Religion?

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    Feb 27, 2009 6:13 AM GMT
    Just curious to know the religious experiences (if any) of people on this site. I grew up baptist, but eventually found a place in the episcopal church. It's the first religious organization where I felt as if I could be myself without being ostracized. Anyone have a similar experience?
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    Feb 27, 2009 6:27 AM GMT
    I am Catholic, although my family's not the rigidly religious type. It's hard for me to reconcile my faith with who I am as a person. I remembered sitting through the priest's sermon denouncing gay marriage last year. I was very much outraged.

    I'm happy you belong in a church where you're accepted. Catholicism is embedded in me so much that I do not see myself leaving the church, despite its homophobic tendencies.
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    Feb 27, 2009 6:54 AM GMT
    I've been researching about religion on and off for years now. The more I find out the further away from religion I get. That's not to say I don't believe in anything though it's just not the bible or the christian god. I am more spiritual than religious.
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    Feb 27, 2009 7:38 AM GMT
    My parents were Lutheran (Missouri Synod). After a brief soul-searching as an adolescent following my confirmation (a ritual meant to ratify my baptism as an infant), I turned further fundamentalist and thumped the bible hard to repress my burgeoning homosexuality. It grew from a skepticism about the rather blasé emphasis on the bible that the Synod espoused (sermons were clever but watered-down treatises on snippets of bible verses, without real regard for its authority).

    Eventually, however, it became easy for me to shoot holes in the authority of the bible, when fundamentalists who I met attempted to explain away easy-to-see evidence of natural history, like dinosaurs. They sounded brainwashed, with their non-answer answers. Questions posed as a response to a question. I was ashamed to be a part of them, and I turned my back on the bible. I still wanted God in my life, though.

    Rejecting the authority of the bible was a slippery slope, as they say. A few years later I posed myself a scary question: what if there is no God? The probability of his existence for me seemed to boil down to a binary choice: he exists or he doesn't exist. Allowing the possibility (in a binary choice this is a 50% chance), I had to confront what could be a possible (scary) outcome: nothingness. I understood my beliefs or feelings were irrelevant to the reality of such an outcome. If God didn't exist, did wanting him to exist or desiring a more favorable outcome for my soul matter at all? If it didn't matter, why should I waste my time attempting to justify or prove his existence?

    As I said, for me it was a slippery slope. I understand my belief is irrelevant. He exists or he doesn't exist. If he exists, do I accept others' revelations or anecdotes as proof of his existence and shouldn't such proofs withstand scrutiny?

    You may mistake this post as a denunciation of religion or others' religious views. It is not. It is a chronicling of my journey and the sacrifices I made to reach some of the conclusions and ask the questions that I do. For me, it's still a binary question. The damage to my unwavering belief in a god is my own doing, and I have no regrets. I would think, if God exists, he would ask the same questions.
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    Feb 27, 2009 7:47 AM GMT
    lawdawg04 saidJust curious to know the religious experiences (if any) of people on this site. I grew up baptist, but eventually found a place in the episcopal church. It's the first religious organization where I felt as if I could be myself without being ostracized. Anyone have a similar experience?


    Very similar - raised non-denominational/pentacostal/baptist/evangelical... whatever you want to call it. Just as you, I've found my place in the Episcopal church. I've inquired to start the Confirmation process this week.
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Feb 27, 2009 8:14 AM GMT
    Grew up catholic until about 12 or so at which point i so no truth or value in the church going experience and became an atheist.
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    Feb 27, 2009 8:19 AM GMT
    Religion is the root of all evil
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    Feb 27, 2009 8:19 AM GMT
    Delivis saidGrew up catholic until about 12 or so at which point i so no truth or value in the church going experience and became an atheist.


    Until I came along. Give me time. I'll turn you icon_smile.gif

    Also, yes I cant sleep.


    Also II - I'm a purebred, blue blood Catholic.


    baby jesus!
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    Feb 27, 2009 8:24 AM GMT
    lawdawg04 saidJust curious to know the religious experiences (if any) of people on this site. I grew up baptist, but eventually found a place in the episcopal church. It's the first religious organization where I felt as if I could be myself without being ostracized. Anyone have a similar experience?


    I was born into a Charismatic Christian household because my mother converted from Catholicism she was raised with before you married my father. I was later raised Catholic, but with no pressure to do all the tradition things a young good Catholic boy does. I then went Athiest in my preteen years, than Agnostic wandering from church to church in my home town. After I left for college and moved out of state I finally met the Buddhist, Wiccans, Taoist, and Spiritualist I had been longing to learn from. I went through those religions over the course of several years and found that I'm content being a non-religion specific mystic spiritualist, with an emphasis on energy flow, balance, connectivity and the universal Golden Rules of most religions society itself. As for what my friends, family and partners; I don't mind at all if they believe in a religion or none at all. As long as they're happy and doing some measure of good in their lives it's all good.
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    Feb 27, 2009 8:27 AM GMT
    mickeytopogigio saidMy parents were Lutheran (Missouri Synod).


