Anyone still religious?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 31, 2007 12:41 AM GMT
    So, I know that being gay drives a lot of people from the faith their parents held (I've seen plenty of angry atheists here). But is anyone still religious despite what they have seen? I mean, because of who you are, you investigated your faith and come to embrace the modern embodiment of an age-old longing? I might consider myself an agnostic, but I appreciate the camaraderie of the episcopal church and still consider myself a Christian in the Shelby Spong Paul Tillich sort of way. So is anyone still religious? How have your views changed? Is anyone still evangelical? Just interested. Thanks.
  • RSportsguy

    Posts: 1925

    Jul 31, 2007 12:49 AM GMT
    I would say that I am more spiritual now instead of religious. I do not feel comfortable going into a church. I have my own beliefs and I don't want to go to a place that does not want to treat me as an equal.
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    Jul 31, 2007 1:19 AM GMT
    Die hard Episcopalian here. I was on the vestry of my church in DC before we left. I haven't yet started attending one up here in CT yet - I needed a bit of a sabbatical!

    But yes, I'd say I've always been religious and don't necessarily see that changing. The Episcopal Church works well for me because it has the tradition and ritual which some deep-seated part of me craves but it's also got a healthy dose of reason so it's not all about literal interpretation like the fundies get tangled up in.
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    Jul 31, 2007 2:06 AM GMT
    Believe it or not Even a party boy like me has been thinking about going to church lately.


    Mmm I must be getting old.
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    Jul 31, 2007 2:25 AM GMT
    Raised a Catholic. Had a bad experience with a 'priest' as a child (not sexual, he was just a pompus arrogant ass). Disliked the church as a teenager.

    I too would consider myself more spiritual than religious. Dabbled for a bit as a Baptist then a Presbyterian. Neither faith grabbed me.

    Mom says all my problems would be solved if I prayed and returned to church. Dad converted from Southern Baptist to Cathaholic.

    I do talk to God. I ask him to condemn a lot of things to hell. I ask him/her why so many stupid people are allowed to drive a car. I chat with him frequently when purchasing a lottery ticket...and then ask him why someone else in another state goes and wins my retirement plan.

    Yes. More spiritual than religious.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 31, 2007 3:28 AM GMT
    I am still religious yes, but more in an early church (book of Acts) type of way...

    My relationship with God is more important then religious standards...and I believe that in the modern church, sometimes those two don't see eye to eye...
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    Jul 31, 2007 3:36 AM GMT
    My grandfather told me, if I ask God for something, and he believes it should be, that God will grant me that wish. I am or try to be religious but fight with the idea of why God would have made me the way I am. Or, is it really the devil that has caused me to be gay?

    Though I have not found any answers, I still talk to God like he is here, and can listen to all my concerns. I am a republican "go figure" own a business, and fight with the idea that if more people including politicians followed the 10 commandments, this world would be a better place to live.

    Maybe still confused.......
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    Jul 31, 2007 3:37 AM GMT
    My personal view on this, which I haven't shared before in an attempt to not get my little verbal ass kicked, is that for the majority of religions, it is impossible to be 'actively gay', and be a part of that religion.


    Now, if you define being religious as going to church, praying, etc. then that's one thing (although to me that's actually more along the lines of being 'spiritual' than religious).


    However to be a part of a religion, you need to follow it's rules and believe in the things it says to believe. For (I think--this is my uneducated guess) the majority of religions, you cannot be having homosexual relations and still be a member of that religion.

    That's why it so often confuses me when people say things like, "I sleep with other men, but I'm also a Catholic!"

    You can be 'Catholic-like', but according to the very rules of Catholicism, you cannot be actually 'Catholic'.

    I'm just using Catholicism as an example, because obviously that's the religion that I have the most experience with ;). But I believe it may apply to at least a few of the other major religions.



    I'm personally on the fence about it. I've been exploring both sides of the 'argument', and haven't decided whether I would like to remain religious, or leave. At the moment I'm not really sure what I believe, so I am trying to be a bit careful about the things I let myself get drawn into on on anything, be it religious or pertaining to being gay.
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    Jul 31, 2007 3:47 AM GMT
    No not really. Yes, I do appreciate things about religion, and am at times nostalgic, I guess, about certain memories, or emotions associated with it. There are still phrases and words from my, religious ones, from my childhood that float through my mind, and I can still remember almost word for word many of the bible stoy tapes we listened to, and at times I will play some of the hymns from the hymnal that I still have.

