Notable Quotable:

Notable Quotable:

Remember, folks: whenever a woman says "die for me because you are a man," just look her in the eye and say "my body, my choice."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Recovering Catholic Part 3

...or more accurately Part 1.5, as I actually wrote this before the last post.

            Several years ago, after exploring a number for churches, I gave up on religion.  I knew I wasn’t an atheist, yet agnosticism didn’t quite fit; it was a little too ambiguous for me.  Too neutral?  Purposeless?  Maybe I need to believe in some form of universal goodness?  I don’t know, but at the end of the day, I do subscribe to the principles of Christ, in their simplest terms.  And I believe he died for our salvation.  I’m pretty sure he was a real person, and unless he was flat-out crazy, why else would he do what he did?  Call me complacent, but it suits. 
            So, I guess I’m a Christian, but for years I didn’t want to admit it.  I don’t like modern   Christianity, and I don’t identify with those people.  Somebody said I might be a 21st century Christian, so I’d better look that up and see (snark!)  I am a founding member of ThruWay Christians, which is scary for me - I’m not a joiner.  We’ll see how it goes.  My “personal” Christianity is highly streamlined: I believe divinity exists.  I believe God is divine.  I believe Jesus is God, and his sacrifice was an expression of a love I can’t begin to comprehend.  That’s about it.
            I don’t believe the Bible is “inerrant”.  It was written by wise men with (mostly) good intentions.  Period.  I don’t believe I have the right to judge anybody.  Nobody has that right, and this is where I differentiate between judgment and justice.  Justice is a necessary human invention, based on actions and the intentions behind those actions.  If you take what’s not yours, you give it back or pay for it, one way or another.  It’s a simple concept and it works, but God’s not part of that equation.   I’ll ignore you if you tell me God will punish me for my sins.  On the contrary, I believe He will forgive me.  Punishment is a matter for us humans. 
            Do not quote Scripture to me if your purpose is to contradict the teachings of Christ.  There may be a bit of hearsay involved, and translations are suspect, but His message is fairly clear.  He loves us all, and He wants us to love one another as we love ourselves.  This world is full of people I can’t or won’t love, for a lot of justice-related reasons.  If I tried, maybe I could disapprove of their behavior and love them anyway, but I don’t try very hard.   That is MY weakness, not theirs.  If nothing else, I have the guts to admit that.  I sin, and I’ll continue to do so, but somebody please slap me silly if I ever justify bigotry with “God’s word.”

            Spirituality should not be separate from everyday life; it should make sense, and should mesh with the real world, not contradict rational thought.  What’s the point of having ideals if they can’t be part of reality?   


  1. Hi there - I appreciated your comment and had to come over and snoop around for a bit : )
    1. We both have a PFC - you know that means we are now sisters right?
    2. I am loving your posts on religion - I particularly love the fact that you are open, honest and real - I dig that in ANYONE regardless whether or not we go to the same church.

    Great blog - anxiously awaiting more : )

  2. Hey Suz!

    Thanks for the encouragement, I’ll follow your writings as well. Yes, it is amazing to finally be free of religious dogma and the baggage that comes with it. I’m glad you’ve found a place that works for you as well. On my combative days I could probably find a nit to pick with you over the whole “Jesus’ sacrifice an expression of love” bit and have a chat with you about what it means to be skeptical/rational. On my compassionate days I’d just be thankful you’re spreading love, peace, and that you’re not telling young people about hell (at least I hope not). Keep up the quest!

  3. Matt,
    I’m not sure what I believe about Hell, or if I believe it exists at all, so no worries there. I don’t claim to know if or how God judges. And I’ve had a number of skeptical/rational conversations (OK, debates.) Since faith is what one chooses to believe in the absence of proof, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not irrational to believe in some form of divinity. (And there is some evidence of something-not-physical in this world.) As for defining it, my choices are wide open, so I just pick what feels right to my conscience. How’s that for capricious? Then again, we all pick our beliefs, even when we pick spoon-feeding from others.

    I’m not really sure how much any of it matters (heresy, I know.) The bottom line is respect and/or love for the world in which we live, all inhabitants included. We ARE all connected, whether through biology, divinity, or both. To cause harm in the world is to harm ourselves in the end.

    I’m pretty comfortable with any aspect of Christianity that doesn’t contradict this. If that seems like a “why bother” loose interpretation of Christianity, it is; the only thing that qualifies me at all is that I believe in Jesus.

  4. Very interesting, suz. I'm following these posts watching your thoughts and beliefs unfold. You go girl!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.