Monday, January 16, 2012

♫...Now everybody's praying, don't pray on me...♫


Day 16: What are your views on religion?


The most honest answer to this question would probably be to tell you that Doctor Who is my religion. I am a proud Whovian. There was a wonderful article on Cracked a while back entitled, How Doctor Who Became My Religion, and it was spot on...

I'm not religious...at all.
My views on sex/sexuality...drinking...a woman's right to make her own goddamn choices...and a whole host of other things...do not jive with organized religion.

I have my beliefs and I am steadfast in those beliefs, but I do not like organized religion. When I was just a wee little lass, my family attended a Missionary Baptist Church, and to say it was 'repressive' would be putting it mildly. Eventually, we moved on to become Southern Baptists...which I'm not going to discuss because I have nothing good to say about it. I believe that organized religion (and yes, I'm referring 100% to the Christian religion prevalent here in the south, mainly Baptists) has strayed so blessedly far away from what was intended that it has lost all sight of where it should be. I've seen it with my own eyes. 

   I would never tell anyone that they shouldn't be religious though. If that's what they want/need, then more power to them...but I expect the same kind of respect back. You believe what you want and do what you feel is right...but leave me the hell alone to believe what I want and to follow my doctrine of treating all people with kindness, respect, and love regardless of their religion, sexuality, gender/sex, etc...

  In a previous post, I stated that my beliefs on religion could be summed up best by a quote from Elizabeth Gilbert, and if you'll indulge me, I'd like to re-post it here: 

The Hopi Indians thought that the world’s religions each contained one spiritual thread, and that these threads are always seeking each other, wanting to join. When all the threads are finally woven together they will form a rope that will pull us out of this dark cycle of history and into the next realm. More contemporarily, the Dalai Lama has repeated the same idea, assuring his Western students repeatedly that they needn’t become Tibetan Buddhists in order to be his pupils. He welcomes them to take whatever ideas they like out of Tibetan Buddhism and integrate these ideas into their own religious practices. Even in the most unlikely and conservative of places, you can find sometimes this glimmering idea that God might be bigger than our limited religious doctrines have taught us. In 1954, Pope Pius XI, of all people, sent some Vatican delegates on a trip to Libya with these written instructions: “Do NOT think that you are going among Infidels. Muslims attain salvation, too. The ways of Providence are infinite.”

But doesn’t that make sense? That the infinite would be, indeed … infinite? That even the most holy amongst us would only be able to see scattered pieces of the eternal picture at any given time? And that maybe if we could collect those pieces and compare them, a story about God would begin to emerge that resembles and includes everyone? And isn’t our individual longing for transcendence all just part of this larger human search for divinity? Don’t we each have the right to not stop seeking until we get as close to the source of wonder as possible? Even if it means coming to India and kissing trees in the moonlight for a while?

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