    I was raised that way also. My mom wasn't allowed to marry my dad unless she switched from baptist to lutheran.
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    Feb 27, 2009 8:47 AM GMT
    growingbig saidMy mom wasn't allowed to marry my dad unless she switched from baptist to lutheran.
    I wonder if God got the memo. All of his e-mail was going to mamagrowingbig@baptist.god and her @lutheran.hly account marked all of her @baptist.god forwards as spam.

    [.hly is a top-level domain for Holy]
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Feb 27, 2009 9:00 AM GMT
    collegeswimmr said
    Delivis saidGrew up catholic until about 12 or so at which point i so no truth or value in the church going experience and became an atheist.


    Until I came along. Give me time. I'll turn you icon_smile.gif

    Also, yes I cant sleep.


    Also II - I'm a purebred, blue blood Catholic.


    baby jesus!


    <--Atheist for Jesus!
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    Feb 27, 2009 9:16 AM GMT
    Delivis said
    collegeswimmr said
    Delivis saidGrew up catholic until about 12 or so at which point i so no truth or value in the church going experience and became an atheist.


    Until I came along. Give me time. I'll turn you icon_smile.gif

    Also, yes I cant sleep.


    Also II - I'm a purebred, blue blood Catholic.


    baby jesus!


    <--Atheist for Jesus!


    good answer.

    I like Gandhi's quote: "God is conscience. He is even the atheism of the atheist."
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    Feb 27, 2009 9:29 AM GMT
    I respect whoever wants to believe in it, but personally Im 100% Atheist.
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    Feb 27, 2009 9:49 AM GMT
    I grew up LCMS Lutheran and went to Lutheran school all the way through high school. I lost my faith after they told me that homos are sinners and go to hell unless they give up their sinful lifestyle. That particular tidbit made my adolescent years so very pleasant. I hated them for fucking up what should have been happy years of discovery, and I hated their religion for giving them this sense of moral superiority.

    My real problem with the church was the hypocrisy. They preached a message of love but they so obviously despised anyone who held a different moral code than themselves. Their claims of love for "sinners" became empty when they demanded that these people deny who they were because it didn't fit into their sterilized view of what human society should be.

    A lot of this judgement was based on cherry-picked bible verses conveniently supporting their views while all those other verses they didn't deem worthy of following or didn't make sense were designated as metaphorical. I'm sure mickey can attest to some of this as he comes from the same denomination. I could never grasp how thousands of years later and after translation from translations this book could still be word-for-word gospel, and how the pastors could be so sure which verses were meant literally and which ones were meant as metaphors.

    Anyway, I suppose I was lucky enough to have always known what I was and that there was definitely no choice involved. Having no question in my mind about my sexuality, I began to question how a loving God could create me doomed to a life of misery and sin. Finally, I just concluded that God wouldn't do that, and my church's view of God was terribly misguided. Combining this with the school emphasizing the fallacies, contradictions, and hypocrisies in every other major religion and christian denomination (we actually had an entire class in high school dedicated to punching holes in other religions), I ended up the agnostic I am today.

    My current view: There may or may not be a God. If God does exist, this would be a being so inconceivable that attempting to understand would be a complete waste of time, at least as a corporeal being.
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    Feb 27, 2009 10:01 AM GMT
    Roman Catholic==> Reborn Christian ==>Agnostic==> Deist==> ?
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    Feb 27, 2009 11:28 AM GMT
    Protestant->Catholic->Agnostic->Atheist.
    By birth->By choice->By questioning->By lack of evidence for any God, god, or gods whatsoever.
  • jlly_rnchr

    Posts: 1759

    Feb 27, 2009 3:19 PM GMT
    I was raised hardcore Catholic. 13 years of Catholic school. Altar boy for 4 years. Lector at school mass. My dad would make us read the Bible when it snowed too much and we couldn't get to church.

    And then I went to a public university and finally got some relief. Still went to church somewhat frequently, especially pre, post, and during Lent and Advent. I think I was battling whether to accept or reject my being gay, and couldn't decide how important it was to have God on my side. I swear, 90% of my prayers were for God to make me straight. I realized nothing was going to change, and by junior or senior year, I wasn't going to church at all anymore. I slowly grew a little resentful towards it, not getting with the times and turning their backs on people like us, or me.

