Why are you the religion you are?(105 Posts)
If you are at all religious that is! My family are catholic and I have recently started attending church. I feel the services very comforting and I find I always want to try and be a better person after going. But there's so much in the Catholic Church I worry about, particularly if I'm going to start taking my children. So I didn't know whether I should explore other options too? I just wanted to know then really, are you a particular religion because you we're born into it? Or did you spend time finding a denomination that is in line with your beliefs/morals? Thanks so much
I was brought up Catholic and after thinking a lot about ethics/morals decided I was...... An atheist
Sorry, not very helpful!
I'm Church of Scotland because my mum is and that was the church I was taken to.
It is also in line with my beliefs and morals. As far as I can see there is no hierarchy - no bishops/archbishops. Women can be ministers if they want to.
I'm C of E but may parents are/were Methodist (church of choic as a child) or a self-escribed Heathen.
I feel fairly comfortable with the message, style of worship, people, architecture etc etc of C of E, but I still oftern question much of it. I think that is why I like Christianity - it actively encourages questioning and individual thought.
Growing up, I was a church going Catholic, but stopped going weekly when I left home. Twenty or so years later, I started taking my DCs to Teatime Church (Sunday School on a Tuesday, really) at the CofE church over the road from us. I still don't go regularly, but have attended their Christian discussion groups and have recently become their treasurer, which kind of surprises me!
I find it a better 'fit'. Like you, there are a few things in the Catholic church that bother me (although, hypocrite that I am, I gave sent our DCs to a Catholic school) but TBH, if I'm ever asked what my religion is, I would still answer Catholic .
Atheist. Because I don't believe in God. Fin.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I was raised Presbyterian (Church of Scotland in America) and attended various youth-orientated evangelical clubs. So, I'm a Christian because, well, I was raised one.
But, I didn't really practice any religion for a long time as an adult and then in my 30's I became a Catholic. I don't really know if I know why. It just appealed to me. It all seemed so beautiful. I studied art history at university and medieval art appealed to me the most, so that was my area of focus. I was really intrigued by relics and saints and the art.
I think, growing up, I'd always been sort of confused by the idea that I was supposed to just read the Bible and pray and that would be sufficient. It wasn't sufficient. The Bible just sort of left me cold and I didn't really know how to make the connection. Then, I learned about religious art and the many ways the Catholic Church has to connect with God. There's something for everyone: liturgy, the rosary, various saints who can seem to speak to you on all sorts of levels. It was like "Oh! There are visual aids for this??"
I think, though, that what really won me over was the logic of the doctrine. I know that sounds daft to most people, but once you accept the basic premise of the Gospel, then everything flows from that in a logical sense. Like, "Since we know we are created by a loving God... then we know that XYZ is...."
I'm an Atheist but grew up a strict Jewish. I loved the kind of security of my faith, the way I could look and then follow the rules...the knowledge that if I do what I'm 'meant' to do, then it'll turn out alright. That being religious and good was enought for me to have a better life...instead of the luck and often unfairness. But I studied it all, and others...and didn't believe anymore.
It is not unreasonable to ask the origins of peoples religious beliefs, as long as it is done in a polite manner and you don't mind if people say it's none of your business.
Does that answer your question?
No, didn't think so.
I have no religion. This is because I know sod all about any of them and have no real interest in learning about them.
I don't vote for the same reason.
All of that kind of stuff make my brain fuzzy and my head spin. It's bestthat I left it to other people.
CofE, born and bred.
i'm an r e teacher, too, so i spend a lot of time thinking about religious stuff. i like it.
I was born in the Soviet Union, it broke up when I was about 8. So all religion was banned, my dad was an army officer so would have been in trouble if anyone knew me and sister were christened- I don't think my dad even knew for a while, my mum and nan did it secretly when I was a baby. So technically I am an Eastern Orthodox. My grandparents took e to church ( again, secretly) at Easter and Christmas, and I loved if because it was all so secret, and also because I was allowed to stay up late!
Alas, I grew into a non believer!
born Quaker, brought up, baptised and confirmed CofE
opened my mind to the world around me and became an atheist
Christened a Christian but currently open to the idea...
