Sunday, May 23, 2010

People don't talk to me about religion as often as I wish they did.

Adults especially. It's too touchy a subject. I'm too young to know what I believe in.

But I want to talk about it. So I shall.

So, by default I'm Catholic. My mom was raised in a Catholic family, went to Catholic school for a few years with a bitter old nun as a teacher, and got married in a Catholic church-- all that jazz. My dad was a sort of low-key Christian, I guess. But when he married my mom he adapted accepted her religious beliefs/customs/practices without really being an avid Catholic himself. My little brother and I wound up being raised as little Christmas-celebrating, Easter egg-hunting, church-going Catholics without having the slightest clue about what it all meant. However, I did go to religious education class in elementary school every Tuesday. I don't remember much, though. It was kind of like...
"Blah blah... Jesus loves you!...blah, blah...time for a craft!" Then we usually made one of those pre-packaged DIY Christmas ornaments or something while we munched on popcorn.
I didn't understand much of it. I just accepted it as the way that things were. God was there. Jesus was there. And from what I could tell a lot of people seemed to like them.
In eighth grade, I had the joy of taking a grueling hour-long class each Monday night to prepare for my confirmation that I was to have the next November with the rest of the Catholic kids in my grade. We read from our bible and this crazy lady came in to talk to us about pre-marital sex occasionally and we rolled our eyes as our instructor warned us that we were going to hell if we didn't go to church every Sunday. We were preparing for an incredibly important sacrament of the Catholic religion. We were preparing for our statement of faith.
And we did all this why? Because we had to.
Not because we believed in God, the father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, through all that is seen and unseen. Not because we believed in one holy Catholic and apostolic church for the forgiveness of sins, for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Because we had to.
It's just been bothering me. I don't even know what I believe in yet, but about 14 years ago I was brought into the Catholic faith without my consent. A year and a half ago I made a statement of faith without really being sure. Being born into a religion is a little unfair, don't you think? You shouldn't have to try and believe in something because your parents do. Belief should come naturally.
I don't really like organized religions. It's just another way to separate people when what we should be doing is coming together.

So... tell me what you think.

Oh, and don't think I'm done writing about this yet. I find this to be a fascinating subject to explore. :]


5 amusing musings:

*Carly* said...

I know what you're saying. At 14 its hard for me to figure out what i believe in. if i believe in anything? i mean. If "god" loves us all and wants us to be happy, would he really send us to hell for missing church? Im christian. but i've only gone to church about 4 times my whole life. for my dads funeral, christmas and easter. oh, and a baptisim. i asked my mum if i could convert to hindu and she said yes. i havent yet, im thinking about it. i dont know yet. for now. i just go through the days. and when im stressed and sad or scared i pray. to who? im not sure. but its kinda comforting if you tell yourself someones listening that isnt judging. phew. this is long. okayy. aha. well, thats what i think.

Neon_Shoelacez said...

when I was i think 13 my friends and I got really into religion, not like any one particularly but just all of the ones we could read about and talk to people about.

We had Muslim friends and christian friends, and wiccans, agnostics, atheists all of them had their own opinions.

We realized we're all still young, how are we expected to make decisions that could completely change our outlooks on life when we've got our whole lives to live.

Since then we've all made choices, but I'm still trying to figure it out. Three years later.

I was brought into a family with varying degrees of christian beliefs. But they're not something I follow because of a lot of the prejudices and rules that are associated.

But on another part of it. I don't really like religion all that much. Why should we all be grouped and judged by what we believe in, couldn't well all just agree that we believe in something or not.

Okay so I'm ranting pages, so I'm going to stop now.

feel free to email me if you wanna talk about this more. monkeyturtledove @ hotmail . com

bright.young.nerdy.thing said...

I wish people talked about religion more, too, but apparently it sparks too much of a controversy among people.

My life is very different from yours, though. I was raised in a home with a minimal amount of religion. I've never been to church on a Sunday, and it feels awkward to me when other people say grace before a meal. I'm pretty sure my parents grew up in semi-religious families, but my father refuses to force any religion upon us kids, or to reveal why. I read the Bible (The kid's cartoon version) 10 times when I was 9, and went to some vacation bible schools as a kid (both from Catholic and Baptist churches), but I'm actually regretful that I don't have a true strong set of beliefs that's instilled in me over and over again every Sunday. It feels like I'm missing something spiritually, and honestly it affects my life negatively, when with God/a belief system I could possibly be enjoying life more, and achieving so many more great things (it always seems like the "church kids" where I live lead the happiest lives).

Belief, like you said, does come naturally, and it should be your right to choose what you believe in. After all, the 1st amendment wasn't made for nothing. I don't even think that the "religion" part of this whole thing is that important- it's really the lessons they teach, and what you believe is good and righteous from them.

Basically, what I believe in is very simple, obviously from the lack of an "organized religion"- just the simple things commonly taught to us through our society: show compassion and sympathy, care about people, be courteous, follow the Golden Rule, etc. Also, my own belief includes that "somebody" is up there, watching over me, and they've made me exactly the way I am for a reason. I can strongly say I believe that. I don't know for sure what I believe in yet, besides that, either, but I guess what I'm trying to say is choose what you believe in, but when you find out what it is that truly guides your spirit and your actions, actually BELIEVE in it. Follow it. Learn from it.

That's all I know (Sorry it's so long- it's a pretty fascinating subject). Good luck on your spiritual journey. :)

[ By the way, I'm kind of new around here, but your blog is my favorite so far, just for how you go about saying things/your pictures. Keep up the good work, I guess. :) ]

Kay said...

Okay, let me say it's really interesting (I overuse that word too much..."What is your opinion on this, Kay?" " Uh, it's interesting...") finding out about what you guys have to say about this. You guys are pretty awesome :]

Carly, I do the same thing with the whole praying thing. I like the idea that someone's there to listen.

Hayley, I would indeed love to chat it up with you some more about this subject :]

BYNT (I'm not sure what your real name is...? haha), I totally agree with the whole following basic principles thing. It's always nice to have something to live by if you don't necessarily have a religion.

♥megan♥ said...

I also wish people would talk about religion more, but any time somebody I know brings up the subject everybody has different views that nobody else seems to like and it just leads to an argument. I don't like organized religions either. I was baptised so technically I'm Methodist, but our youth group moved churches (that's a long story), so now we go to this Lutherean one. In youth group we don't talk about God much, and my family doesn't go to church on Sundays. But I have listened to the preacher at our church, and decided that I didn't like some of the things he said. According to that religion, we're all born sinners. Which I don't believe. I don't know what I believe in either. I mean, I pray and I believe that there is a God, but somethings in church just seem a bit contadicting to me.

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