Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Writing Workshop - I believe


Josies Writing Workshop this week is all about our beliefs and I knew straight away which prompt I was going to choose. Religion is such a personal topic and it raises a whole mixed bag of opinions. I hope I dont offend during this post. That is not my intention. My intention is to share my experience of religion and belief's.


2) How have your belief systems changed through your lifetime?
How do they compare to when you were a child? What new beliefs have you discovered?
What old ones have you let go of and why?



I had a great childhood, despite my parents splitting and Dad not being reliable with visits life at home was good. I lived in a lovely big house, was very well fed and clothed, I was surrounded by a massive extended family and was happy. I was raised a Mormon by my Mum and Stepfather, which most of the time was a fab experience. I had lots of church friends who I'm still in touch with now thanks to social media. Good friends who I share many fantastic memories with. Friends who I think the absolute world of. The Church has a second to none social life. The problem was I struggled to believe in its teachings.
I tried...I mean really tried. I was asked to pray for clarity, asking for Heavenly Father (God) to basically 'show me the light' but it never worked no matter how hard I prayed. I wanted to believe but it just didn't happen and because of this I often felt inferior to everyone else.
Mum was what I would describe as a decent and genuine Mormon living by her beliefs, she did her best to instill good values into her family. Mum taught me the importance of trust and honesty, she taught me the value of integrity, how to be a good friend and all about loyalty and respect. Mum was a Good Woman just as most Mormons that I know are. However just like in all religions there are a few hypocritical bigots and my Stepfather being one of them was a complete D***h**d.



He raised me for ten years and to be honest he wasn't around that much, most of the time he was either at work or doing something for the church be it home teaching, playing football or just doing churchy 'stuff'. He was rarely home but when he was I found him over bearing, aggressive, judgemental and would constantly spout religion at me. When I picture him now I see him sitting in the arm chair, his scriptures open on his lap, telling me how evil I was and that I was definitely going to 'hell' for wearing a skirt above my knee's.



Basically at age 14 this is what I thought of him and his crazy, messed up idea's and would often do the 'up yours' hand signal as he glanced down at his bible in between preaching sessions.



I decided pretty early on that I did not believe what the church taught to be true. I did not believe in God or church teachings. I did not believe in a heaven or hell and my conflicting beliefs with my stepfather caused me no end of trouble. He would make me feel like crap because I didn't wouldn't couldn't believe in God. I wanted to run away. I was sick of being bible bashed and having it rammed down my throat day in and day out. As I became a teenager I wanted to be free to follow my own beliefs which did not include going to church. I left home as early as I could.



I did return home when Papa and I were first married but by this point Stepfather was on his way out the door. Mum was tired of him and his abuse and was in the process of divorcing him. Mum also left the church that year and the atmosphere at home was completely different. Mum and I became best Friends that year.


So what do I believe if not in God...Everyone has some belief, Right?

I always swayed more towards paganism, mainly because its not rigid in its believe system. There are no real set rules and you don't have to attend a church to feel accepted in its community. Pagan's do not worship the devil or sacrifice their kids at burning alters like I was raised to understand. They are not sexual deviants or harm people or animals. They believe in Mother Nature, at being at one with the natural world. Pagans are a mixed bunch and their beliefs are diverse, some concentrate on certain Celtic traditions or Gods/goddesses, Wicca and ecology. They are generally Eco conscious and strive to minimise any harm to our natural environment. To me this 'sits' better in my brain, it makes more sense to me to worship our precious planet rather than a God.
I also believe in Evolution, I believe in Science, I believe in Love, I believe in positive energy, I believe in strength of character, I believe in good people, I believe Life is what we make it, I believe we all have the power within ourselves to be happy. When I'm having a rubbish day I believe there is always someone out there worse off. I believe in Myself and my right to believe in whatever I choose. I believe in Free will.
What do you believe?

7 comments:

  1. A really interesting, well written post. Love the photo! Whilst this is far removed from my own experience, I too came into contact with a lot of people who professed to be religious and good Christians who by their actions just proved the opposite. That holier than thou sanctimonious crap always got to me and the idea that some people would be saved and some wouldn't and the whole emphasis on the afterlife just seemed wrong to me. Church can really give people a sense of belonging, of community, but like you, I found I just couldn't agree with most of what they were actually saying.

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  2. Superbly well written Mama S. I'm not religious in the slightest but religions and beliefs do fascinate me. I've met some deeply religious people in my time who turn out to not be the people they try to portray. I on the other hand have not been Christened, I've never attended church and I don't think it's done me any harm.

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  3. A really well written post.

    I was christened as a one month old. My mother had to go to Church morning and evening on Sundays - and called into the Salvation Army on her way back from Church on the evening (unknown to her mother I believe)! As a child I chose to go to Sunday School, then after my brother died, mam, my sister and I attended Church for a few years. Religion was not pushed down our throats - it was our choice. I married in Church - although if I was to marry today I don't think I would, I'd choose marrying at a hotel/castle type package. These days I don't really believe in God, I wonder why so many bad things happen in the world if there is a God. However like you I have my own beliefs.

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  4. A lovely honest post. you show your belief journey off well. Thank you for sharing.

    Mollyxxx

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  5. This post is really interesting I have no real understanding about religion. But I always find it so interesting reading other peoples beliefs on the subject. Thank you for this xx

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  6. Isn't it funny how many people stray from a religion they do not understand to paganism. As if the compulsion to have faith is there and the 'organised religions' simply do not make sense in the way earth religions do. I find it fascinating.

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  7. Thankyou everyone for your interesting comments...I appreciate you all taking the time to write your comments.

    And Hi to Merry, Thanks for stopping by. I didnt stray from a religion that I didn't understand. Believe me I had many many years and hours upon hours of church study. It just never felt 'right' to me. I think religion is down to personal choice and we are lucky enough to live in a society where we have the freedom to choose. I have never felt a compulsion to have a faith, I just generally feel more at ease with the more relaxed attitude to faith that pagans have x

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