Day 4: “Your views on religion”
As with drugs and alcohol, religion has been around forever. Although it can be used dangerously, some people also get true enjoyment and peace out of it. Who am I to deny them that? I’m usually surprised that people can’t understand the appeal of religion. In some areas it provides a sense of community, the same way the comedy scene is a community for many.
I grew up Catholic. Much of my family is still Catholic. My grandfather is a good example of a religious person I can understand. He does a lot of volunteering. He doesn’t seem to extend any judgement onto people unless they are rude or cruel to others. I try to live my life that way as well.
Family members sometimes say things that I find appalling that are based in their beliefs. I usually call them out on it. It’s not my personality to let it slide no matter who says it, even if it makes dinner uncomfortable. As far as I’m concerned, if they wanted dinner to be comfortable, then they shouldn’t say odious things.
Sometimes I want to go to church. Not to be close to god or anything, but because I miss my family. I see them rarely. Around Christmas I want to smell the familiar scents and sing the hymns of my childhood. On the exceedingly rare occasion I do go, I end up crying throughout because I find so much of what is said to be hateful.
Overall, I’m with Carl Sagan. I’m skeptical but I maintain a strong sense of wonder. Sagan once said “an atheist has to know a lot more than I know.” I think the bible is crazy, but I don’t think believing in something bigger is crazy. So I think people who are extreme on the either side are a bit nuts too.
Under “religious views” on Facebook I put: “it’s kind of like Star Wars and I don’t believe in dogma.” That seems to be to be the fairest way to put what I feel. At best, maybe there could be some energy, a force if you will, that connects everything (without midichlorians). I won’t see people again after they die. Other than the golden rule, I’ve never heard of any crazy rules I think we should follow. As long as you don’t oppress anyone, I don’t care what you believe. Just be kind.