    Do I believe any of it? Or do I believe that god exists? Probably not though I can't say for sure, and I don't know that it really makes a difference to me whether or not he exists.
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    Jul 31, 2007 5:15 AM GMT
    I am with you Wrerick. I feel the same way. My younger sister, who is a senior scientist at Agilent (nano tech milecular biochem) feels the same way, and her long term BF is an atheist.
  • irishkcguy

    Posts: 780

    Jul 31, 2007 5:22 AM GMT
    I grew up going to church and it was always a source of spiritual peace to me. But as I grew older and began to identify myself as gay I started attending less and less. It pains me to see how politcal power has corrupted so many church leaders. The bottom line I feel is that God loves you if you are gay or straight and unfortunately many straight Christians have made gays feel like they are hated by God. Many gays and lesbians have been damaged by what people have done. Keep in mind that those people don't speak for God. When I moved to California a friend of mine told me about a gay friendly church called Christ Chapel of the Valley located in North Hollywood. I would recommend it to anybody in the LA area.
  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Jul 31, 2007 6:12 AM GMT
    Definitely spiritual...but not necessarily about any particular religion...

    I like the idea of believing in something bigger than myself...and quite frankly, I am concerned when I see others who aren't...call it what you want...fate, mother nature, God, whatever...

    - David
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    Jul 31, 2007 6:13 AM GMT
    i dont like religion....i think its the root of the problems in the world.

    Im spiritual though....i believe in greater energies
  • AberCModel

    Posts: 5

    Jul 31, 2007 7:10 AM GMT
    well is not like all relegions look down apon homosexuality personaly iam a wiccan neo pagan driud type.. iam fairly religious however i dont let it control my life but i it dose and and effect on it
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    Jul 31, 2007 7:33 AM GMT
    I am not religious and I am an athiest.

    I used to be a Catholic and attended mass daily when I was a teenager.

    Once I went to college and started thinking for myself, reason and logic set in.

    I RESPECT and ACCEPT that people believe in God or believe in something other than themselves. I also realize some people need a religious or a spiritual existence and that their experiences have, at times, been tainted by dated dogma and other problems, driving people away from their religious or spiritual beliefs.

    Other than Christianity carrying some knowledge forward from antiquity, I find Christianity particularly evil and responsible for much human-suffering and violence through time, up to and including today. In my opinion, Christianity, and particularly the Catholic church, although not just those two, have a lot to answer for.

    That said, I think that people should believe in themselves and make this life as good as it can be.

    =)

    Daniel
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    Jul 31, 2007 8:36 AM GMT
    ARe you kidding? Organized, corporate religions are putting me in harm's way each and every day! If it isn't Jihadists I have to worry about with their suicide bombs, it is JW's traipsing through the streets of Hollywood on Sunday Mornings knocking on my door to convert me, or a Catholic Priest becoming a sexual preditor on my young child. None of that bullshit about God they teach you in Christianity applies to gay people. It is fiction, and will only drive you down a path of self-loathing.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 31, 2007 8:36 AM GMT
    ARe you kidding? Organized, corporate religions are putting me in harm's way each and every day! If it isn't Jihadists I have to worry about with their suicide bombs, it is JW's traipsing through the streets of Hollywood on Sunday Mornings knocking on my door to convert me, or a Catholic Priest becoming a sexual preditor on my young child. None of that bullshit about God they teach you in Christianity applies to gay people. It is fiction, and will only drive you down a path of self-loathing.
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    Jul 31, 2007 10:15 AM GMT
    I don't go to church often but I still believe.
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    Jul 31, 2007 10:18 AM GMT
    Yeah, that wasn't the question was it. There is a significant difference between dfrw and tofustud's post. Dfrw was respectful and answered the question posed, tofustud is trolling.

    Also might I suggest, that although there is pedophilia and jihadists and other things, religion has been important for preserving all aspects of our culture. Empiricism and modern thought all were born out of the Christian and Muslim thought. So because you think your rational mind has no need for God, you wouldn't be at this philosophical point were it not for the evolution of philosophy from religion. Doesn't mean it's right, but it at least doesn't deserve to be written of. It has had very important sociological roles. Many positive!

    But besides that, what about the work they do with the poor. And since I am an episcopalian, the acceptance of gays, the fight for the respect of the dignity of all peoples and the care for the disenfranchised. It is quite respectable imho.

    Also, many churches accept gays to a great extent: methodists, presbyterians, episcopalians, society of friends. I'm sure there are more. So anyway, it's late... Night.
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    Jul 31, 2007 10:22 AM GMT
    There seems to be a common note in this thread, that sexuality has helped to define many guy's stands on thier religions and the religions of thier parents. Personally, my sexuality has never influenced my personal religious beliefs, other than to provide a little humor for me.
    My mother comes from bad Mormon stock and my father's side is Catholic. I've been to both churches as a child and as an adult. My BF is Catholic and still attends church on the high holy days and a couple of our good friends are priests and nuns. Well, one of the preists frequents adult bookstores, but that is besides the point really.
    Since I personally dont belong to any organized Judeo-Christian temples of worship, I wont say I'm religious, I'll say I'm spiritual. However, my religious beliefs are strong and specfic.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 31, 2007 10:36 AM GMT
    Gay discrimination against the religious is such a turn off.

