Is religion confusing for you?

Religion, for me, hasn’t always been a big deal.

Having been raised Catholic; I have done most of the whole nine yards – Baptism, Communion and Confirmation. I suppose the last act would be marriage. Despite having done all these things, I still don’t find myself to be at all religious.

I always feel uncomfortable around the topic of religion because people always expect you know exactly what you identify with. Am I Catholic? Am I atheist? Am I agnostic? I don’t particularly like labels, so when someone asks me I always skirt around the subject, somehow.

For me, I honestly don’t know what I believe in. I went for coffee with a friend yesterday and we ended up talking about how we were brought up in Catholic households but wouldn’t call ourselves Catholic. She said that if she did have to put me in a category, it would be agnostic.

From what I have researched via Google, this is the explanation of agnosticism that I can understand: “In the most general use of the term, agnosticism is the view that we do not know whether there is a God or not.” [1. Hepburn, Ronald W. (2005) (1967). “Agnosticism”. In Donald M. Borchert. The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Vol. 1 (2nd ed.). MacMillan Reference USA (Gale). p. 92. ISBN 0-02-865780-2. (page 56 in 1967 edition)]

I believe in the Big Bang but at the same time I do believe that there is some sort of deity. That is not to say that I believe it is ‘God’, per say, but I don’t think that everything just appeared out of nowhere.

It’s a bit confusing trying to figure out what it is I believe in exactly, and I’ve never actually written or spoken about it before yesterday when I was chatting with my friend. It’s also kind of scary to even think about talking to it with my mum because she is highly religious and quite strict about it, as well.

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She hasn’t bothered me about not going to church in ages, but I can tell it does bother her a little bit. The reason I don’t want to go to church is that 1. I find it boring. 2. I don’t believe in everything the Bible teaches. 3. I don’t want to be a hypocrite. I’ve done a lot of things that are not at all in line with the teachings of the Church, and I don’t want to go to church and have to listen to a priest preach about the things that you shouldn’t do.

I guess questioning what you believe in is something that happens as you grow older, especially now in this society. I’m not sure where this post came from, either, but here you go!

15 Comments

  1. March 16, 2014 / 11:03 pm

    I never think too much about this kind of stuff, because I leave everything up to science to figure things out. I think given that I’m the type who needs empirical evidence of a said concept, I don’t automatically buy into an abstract entity as the driving force of the universe’s creation. That being said, I definitely don’t acknowledge a personified version of a deity unless proven otherwise. I love thinking about the universe’s expansion, and I certainly hope our fascination by space doesn’t get shrouded by some ancient scripture. :/

  2. March 17, 2014 / 12:31 am

    I feel you about trying to dodge the subject when it comes to religion. I believe in God but without as much knowledge that will make me completely affiliated with a particular religion. I try my best to be well rounded and know a bit of other religions and do what I can to at least be somewhat spiritual.. Though some people don’t respect people of other religion or the likes. I would put myself under agnostic because I was raised by Buddhist and Catholic parents sooo yeah.

    These days, the society doesn’t gear towards a specific one-sided religion like how we did in the 1800’s. People are more free now to choose what religion to practice. Even then, I’m still a bit iffy about talking about religion because I might piss someone off if I said something “wrong” but thug life, eh?

  3. March 17, 2014 / 2:46 am

    I have a tendency of calling myself “spiritual” or more specifically “theistic” (because I do believe in a higher power, but I don’t know what to call this higher power, I don’t know if it’s important to give it a name either, I feel it’s only essential to me to realize that it IS there, you know?).

    I definitely understand why religion is confusing, and why you’d skirt around the subject. Part of it, I’m sure, also has to do with the negative image that organized religion has in this day and age. It’s an image of outdated views & bigotry– not exactly something we want to associate ourselves with.

    I was born and raised a Protestant Christian but found myself having questions & experiences that my religion couldn’t explain. I couldn’t just put aside scientific explanations for things (i.e. the world being much older than just 6000 years, big bang, dinosaurs, you name it…) or experiences that could be considered “supernatural” or “occult” (which is something that my church definitely did not approve of, for everything supernatural that we cannot directly link to “God” was considered evil), so instead of making myself part of some doctrine that does not work for me, I prefer using the word “theistic” to acknowledge that there indeed IS a higher power that I believe in, but that I refuse to be part of some organized religion that has -either today or in the past- hurt, abused and misled people.

