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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

In Sense of Religion

I'm not sure why I've always kind of shied away from religion.  We went to church when I was younger...not regularly, but still, we made appearances.  After my mom became sick and my father stopped coming home, I'd attend a Catholic church with my aunt.  Nothing too abnormal there.  Attend church, say prayers, live by the bible...The End.

Since my parents split, I've found myself really shying away from anything religious.  It irks me for some reason.  Something about believing in something that doesn't seem real or plausible to me is difficult to rely on as a "guide to life" as most people see and use religion.  I find myself interested in religion and where different beliefs came from, but to say I'm a religious person is far from the truth.

I see religion as a crutch.  I'm not saying that's a bad thing, to each his own. I just don't see myself living by any standards.  I can't see myself practicing a lifestyle that can make or break me as a person.  People that live by their religion tend to live by the standards that make or break them.  Take sinning for instance, who wants to feel guilty for committing a personal crime to themselves all because a higher power told them it was wrong?  Maybe I live my life with no religion because I don't want the burden of these rules and standards that normal Christians live by.  Maybe I'm taking the easy way out by choosing not to practice.  I live by no one's rules but my own...that could be why I choose not to be religious.

What I want to know is...what makes people religious in the first place?  One of my customers came in today.  I've known her since I started working for this company and she's remained loyal to me throughout this time.  Today she gave me a pamphlet and offered me free bible courses.  The book she gave me does seem interesting.  It is called "What Does The Bible Really Teach?"  It answers questions for people like me, I guess.  All of it's chapters answer the questions that most people have about the bible.  For instance, Who is God?  Where are the dead?  What is God's purpose for Earth? And other things of that nature.

Due to the fact that this customer has become a personal friend of mine and a meaningful one at that, I may attend a few of these bible classes that she offers, just to see what it's about.  Does this mean I will all of a sudden revert back to my Christian roots and start following random cults that believe that Jesus has visited them in the form of french toast?  Probably not, but maybe it'll teach me a thing or two about the roots in which I've come from.  My whole family has been religious on both sides - my father's side being Catholic and my mother's side being Protestant, thus making me Protestant, but my brother and I were never really ones to find religion too comforting.

I'm not saying I shun your God out of my life.  I'm not saying that there is something better than God.  What I am saying is, I don't know what to believe.  Do I believe in a higher power?  Yes, most certainly.  There are reasons we are here and doing the things that we do, but to say it's Jesus Christ, our savior is going a bit far.  I've created a belief system all my own.  I won't go into it since it is a very in depth belief system, but I'll just say that yes, I believe in a higher power and that each and every one of us is being watched from something greater.  Everything in our lives happens for a reason, people are born, people die, and people take actions that they take for a reason.

So my question is...what makes one religious?  What is religion to someone who practices and lives their life by these standards created for them by some higher power?  What makes these standards credible enough to believe?  And what is it that makes someone like myself non-religious?  Why do I shy away from the thought of church and bible and Jesus Christ?

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