Wednesday, March 4, 2009
WARNING religious discussion ahead
Let's talk religion, shall we?
Actually we're not going to talk so much as I'm going to blather on about my own beliefs and non-beliefs, and your job is to read or ignore. OK, ground rules set.
I was raised in a pretty cool Methodist church in Iowa. Northern USA Methodists are basically a liberal bunch and not much dogma to be found, expect that you're expected to sing in the choir and get on a committee. And their potlucks are scrumptious. My family's church was a great source of comfort when my folks died. The Methodist church I belonged to here in Northfield is not much different, and is the highest-giving congregation, per head, than any other church in town. All that giving is toward hunger relief and disaster relief. They rallied around me when I had breast cancer and are some of the greatest folks in town.
That being said, I find that organized religion has not found firm footing in my value system. In fact just the opposite. I've always been a huge skeptic belief-wise, but just LOVED singing hymns. My final break with the Methodists came when they discussed ONCE AGAIN whether or not the "gay lifestyle" was in keeping with Christian doctrine. When the big church said no, although all the northern members said yes, that was it for me. It was as though we were discussing whether blacks or women should be honored in our midst.
But beyond that, I truly just don't know exactly WHAT I believe. There's a frig magnet out there that says "People who seek the truth inspire me, people who've FOUND the truth frighten me". Kinda sad when your whole belief system can be summed up on a frig magnet.
I was listening to an atheist writer on NPR this morning. We was preaching the No-God doctrine with as much certainty as an Evangelical. I don't believe any human has reached anything NEAR the capacity to state the "truth". We haven't even grasped the concept of multi-dimensions and the time/space continuum, yet some of our fellow men claim to have found the absolute Alpha and Omega.
In my mind, science and a belief in something "bigger" are not mutually exclusive. I am a firm believer in the cosmos, evolution, and all that science uncovers everyday. To deny any of it is to deny the beauty of what your god may have placed in front of you.
I've also seen and experienced too many things to completely rule out that "something bigger". Some could just say I've had a lot of coincidence in my life, but I'm not so sure. And if Jesus said all those things written down, then that's one guy I can get behind. But I cannot EVER say there is one path to truth.
Guess I could have just said I'm agnostic, and saved you a lot of time.