Monday, May 16, 2011

My Faith and Lack of Religion

My father thinks I'm an atheist. My aunt thinks I'm a head wrap away from Islam. My friends think I'll marry a Jewish man. Personally, I want a necklace with a cross, The Star of David, and the Star and Cresent of Islam; not because I want to "co-exist" but because I don't think we're all as different as everyone tells us we are. Whenever I'm asked my religion, I ask instead "What religion is God?" Do these opinions say something about my beliefs or the narrow way people define faith? Do my personal convictions paint me as a hypocrite in "genre" faiths or in the minds of theological purists??

God is my religion. I look at the world, trees, water, insects and all and wonder, "If not Him, how?" The world is a beautiful, but tough place and I can't imagine it being here on it's own accord. Someone would've had to taken time to think these things out. I believe God put down a cell on this planet of His and took His time to watch it become what we've become now. I don't think however that God is a genie we can ask for things, nor do I think if we pray hard enough He will change the landscapes of our lives. This is His plan; He's made it as such for His own specific reason (or by complete accident and He's just a-rolling with it). In any case, you can't reach into the middle of an experiment and change things, as it would change the outcome of every experiment, every specimen and every answer afterwards. And that's just selfish.

The people who hear me talk to God think I'm disrespectful; I don't come shouting His praises or touting His horn. Lord of Lords, King of Kings....He knows who He is; superlatives aside, what can I really say to Him in the way of awesome adjectives that He hasn't heard or know is true for Himself? Instead, I speak to Him like I would a mentor, not censoring myself on the basis that He's God and He'll smite me at any minute for saying a curse word in my frustration with the world or my own spirit. He knows who I am; He created me this way for a reason, and as such, how I speak to Him is nobody's business but mine and His. He knows I'm like that and sh*t.

I don't ask for things for myself. I think that's the reason people trump up so many adjectives for God because they want to make Him feel good before they lay into their Christmas list of things they want, need, or wish for. When I ask God for things, I don't ask him for things. I ask for understanding, I ask for patience, and I ask for strength. I ask for grace when I feel like He's put in me in a place where I have no idea what I'm doing, and I ask for love so that I feel confident in myself to do what He's placed me here for and on very rare occasions I ask for a good man (which He doesn't apparently take seriously) :). And I always say thank you, as that's just polite whether He "came through" or not for even bothering to listen to me.

I believe the God all religions worship is the same by different name. In the Eskimo language there are hundreds of words for snow. Does that mean the snow is different? Does it mean it comes in different forms? Nope, and in my opinion, neither does God.

I get upset with most "orthodox" Christians and the extremists. They quote the holy text and sing all the gospels but still don't understand the simple principle that God is love; out of love, in order to be more like God, we should treat everyone with love and respect. When I see Christians picketing funerals, outside of abortion clinics, and outside of strip clubs I just wonder what God they think they're serving by yelling cruel things to people. I wonder if they know that God is weeping for the person they're mistreating just as He would weep for them.

It would be easy to hate these people, as they give the "unorthodox/in-betweens" ones like me a bad rap, but the truth is, I can't feel anything but sadness for them. I was watching an episode of Grey's Anatomy awhile ago and Dr. Bailey said that people hadn't caught up to God yet in the way they treat other people. The "Christian" fans got all in a tizzy about it, not realizing they were proving her point by the way they band-wagon'd onto the words and not the meaning. I'm sad that they don't know that God isn't who and what they think He is. He doesn't want us to hate and tear down one another, but to lift each other up and make each other better.

We haven't caught up to God. If our faith is so easily swayed and narrowly defined by what we read and what we are told by our pastors instead of what we see, know and feel in our hearts, perhaps we never will. But the day we as a people fail to try, is most certainly the day when I lose my religion whatever that might be.

Spreading love
Dropping knowledge
Speaking from the heart <3

1 comment:

Jouromeo said...

I guess I'm getting my Tes fix for today.


Your introspection wasn't lost.

Ultimately, most major religions instruct the practitioner to focus on the personal journey.
Any view that focuses on others is most certainly a wasted effort.

My example? When have you ever argued with somebody that was wrong and they knew it and they just accepted what you said without having some kind of rebuttal marinated in negativity based on emotions which in turn that were based on opinions that assumed that that certain way was the way a person was supposed to feel?
Basically, they looney toons and they don't know it but they sound smart enough at first.
See my point, I could be that very same demon I describe. ;-)