Thursday, January 19, 2012

poll of the week: do mom and dad's opinion count?

Last week, we asked about where you stand on your religious beliefs. To start, we'll share our own experience with church.....

I've was born and raised in church. Every Sunday, my family was in a pew. Outside of church, we prayed together daily. It's just always been a part of my life. I went to high school in the South, where religion is present and nothing to be ashamed of--depending on your beliefs of course. Then, I went to a really liberal arts college, where religion was not present and no one talked about it--unless it was about how they didn't go to church/believe. Coming from my background in the South, going through college, you could say I definitely got lost. But in the end, I think I ended up stronger for it. Now, my beliefs are my own. Take it or leave it. I don't feel the need to "evangelize" to others, because who I am and my relationship with the Lord is my own. And I believe that your relationship is your own--who's to say which is right or wrong? From my past experiences, people on either side of the spectrum of beliefs are too quick to judge and push their own thoughts down other people's throats. That's not for me. I'm still learning and growing, and I suspect I will be for a long time.

As a kid, we went to church on some Sunday's. Some year's we were the people that went on Easter Sunday and others we were the family that was there pretty consistently. Either way, I wouldn't consider myself to have had a religious raising. We didn't pray before meals after it wasn't adorable for us to say "God is great, God is good and we thank Him for our food" anymore. When we faced a problem my parent's didn't quote the Bible or tell us to pray about it. I know my parents both believe in God, in the Christian sense. My dad reads the Bible and tries to follow it. My mom's philosophy has always been slightly more simple--i.e. be a good person. Religion was present, but it didn't define who we were as a family.

I think the way my parents were about religion is something I have inherited. Beliefs are personal. And when it comes to sharing those said beliefs, I think walking the walk is more important than ever talking the talk. I respect that people believe they are to go tell it on the mountain, but I'm with Annye, that's not for me. One of my favorite quotes in reference to Christianity is this: "Your life is the only Bible some people will ever read." I think that is really powerful. And true.

For my beliefs personally, I'm in the minority or our voters. I have certain beliefs, but I am willing to guess they may change. Not to say that I am easily swayed, but I am still very much exploring. And it's not until I've taken the time to explore that I can feel convicted in anything. Moreover, I don't know if I will ever have a set of beliefs that can be defined within one religion. I know I believe in certain things--some Christian philosophies, some Buddhist, and some I will call "common sense."

When it comes to beliefs, I think the most important thing to think about is respect. Respect for the fact we all have the right to believe whatever we want to and no one else has to agree or understand it. I think it's a hard thing for people to do because of the conviction they feel--but remember, that other human being feels the same conviction you do. I'll compare it this, for lack of a better metaphor...remember when that asshole kid told you Santa Claus wasn't real? Don't be that asshole. (I am in no way saying religion/God/gods aren't real here!) Let people believe what they want until they do or they don't based on their own experience. Sure, share your thoughts on the matter, but don't try to destroy something that someone holds dear.

And here's what y'all had to say...

This week, we want to hear about how you weigh your parent's opinions on significant others. Do they voice their opinions to you? Is it important for you to gain their approval? We're curious!

Thanks for participating y'all!

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