Today, I'd like to discuss this whole concept of "God," and "religion."
First let me declare that I have no religion, I never did, and possibly never will. My parents never thought of religion as a priority, despite the fact that they were both raised by Catholic families, so they never enforced any religious practice or beliefs while raising us. In fact I didn't even know what "religion," meant until I was in third grade. It was definitely a lesson. But, I didn't learn it through the words of a teacher.
The first day of third grade, the natural first thought going through all the girls' minds were "I wonder who will be my best friend this year?" That was extremely important back then haha. Anyway, I don't remember how or why but I chose the quiet pretty girl Linette as my best friend and she chose me as well. We both loved to read and learn about space. The only difference was that she was very reserved while I was annoyingly extroverted....or I thought that was the only difference. One day (I think it was the fourth or fifth day since I had started third grade), Linette and I were playing in the sand near the Spider Gym (that's what we called it) and she randomly asked "So what's your religion?" I replied, feeling immensely confused, "Religion? What's that?" She explained that it was a....sort of system or something......based on beliefs concerning human nature
which people would "have to follow by or else they'd be punished." I wondered a bit about it through the rest of the day. I brought it up to my mom who responded "No, Daddy and I didn't want to give you guys a religion. We want you guys to make up your own beliefs." The next day I told Linette what my mom told me. I remember feeling a bit...proud while telling her. I guess it made me feel as if I had some sort of freedom compared to her....just the knowledge that I could believe in anything I wanted, could make my own beliefs....Haha almost like making up my own little fairytale or something. However, Linette, after listening intently, didn't seem as happy I was. In fact she seemed extremely sad and disappointed as she shook her head and said "You're supposed to have a religion. Me? I'm Jehovah's Witness." I remember at this point, her response increased my confusion as I asked "Who's Jehovah?" Now that I think about my response, I can't help but laugh! Man, I was such an idiot. Anywho, she said "That's not the point. You're supposed to have a religion. My father says everybody has to have a religion, preferrably ours." "Well....my parents said I don't have to so I don't want one," I replied a bit annoyed with her. She sighed and said "Well, then you're going to hell. You and your family." I stood gawking at her, shocked by what she said. See, the thing is, while my parents didn't teach us about God or religion or the Bible, my grandma and grandpa would often talk about Heaven and Hell in front of us, not to us. While they didn't mention God or religion in their discussions, they basically said enough to the point where my sisters and I knew that Heaven is the place for good people while Hell is the place for bad people. I knew Hell wasn't a place anyone would want to go. After Linette said that, I remember asking "Linette...we're supposed to be friends...why did you say that? That was hurtful." Linette contiued shaking her damn head and said "I didn't mean to hurt your feelings...But, my dad said if someone isn't a Jehovah's Witness, they go to Hell....In the end, only the Jehovah's get a good life."
Yeah....so after that...haha we weren't exactly friends anymore.
Anyway, while she got some points wrong on her own damn religion, she succeeded in making me think about my own beliefs. I didn't have any and decided not to worry about it....until I started learning about my other friends' religions as I grew older.Many kids during my middle school years were supposed Christians or Catholics; I say this because they seldom followed the values and morals of their own beliefs. As I entered high school though, I had developed friendships with not only Christians and Catholics, but Mormons, Jewish, and Buddhists as well....Haha in fact, my first boyfriend when I was 15 was coincidentally a Jehovah's Witness. While he didn't try and force his religious beliefs upon me, I was very intrigued by not only his religion but religion in general....I always asked questions, always pointed out things I thought were odd...It was all soo....enlightening and confusing at the same time. My fascination with religion increased my curiosity of the Bible. Now, the Bible I believe is.....hmmm how do I phrase this without offending people.....a load of crap. There are so many....flaws! Example (my mother pointed this out to me one day): It says in the Bible (I think in the ten commandments) "Thou shall love thy neighbor," which, of course, means to respect and accept your fellow man...but, Christianity is in strict opposition to the idea of Homosexuality. Contradiction. Like I said, load of crap...but it does make for some fun reading. I like reading Bible stories, interpretations of the Bible, and quotes from the Bible which are beautifully written, but I'm not buying into any of the nonsense.
As far as a higher power goes...I'm still uncertain. I believe the universe is was too complex to have been a "scientific accident." I mean, even scientists acknowledge the fact that everything, the shape, the rotation, the angle of the Earth is exactly perfect. It had to have come out of someone's imagination. That's what I think, but I still have my doubts.
Anyway...that's all I wanted to say today=) Here's a funny little conversation between my friend and I (this topic reminded me of it):
Me: Brian....do you believe in God?
Brian: Hmmm I'm not sure...do you?
Me: I don't know....hmmm...do you believe that Jesus was a real person?
Brian: A real person? Yes. Messiah? Not so sure.
Me: But it was said that he had powers, that he could heal the sick and-
Brian: Yeah? So can Tylenol.
Haha well...I though it was funny=)