    I miss being a practicing Catholic sometimes, but I can't participate in that right now, too many issues with the hypocrisy.
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    Feb 27, 2009 3:48 PM GMT
    Wow ...ok, it's a painful story of a muslim teenager: ..

    I was a drama kid who never knew how to laugh, in my teenage I was always going through depressions .. painful thoughts and feelings ..

    So one day I met god, I realized that this is my destiny: to give up my pathetic sad life and aim for god and heaven .. so I took it seriously, my heart was 99% for god ... the 1% was for men love ..

    I tried everything to get rid of my attraction to men.. 2 years of struggling .. God never listened and never did a tiny thing .. he only watched how I suffer trying to fix myself and knowing that this thing will open the doors of hell wide open for me..

    Time passed by and I realized finally that god doesn't exsist , that means that now I have to live that short life as good as possible cuz there is no second season after the end of this seriese ..

    So, now I'm 100% non-beliver, 100% proud ... still trying to live my life ..
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    Feb 27, 2009 3:59 PM GMT
    While the constraints of my Islamic upbringing have driven me to contemplate suicide, the same religion taught me I'd burn in hell for going through with it. A sad catch-22.

    Well there's always Plan B:

    63410221.jpg

    Thanks mom and dad cheesy.gif
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    Feb 27, 2009 5:37 PM GMT
    ^ That photo is absolutely horrendous. I think it has more to say about Iranian authoritarianism than Islam though.

    Personally I think religious doctrine (the Bible, the Koran etc) is just made up. That said, God may well exist in some form, just not the form they've been guessing at in Sunday school.

    I think Christianity and Islam are well meaning, but narrow, expressions of a wider human spirituality.

    galaxyM101.jpg
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    Feb 27, 2009 9:13 PM GMT
    onmyway said
    Well there's always Plan B:

    63410221.jpg

    Thanks mom and dad cheesy.gif


    I remember the first time I saw this picture, by coincidence on the internet ..
    I was astonished, closed the web page and stared at the screen .. next thing I remember I started crying on the keyboard ..after that I never looked at the picture again ..

    You just can't live with faith in god that hates you, and in the other hand he's not willing to do the smallest effort to change the "mistake" he made while creating you ..so hell is the only and the last option .. imagine the feeling ..
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    Feb 27, 2009 9:19 PM GMT
    i was raised extremely Lutheran (christian) as my dad's faith is adamant- went to church, sundayschool, youthgroup, and choir every week since birth (dad was my sundayschool teacher all through HIGHSCHOOL); i know every bible story backwards and forwards, and i know both what christianity SHOULD be, and what it IS.

    i've always been more spiritual than religious, and never really bought into the dogma, rules, exclusivity, absolutism, or moralizations of christianity. as i studied comparative religions, i found them mostly the same, and didn't really like the structures of any of the world religions, though many of their more spiritual tenants were beautiful and strikingly similar.

    i'd always been interested in mysticism and the occult, as i'm a question-asker by nature and those systems are generally designed to enable folks to spend lifetimes formulating and asking spiritual questions. this pursuit of gnostic knowledge led me to Thelema.

    wikipedia it if you want.
    it's not only easy on the gays... it encourages people to be none other than themselves- its one of the cornerstones of the religion that one be unabashedly oneself, as well as do nothing to try and change or manipulate others. so no evangelism, no 'i'm right and you're wrong,' and no 'if you act on your natural impulses you'll burn in hell forever.' just love. its the purest thing i've come across.
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    Feb 27, 2009 9:29 PM GMT
    GHoSTic said
    onmyway said
    Well there's always Plan B:

    63410221.jpg

    Thanks mom and dad cheesy.gif


    I remember the first time I saw this picture, by coincidence on the internet ..
    I was astonished, closed the web page and stared at the screen .. next thing I remember I started crying on the keyboard ..after that I never looked at the picture again ..

    You just can't live with faith in god that hates you, and in the other hand he's not willing to do the smallest effort to change the "mistake" he made while creating you ..so hell is the only and the last option .. imagine the feeling ..


    Those kids were only 16 and 17. It physically makes me sick
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    Feb 27, 2009 9:56 PM GMT
    Religion is like money. It is far more often used to gain power, to control, to hurt, to kill. But, there are also those that use it for good humanitarian purposes. The issue is in how it's used, versus whether it is, in itself, bad.

    The argument that religion be wiped from the face of the earth is no different than the arguments to eliminate money.

    People on either side of the argument tend to only see what has affected them more (the good or the bad) and then choose a side with an all or nothing view.