*please read the whole thing and read with an open mind before any conclusions are drawn and the torches are lit and the witch hunt begins*
As a VERY young girl, I’d say about 6-8 years old I have been very inquisitive and wondered about God, and religion.
I was raised in the Episcopal church and was even an acolyte. My grandfather was extremely active in the church and my grandmother was a southern woman raised in a Baptist Church so I was brought up in a very spiritual and religious home. I read and studied the Bible, read scriptures from it at least once a month in front of the congregation from the time I was 8. I understood it and would ask my Granddad about it. I asked him about Adam and Eve, about creation, about Moses, every story that just seemed so out there, so far fetched for even my child mind. Instead of doing what most parents did and discouraging independent thinking he instead gave me insight. He explained it to me in a way that left it open for me to take the reigns and form my own opinion. He told me to believe, to have faith, but also gave me the realism of the situation. I remember him reading a book about the life of Jesus and asking the all important “so Jesus was a real living man?” He then told me of the proof that they had found and so forth. It was never a question of “why are you questioning your faith?” but more “this is why we believe what we believe.” Such a brilliant man my grandfather.
Now as a child I also had a fascination with science and space. I loved going out on the porch with my binoculars, because they would not get a telescope for me, and looking up at the moon and the stars. Also as a toddler I would ask my step-dad to turn the moon on when I could not see the moon…. lol.
I wanted to be an astronaut at one point, was crushed as I sat and watched the Challenger explode… I then found out about the math involved and changed my mind.
As I grew I kept my faith, devoutly to an extent. I celebrated Lent, went to church periodically and practiced my faith daily. To me it is/was, about living a good and full life. Making sure that you have a quality existence, with love, compassion, and selflessness. I practiced the positive aspects of my religion but ignore the negative because I could not wrap my head around my creator being negative whatsoever.
Eventually I just stopped going to church because I felt like the politics were taking over the truth about having faith and living a right life.
Well a while back I had the chance to watch Religilous, Bill Maher’s documentary. I wanted to see it because I had a feeling I would like it.
I watched it and cried, not just a little one either… I wept. I had never been so struck by something in my life! Everything that they said in that movie was some corralation of how I thought or felt! I wanted my granddad to be alive at that moment so we could watch that together, I bet he would have been the priest that they interviewed.
For a long time I was trying to find the answer to what I believed, how I believed without offending or sounding like the typical asshole atheist. I AM NOT an atheist, no way no how! I believe, I have faith, I just have it MY way, I believe in a higher power, I believe we were created for a purpose. As far as the details I am not sure. I just know that I am responsible for me and my actions and there is a price for not living a just and good life. Now is it hell? Not sure. I am just gonna do my part to ensure that the people I have an effect on somehow have a positive impact. As a human that is my right and responsibility to do just that. Improve the quality of everyone’s life and in turn your life will be rich.
I recommend everyone watch Religilous if you can. Whether or not you believe it is worth watching. Having an open mind is the key to knowledge and growth.