Friday, November 01, 2002

Politics Wednesday, Religion today.

Guess I should move on to sex for the weekend and we'll have all the not-for-polite-dining topics covered. This is pretty dangerous stuff. I don't usually talk about religion, because it can offend people in the most fundamental way. And, I have fairly unconventional views.

Anyway, Happy Friday!

1. Were you raised in a particular religious faith? No. My mom grew up as a Christian Scientist, but left the religion after college because she couldn't believe in all of its doctrine. My dad is a non-practicing Epicopalian. Very non-practicing. My mom started going to a Unitarian church after I had graduated from college and is very happy there. She always felt bad about not taking my sister and me to church as kids and wishes she had found this church a long time ago.

2. Do you still practice that faith? Why or why not? I practiced the non-faith that I grew up with for a long time. This past year, however, I've started going to the Unitarian church nearest my house. Okay, I didn't go all summer and early fall, becuase Sunday mornings were spent on long training runs. My mom's very happy about it. I'm really enjoying it as well. It's great to be with a group of people who are intelligent, liberal, and politically active. The great thing about the church is that it believes that everyone must take his/her own spiritual journey, no matter where that might take you. It's okay that I'm not a Christian, and it would be equally okay if I were.

3. What do you think happens after death? Nothing. I'm not really sure, actually. Reincarnation makes the most logical sense to me and is the most comforting, but I don't think that what happens after death would be logical or comforting. I like the idea of reincarnation because it means that you can continue the journey of figuring out how to live life. When I was on my Alaskan trip this summer, one of my friends described our 23 year old guide as "an old soul." Not because he acted like an old guy, he was very young and enthusiastic, but because he was so secure and grounded and enthusiastic about life. Meeting people who seem to have figured things out a little better than others of us seems to show that maybe there is a chance to play this game of life more times and get better each time.

4. What is your favorite religious ritual (participating in or just observing)? Music: participating in, and just listening. The music program at the church I go to is fabulous. They have an amazing choir (must be professional), as well as frequent solos and musicians (there was a tenor sax last Sunday; amazing). I also love singing together. I sang in chorus in junior high, and I've forgotten how much I enjoyed it.

5. Do you believe people are basically good? Yes, I do. That's a strong reason that I don't believe in Christianity. I don't believe in original sin. I don't think that anyone needed to die for our sins. I don't think we need a church telling us what is right or wrong. I think we need coaches to help us to listen to ourselves, and we'll do good.


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