  4. Shellyyum
    March 17, 2014 / 2:57 am

    I used to identify with so many labels but in the end, I realize that they were just that. I’m a good person without labels and I don’t need guidelines to be taught to me when I already know them and what I want to do with my life. I bet you’re a good person too, and that’s fine. You don’t have to subscribe to any line of thinking you aren’t comfortable with. That’s what I always believed. Do what makes you feel comfortable and go with labels or not. It’s really our own choice.

    http://colormusing.haneuri.net/

  5. March 17, 2014 / 6:45 am

    This may come as a bit of a surprise to most people who know me*, but I think there’s often a lot of pressure for us to know exactly what we think and where we stand and be able to defend it until death or shame or whatever comes first. I don’t think that’s fair, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to say; ‘I’m not entirely sure what I think, I’m still trying to figure it out’. I think the key bit for me is being open to being challenged, to learning, and to being pushed on the not knowing. To own the ‘not knowing’ and allowing yourself to be informed by others’ vast knowledge, experience, and yes; really shitty opinions.

    As I get older, I’ve learnt that our ‘truths’- no matter how strongly we believe and hold on to them- shift and grow and change, just as we do. Sometimes they get stronger, sometimes we’re more doubtful- & etc. I think that’s a natural (and important) space to be in, and that goes for religion and faith and agnosticism and spaghetti monsters and whatever else. It’s all right to just be figuring things out sometimes.

    *As someone who takes pride in being overly-opinionated about everything (and holding extremely strong opinions).

  6. March 17, 2014 / 2:34 pm

    I don’t think I’m religious myself, just superstitious.

    Although I’ve attended some chritian schools as a kid, I don’t think I adhered to the teachings of the bible. It’s hard to class yourself in a category because sometimes you will think differently at various intervals in life.

    Just go with the flow and since your mum doesn’t force you to go to church I would keep it that way and live life how you want to. We shouldn’t always label ourselves 🙂

  7. AnneMarie
    March 18, 2014 / 2:24 am

    I was raised Catholic and my parents chose to send me to a Catholic school for elementary. My parents gave me the option to go to public school when I was in high school and even for college but I chose to attend private Catholic institutions.

    In middle school, I believed in God because I was told I had to. I was told it was the right thing to do and back then, I didn’t question it. It was something I believed I had to do.

    But then life gets kind of shitty and we grow up. So I started to really evaluate my faith and what I had been taught. After all, there were conflicts between what the Church said was right and what my heart/mind was telling me. Thankfully, I went to a Jesuit high school (Jesuits are a type of priest that are ordained into the Society of Jesus, you can always look them up if you want to learn more (:). And at Jesuit institutions, there’s a heavy emphasis on reflection and discernment. I looked at my faith and tried to understand what was at the core of it.

    At the core of my faith is my deep belief that there is a God. Not only that but a God who loves us.

    I wouldn’t say I’m religious. I’m part of a religion because I enjoy getting the chance to celebrate and worship our creator with other people (who may or may not have similar beliefs). I find it easier and more wholesome to be part of a community than to struggle with my faith alone.

    But I’ve also been blessed to go to institutions that helped me come to my beliefs on my own. And I’ve never felt more grounded in what I believe. I’m very much liberal and progressive like many others in our generation but I still cling to my faith for lots of reasons. I could go on and on about religion and my faith but I’ll leave it at that for now.

    I’m glad to see you talking about it with others though. The first step to self-awareness is being able to voice where you currently are. And self-awareness is always a good thing. Feel free to hit me up if you ever want to talk about it (:

  8. March 23, 2014 / 12:45 am

    Religion was something that was hardly ever talked about in my house growing up. My father was brought up Catholic but has not set foot in a church in years. My Mom’s Mom made her go to either a Baptist, or Anglican church depending on where they were living when she was younger and my parents both hated being forced to go.

    When they got married and were talking about having kids they decided that they would not identify with any religion and not go to church and would just wait till I was old enough for me to make up my own mind. For that reason it hardly even enters my mind anymore. I had times in junior or high school where I was confused on what I believed. Especially with friends who where religious.

    I went to church with some friends of my parents and their kids for a while but never really felt I fit in anywhere and never really knew what I believed. I guess I would say I am agnostic. I believe in science and the big bang but I also think that there might be a god of some sort out there.

    I have always believe that if I did my best and was overall a good person that that really is all that would matter in their eyes if there is one. Sometimes I have to wonder though.

