Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I am agnostic

This post has been started in my head a number of times but I have yet to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard as the case may be).

This blog started from an idea I had following another horrible act that was committed in the name of god.

I remain unclear on how religions that have the same basic principles can cause such division but I truly don't want to understand it. It is much like the star bellied sneetches.

The sum of it as I see it is this:
We want to be different, better than others and when you combine that with our need for community then in fact we want our group or community to be different and or different than another. And then you have trouble.

Oh wait, maybe I do understand it.

I just don't agree with it.

And don't get me wrong. I am not above feeling superior. Oh, no. I am pretty sure I am better than a lot of people. A WHOLE lot of people.

But I wouldn't kill them because of this. (want to, yes. actually do it, no.)

So anyway I was asked recently about my religious beliefs and I was able to answer the question the best was I have been able to - ever. I think that reflects my learned comfort level with my personal answers and my toned down lack of perceived censure from those that don't agree.

So. Here it is. I am agnostic.

I almost linked to the definition but I won't be held to it. Like all religious folk my definition of what I am is personal. I am what I feel it is to be agnostic. No two Catholics are the same. For some it means mass every day, for some it means mass every Christmas, maybe. They happily define themselves as Catholic and make no effort to reach the truest meaning of the definition.

And so it is with me.

What it means to me is that I am still asking the questions. I have not made a final decision regarding the God thing. Yet.

I still call on the ever-present deity of my youth when I am worried (in fact I made him some "bargain" promises lately that I am working hard to uphold) and all the time during sex. But for the most part that's just habit, not belief.

Because I am not sure. While I truly admire the faithful and think that there is nothing prettier than the sound of voices raised in praise of God, I am not that certain.

So I am living my life without God. This does not mean that I get angry when someone says "god bless you" when I sneeze. (you'd be surprised, I was once hissed at for this) But I say something else that means "good health to you".

And I am trying to raise my kids without God. This means they don't watch Veggie Tales because I refuse to diminish the importance that some feel for their god by treating it like any other fairy tale. That would be easy. And I rarely choose the easy route.

So I am trying to avoid the issue until they are old enough to understand the nuances. And I will talk to them then. And I will help them find answers to the questions they have. And I will let them explore their faith.

I might not know what I believe yet as far as god goes, but I have faith in my children. My strongest wish is just that they are happy and that they learn to be good people.

I have made the decision that this does not mean they need religion or god as their moral compass. They may choose differently.

And I won't want to kill them for their religious choice either.

1 comment:

KT said...

Wow. Just Wow.

and yet it is so hard to raise our kids WITHOUT God. My children are essentially being raised without God because The Husband and I, like you, aren't sure what we aren't sure about. We've not made a firm decision on anything and don't want to be held to anything. I am not fond of organized religion, not because I think it's bad or wrong, but because I see so much hypocrisy and I find myself unable to uphold much of what I would be asked to. I don't bring religion into my house as something my children must do, but I do bring it into my house as something they need to be aware of, understand, tolerate and recognize. And yet, here I am about to celebrate Christmas and Hannukah. Why? Because of the tradition and memories it makes for my family, not because of the religious reason for the season or holiday. My children have never heard the story of the "first christmas" and continue to forget why Hannukah exists. It's not told to them because it's not part of me or The Husband. But what concerns me about all this is how can I expect them to be educated on all this, be tolerant of everything around them when I can't or don't even educate them on it? Should I be bringing God into my house and teaching them of all the ways people worship in His name, so that they can choose how to worship if at all? Or is avoiding it the best route? Because that's what I'm doing. Avoiding it. I fear, though, more out of laziness. For me, not you.