I might do two of these today, because on the one hand, I really want to talk about this, but on the other hand, I also want to talk about how women should handle compliments from men, as I have seen a lot of vitriol toward men who compliment women in a respectful way. In this same post, I will finally decide to talk about my sexual abuse, though I will never, ever get into the horrendous descriptions, save through prose poetry in subsequent chapbooks I will be writing.
I just have to say again that Rachel Thompson has been my incredible inspiration. I wish we could meet in real life. From what I’ve read on her blog and how active she is in social media, she is an incredible woman–while also being brutally honest about publishing, which is a breath of fresh air.
Yet, I cannot forget Mariah E. Wilson, whom I know I will one day meet, as it is on my list-of-things-to-do-before-I-die. Canada isn’t a crazy place to travel to, and it’s a very realistic thing I can do.
I hope this topic is not controversial. It’s simply my thoughts on religion. I want to think Annette Abernathy for helping me to shape my thoughts on religion. Though we do have vastly different opinions on certain things, they are different because we actually thought through our beliefs, instead of simply parroting what our different religions told us to think–or politically correct society, as would the case be for me. Funny enough, a lot of Deists are against abortion, but let’s not get into that.
To start off, I am a Deist. Before, I was a weird mix of atheism and agnosticism. But a few near-death experiences created from my own internal struggles changed my thoughts on the world. They are both negative and positive. I am a Deist because I look around our natural world and don’t need faith to know there is a Creator. I’m not sure how my mental near-death experiences drove me into this natural religion, which is what some Deists argue it is. It’s considered natural because Deism didn’t need a divine revelation to create it, like many religions do. It isn’t based on faith. It’s based on confidence.
Deists have vastly different thoughts on our Creator, just as many religions do. For me, I believe our Creator is, in a sense, apathetic, and I have no issues with this. I like this, because it gives us freedom to be human, to learn from our mistakes, and hopefully humanity will slowly begin to change, though humans have not changed at all since our birth into this world. I believe our Creator wants the best for us, but, otherwise, the universe is left to its own devices. Some think our Creator does intervene if our Creator knows that person will make an enormous difference in the world. Some will pray to our Creator to help strengthen them for the day ahead without expecting our Creator to do anything at all.
My other thoughts on this is that our Creator created a primordial soup, that being the Big Bang, knowing the end result. After all, we seriously had less than a 0% chance of our universe coming into existence. This alone leads me to believe there is an intelligent being out there. How that intelligent being came to be is no different from Stephen Hawkins arguing that something can be created from nothing–and we are supposed to suspend our disbelief about that. I love him, though. I truly think he is agnostic in the guise of an atheist.
However, Deism is heavily science-based. To put this in perspective, if science could conclude with 100% certainty there is no Creator, we would have no issues adapting to this. I can’t imagine science ever would, because our Creator is too vast to understand with the human mind, but Deism is, and always has been, very adaptable.
Now on to other religions. I struggled for a time with religions like Christianity because of all the hatred against LGBTQ+ individuals. I had to give the ax on two individuals because of their cruelty toward people who didn’t adhere to the Bible. One said I was going to be a pedophile because I am asexual. That makes zero sense.
My dad considers himself a Follower of Christ, and I was insulted when a man older than my dad said he’d be going to Hell because he doesn’t take the Bible literally. As of now, I don’t believe in a Heaven or Hell, unless science can prove otherwise. But it miffed me, made me so angry. Those are Dad’s beliefs, and I would never, ever rob him of them, no matter how different our beliefs may be. In fact, I’d be more upset if Dad stopped believing, because people who usually stop believing have had something horrible happen to them, and I feel like their religion kept them anchored and grounded to the world, keeping their thoughts positive–the good ones, anyway, like Annette, who believes that God tests people, who believes God lets things happen for a reason. I would be heartbroken if she stopped believing in him, because from what I know of her, her belief in God is what keeps her going, and I want her to keep believing in him for this very reason.
Annette has her own struggles, struggles of which she is very open about, which is why I am not afraid to talk about her on this blog. I want people to realize what an incredible young woman she is. Despite her pain, she has beautiful dreams that I WANT to come true for her. She is intelligent, not blind, and she is someone I look up to. She is beyond inspirational. I could gush about her throughout this entire post, because she is representative of what Christianity should be.
