Fluidity of Religion

Religion, regardless of anyone's opinion, is very important to society. It is a topic that mostly everyone has an opinion on, good or bad, and some may be a bit more vocal than others. Our writers wanted to share some of their own opinions when it comes to their beliefs and why:

 

Andrea:

I grew up in a Catholic household. My parents weren’t like most religious parents, but they were strict with my sisters and I. Once we turned 10, we were assigned small chores around the house; chores that increased in difficulty and discipline as we grew older. My parents wanted me to differ from what I had to do -chores, homework, etc-` and what I wanted to do -basically everything else. And weirdly enough, for the first 18 years of my life, church was part of the latter. I loved going to mass and sharing with people, feeling like I always had someone to rely on -God-, and really everything about my religion. But then things happened and my faith changed as I changed, hand-in-hand. In 2012 I moved to Taiwan and there I was exposed to Buddhism. I wasn’t completely clueless about this religion, but it was like nothing I had experienced in the Catholic church; there was no guilt, no shame, no hell. I loved it.

Long story short, it’s been 5 years and I am happy with the decision I made of leaving the Catholic church behind and starting a new chapter as a Buddhist. Now, there’s something I feel like I need to mention and that is the fact that I am still an extremely spiritual person. I strongly believe we are all connected -God, the universe, whoever or whatever you might believe in, we are all one.

 

 

 

 

Anonymous:

Religion has always had a weird spot in my life. I was raised Catholic, and when I was a teenager quickly learned that there were many more questions I had about Catholicism than answers. My church did not like questions which really made me feel less and less connected with the church and the religion. I am definitely not a hardcore atheist nor would I ever try to get anyone to believe or not believe. I have seen a very beautiful side of religion, but I have seen very awful sides too. There have been extremely hard times in my life, which is when religion seemed the most clear to me , but I always end up feeling the same. I definitely do think that being religious would make my life easier but it isn’t quite that simple.. I don’t think of myself as religious in any way, but I do follow Buddhism. Personally, I think of it as a way of life and not a religion. It really has some beautiful text and messages. It promotes happiness and living life to the fullest. Honestly, I think everyone just has to find something that works for them. There are so many religions in the world and there isn’t one specific “right one”. People need to stop forcing their beliefs down other people’s throats and slandering people for their beliefs. As long as someone else's beliefs don’t negatively affect my life or anyone else's, it should be fine to believe whatever they want.

 

 

Alex:

Religion can be a touchy subject. I’m not here to get on anyone’s nerves or push my views on people who have their own, and honestly I'm not entirely sure what my views are. I was raised Roman Catholic and went to private Catholic schools from Pre-K to high school. During this time you learn a lot of the core principals which I thoroughly believe helped me become the person that I am. I like to think I know my rights from wrongs and care about others. I have also met a lot of people from other religions or non at all that share these same values. Once I got older, I started developing questions about my religion that priests and teachers had a difficult time answering. I started to doubt my religion and distance myself from it at the same time. I never stopped being religious entirely but you wouldn't find me in the front pew that’s for sure. Over time I have accepted the fact that I don't have to agree with everything they are teaching, I just have to believe in something bigger than myself. Having faith that there is more to life has helped me get through a lot of difficult times and will continue to help me in the future. So while I may not be a bible teacher or a youth group kind of girl, I have found a system that works for me. It strengthens me and at the end of the day if you want a relationship with some type of God, you can have one and you don't always have to follow all of the rules step by step.

 

 

Anonymous:

Going to college has changed my realities, and one of those realities is my faith and religion. I was raised as an Evangelical Christian. Involved in a church that was neither conservative nor liberal, I didn’t cut any ties to my faith or suffer because I thought their beliefs were out of date or negative. Quite the opposite, actually. I have always had questions about the church, and luckily my parents were supportive of this curiosity and facilitated my education, even allowing me to speak with my pastor about the word of God. It wasn’t until my senior year that I allowed myself to readjust my thinking, and that’s when I became an agnostic theist. A belief system that can be seen as an oxymoron to some, I believe in the presence of a higher power while I don't subscribe to a certain belief that one religion’s God is the ultimate decision maker over another's religion. I still maintain a faith and find myself agreeing with parts of each religion from Christianity to Buddhism (and try to put ideas from each religion into practice) I just maintain the idea that no one truly knows.

 

 

Kayla:

Religion; the one thing that can start a fight in under five minutes at the family holiday party. Now I do by no means want to push my views or look down upon the views of others, but I also am very upfront about where I stand. Originally I was raised Catholic, church every Sunday, years of CCD, even was a CCD teacher for a year, basically the full nine yards. But as I got older I realized that the majority of what I was holding onto, or better yet clinging to, was fear. I used Catholicism as a safety blanket for a fear that ultimately stemmed from the religion itself. I was afraid to commit these "sins" so badly that I even let it alter my morals and personality. Now, while the basis of the religion I find to be morally good, the one thing I personally could not stand by were the fear tactics used in the church. Also, how people in power would cover up defamatory events as well as a good majority of the teachings. The older I became and more I read and found out about myself and I realized I just could not stand by this belief system anymore. Personally, I do not like the idea of "worship". I think it is demeaning and in all honesty if it was something many were not raised to do would be relatively off-puting due to the natural pride of humanity. I do not worship or consider one entity to be all-knowing and all-powerful, but I am in fact very spiritual. I know science cannot explain everything and that there is more to life than we may see. I also believe my "church" to be the entirety of the universe and all the nature of the world. While I may not clasify my beliefs, I do believe they should be respected in the same way I respect people who do not push their views (beliefs do not equal facts) on others.

 

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