don’t need a building with a bunch of crap to recite to bring me close to God!!

I have recently converted to the Catholic faith…. I started the process when Smug-Hub and I first started to discuss the possibility of marriage. He is a cradle Catholic and was set on getting married in the Catholic Church. We started to attend mass on Sunday’s and I called about getting into the classes to convert. I was not so much interested in changing my belief system, but I was willing to make a change to give him the wedding that was important to him.

When I called about getting into the classes, I was told that you did not have to be Catholic to get married in the Catholic Church. She told me that the church wanted to people to come to the church freely with the coercion that would be in place with the marriage requirement. I decided to start the classes anyway and see what being Catholic was all about – I could always back out at any time.

When I attended the first class I was very nervous, as I waited for the judging and condemning to begin – there was none! When we attended Mass, my favorite aspect was the sense of community, the symbolism and ritual involved. I don’t feel any closer to God in church as I do the rest of the day or week, but I like setting aside time to focus on it.

I was very happy when I was baptized and confirmed into the church – mostly because Smug-Hub was so proud he was ready to pop out of his skin! The Church’s stance is about however much or little you feel comfortable with is how much you should do. If you want to attend Mass 3 times a week and go to confession every week then that is what you should do! If you only need to come to mass on special occasions and never pray the rosary, than that is OK to. I felt accepted! I feel that I can still have my own ideas about faith and still have that church community that I crave.

Bottom line – Find something that makes you feel good about where you are! Find God in the trees, a sunset, a child’s laugh, a church, a synagogue, or anywhere else! But, please, please, please, give others a chance to find their own way to God – it is not your job to make everyone think the way that you do. Are you right? Yes – for you. Am I right? – Yes, for me!!

These are just my thoughts and opinions – right or wrong, they are mine and I am entitled to them! Thanks for reading!!


  1. wow, the catholic church has changed! when my parents got married, my dad didn't have to convert to catholicism, but I guess it still freaked people out that he wasn't converting. they both had to sign papers and swear that any kids they had would be raised catholic.

    ha! we're all presbyterian now, even my formerly catholic mom ;)

    glad you found a place where you feel comfortable and accepted!

  2. I agree with Megan that the church has changed a lot. Back when my parents were in their 20s, the church wouldn't even allow non-Catholics to be in wedding ceremonies in a Catholic church. Of course that was back in the days of Latin services and frequent excommunications.

  3. I am still burnt on the whole religion thingy....don't really miss it either.

  4. I whole-heartedly agree. Assuming that God exists, I doubt that he would be as petty as us humans would make him out to be. If God is truly great and all-knowing, I think he/she would be more interested in whether or not we lived the best life we could and were the best people we could be. Any rule can be broken if the circumstances are just right, and I think we will have to own our choices, whether we own then now or in an afterlife. I think it more wise to keep your mind open and stop judging everyone else.