In any case, I DESPISED religion, mostly because it seemed like it wanted to rob marginalized groups of inalienable rights, like oppressing those in the LGBTQ+ community. Yet, the more I became entrenched in Deism, the more I realized it wasn’t religion’s doing. It is people and people alone. They use their religions as an excuse to hurt others, even though I believe, in my heart of hearts, religion would not want this–unless you’re part of religions based on extremism. Annette has shown me this.
I remember one conversation I had with an ex co-worker who told me her mother believed in God. Her mother has a hard life, but she keeps going because of God. Some people NEED this in their lives to keep going. Without God, who knows if she’d still be around. So it is an amazing, beautiful thing religion exists. Regardless of whether or not religion was created to control people does not matter. Religion has evolved to the point where people believe because of how the creation of life is everywhere and too perfect to be mere chance. If Christianity is right, Christianity is right. And I have no issues with this, so long as people like Annette spread that Christianity should be about love and not hate.
I used to rail against religion on my Facebook from articles stating that ‘x’ religion doesn’t believe it should allow certain people rights because their religion tells them not to. In fact, and I may be wrong, several laws have been put into effect that allow people to discriminate based on “sincere religious beliefs.” There are conflicting things in the Bible–and I could be wrong about this. Yet, there are incredible religious people who would NEVER use their religion as an excuse to hurt people. They use their religion almost has a type of mentor to fight against this.
Religion has arguably made some people hateful, but I truly believe those people would be hateful without it. We do become warped by our beliefs and anything that influences us, but I think there is something more than religion going on to make people truly hateful. They’re just using their religion to convey why they hate in the manner they do, though they claim it’s out of love.
Love everyone, no matter their beliefs. I love to talk to people who are willing to talk about their beliefs without being preachy. Conversations like this help me understand that individual more and what positive impact that religion has had on that person.
Religion can be an incredibly beautiful thing when in the hands of the right people. Am I saying everyone needs to believe in a God? No. Atheists and Agnostics have come to their own conclusions through serious thought. As long as they are happy and don’t feel the need to believe believers are stupid, they deserve their beliefs as much as religious people do. Some people don’t need a god in their lives to keep them going forward. Others do. However, I want to point out a few things:
- If you live your life only doing good things because you’re afraid of going to Hell, then can you really be called a generous person?
- Don’t even believe that without religion, people would fall into anarchy. I mean, before religion was revealed, do you truly think people went around and killed and raped whomever they wanted? That goes against the survival of our species in the first place, and goes against the rational thoughts gifted to us. In fact, that is downright insulting to the human race.
- What is it with wanting people to be afraid of God? Shouldn’t god be loving? Fear suggests God isn’t as loving as he seems. I could be wrong.
- I think people should only believe in a god through careful consideration and not be a believer because that’s what the Bible says or that they don’t know any better. If God is real, he gave us rational thought processes for a reason. Think about why you believe what you do. Don’t believe blindly.
- Don’t let scientific discoveries shake your faith.
- Don’t randomly go up to strangers and preach to others. Let those strangers come to you if they wish to know more.
- Love people without judgment.
- Don’t be afraid to be MUCH louder than the voices of people wanting to oppress others while making their religion(s) look awful. Change how people view religion. Start movements. Heck, start a parade if you want to fight against those who use religion to be hateful. I’d march along right with you.
- Don’t be afraid to stand up for your own religion if you feel others are being ignorant about it. I used to be completely ignorant, fighting against it at every turn, believing religion was actually responsible for the downfall of society.
- Be confident in your beliefs. Don’t shut down because this is what society seems to want. Blog about it. Write about it. Do whatever you can to teach people without preaching. Look up Matthew Turner’s blog. I love reading his thoughts. He is a strong believer in Christ.
- Keep believing. It’s okay to stop believing, as long as you don’t do so because life has beaten you down. Be rational if you decide to stop believing–have a level head, in other words.
- Most of all, find the beauty in the varying beliefs in our world. After all, you have to realize you’d believe very differently if you grew up somewhere with another dominant religion besides Christianity.
- Believe people can be good without religion.
Expect that other article later! Much love, Stars.
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