Monday, January 17, 2011

Clarification needed...

It's hard for me to accept that another person might want to read my ramblings - and even harder to believe that they would want to comment on them.  But let's be real...I've put this in a public place and I must have some underlying desire to be read.

Saying all old friend (she's not old - it's the friendship that goes way way back),  wrote an e-mail to me directly to comment on my recent post about my agnosticism.  She brought up a very good point that she gleemed from the post that centered on my comment about wanting religious institutions (corporations) to stay out of the lives of others.  I'll share a portion of her comment here...(in bold)
Especially your statement that religious institutions ("corporations") should keep to themselves and "not affect others who want no part in their faith." What a sad world that would be if the churches of the world just did business for their own parishioners and didn't decide to feed the hungry, clothe the poor and shelter the homeless, visit the prisoner, and address injustices in the world. We may not agree with EVERYTHING our Church (or other churches) teach, but I feel sorry for the person who has decided it's better to believe in nothing at all than in a merciful God.

Point taken.  I could have written it a bit better.  Here's part of my response to her.  Hope it helps explain my point  more coherently.

I probably confused the few readers I have.  It seems you weren't able to get beyond that statement about staying out of others lives, etc...- which I can now understand.  I should have made it clearer by talking about religious organizations staying out of MY life.  Of course the good works that many religious and non-religious organizations do on a daily basis help ease pain and suffering throughout the world.  The people who are recipients of those good deeds would be the first to say that they want them to continue - and so do I.
The problem again lies when those same institutions speak out loudly and forcefully against my family (Kevin, Caden, and myself).  Both the Southern Baptist and Catholic church hierarchy have made it very clear that they want voters and politicians to take political stands against the rights of my family.  I could give you a list of public comments and statements made by leaders of both  that show this - but I'm sure you have heard them.  What I never hear is a local pastor or priest stand in front of a congregation and say, "I am embarrassed and ashamed that our church leaders have said these things".  They fear being fired and thus stay silent.  Don't misunderstand me though...I know you don't feel the same way and I am sure your local church has many members  who feel the same as you do in their hearts.  However it's the leaders and the many followers they hold sway over who are harming my family.
Stand in my shoes.  The most important thing in my life is my immediate family.  Imagine an organization that you belong to telling your kids that you and your husband's love for each other is wrong.  Imagine your Church that is a vital part of your life telling you that you shouldn't have children.  This is what the Southern Baptist and Catholic church hierarchy tell people.
That's a long preamble for the basic premise I am trying to get across.
I want people who have a strong faith in their God - to continue to have that and find comfort in it in whatever way they can.  I would never say to you or anyone that I wish they would stop believing what they believe and start considering themselves agnostic.  I simply ask the same of others and expect them to show respect for my belief also.    I fully understand the difference between the church as an institution and an individual's personal faith.  I wish that more of the "institutions" could also.  I know that Christians want others to experience what they experience and think that something is "missing" in the lives of people who aren't Christian.  That's presumptuous.
My agnostic belief is very freeing to me.  I find comfort in the fact that I'm not trying to follow something that I know I'm not capable of comprehending.  Even if I did not have the animosity towards these religious institutions, I would still consider myself agnostic.  If there is a God (in the manner in which you believe), I would hope that he/she looks at us in the same way.  The fact that you say he/she exists and I say I don't know if he/she exists just doesn't seem that important to me.  What's important to me is not what faith you do or do not profess -  but how we live our lives.


  1. So here goes...A Comment.
    I think People are just people!
    We are always telling everyone our way is right because why would we follow our ways if we did not think it was right.
    I was raised Southern Baptist and I love you the way you are!
    So does God.
    And yep we grew up with the same faith and I know He is there. I count on Him every day!
    And I never went to a dance and I got married in High School and had a baby on my hips when I graduated! I know that is not right in God's eyes, but He still loves me and is there for me.

    I love to read blogs and I look forward to what you and Cayden and Kevin are up too!
    I know you are rolling your eyes at me, but I will keep Cayden in my prayers as you guys raise him to a fine young man.
    He is a very cute 5 year old!

  2. Hi Arona -
    always nice to hear from someone who has known me since I was practically still in diapers. feel free to comment anytime. this is my journey - I'm not asking for approval or disapproval. hope you enjoy - and hope you and your family are well.

  3. Thanks for letting me comment, Scott(ie)!
    I would hate to have approval or disapproval on my life journey as well.
    I think of you often and wish you guys nothing but the best.
    I will be waiting for a new or a few picture(s) of C and the puppy! (If you allow that.)

  4. For what is is worth, here's my two cents...

    I think you can take what "we" learned when we were younger and draw from it. Whether it is how you want or do not want to live your life. I feel the most important thing is that we love each other in spite of it all. I do not find it necessary to seek the approval of anyone when it comes to spiritual beliefs. Spirituality is very different from religion. Spirituality is a God thing, religion is a man-made thing. I wish for you a spiritual journey. A journey that does not look to an organization, sminister, preacher, pope, etc. to define your belief in a power greater than ourselves. I understand your desire to speak out, as you should follow your heart.

    Enough of that... I will continue to love you and call you "old" friend. I will always cherish the memories we share. As A"Ronoa", I can't wait to see more pictures of your family, including the puppy)and your life. I look forward to reading your posts about your life with your family.

  5. Thanks Julie - good to hear from you - and I've been meaning to let you know that your writing is very good on your blog. I enjoy reading your ramblings.
    Best to you and your family - hope they are all well.