I wouldn't say I believe in anything, but I don't disbelieve.
Brought up Church of Scotland am now an atheist as I doubt believe in God, I wish I could believe but the rational part of my brain won't allow me to.
My DP is RC as are my children.
Grew up atheist, now I'm a half-assed spiritualist. I don;t believe in God or anything, but I do believe in an afterlife.
I'm Jewish, because I was born Jewish. I would say I'm more of a cultural or traditional Jew than a religious Jew. It's not that I don't believe in G-d (I do), just that it is not easy to fit orthodox Judaism into modern day life.
I'm sure I could become more observant if I really wanted to. But right now, I don't especially want to.
I've never been Baptised / Christened, nor has my Dad & sister.
I went to the local C of E church with some of the neighbours' children but i found it very hard to believe, i stopped going by the age of 13.
So what am i? I wouldn't say an Atheist because i keep an open mind regarding spirituality, but i'm definitely not a Christian.
YANBU to ask, but YABU if you only want responses from religious people
Born a Christian. Became an atheist during teens. Met DH who was a Christian. Came back to Christianity. Now DH is an atheist and I am a Christian.
I'm a non-denominational Christian. Whenever I've moved to a new place, I try a few different churches until I find the one that feels 'right' for me. Usually that means the one which is the most spiritually active. Currently that means the Catholic church in the next town, which has a wonderful, energetic and welcoming community.
I am now agnostic.
Brought up by a Catholic mother and an evangelical atheist father, I lived in a predominantly Muslim country for a while and subsequently in a mainly Buddhist one. While there, I was baptised in a Lutheran church and I went to church regularly for several years. Married into a Hindu family but DH himself converted to Sikhism when he was younger. When I returned to the UK, I continued to go to church for a while, but gradually started to feel alienated from the church as I didn't buy the idea that Christianity was the only route to God, or indeed the idea that any one religion might have all of the answers. I don't even know now if I believe in God or not, but if there is, I don't think that any religion has a monopoly on him (or her).
I think if I were to choose a religion now, Buddhism might be my top choice, but for now, I'm happy without one. As far as dd is concerned, DH and I have agreed to teach her about all religions without bringing her up in any particular one.
I'm an atheist because I don't believe in a deity, or afterlife etc. I believe that I have an obligation to live a good life and be a decent human being, but I don't need a belief in god for that.
My parents are Methodists and took me to church as a child. When I was around 12/13 they gave me the choice to carry on coming with them or not. I chose not.
I am an atheist. I don't believe in God, Heaven, Hell, the Afterlife, that Jesus was the Son of God or that the Bible (or any religious text) is anything more than a work of fiction.
I wasn't baptised, and although I married in a church and both of my children are baptised CE, that is simply because that was DH's wish. During the baptism I hold the baby and maintain a respectful silence.
I do feel strongly affiliated to Humanism though - you don't need religion or God to have morals.
I'm an atheist because as much as I love a good fairy story the bible takes it just a little bit too far.
I'm not anything. I wouldn't necess declare myself as an atheist or agnostic but religion of any sort has never really been part of my life (excluding the basic theme of Christianity taught in UK primary schools) so never really given it any thought. I don't feel a burning need to make it part of my life either altho I do find learning about religion very interesting.
Atheist. Never really seen any reason to believe.
I am however interested in religions.
Church of Scotland, although married in an Episcopilian church.
I was christened in a CofE church as a baby, but became an atheist in my teens and have never really believed in any kind of god.
I was brought up Catholic and see no reason to leave.
I converted to Islam. I studied it and saw the many miracles of the Quran that led me to believe it is the word of God. For example the Quran was revealed over 1400 yrs ago to Prophet Muhammad, but it contains a detailed description of the development of embryos, stuff on tectonic plates, planets etc and much more which couldn't have been known about by the Prophet who could not read or write. I've alwys believed in God. The creation is all around us as evidence, but found a lot of contradictions in christianity. Muslims believe in all the prophets of the christian and jewish traditions, for example Moses, Noah and Adam, and Jesus even, but we reject the concept of the trinity and believe jesus was a messenger but not the son of God or God incarnate. We only pray to Allah (same as christian and jewish God) and not to Jesus or Mary or anything other than the One creator, Allah subhana wa ta ala. Thanks.