  9. March 23, 2014 / 10:48 am

    I am not religious at all, and did not grow up in a religious house hold, so I guess it is a lot easier for me to accept that and be okay with it. I think it is good to question things around you and find out for yourself what you believe. There is no right or wrong thing and you can only decide on what is best for you personally. I hope that there is no pressure and if you do talk to your mother, that she might at least be open to it a little bit.

    You have to discover these things for yourself.

  10. March 28, 2014 / 2:25 am

    I bet the term you mean is spirituality. Religion deals more about what group what people they classify us with. Spirituality is your belief or unbelief of a deity. I’m Christian, having been raised that way but never really understood it until I asked questions myself. But it took me a while to find my way, what with all the confusion people incorporate with religion, God and science. Nobody really likes talking about this so I admire that you did. There is no way of knowing and proving a belief about God and life and philosophy in this life for sure. Perhaps in the next life, if you believe it. But if you try looking for answers now, there’s no sure way of getting them. I believe God not because I’ve seen Him in the flesh or because people tell me to. I’ve believe Him because I experience this world and I think to myself, ‘How is this all possible?’ I am comforted by the thought that no matter what, I’m not alone. I believe Him and it gives me freedom and peace. but yeah, I respect people when they say their not sure or downright don’t believe it. I find that that’s even possible because God gave us free will.

  11. March 28, 2014 / 12:21 pm

    Becoming a Christian was by far the easiest decision that I’ve made in my life. I know that baffles people but I think a lot of people have the wrong view of what a Christian stands for. Our purpose is not to harass Gays or rant like crazy people (Although there are extremist, I admit. I’m not one though! lol). How can you not be a part of something that says you will always be loved, you should strive to be a great person and you will be rewarded for it? It’s really all that simple. I’m not one to shove it downs another persons throat or show prejudice to non-believers though. It’s not progressive or kind!

  12. March 30, 2014 / 2:00 pm

    I was born and raised very similar to you. Both my parents are Roman Catholic and are very much traditional. I would probably still say that I’m Catholic because it was how I was raised. I don’t go to church every week, but I’ll go for major religious events and for my birthday. Just thinking about it, I still partake in prayers for friends and family who pass away and blessing of the food during family parties.

    Since I was raised this way, I would say that I really don’t know any different. Like for instance, if I do get married, it will have to be in a church. I have never been to a wedding that wasn’t in a church of some sort. (This may change as my friends and I get older and everyone starts getting married off.) I just can’t imagine it any other way for myself… But it’s not just that, my family does have an influence on it too and it’s probably something that they expect.

    Now the question is: If I had children, how would I raise them? Again, I really don’t know any other way. I would want them to have god parents so they would have to go through the whole Christening process. Also, knowing my family, it is also expected. I don’t think I would go to church every week or send them to a Catholic school. Hopefully I’ll be smart enough by then to let them decide so they aren’t as confused as me.

  13. March 30, 2014 / 3:25 pm

    BB cream provides less coverage than CC cream in general. But the Clarins BB cream has quite a bit of coverage and reminded me of CC cream.

    I understand how religion can be confusing at times. Luckily for me, my parents aren’t so strict about my religion.

  14. March 30, 2014 / 4:10 pm

    Yay! Another person like me, I’m agnostic theism (as there’s four spectrums of agnostism) which means I believe in a higher being just not necessary a god. A lot of people are quite ignorant about other forms of ‘religion’ and believes if a person doesn’t believe in some form of god that means they’re atheist. It’s really ignorant and I’ve had a lot of people throw it in my face that I don’t believe in a god so my opinions about a higher being doesn’t matter. 🙁

  15. May 8, 2015 / 2:28 am

    I was raised Christian as well. Baptized and attended church most Sundays. My mom’s dad forced them into Catholicism so she always swore she’d be open with us about religion. I now know she’s an atheist, but she took us to all kinds of churches, from Mormon to Roman Catholic, and let us attend synagogues and mosques with our friends. I don’t know when I stopped believing in God, I think around 11, but I remember having a lot of questions I couldn’t find in religion. I don’t mind talking about religion, but I prefer to stay away from the topic with people I know who are stringent either way. As awkward as it is to talk with someone who is rabidly religious, it’s just as off putting to talk to someone who goes the other direction and wants to insult religious people constantly. I believe in being critical of religion itself because that’s necessary when dealing with any large institution, but people who are religious deserve respect as much as anyone else.

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