    People assume religion denotes Organization. When you say, I am not religious, just spiritual, you are wrong. You are religious, by definition. Your religion is the religion of you, not an organized one. I subscribe to Kevinism.

    Organized religion serves the sole purpose of power. People don't realize it, but belief is the most powerful thing in the world. The more belief there is in something, the more 'real' it is.

    Science is an example of organized religion. That's right, science, not Scientology. In most developed countries, there is a near universal belief in it, and that makes it very powerful. There are places in the world where science is not believed at all, and who is to say they do not live happier lives? You can tell me that the rapes and wars and corruption etc. etc. are terrible, but in my mind, have you ever been in a room full of people on anti-depressants? I'm sure the feeling of hopelessness is similar in both cases. Their volcano eruption is an angry god, not a geological occurrence, but how can you honestly say that one is right and the other is wrong? Even amid the chaos that is perceived to be an undeveloped country, there are groups of people who absolutely LOVE life.

    In the US, many Christian groups have stumbled onto the fact that science is actually an opposing religion, taught in schools, and have tried to devalue certain aspects of science. The war between science and christianity in the US is yet another religious war.

    You can say religion causes all of the problems in the world, and it is true. But what you are saying in the most basic level is that differing beliefs is the cause of all problems. That will never be fixed unless there is understanding that everyone is right.

    If someone gets in a horrific car accident, but comes out unscathed and unharmed, let's analyze how different religions view and describe this action. A Christian would say god was watching over him and protected him. A believer of science would say the odds of physics and probabilities allowed him to be alright, although it was unlikely. A Buddhist would say it happened as it should. An ancient Greek would say that he was blessed by Zeus. etc.

    Who is right? Most people would say the one they believe, but the true answer is ALL OF THEM. All beliefs are correct, everybody is right. It gets complicated from there, as everyone lives in their own reality, in their own dimensions, but really, who is to say one is wrong and the other is not? You can only go off of what you believe; some beliefs are more compatible than others, but they all work. Why they work is really unimportant.
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    Jul 31, 2007 11:49 AM GMT
    I wonder sickothesame, are you trying to get people to change their minds about how they view God and religion? I would not have thought so in your first post, but I think so in your second.

    I would not suggest that anyone write off God or religion if they need either.

    I learned long ago to let people believe whatever they want to believe (regardless of how disagreeable I find it to be). I only take issue with religion when it encroaches on me personally or when it is legislated by the government. That people go to church and pray or engage in ritual symbolic practices does not affect me, and therefore that's fine by me.

    I do however, care when people start legislating in the name of God (to protect the family, the country, the children, or insert that which needs protecting here), and killing or harming others in the name of God, Allah, or whatever.

    I read a book by Sam Harris called The End of Faith. Although paraphrasing, he writes and laments that basically religion is the only issue that cannot be challenged in the public forum and societies accept that unwillingness to challenge it without hesitation. I find this unfortunate, but it is hard to argue against someone's beliefs.

    All that said, to me, being a citizen of the US, the free exercise clause and the establishment clause are two of the most profound combinations of words written in the entire Constitution.
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    Jul 31, 2007 12:02 PM GMT
    I'm still very religious, but no, I don't go to church. It's not because I'm gay though, its because I've worked for two different churches for years now, and the politics within them (especially in the authoritative positions) makes me sick. I did recently find a non-denominational church that I like though. So I'll probably go there until I move.
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    Jul 31, 2007 12:57 PM GMT
    I still pray because deep down I still believe in God BUT, no the God THEY told us about. God and religions are 2 different things so, I've decided to get rid of the religion (catholic in my case) and have a good communication with God without interference.

    The only important thing is the LOVE for yourself and for others, that is God. Anything else is human invention.
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    Jul 31, 2007 1:55 PM GMT
    I was raised in an atheist household. When I was 13, my brother became a teacher of Transcendental Meditation and he initiated me. I didn't stick with TM very long, but eight years later, I returned to it in my quest to fix what I perceived as broken (I thought TM would make me str8.) A few years ago, I stumbled upon Waking Down and entered an initially tumultuous free-fall into what is probably best described as nondual Tantric awakening. Because this awakening has nothing to do with belief, faith, rituals, practices, or dogma, I would define myself as spiritual rather than religious.