Life, art, and complaints of Cat Razim

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Personal view on religion

One of my favourite Vloggers, John Green, decided to do a video on religion. No judgement. Then asked us (the viewers) to go over to the forum and discuss religion in a non-condensending way. So I wrote and rewrote something trying to be “to the point” and of course, failing. But I thought I’d copy it here. I mean. why not. It IS my blog. :P

This is an over-all view. I could get into detail (A LOT more detail) but I’ll spare you guys, too.

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First Timer.
I grew up Atheist.. actually, that implies that I was “taught” atheism. Scratch that. I grew up without influences other than television, movies, and what friends would say when they would mention something from Religion class (“what’s religion?” I’d ask, and they would all shrug.) I guess hearing it from the outside, it was more like God and Jesus weren’t so much “people” as they were “Ideas”. I was taught the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, like I was taught that fire is hot, do not stare and smoking can cause cancer – A mix of values and morals instilled by my parents, teachers, friends, experience and media.

I think of myself more of a scholarly-type person. I love to learn. School was the best place to be. I willingly gave up my recess back in elementary school so I can help out in the library… payment came in the form of taking out more books than was otherwise allowed. History, science, art and fiction. This was the start of my love of archaeology, story-telling and where religion became more frequently discussed.

I started to dislike religion over the years, only hearing the bad things about it. Wars, death, the destruction of cultures because religion wanted to “share” their views for a better world. A “there can be only one!”- type of mentality. I was saddened by all this and short of meeting the Doctor or creating my own time machine, I had to accept that I will never know the true religious practices of the Ancient Egyptians or the first stories told of the first village in Africa. I only had books of “what ifs” and “maybes”. In my haste of quickly judging religion as the bad-guy, I set a very close friendship on a rocky path. I had no idea she was religious! Sigh… Another check on the list of why religion was on my bad side.

I’ve since met a guy (in University) who was raised Catholic and never missed a Sunday, sang in the choir and almost joined seminary (he liked math and engineering more). He got me to go to church. For four years I left crying almost every week. It was rare where I actually left thinking “okay, that makes sense.” There was too much that I disagreed with and too much disapproval and judgment. (the priest at University wasn’t too bad. He actually had a side workshop where he would talk about his time meditating with Buddhists and other religious -type philosophies. The priests from my boyfriend’s hometown, however, they manage to throw me into fits of rage every single time.) Talking to my boyfriend about issues over the years had led him to question why he followed. He is now in this “in between” but has a fear of “my family will hate me if I denounce my faith”.

So in my opinion I say religion is best as a system of ideas- Morals and Values- that should be followed. Think about it. Most have the similarities of “respect” and “love” and “faith” in their core! But the differences are what most focus on (unfortunately, those that focus on it also have “power” and this insistent need to share…)

I do understand and accept that we, as humans, are still young and some individuals still need a [current system of faith] in their lives. That’s fine… just don’t go start a war. Me personally? I don’t need a “father” or a book to remind me to go and decrease world suck. I was taught once to go help someone who dropped their bag of groceries and haven’t needed to think twice if I see someone else in the same need. People need to take care of one another in order for us to grow as individuals and as a society – so whatever tool or system helps you realize that you are as equally as important as the next person, follow it. (just be mindful of cults.. those usually don’t end well..)

In conclusion- do what should be done – “Love one another” and “don’t be a d-bag”.

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posted by Cathy Razim at 5:11 am  

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