I'm not religious but I do like learning about religions and can appreciate the merits inherent in each; I sort of admire from afar. If I could have a little of each, that would probably suit me just fine
Atheist - born into an american
weird religious group; studied my way out of that group (and god-belief) in my late 20's.
Thanks for this OP - I think peoples responses are really fascinating, I really hate being shoved into a box on forms for exactly this reason,
My upbringing was Roman Catholic, so I always seem to bring that bias (if that's the right phrasing) into my life i.e. the good Samaritan, love thy neighbour, turn the other cheek. These are touchstones as to how I was raised - and are as much are part of me as my hair and eye colour.
But I would hate for this to define me as a whole and although I have warm and fuzzies about my church with a little "c" (parish priest let me serve on the altar because I was good at it) I can't reconcile these with Church with a big "C" (Had a short hair cut so was passed off as a boy to serve at a bishops mass.... my name was Kevin that day).
So I would call myself a humanist - but someone no doubt smarter than me will point out a flaw in this!
I don't believe in anything anymore.
If I was to practice any religion, I'd follow the Ancient Egyptian belief system. There is a tranquility within it that I never feel when reading about any other structure.
genuinely really believing in religion,is the same as having a mental illness imo.it is bonkers.
It's interesting to find so many other atheists/non believers on one thread. In RL most if my friends are Christian, I feel I cannot speak about my lack of belief, I maintain a dignified silence if the conversation comes up.
Brought up RC. No religion now. Don't believe in 'God' as per Christian, Islamic or Jewish line of thinking. DH brought up with no religious, christened in Church of Scotland but that was it.
brought up C of E, now atheist....
but every time I watch babylon 5 I end up itching to try out the Minbari faith...
'genuinely really believing in religion,is the same as having a mental illness imo.it is bonkers.'
Until this particular comment, this was an interesting thread.
I was brought up in a baptist church so Christian. Stopped going when my nan died (I was 13). Started going to a different church, which had a large youth congregation. Stopped again about 16.
Now I don't know what I think. The logical side of me doesn't believe in god, but the 'emotional' side of me does (this is more likely just because it's what I've known since little)
I do kind of believe in something else, but maybe something more sororal as opposed to God. I think the books were written to control man.
Brought up C of E. although the Christian denomination of the church that i attend is not that important.
Finding the right Christian community / church is most important.
We moved about eight years ago and I started attending a lovely C of E chapel with an amazing youth worker for the kids. My kids are being brought up as Christians - but I think that it is very important that they question their faith as it is only through questioning that they have the chance to grow. My DP does not attend church but he respects that my faith is important to me.
Atheist here too.
sweetkitty I'm very surprised that you don't meet many other atheists. You don't live in the States do you? The vast majority of British people I meet are atheists. The only religious people I meet tend to be from other countries.
sirboobalot Ancient Egyptian religion sounds interesting. They worshipped cats didn't they? In that case I'm nearly there already
I definitely worship cats!
I wasn't brought up with a religion.
I am an atheist. I don't need a religion to give me a moral compass as I have my own.
I also worship cats... or at least my cat thinks I do.
I used to say I was an atheist but then I heard Stephen Fry talking about being humanist, saying that it is important to be affiliated to the humanist society so that the views of atheists can be represented alongside the religious viewpoints. So now I say I'm a humanist because although I don't believe in God I do have a strong sense of morals.
Once a Catholic ..... But seriously I love my religion although never felt the need to bring my kids up in the same faith.Good job because we are a mixed bag of stuff ie.DM,Methodist;DF Catholic;All siblings,atheist;MIL,Baptist;DFIL card carrying communist;DH is hedging his bets,but is mostly an atheist.I never proselytise.My faith gives me comfort and hope.
My parents are Atheists, but I was encouraged to go to a local Christian (gospel type) church as a child (free bus and a morning off for them). I went for about 3 years and quite liked it, but was put off by the freedom of speech in the teenage section of the Sunday school... it was a kind of open confession, in which girls who were a bit more worldly than me, told all. I found it very uncomfortable.
