I am not a religous person.
I spent time in the Episcopal Church as a child, my time there tapered off as my mom got sicker and when she died we stopped going altogether. I suppose some part of me lost faith the morning she died, and I suppose some part of me still feels that loss of faith. I’ve often wondered whether my problem with faith stems from that loss. I spent so much time praying and begging and pleading with God to let my mom survive, to please not take her. I actually believed my prayers would be answered. Why? Because I’d been told, “ask and ye shall recieve.” So, I asked and I begged and I bargained, and in the end she died anyway. I learned an important lesson that day: Life isn’t fair.
Even after her death I still found myself praying. When my step-dad would get angry and yell I would say the Lord’s Prayer to myself hoping God would intervene and calm him down. Sometimes it seemed to work, sometimes I’d get two or three lines out and he’d magically be calm. This only served to confuse me further, did God care enough to stop my step-dad from yelling and scaring us but not enough to save my mom? What kind of God is that?
I suppose I should say I don’t doubt there is something, a higher power, a creator, an energy, something out there. In recent years I find myself interested in Buddhism and certain Pagan faiths based on balance. I like the idea of balance, to everything there is an equal. It’s got a nice logical ring to it and one of Newton’s Laws sounds an awful lot like it (For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction). yet somehow I always find myself returning to the concept of the Christian God, maybe it’s because it is the faith of my birth. Maybe it is because I can see the message Jesus was trying to get out and how it’s been warped and perverted over the last 2000 years.
I find myself looking around at the people around me and wondering how the hell things ended up like this. Everyone seems to be consumed with a kind of visceral hate of whatever is opposite them. It’s as if xenophobia has become an acceptable frame of mind. I connect this with faith and religion because so many people cite their religious beliefs as reasons for their hate. I don’t remember being taught to hate others when I was going to church, what I remember is being taught to love others, to accept others. Maybe I went to a really weird church.
I think what is lacking in this world is balance, hate is always going to exist as it is the natural balance to love but we have allowed it to overtake everything. We can’t see people anymore, we just see opposing viewpoints and differing beliefs. It’s as if we stepped back several hundred years.