I encourage all to read this article.
Some of the passages she uses may not be entirely correct, but I believe her story to be interesting nonetheless.
About a year or so ago, I came to terms that I was not a religious person. When I finally admitted that for the first time, I felt some part of my being broken and separated. I don’t necessarily regret the decision. I felt like I was forcing myself to believe in something. I would go to Thursday Night Mass at my college’s Newman Center with my friends and felt fake. It wasn’t true. It wasn’t natural.
I have a lot of problems with faith and religion. I believe that it is laced with good intentions. Almost all religions or faiths preach of being selfless, treating others fairly, and being grateful for the gifts in your life. But many people aren’t necessarily against others, they are for themselves. Religion at times is used as a buffer or an excuse to explain a person’s or groups’ actions.
Someone said this not too long ago to another friend of mine and it really struck me.
It doesn’t necessarily matter – your intentions – if the rest of the world isn’t able to see your intentions.
You could be trying to help a friend. You could be trying to fight for social justice. You could be simply unaware of how your words and actions are coming off to people. But that’s what’s crucial.
How people perceive what you’re doing is of upmost importance. Ultimately, it will help you to see what you’re doing and see if it is beneficial or harmful.
I’m someone who values selflessness very highly. When I perform an action, speak, or do anything, I try to think about how others will view it. If I believe others will see it as selfless or more so if they wouldn’t see it as an inconvenience, I’ll probably go through with it. I think like this and it does help me and my health in a number of ways. I worry less about if others are upset by my actions. People know I’m trying to take care of myself so they don’t have to worry about me which lifts that burden from them. It’s more of a win-win situation.
But humans are faulted in design in that we are not against everyone, we are only for ourselves. So I strive every day to not be for myself. I try to be someone that others are proud to call a friend, family member, or lover. I’m not always successful, but I’m human.
This is why I struggle so much with faith. How can I put an unknown, unseen being at the top of my list and say “I love you more than anything else in my life.”? I know that is what “faith” is, so that’s why I say I have none. I stated in my last post how the unknown is dangerous because you are unable to form accurate expectations (at least, that was one point I was trying to get across.) If all we have to go on is this “divine doctrine from the mouth of God written by man”, isn’t that corrupt in itself? People pour their own beliefs and opinions into their writing (cue large arrows at the writer currently writing this post.)
I took a religion class last spring that taught me more about the Bible than 13 years of Catholic Education. I learned that any sort of written religious Christian text wasn’t put together until more than 300 years after the death of Christ. So how were things passed down? Word of mouth. Stories change drastically in one life time, let alone 300 years. There are so many books, so many religious texts, so many stories all proclaiming to be from the mouth of God. Who is this God? Why is there only one? Is this the same God as the Hebrews, the Muslims, the Hindi?
I believe that there is probably some greater power just because humans haven’t figured out all the answers yet and I don’t think they ever will.