Fast forward eighteen years... I'm 29 and have spent at least the last 10 years laughing at anyone who 'feels the need to have a god'. I'm reading Cider With Rosie and I get to a part where children are carol singing about 'Sweet Jesus'. I'm lying on my bed and I start to shake, then cry... no idea why, other than the thought of 'sweet Jesus'.
So I go to church, I like the people, but there's more... I'm not sure what though... so I pray.
I'm still praying 16 years later. God has done the most wonderful things in my life, despite the fact that I am not (until recently) a regular church go-er. I may not be again. The body of a good church helps its community and beyond, but is not essential to a relationship with God, in my opinion.
I'm going through similar as you are, searching. I was raised Christian (father's side actively right wing American Protestant, grandfather and 3 minister uncles, everyone was involved, mother lived on TV evangelists even though she and her family are Catholic), I fell out of that after an experience in my teens. I ended up turning to Judaism after a lot of searching and thought I'd found a spiritual home as a Noachide for 15 years, but found some problematic concepts that threw me for a loop and away. It was a shock to my system, but also felt lighter once I'd come around and set about with my family what we wanted to do now.
So that resulted in a lot of reading, discussion, and debates between DH and I on whether Pantheism or Panentheism fits our world views best, we settle on being Philosophical Theist, while we work through the philosophical discussions, unpicking long settled Abrahamic beliefs for their worth, and creating our own traditions and such around it.
Muslim here. Born to Muslim parents.
I sometimes wonder if I had been born thousands of miles away
or even down the road to a non-muslim family, would i have discovered Islam later in life? I would like to think so, but then every single person with or without faith genuinely believe they are on the 'straight path' and hold the correct beliefs right? Its a strange one.
But I put a positive spin on these thoughts and feel more thankful to Allah for making me what I am. It is my beliefs that give me such internal peace that I would certainly feel lost without my Religion. Bonkers and proud Amber
They didn't worship cats, exactly, but one of their goddesses, Bastet, was shown as a woman with a feline face. She could also be shown as a cat. Cats in themselves were highly regarded, mainly because of their usefulness with keeping rats / mice out of the way, and especially being able to get rid of dangerous snakes.
What I really love about Ancient Egyptian theology is the idea of the law of Maat. I won't bore you all with a lecture, but it is incredibly interesting.
I don't necessarily believe that my atheism is the right path but it is right for me.
If your religion is right for you then all is well.
I can't be doing with any system of belief (or lack of) that wishes to exclude all other beliefs and possibilities.
I'm up for a lecture on Maat.
Okay... This will need a bit of background explanation!
Maat was firstly a goddess. She was shown as a woman with an ostrich feather on her head. She represented law, truth, honesty, and balance.
The Egyptians did not believe in the afterlife in the way it is viewed now, as heaven or hell. Instead they believed that once you died, you then had to process through a series of challenges, aided by what is now known as The Book Of The Dead. This in reality was a series of spells or magic words to help the dead person pass through the numerous gates.
Once you completed these challenges, you came to the final test, known as the weighing of the heart. The dead person's heart was placed on a scale, against the feather of Maat. To pass on to the Filed Of Reeds, the heart had to weigh equal to the feather - the dead person had to show they had done maat in their life. (For those that are interested, here is a list of the things the heart had to proclaim to weigh equally.)
If a person had not upheld maat, their heart would be consumed by a monster, and they would die the 'death of deaths', and they would live no more.
It's important to know that to understand the role that the law of maat held within every day life. I find it fascinating and utterly wonderful that this culture, which survived for thousands of years, was governed by something that, in essence, boils down to leading a life of balance.
Sounds like a good way to live though, even if you don't believe in the whole what happens after death aspect. It's always good to be honest, truthful and have balance.
It's not a religion but I would say I'm a humanist with slight leanings towards some elements of pagan. My parents were agnostic/atheist. As I don't believe in a god I guess this makes me atheist too.
With the exception of Alpha course bods I know very, very few religious adults that were not brought up in religious households/communities.
Catholic, I was brought up in this Faith and for all it's faults it still brings me immense peace.
Agree with Hoppinmad!
"Bonkers and Proud, Amber"
Thanks SirBoob, that was really interesting. We might do well to remember the virtue of balance a bit more in today's world!
YouTheCat, I think so too. And the more I have researched over the years, the more I find an utter peace in it.
Obviously things were very different then, but in so many ways they were similar too. I have a soft spot for the god Bes, who was supposed to scare off chaos by pulling ugly faces
These responses are so interesting! Especially love the Egyptian info. I am also a huge geek Thanks for the link!
Raised RC, now I suppose I'd be a Secular Humanist. I enjoy learning about religions but don't necessarily want to subscribe to any of them.
I do like the cultural and historical aspect of religion; how communities and traditions can be made based on an idea and/or belief. And how all different faiths seem to interwine through their stories.
im muslim. i have been since i was in my young teens. i wasnt happy as a child & teenager, went through difficult situations etc - i felt like i needed something to give me a purpose and something to belong to and i found beauty in islam. i love the quran, it gave me a sense of peace.
im not as religious now as i used to be, and if i ask myself now if i hadnt found islam at that time would i become muslim nowadays if i had come across it later in life - the honest answer is i probably wouldnt but i am glad i did find it when i was young. i go through a lot of up and downs in how strict, or how much 'iman/faith' i really have but i will always be muslim, its a massive part of who i am
Also what MsAkimbo said. I find the historical aspects interesting too.
I think my dd might be channelling Bes.
I'm a Zoroastrian. Our belief system is based on 'good words, good thoughts, good deeds' which I think is a pretty good way to try to live your life.
Interesting, particularly people who have changed faith.
I would have said that you have a propensity for belief or you don't and, if you do, your culture determines which religion you have. It makes sense that it should, as religion and community are intertwined and the basics of belief in a higher power and associated morality are the same across most religions, with only the trimmings very different, so you fit in with people around you through the cultural traditions associated with your religion. So, swapping religions is pointlessly picky and an essentially teenage act of rebellion.
So interesting to read what people's reasons for swapping actually are.
I'm culturally C of E and an atheist, so fit my own prescription for not having chosen to believe in a different style.
I was raised without religion. Married in a catholic church to an atheist. I think i am agnostic, but leaning more and more to wards atheism. If I had to believe in any one thing it would be ancient aliens, but people laugh at that more than they dare laugh at religions. I don't see why... It is a perfectly valid belief and with more evidence.
Raised Cof E by Catholic mother and Chapel (Welsh) father.
Now a complete atheist. So many things have happened in life that if there were a god, he/she would have to be unbelievably cruel to allow them to happen. So it is easier to believe that life is just random- makes far more sense.
I'm a non-believer married to a Catholic. I was not raised in any religion and my parents are non-believers too.
DH and I hold very different religious views (obviously) but respect each other's view and do not get into arguments over religion.
MiL and SiL are very serious about their religion and don't realise I don't believe in God so I sit is silence through Grace when at their house. MiL would be gutted if she knew my views and it would cause a huge stir if she/they found out, but it does rankle me that their right to openly believe trumps my right to openly disbelieve (in their company).
But that doesn't answer your question of why
Simply, because I cannot make myself believe in a God.
C of E, mainly because I was brought up that way and it is comfortable. I do however like the idea of the Quakers and will get around to giving it a try one day.
Christian. Brought up as a Methodist, found God myself in my teens, seemed to lose faith for a while on a couple of occasions (was actively hiding from Him) but am walking with Him now.......difficult sometimes but He loves me and you want to please the people you love, even more so when they created you! Makes me smile to talk about Him. X
Both myself and dh were born and raised Protestant as are our 3dds.
We are not overly religious but attend church now and again and our dds know the history of our religion as we think its important they understand the history of it.
They have also been made aware of some other religions but both myself and dh are not keen on them studying certain religions at school.
Where we stay your either one religion or another and alot of bitterness around those who are not the same as you (outside Glasgow)
'They have also been made aware of some other religions but both myself and dh are not keen on them studying certain religions at school.'
