RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Sign my guest map!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Free will and religion

The first "religious" thing I remember learning in Catholic school is, we all were created with free will. As I understood it at the time, God didn't want to create humans to be pets or automations, who would do whatever he wanted them to do, just because it was in our instincts to do it. No, God already had animals for that, and they weren't all that exciting. God wanted us, as intellectual beings, to be able to choose to love him or not.

I must have stopped paying attention after that, because I never did accept a lot of the propaganda and brainwashing that so many of my Catholic friends and even my husband has swallowed hook, line, and sinker. I never believed in Original Sin, for example, because it just didn't seem fair to me. (Original sin is the idea that the disobedience that got Adam and Eve kicked out of the Garden of Eden is somehow biologically transmitted to each one of us. Some Christians call this "sin nature," which is a more apt term). Some other ideas I never bought were that our "sins" today somehow increse Christ's suffering on the cross in the past, that whole concept of Purgatory, and that saying a certain number of prayers can ease your sins. It turns out that many of the concepts I considered "suspect" in my youth, were inventions of the Catholic church for reasons that had more to do with politics and money than with religion or the Bible. No wonder the Catholic Church fought the invention of the printing press and universal literacy!

I decided on my own that Free Will means you have to make your own decisions about what is right and wrong, rather than let somebody else tell you. It means there are a whole bunch of different religions out there so people can have a choice. And it also means that we, as individuals, are responsible for making informed decisions as to what we choose to believe and how we choose to live. By my logic, "One True Faith" and "Universal Truth" are impossible ideas. The fact that so many people interpret the Bible in so many different ways, just goes to show, there is no "right" way to do it.

We, fallible humans that we are, just do not have what it takes to know the mind of God. No more than a gold fish knows the mind of the person in whose home it lives.

I spent a lot of time in my 20's exploring other belief systems. They all had points that resonated with me, and parts that I could not accept. My spirituality incorporates a little bit of all of them, and quite a bit that I came to on my own. My belief system is intensely personal, all my own. It is a product of my own thought and research and prayer and gut feelings. I developed it using all my natural faculties for logic and intuition. And I believe that is the way my God wants it.


RUSH lyrics

No comments: