Today was like yesterday. Still the need to think and be removed. Recently I argued with someone about religion and it wasn’t fun at all. I know everyone is upset with me because of what I believe in. I doubt that it will ever change. But they are my beliefs. I am entitled to them. They are not hasty or born out of anger. Yes I have been angry before and I have been hurt. But my beliefs come from my reasoning and my search for truth. And yes, maybe they will change. But for now this is what they are. All I ask is respect for them. Aside from this, in the argument spirituality was discussed and I most definitely believe that I can and anyone can be spiritual without god. Today I sat in a woods next to a stream and watched leaves float by and listened to the wind and the trees. And I connected to nature on a deeper or higher level than the mere physical. It was quiet and simple. It was honest and pure and beautiful. There were things to be listened to and learned. Some may say that it is god speaking. But I say it is nature itself speaking and connecting. Reaching out. And I am spiritual no less than any Christian or Muslim or Hindu or any religious person. Maybe this whole example means nothing to you who read it. But to me, it means so much.
Tonight Brandy sent me a video about why a person hated religion and instead just focused on god. It got me thinking. I agreed with many things he said. I personally have no religion nor do I believe in any god. I suppose there is the possibility of a superior force out there but I will continue on with my life perfectly alright without it. I have seen religion do some nasty things and I have watched things around me and they do not agree with the idea that there is a personal, good god. There are big evils you could point to that would help this point, but instead I point to the guilt, shame and anxiety that religion can cause. I point to how it divides families, prevents people from moving on and being happy, how it judges people, how it discriminates, how it puts people down and the violence it causes. And I point to the fear that it instills to control. Of course the idea of religion itself does not necessarily do this. It’s the people that do, I get it. But people are affected by ideas and ideologies and these are the results. This is what happens when people act on these ideas that they were taught. Of course there is good there too. But maybe we should take a look at our beliefs, at our religions and what they cause us to do. Challenge your beliefs and really look at the world around you and see what you find. You might be surprised.
“Well, I know that I’ve messed up more than a time or two. I’ve lied like hell, I’ve done it well and I’ve got the scars to prove.”
Today was pretty intense mentally & emotionally for me. I was able to have a long overdue conversation with a dear friend. A conversation that made sense in so many ways and filled in some gaps.
I’ve struggled with faith for some time now. I was born Lutheran and then confirmed Catholic. My parents raised me to attend church every Sunday and even attend Bible school. I never got much out of it. Was it because I was forced to attend? I wasn’t ready to attend? I didn’t understand the capacity of it? Now as an adult I’ve watched religion tear my family apart and be responsible for an unaccounted number of deaths throughout the world. Such a fine subject to dance around. Speaking with another friend, TJ, about this brought tears to my eyes. I’m not going to state my beliefs, or which is right or wrong. I doubt this is what Jesus had in mind though. I’m thankful for moments like these, as hard as they are.
There are some days when I have no idea what I want my photo to be for the day. So I just drive around and wait for it to come to me. As I walked around downtown Indy, I looked over at the Scottish Rite Cathedral and got this shot. I don’t really know much about this building or the Scottish Rite, but it got me thinking about churches. There are so many different churches, cathedrals, mosques or temples or whatever you like to call them. But they’re all the same. They are all a place where people come together and pray or worship or think or look. These places are something concrete to represent something abstract. They are there to show that people believe in something. While I personally do not believe in a god or go to a church, I think it’s good to believe in something. To have something to hold onto, to have something to go to. And these churches, temples, mosques and cathedrals are just one of those things that people can put their beliefs in.