So, I have things to talk about, but at the moment, they're not things I can share on my blog.
Actually, you know what? It's my blog. And I will write whatever I want and not feel bad about it. If you are easily offended, skip it. Because I'm going to talk religion, and I'm going to be honest here.
(Warning: Rant ahead.)
I hate it when people bring up the religion thing. I hate it. I hate having to remind people of my beliefs and feeling guilty for that small part of me that looks at them and just says "...seriously?"
I hate feeling obligated to give them hope that I can change mind. I've been there, done that. I hate feeling guilty that I disagree with them, and for not saying "no" to people telling me I should come to church with them or whatever.
Worse, I hate myself for saying that I will keep an open mind. I will try, but I can't make that promise. When I make that promise, I am fully aware that it will be next to impossible for me to keep it. I can sit and appreciate the impact religion has on them, but I can't pull that into myself.
I wrote about that during the last "month" (but it wasn't really ONE month, more like two consecutive halves); how some people need religion in their lives. How some people need a God. And I get that. I understand, needing something to believe in and needing to trust that somebody out there is watching over you. I think the faith that some people have is inspiring, the absolute belief in something, and the idea of their life having a definite purpose, dictated by something all-powerful and all-knowing.
The thing is, I can have a purpose for my life without religion. I don't need a mandate from God, and to me, the world makes most sense as I see it now. Religion seems to complicate things and twist perceptions, and it often contradicts itself. Life is random to me; there are coincidences (both good and bad) and there are things that I cannot explain. Science explains enough for me, enough that what I understand the world as much as I think I need to. I, too, can wonder at the beauty of nature and life and the overwhelming thought of infinity. I can be scared of death and enthralled with life and see that it is not God that makes it beautiful or overwhelming or marvelous. It is not God or the Devil that make things bad, and it is not the Devil that corrupts-- nor is it God that saves. Life just IS. It's everything around you. I don't need God to tell me that.
My path isn't dictated by God and I do not miss religion or faith. If anything, I see myself as liberated-- I can look at the world and love its mystery. I can feel fully, wholly as myself. Everything I do, I do for myself and I am well aware that sounds selfish, but that means that everything GOOD I do is merely because I want to, not because I believe that it is what will bring me to Heaven. I get to live every day of my life without guilt; I can make mistakes and forgive myself for making them. I don't have to ask some great power to judge my actions and tell me if I'm "worthy".
I don't feel like I'm missing anything in life. Maybe I'm missing out on the connection that religion gives you to others, but there are other ways to connect with people without a "bond" through God. People are connected by their humanity, not their faith. That is the ONE thing we all have in common-- we are ALL people, good and bad. We can be strong without God. You don't NEED God to be strong. If anything, God gives you an outlet, a source for you to feel strong on your own. If you stop believing in God, all you have left is belief in yourself. That's not a bad place to be, I promise. Life is intimidating and scary and all those things, but God is not a necessity to survival. God is only part of your perception.
My answer to all the difficult questions that faith in God brings up is simple-- there is no God.
How do you deal with your idea of God as loving and forgiving when all through the Bible he shows that he is NOT? How do you reconcile your idea of God as all-loving when some people use God as an example, saying things like "God hates (insert-minority-here)"? How does THAT work? What about back when God was used as a proponent of slavery? If God means well and is so "awesome", why do bad things happen? If he heals and saves, why doesn't he save EVERYBODY? How can a God that means well allow good people to die/go to hell/be in pain? How can you trust that God means the best for you? How do you know that Heaven exists and that you will go there? How do you know that God's "plan" for you is the same that you want for yourself? Why won't God heal amputees?
I couldn't answer those questions. I still can't. My only answer is one that many people will hate me for, and I'm sorry. I'm not trying to convert you. I'm writing this for myself, because I need to say it and I needed to rant. I want to know what you think the answers are, or if you have any. Why do you believe what you believe? Because I know my story and my thoughts, but I don't know yours. And I want to know.
So... that's it I guess. There you go. I think religion is useful in its own right, but I can't find that faith within myself anymore. And it annoys me that I am not given the chance to just let my beliefs stay as they are without it being challenged by friends. I won't apologize for my beliefs or my words, because it's part of who I am; but forgive me for not being what you expect and for believing as you do. It's not something to forgive, anyway.
Anyway, thanks for reading my religion rant and share your own opinions in the comments!