I Hear You Don't Have a Religion/Denomination/Highly Complicated System of Beliefs that exclude… | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

I Hear You Don't Have a Religion/Denomination/Highly Complicated System of Beliefs that exclude…

..several types of people, so that means you must like it hot...

Seriously, I hate being asked what my religion is. It would only make me more frustrated if someone then decided to tack on the following:

Oh, so that means you are homosexual right?
Wow, so you condone unprotected, heathenish sex?
Hmm, so your mother cries often then?
*facepalm* ( if you are not familiar with this please go Google)

I know this topic is old, but I keep on getting confronted with it. I think that religion has its purpose. For some it serves as hope for a better tomorrow, for some it is a way of life, and for others it is a coping mechanism. For me, it is...well I don't really know. And, not having an answer to that question somehow makes me out to be a "crazy abortion loving atheist (yes, I realize this is a slippery slope to slide down. Again, I remind you, this is why I have a problem with this thinking)."

Religion and I have not had the best of relationships. As far as I am concerned it is an excuse for many to avoid being a citizen of the world, to avoid learning people's cultures, having real empathy, and being relatable.

But all of that aside, why is it so odd to not identify with a specific religion? I mean denominations are ultimately arbitrary since the concept is pretty much the same: A higher being (or group of beings) is responsible for one's existence, and one owes it to them not to be a complete douche and should try to get along with people and animals (well the animal part is not so true, and now that I think about it the people part isn't true all of the time). So what difference does it make if I don't read the bible every night? or pray with a rosary? or speak in tongues? I'm trying to make the world better by loving people. How is that NOT okay? How is that not enough?

Disclaimer: I realize that half of what I've said is not accurate, and is biased. I don't claim to be a religious guru and I am not without prejudices. I'm just somebody still trying to figure it out and would appreciate it if people would allow me to.

Previous Comments

ID
155960
Comment

I think the topic of religion weighs more on us because of where we live. I have friends in other parts of the country who don't think this way because it's not emphasized. Awesome blog post.

Author
Lacey McLaughlin
Date
2010-02-11T19:07:37-06:00
ID
155976
Comment

was a "go every time the doors were open" christian until three years ago. my world got rocked and flipped to such a place that I couldn't see god or any higher power existing in it. do I three years later believe there IS some sort of higher power? yes. do I believe said higher power fits into the bible believing christianity I grew up in? no. I would come just shy of calling myself agnostic these days. and the people who supposedly cared so much when I called myself a "sold out believer" are long gone, and were before I made this declaration. some of my best friends and even acquaintances are people who believe as I do, and have been more generous and gracious (and understanding) than any of the so called "christian friends" ever were. and I'm tracking with you on the righteous bigotry and hatred. my mind thinks so much more clearly now about different people and their beliefs, lifestyles, etc, and I owe this to pulling my head of of my religious ass and learning to love and appreciate people. the subtle irony, though, is that my two best friends are ordained ministers (who are, by the way, very cool with my feelings and don't try to force theirs on me.)

Author
2599
Date
2010-02-11T23:54:49-06:00
ID
156139
Comment

I also agree with ellefoto, being a part of the "Bible Belt" has a very large impact on the idea of the need for religion (mainly Christianity). I think it also is having an adverse impact by creating a growing population of fed-up non-religious individuals lol. Although I do classify myself as a Christian, I completely understand where you are coming from, Hope. Although some religious people can be understanding, loving, and accepting of all people, unfortunately there are some religious people who become so self-righteous and passionate about their beliefs that they tend to become condescending, rude, and overlook that important part about love and kindness. Ultimately, if I'm not mistaken, religion derived from the inquiry about after-life and the need to know that there was something beyond earth. Therefore I guess to close-minded individuals,not having a specific religion indicates that you're confused, don't care where you're going, and/or what you do in life and it freaks them out. Something with control and uncertainty I guess...

Author
Treshika M.
Date
2010-02-17T15:43:56-06:00
ID
156141
Comment

Well I just answer people who ask me about my religious beliefs, "It's between me and God and none of your business, so hush now before I have to hurt your feelings." :) I consider myself a Christian but how,when, and where I worship is between me and God. I am very open minded about religion, no single one is better or worst than the other, if you wanna worship Veger the Mercyless go right ahead, if you want to be a hardcore Southern Baptist go right ahead, just keep to yourself and don't bother me.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2010-02-17T17:05:33-06:00
ID
156151
Comment

I'm digging this article and the comments... My journey into being agnostic has come slowly--- after being indoctrinated in Christian culture for over my 30 plus years on earth. Most times I just proclaim myself Christian to cut down on confusion. In some ways I do identify myself as Christian, but more so on a heritage- traditional. (We have to have some rituals for burial and marriage right?) In the end, I think human kindness matters most. How much suffering can we alleviate? Who's day can I make brighter? Who drank the last cup of Kool-Aid? ---- These are the important questions.

Author
dd39203
Date
2010-02-18T11:07:31-06:00
ID
156152
Comment

All, note that this piece is a post on the Youth Media Project blog. YMP is one of the recipients of the proceeds from this year's Jackson 2000 Friendship Ball. If you buy your ticket from one of the YMP students or from the JFP (or me), ALL the proceeds of your ticket goes to YMP to help with the rent of their room and their multimedia equipment. $20, $10 for students. Let me know if you want a ticket: ladd@jacksonfreepress.com

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2010-02-18T11:16:21-06:00
ID
156389
Comment

Fifteen percent of the populace of the USA is non-religious, according to Pew. That is around thirty million people. Most of them are good people who, like Hope, just want to make the world a better place. I don't believe in gods, I believe in treating all beings well. I believe in treating my planet well. You don't need gods or religious dogma to lead an ethical life. I think it is creepy to ask someone you just met what church they attend or what religion they follow. I sometimes answer that I am a 'none', as in 'none of the above'. Or, if I think the person asking has a sense of irony, I ask him or her back 'what kind of underwear do you prefer?', implying that this is a private matter and is not anyone's business unless we know each other quite well.

Author
mims
Date
2010-02-28T20:42:01-06:00

COVID-19 has closed down the main sources of the JFP's revenue -- concerts, festivals, fundraisers, restaurants and bars. If everyone reading this article gives $5 or more, we should be able to continue publishing through the crisis. Please pay what you can to keep us reporting and publishing.

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