Growing up, I was not raised in an overly religious family. I attended the local Catholic primary school and mass each week with my class, but outside of the big celebrations like Christmas and Easter, I was never forced to attend church or participate in mass with my family. As I grew older it became my choice as to what faith or religion I wanted to follow, and as such, I never had one particular doctrine, idea or belief imposed on me – I was allowed to be myself with this… I was allowed to explore.
I explored various and different belief systems and practices, from Buddhism to Christianity and everything outside and in-between, finding elements that touched me and discarding those that caused disharmony. For the first 16 – 17 years of my life my fascination with religion was strong, and of those who I thought were truly religious I was inspired by; they however, were not many and were far and few along. Continue reading “Because Religious People are Stupid, Right? “
My confusion about religion and God began at a very early age, probably from day one. My father didn’t believe there was a God but that there was a logical explanation for everything in the Universe.
His own father had been raised in the Catholic faith and from very early on was expected to be the priest in the family, but at 17 this pressure turned him away from the Catholic religion and he ran away to sea. He later discovered Rationalism and when he became a father himself he brought his own children up, including my father, in this belief. Continue reading “From Religious Confusion to Religious Truth “
I remember around the age of 16/17 being asked by a friend at school whether or not I believed in God. I responded by saying that it would be crazy not to, but I did not believe in God in the way we are taught through the varying religions. So at one level I was saying yes to God but at another level I was denouncing all of the organised religions that I knew. I grew up having been to schools heavily influenced by the Catholic religion and whilst I liked some parts of the teachings, there were far too many discrepancies that I did not agree with and which did not make any sense to me. Continue reading “Am I Religious?”
Mention the word ‘religion’ and it either goes very quiet or incites an unexpected debate, should you have struck a believer. And in many (possibly most?) circles, it is anything but fashionable to profess to being religious. Unless you are famous, of course; in which case, you get away with murder, or just about.
But what is it that makes us cringe, shrink, turn the other way, ignore the remark or smile limply – in other words, what makes us scramble for shelter at the mere mention of the word?
Is this an aversion against religion itself or is it more and much deeper than this? The former is certainly the easy and handy answer in our world of shallowness and profanities, of abuse, terror, angst, cruelty and obvious godlessness (oh God, don’t mention God please!). Continue reading “What hurts – Religion Itself, or the Bastardisation of Religion? “