i was reading Auren's recent post about choosing a religion, and a whole bunch of stuff came flooding back to me...
actually, i think a number of people do choose their own religion -- i'd say i've pretty much done that. in my case it's more of a secular humanism / buddhist / shinto combination -- whatever the hell that means. non-denominational agnostic spirituality, perhaps? i guess it could probably best be described by the title of a book/musical by Marlo Thomas called Free to Be You & Me.
Yeah, that's my religion :)
That, and Sesame Street, and Zoom, and Schoolhouse Rock. Funny how all of those involved the 70's, TV, and music. maybe what i'm really saying is i choose to worship the cathode ray tube and the phonograph player.
some history: my mother was raised Catholic, but probably had at least a few questions about the foundations of her religion and its patriarchal architecture. tough to be both a liberal feminist and a catholic at the same time. my father was methodist or something christian i think (shows how much i know), and he now plays the organ for the church he attends. kind of unusual he's ended up back in the church, since he was always such a free spirit for many years. but in any event, my parents separated when i was fairly young, both re-married. my mother didn't really force me to go to church, and i never enjoyed it that much the few times i attended. i did like the music, and i sang in a high-school concert choir... but that was different. that was music. (probably another acceptable definition of religion for me)
back when i was around 9 or 10, I remember doing a lot of thinking about what kind of creature God would be if "he" or she did exist... and i decided at least according to most major religions, i didn't really agree with the basic tenets & philosophy. certainly i didn't agree with its historical impact re: exploiting foreign cultures, inciting religious wars, institutionalizing male-dominated societies, and keeping inappropriate myths and fables alive far beyond their useful livelihoods. so pretty much after age 10 i decided i just didn't want to practice a religion that didn't make sense to me.
that said, i've always considered myself a very spirited and spiritual person. i don't believe in God in the "Supreme Being" sense, but i also don't believe you can prove non-existence. i guess i just don't care so much about whether God or gods exist, nor whether i'll go to heaven/hell, be reincarnated, or become food for worms. i like the idea of reincarnation, but even if i'm just dead when i'm dead, I'd prefer to spend the time i have just living in peace with others & the world, and leading an enjoyable, interesting, and spiritual life.
that's enough for me. hopefully it's also enough for a supreme being, should they exist.
right Marlo? right.