I am not a religious person. Organized religion failed me by constantly treating me as if I were a 2nd class citizen because my parents had the audacity to divorce when I was 7. I left the Southern Baptist church at 16 when I was told by my youth minister (someone who actually graduated from Southwest Theological Seminary, at that!) that Catholics were not Christian and that the nice Methodist family who were trying to join the church had to be re-baptized because their original church baptism, which supposedly proclaimed that Jesus was their savior, wasn't good enough for the Baptists. That family did not join the church.
Do I believe in God? Most of the time (definitely believe there is a higher power out there, but the name "God" might not be it), but I question those who use the name of God as a way to demean others because they have a different world view than they do. I don't think those people are coming anywhere close to doing what Jesus would do. Yes. I judge them with the opposite eyes they are judging me with. I have a very low opinion of people who profess to be "Godly" or "Christian" but do or say things that are decidedly not. I'd say I shouldn't do that. Neither should they.
Don't quote the Bible to me. I've studied it from front matter to back matter multiple times (all the way through, not just cherry picking verses to suit my needs). Due to my religious education in college (Texas Wesleyan University required it to get a diploma), I've actually taken classes in religious studies and Bible history with religion scholars. I look at the Bible as an interesting collection of parables that many can learn from, but that its entirely possible any given verse has the stamp of the beliefs of some random 7th century monk with an agenda.
I believe in being good. In doing good. In not looking at things, people, other beliefs at face value, but digging deeper. I believe in science, in actual research, and in love. I try my best not to live in fear, but I do fear sometimes. It's human nature.
If you've made it this far, just know that I love you, despite everything. Remember, we fight with those we love because we want their lives to be better. I just hope that someday there can be a mutual agreement as to what that "better" is. I'm not going to pretend that I know what's best for the world. I don't. I will fight for an injustice when I see it, though. We all should.
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