I'm a bit shocked by this threesypeesy.
You say you are 'Protestant'. What denomination are you?
Were church of Scotland (Presbyterian)
Its really not that uncommon we dont want our children discussing 2 certain religions and feel very strongly about it.
What do you mean it's not really uncommon? It certainly is where I live,
I'm a bit embarrassed TBH that we both are Church of Scotland.
It certainly goes against the preaching and sermons I have experienced in the churches I have attended over the years.
And the two religions?
Its not here though your either one religion or another, not my doing its just the way it is
I dont feel I need to disclose the 2 religions tbh its our choice that our dcs do not learn about them, One of the 2 is thankfully never discussed and dds school
And ashamed really thats rather personal and offensive!! Cant see how it affects you really? They can learn any other religion they want and have but the ones we feel strong about they are aware of but we wish for them not to partake in anything to do with them.
Oh the light dawns.
I do live in Scotland threesypeesy. It is not 'just the way it is'. I am not like that and no one I associate with is.
Your attitude would not be condoned by the church you belong to.
Thank you for replying to me and answering my questions.
I am a Christian - christened a Methodist as a baby but not sure which denomination I would fit into now.
No one else in my family believes in God so I am kind of the odd one out there. Probably the reason why I fought against it for so long!
I am technically church hunting but mostly just reading and praying. The churches I have tried just don't feel right. In the middle of the GMG Bible study at the moment. I really love reading the Bible but it would be good to have Christian friends.
I don't really know how I ended up believing in God when pretty much no one I know does.
SirBoobAlot - another one here enjoying the Egyptian information. dS1 is working on Egypt as a topic this month so he just read it over my shoulder too.
I live in Glasgow and in my street there are Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, Hindus and atheists as far as I know. At my last church (baptist) we had friends who had been Catholic, Muslim and Hindu but were now Protestant Christians. In our current (also baptist) church we have friends from Africa who used to follow traditional tribal religion. It's just not true that people don't change!
I was christened in the Church of Scotland but we didn't go to church regularly until I was 12. Attended the CofS then, something "clicked" for me when I was 16, I stopped going because my parents wanted me to, and started going because I wanted to. After a rather wild first year at uni I decided I'd go back to church, and started going to CU at uni, where I met my now DH.
We went to an Episcopalian church, very large, students, lively, and continued to go to the Episcopal church when we moved to a rural location, though it couldn't have been more different - small and traditional, but very friendly.
By the time we had dc we decided not to get them baptised, as we wanted it to be their decision when they were older. We've both always been involved in church and para-church groups, like bible study groups, children's work, youth groups, homeless shelters, work with refugees.
7 years ago now we moved to Glasgow where dh and I both undertook degrees in Theology, after a lot of discussion he resigned from work and we went to Bible college for 2 years. It was fantastic, I was exposed to so much about my faith and that of others, spent hours trawling through the library, learned loads about my faith, came to understand why I believe what I do. We went to a large charismatic baptist church at first, and when we moved house within the city, to a smaller community based baptist church.
My extended family are no longer Christian in an active sense, though my sil is Catholic, and my nephew was baptised. Dh's mother and brother/SIL are Christian, bil&sil also went to bible college, but in Canada.
I think I am what I am (I describe myself as "Christian" but as you can see I'm happy in any denomination - and though I wouldn't be a member of some Protestant churches or he Catholic Church, I'm quite happy to worship with other Christians) due to upbringing but also due to interest and finding out about other faiths and faith expressions. Of course it's going to be culturally mediated, but the church I go to now doesn't look much like where I started out!
Was raised a Catholic but stopped going to mass years ago. There are too much that I question and that doesn't make sense to me. 99% of my family are Catholic though and tbh I've always felt as though I was a bit of a disappointment to my Mum as OH and I aren't married but have children (who have not been baptised or raised in any particular religion). For all my problems/questions about Catholicism I absolutely respect other people's rights to follow this religion or any other that they choose. I'm actually quite envious of people that have found this sense of peace and answers to their questions...
