Thursday, December 8, 2011
I believe in God ... sorta kinda ...
Religion is a big deal. At some point the conservatives and Christians and Republicans in our country all got mixed up with one another and (though there are certainly exceptions) it seems like a lot of the Republican values and beliefs are very tied up with Christianity. They really want to push the boundaries of the separation of church and state thing. I mean go ahead and be Christian. I'm glad you love God and Jesus but not everyone in the country believes the same thing you do.
I LOVE religion. Personally. I don't think that means you need to love religion, too. Do your own thing, man. Believe what you want to believe. If you want to believe that everything the Bible said is absolute truth and the inerrant word of God, then please do. If you think that there is no such thing as God and that science explains everything, then by all means, go ahead and believe that. But don't tell me that I'm wrong or that my beliefs are wrong. In either direction. Let me come to my own conclusions and I'll let you come to yours. Seriously. Can't we just all get along?
Granted, it's taken me a little while to get to this point. I was raised Catholic but once I got past the stage where I just accepted what I heard. I think I was 6 when I couldn't get my mind around the concept of God.
"So God and Mary were Jesus's mom and dad."
"So who were God's mom and dad?"
"He doesn't have any."
"So where did he come from?"
"He just always was."
That didn't make any sense to me. I went through the motions but in middle school started reading a lot of books about Wicca and Witchcraft. Which my mom was okay with. I think she didn't like my brief atheist phase ("I swear to the non-existant God!") but was okay when I at least believed in something. I think she was okay when I called myself agnostic.
I did go through my reject religion and you're wrong and I'm right phase. But then I got over it.
In college I came up with what I thought was the really unique notion that all religions had merit and that God was just the name for all manner of different concepts that people got to in different ways (well, okay, except for atheists I guess). :) When I found out there was a whole religion (Unitarian Universalism) that basically believed what I believed, I was thrilled.
And decided I wanted to be a UU minister. As I talked about briefly in this post, I ended up getting the (2-year) Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree instead of the (3-year plus internship) MDiv (Master of Divinity) and sometimes regret it. Becoming a minister has now become my retirement or win the lottery plan. Or maybe eventually when I have more time (HA!) I can take one class per semester to finish up the requirements I'd need to get the MDiv (essentially 2-3 full-time semesters of classes).
So until then I chair the music and worship committee at my church and lead services (yup, including writing sermons) a few times per church year.
I also really like to pray.
So who am I praying to? Well, I'm not exactly praying to God. When I pray I center myself and then think about the things that I want to pray about. But I do believe in God. Kinda. My own definition of God changes frequently depending on what's going on in my life. For awhile recently I flirted with Jesus, but then decided that I wasn't sure he really was the same person people say he is (after reading way too many books by Bart Ehrman) so I'm kinda in the "eh, God is in everyone and everything and probably isn't a separate being" phase.
But ask me again in 6 months, I might give you a different answer.