Religion

Please don’t wish your religious beliefs on me

So here goes – I don’t believe in God. There it is. When I’ve told a couple of other friends they were shocked. One was visibly appalled. So, of course, I don’t voice this all that much.However, I am not an atheist. I do believe there is more to this planet and universe than just US. I am not quite so self centered to think that humans are the highest consciousness there is.I believe there is a lot more out there. To me, specifically, it is a higher form of energy/vibration/intelligence. I do not believe it takes a single form or identity. It is fluid, and constantly changing. What I don’t like much at all is organized religion of ANY kind. Because they ALL rely on some form of monotheism. What sets me off the most? When someone says “Oh, if it is God’s will, so be it.” I say: GAH!!!!!!!!!!! You can imagine just how much I cringe when a sports figure thanks God & Jesus for letting them win. ARGH!

No. Never. Whatever is out there is NOT sitting on my shoulder minute by minute pulling my strings like some mindless puppet. I do not get to relinquish all responsibility for my life by simply laying it at the feet of this God so many worship.

You have free will. You make your destiny. Sometimes you fuck that up. And when you do, you know who gets you back on your feet? YOU DO! I believe that your strongest source of belief needs to be in YOU.

Now, that is not to say that You/I am an island. We surround ourselves with a community of support and love that, if we are wise, we stay connected to and ask for help/advice when needed. AND, we support THEM. So, first on the human level I believe in ME, I love ME and I approve of ME, and then I extend that love and empathy and nurturing to my community.

Then there is that higher source of energy. I believe it is always there buzzing around us and again, if you open your heart and mind, you can tap into it. It is the source of intuition and inspiration. THAT is what you tap into as you meditate, visualize or affirm the things you need. It is NOT one all knowing gender based human type being. It is not ONE *thing*.

At least, that is what *I* believe is true in MY life. What you believe is personal to YOU and I would *never* try to convince you otherwise or WISH that you believed anything that doesn’t work for YOU in YOUR heart and life. If you believe in God & Jesus and that makes you feel loving and kind towards yourself and others, then BRAVO! Do what you need to do.

I am in the Live and Let Live church of all religions and no religion as warranted 🙂

That is a LONG intro to say, while I feel as if I have to hide my lack of belief, I also read this piece by Ana Marie Cox with a ton of empathy & lots of nodding of my head: Why I Coming Out as a Christian. Even though my personal beliefs are completely different, I love *just about* every sentiment she expresses here and I do love to see how relaxed and happy and joyful that she is in her life. It does come across in her more recent TV appearances and it is lovely to see.

BUT…and you knew there was a but….I take issue with her very last line:

My hope is that His love is somewhere underneath the ego and grievances that inspired me to write this. I believe that it is. What I pray is that you can find it for yourself as well. 

Sigh….why? I don’t wish that Ana was not a Christian. I don’t wish that she did not believe in God. Implied in her final line is that she prays for all of us to find ‘His love.’ No thanks. I’m very happy, connected, loving, and joyful without believe in such a thing ma’am. What I wish for is that everyone find their own path towards the same whatever that may be.

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Separation of Church & State (Catholicism exception)

marriagecartoon

This week, the lines between church and state were muddied again. While it is the Catholics who are triumphing right now, this is a situation not exclusive to them. They just get the spotlight right now.

In Maine, the campaign to deny gays the right to marry was led by the Catholic Diocese (you may recall that one year ago in California it was the Mormon church spearheading the battle). They went so far as to have sermons on the topic and to pass along collection plates targeted at funding advertisements to “save” marriage. I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that I tend to agree with the cartoon above that we heterosexuals have pretty much done in marriage quite well on our own thankyouverymuch! Anyhow – the point is – just how far can a church go and still maintain it’s tax exempt status? Sermons telling you how to vote? FundraisingCollection plates? C’mon now!!!

Of course, I think the right to marry is one of those basic inalienable rights that the we shouldn’t even be voting on. Tyranny of the majority denying rights of the minority and all that. And this particular right is my Achilles heal when it comes to being pragmatic. No, I cannot see your side. No I will NEVER understand your side. And yes, you are being exclusionary and bigoted and supporting hate and discrimination. No, I will not budge from that position. Yes, I do lose some respect for you if you are willing to fight to deny gays their rights. Yes, that includes you President Obama.

Moving on, this next piece may be even more disturbing, and also may have almost NO light shone on it by the media. In fact, one never hears *any* sort of complaints about this example which happens most likely with nearly every piece of legislation. In the course of the Health Care debate, one of the GOP’s favorite points of contention is abortion. Even though it is legal. Even though there is already a law in place preventing Federal funding of abortions. Now they want to make sure that any insurance plan which may participate in the proposed public option marketplace will deny abortion coverage. Why? Because they want to appease the Catholics! Seriously – check out this article in Politico. Particularly this paragraph:

Ellsworth worked closely with Pennsyvlania Rep. Mike Doyle and others to craft a compromise that the Catholic church could accept. But a critical bloc of Democrats wouldn’t sign on to the plan unless the Conference of Catholic Bishops could endorse if. Therefore, party leaders once again bowed to political pressure from their own rank-and-file to make a concession they didn’t want to.

There are Representatives who will not vote on a piece of legislation unless a religious lobby endorses it??? And no one sees any problem with this??

I wonder how the conservatives would view things if the Catholics actually did lobby according to Christian values and insisted upon caring for the poor by expanding government services to provide for the homeless and jobless? Isn’t that what Christ taught? How would they feel about the So Called Separation of Church and State then?