I don’t talk specifically about my faith very often because, even at 50, I haven’t figured it all out. Occasionally, religion creeps into my fiction, or I’ll touch on collateral issues, but I loath proselytizing. What I believe, and how I put my faith into practice is very personal. I don’t even insist that my children or spouse share my opinions.
Do I pray? Yes. Do I pray on a regular basis? No. Do I routinely tell people “I’ll pray for you” when I know I won’t? No. Do I believe there is an omnipotent supernatural being who hears and acts on those prayers… I don’t know. And, that is where the faith part of my religion comes in.
There have been days when I have been on my knees, my body wracked with sobs so overwhelming it’s as if my very soul is broken. Other times, I’ve tossed up a little ‘thank you’ when a moment of Quantum Physics could have gone drastically different and I appreciate that the coin flip went my way.
Do I attend church? No, because I am weary of the hypocrisy of organized religion. Do I think that everyone else should believe as I do? No. Do I think that what I believe is the only truth? No, and I won’t know until I die, none of us will.
I have friends of other faiths, and friends who are self-proclaimed atheists. My son would be categorized as an agnostic. I value and love all of them, respect their opinions and beliefs, and they respect me. I would never do them the discourtesy of telling them they are wrong, or stupid, or disillusioned for those beliefs, nor would I try to convert them to my way of thinking. And, I’ve taught my children to not do that.
It’s not my place to judge anyone… from what little I remember from Bible School, that’s God’s job.
I don’t understand why people of faith are the targets of such contempt. Why it’s considered fair game to call into question someone’s intellect simply because they believe in God. Why prayer is ridiculed, why longing for a heavenly reward is a punch line. People can get down right apoplectic about prayer and faith.
If you want to burn incense, face east, count beads, flog your self, or pay homage to the Flying Spaghetti Monster… knock yourself out, it doesn’t harm me in anyway.
If I’m delusional enough to believe in a zombie Jesus, to talk to an imaginary white-haired father figure in the sky, or believe that I’ll be reunited with dead loved ones in the land of milk and honey after I die, let me. It doesn’t harm you in any way.
But, make fun of me for all that, teach your children it’s okay to be bigoted and intolerant? Then shame on you.