March 2, 2009


*WARNING: this blog is going to get into my religious beliefs. This blog is meant for my child(ren), in case, for some reason, I should not be around to explain my beliefs to them. Others are welcome to read it, but do not feel the need to defend yourself or your beliefs if yours differ from mine. I respect your right to your beliefs and expect you to respect mine in return.

I am not an atheist, though I am sure quite a few people peg me as one. I use the term 'agnostic' although I do not feel that quite fits me either. I believe in the possibility of a higher power. I think it would be stupid not to accept that there is a possibility of something greater than us. But I also think it's naive to think that we know everything and that there is for sure a higher power. My religion is questioning everything, I guess you could say. I do believe in karma; what goes around comes around. I also believe that you make your own happiness. It is up to you and no one else to create peace and harmony in your own life. Your choices (and their consequences) are yours and yours alone. There is no use or excuse for blaming others for your state of affairs. It is up to you to make the best of your circumstances, and also to make educated, smart choices.

Grandma and Grandpa never raised me to be affiliated with any religious group, though they did encourage me to join my friends in going to Sunday school to learn about different religions. I did, and it was interesting, but I never really locked in to any one set of beliefs. We learned about the different schools of religious thought in my AP Language Arts class in 9th grade, and I took a class on religion in college (although I dropped out after about a month because my professor was so totally biased that I didn't feel I could learn anything). I do not claim to be an expert on religion by any means, but I do feel educated enough to make the decision I have, which is to not affiliate myself with any particular religion. My reason for this is that I have yet to find a 'church' (or mosque or temple) which accepts and encourages questioning, challenging, and differences of opinion. These are three things that I feel are extremely important in all aspects of life; to follow something blindly without questioning it (this includes 'scientific proof') is to dig your own grave. We cannot grow and evolve without questioning everything, even things that seem 'obvious'.

This is not to say that I think religion is inherently bad; there are a lot of good morals that organized religions teach and follow that are important for humanity. However, in my experience, many people I've known who do subscribe to a certain set of religious beliefs seem to think that religion is the only way that these morals can exist. This is false. A person can be good and righteous without being religious. And in my opinion, these morals existed long before religion did or we wouldn't be here today. I think that it is generally instinct (nature) for humans to help one-another out. My biggest issue with religion is the fact that most religions believe in one absolute supreme being who created everything and who, by the way, is typically a "he" and looks like a human in depictions of "him". It is, in my opinion, ridiculously narcissistic to think that a human-like, male being created everything that exists. It is very obvious that men wrote the bible.

There is a very interesting article, which can be found here about a man who studied Scandinavian (specifically Danish and Swedish) religious beliefs (or lack there of) and how regardless of their lack of interest in religion and god, these societies are some of the most prolific, happiest, and safest in the world. He wrote a book about it, which I intend to read. It is no secret that I think the Swedes really have their stuff together when it comes to priorities and way of life. I would think this even if they were the most religious country in the world. (Although I'm sure that if they were, their way of life and priorities would be affected, so maybe that's not entirely true)

On the flip side of this coin, while I may not agree with a lot of the beliefs that various churches and mosques and temples tout, I absolutely do respect those that do believe these things. I balk at intolerance and thus do my best to tolerate even the most intolerant people. It is important to embrace difference and individuality. Just think of how boring the world would be if everyone agreed with everyone else. In the same instant that I do not understand blind following of religion, I admire those who are filled with faith (as long as they do not attempt to force it on others).

Bottom line is, dear Audia (and any future children I may have), educate yourself. Listen with an open mind to what different religions have to say, and follow your heart. Don't feel bullied into believing something just because someone else does (this includes me and your father). Question everything, but be true to your convictions as well. I will support you in whatever you choose. You have every right to believe in whatever you do, and so does everyone else.