December 20, 2011 § 2 Comments
Religion has been an intermittent part of my life. As a kid in Pennsylvania I went to Sunday school now and then. When I was 11 we moved to South Carolina, an epicenter where the effects of religion were harder to ignore. Jim and Tammy Baker lived in our neighborhood for a time. I attended a class in middle school devoted to Bible study (which has now since been moved off the premises).
In high school my parents started attending a local Presbyterian church and my sisters and I attended the youth group there. It was probably the closest I’ve come to indoctrination into a church. We were good friends with a lot of the kids that went there. I still felt different in my Faith and I’d say it was more of an education in Christianity than a true belief.
As much as I was never drawn in by religion, nor was I repelled. Religion has never kept me from living my life they way I’ve seen others experience. I’ve known couples who have parted ways because they couldn’t reconcile their Jewish and Catholic faiths. Another friend, now an Atheist, grew up going to Jesus camps in the Midwest that made him feel his homosexuality was a sin. I’ve never had my faith question who I was.
Despite my tepid experience with Christianity, I have experienced Faith. It has been through people I have known, especially my grandmother. She was someone who lived with faith as an integral part of her life. Yes, she quoted Bible versus now and then and opened dinner with a prayer, but it wasn’t the strictness of it she conveyed. She was someone who lived with a sense of peace that is what I associate with Faith. She was of the world rather than trying to control it.
If I had to I would classify myself as Agnostic in the sense of one who doesn’t believe we have the capacity to prove or disprove the existence of a God. It’s been awhile since I have given it all much thought, so this week I’d like to explore a few things:
1) Learn more about the debate on the existence of God (understand the Atheist point of view & what Science has to say about it these days)
2) Learn more about the key religions that rule the world (I really know nothing about Islam or Buddhism other than the general sense). Religion plays such a huge part in what happens in the world around us so I think it’s important I understand what those religions represent
3) Contemplate my own Faith. My answer when asked about my stance on religion is that I’m agnostic but I think I can clarify that further.