I've been pondering religion for a long, long time. Not pondering religion because I have questions or doubts of my own, but because I find it interesting. From a historical standpoint, I wish I could rewind the clock and found a church. I'd be the founder of the First Church of Can't-We-All-Just-Get-Along. I'd proudly put my name on a 'church' with no 'church'. I'd love a community. I'd be the bishop, minister, father, rabbi and secretary at the First Community of TOLERANCE.
One of the things I despise about modern religion is the label that it comes with. Christian women (supposedly) have no flaws. Cathlotic women have a bunch of kids. Mormons, too. When I was ever so plump with Mimi, I must have been asked a hundred times if I was Catholic? No? People would just say, "you must be mormon, then." I usually muttered some smart ass remark, like "Oh, and I left the triplets at home."
If I must put a label on myself, it would certainly read "Christian." But I really struggle with lots of areas of traditional Christianity. See future posts -- but the least of which is that my own family can't be "saved" if they don't profess their devotion. I can't live with that. There's gotta be another way to skin this cat. Not many years ago, I thought I'd found a church "home", a non-demoninational Christian church, when one Sunday, the sermon was on homosexuality. I have zero tolerance for bashing. Gay bashing especially. So I walked out. And never went back. Months went by and another church home was found (sort of). Then I was asked to join a small group that meets every Wednesday night and do volunteer hours every week, along with donating on a regular basis and filling out some membership paperwork with a background check and fingerprints? What???
I have history with a handful of churchs and belief systems. I actually feel like I have a decent grasp of many different religions. As a kid, my mom was Christian. We attended church. Most of my friends were Catholic. Or Mormon. My dad was Buddhist. I've been to all kinds of ceremonies, masses, churches, fasts and testamonies. I've been to Sunday school, girls' camp, and learned songs and games to celebrate Jewish holidays. I've burned incense, made mochi to celebrate Buddha's birthday, and watched while friends pull out a prayer rug and drop to their knees in a parking lot to face Mecca. All of the above, along with many, many others. If religion were like a Country Buffet, I'd be absolutely set for life. I'd like to take the faith and believe portion of Christianity and marry it with the wisdom of Budda. I'd sprinkle it with the family values of the Mormons and the community aspect of Cathlolics. I'd teach from the Torah AND the Bible. I think even my atheist friends are onto something . . . just because there's no formal belief in a diety doesn't mean they lead an unspiritual life. There's no better way to understand the intricacies of a religion than to study them. I'm skeptical of anyone who bashes ANY religion without making honest attempts to understand it.
I suppose I'm gearing up for a series of posts on religion. I'm somehwat eager to summarize the things I'm learning and the things I already know. In all fairness, I'll jot down my hiccups along with things I love. But brace yourself . . . there's a possibility, as with anything that I deem blog-worthy, that you'll be offended. Or enlightened. Either way, causing thought isn't bad.
Which brings to me to . . . a book list. I haven't posted a book list in a long time. Why? Because I've been reading some fiction . . . and alot of religion.