And threesypeesy your comment about being either one religion or another where you live and there being no room for anything else comes from ignorance I believe. If children are taught about different religions it can surely only lead to a greater understanding and respect. At the very least it would give them an understanding as to why their parents felt so strongly about these "2 particular" religions and they could think, "ok, Mum & Dad feel this way because of X,Y and Z".
FWIW, I live in Glasgow and have witnessed sectarianism first hand.
I never once said there was no room for anything else where we live there are 2 main religions and your one or the other. My dcs have learnt about several other religions as have myself and dh were not ignorent there are 2 specific religions though that I have previously stated our dcs are aware of know why we dont join in with anything to do with them.
Please dont think I raise my children to be ignorant this is not the case one of the religions we have a problem with is never mentioned at their school the other we decided that we were not comfortable with the participating in activly learning its a personel choice
Too much overthinking here.
Where my DC went to school their school motto was "God Is Love".
I think that just about covers everyone.
Most people have a God. Doesn't necessarily have to be a religious God.
Sounds very simplistic I know but I find I cope with life best if I absolutely declutter my life and keep in the back of my mind that
"God is Love"
This isn't really an AIBU so we've moved it to Philosophy/Religion/Spirituality.
I was born to a Catholic mother and a Protestant father who lived in Glasgow at the time of their marriage. They faced awful, awful prejudice from some others who didn't like the denominations mixing. I find the way they were treated by some shockingly awful and think that the ignorance of their views only did harm. I believe the segregation of the religions only ever did harm there and am pleased to hear that things in general seem to be much better nowadays.
My sibling and I went to a baptist play group, loosely church of England schools and a Methodist church for Brownies/scouts, e.t.c... I have been to Catholic mass a few times although think my mother was a bit disheartened by the way she was treated by others in her faith when she got married so has distanced herself from the church quite a lot. We were never Christened - my parents held a strong belief that it was our decision to make our own choice over what religion we were, if we felt that one suited us and that we should learn about them all. As I got older I have learnt about so many different religions and find religious education fascinating. I love the principles of the Sikh faith. I think education about all religions is so important. Without it I feel it is likely to spread fear and intolerance of those who hold different views and that can't be good, surely?
Bumbleymummy - I used to give talks at my old school for a while when they were studying Egypt, if your DS has any questions / wants some facts to impress the teacher let me know, I've become quite adapt to adjusting it for various age groups.
Thanks SirBoobAlot, he's actually home schooled so I'm his teacher. Always happy to be impressed though!
Oh right Well in that case, if you want some facts to impress your student...
Yes please! Do you want to PM me?
I grew up in America, and spent the last six years or so in the West of Scotland.... The sectarianism was such an ugly shock to me, and it seemed utterly unrelated to the Catholic religion of my experience.
I am so glad to be in England, and that my children won't be raised in that environment.
I didnt know there was sectarianism in Scotland. I assume its catholic vs protestant?
lottiegarbanzo - While it may fit you, it's quite invalidating to put your "prescription" on others and call changing and developing different spiritual viewpoints from their parents 'pointlessly picky' and 'teenage rebellion'. Your "prescription" ignores that culture and religion are not firmly intertwined for many individuals outside of an areas' main group's pairing (many people are culturally British, but not connected to the Christian grafting religiously or culturally that is now embedded in British culture). Also, it ignores the hundreds of thousands of communities dealing with the affects of cultural genocide, having ones cultural faiths ripped out and forcefully replaced with colonization with forced conversions, forced boarding schools and adoptions, and aid given only in return for conversion (and weekly lessons demonizing and degrading your culture and your previous faith). These are all within our lifetimes and currently going, people dealing with not feeling belonging anywhere or having a religious home anymore, and people having to fight officials who think it's pointlessly picky to not want holy lands paved over or want cultural and religious services not crashed by tourists. You may be with the status quo officials that people developing away from what you think is right is picky and childish, but claiming our own road is part of us, their descendants, getting back our own personhood that has been and is continuously being denied to us - being our own people and fully human as the rest are considered with our own reality acknowledged.
I'm Metis, my Christian kin are that way because it keeps them safe (even today it is far safer and many communities share this, even in the UK) and for some of them clinging to that, it means more than anything. When I was young I had people within admit that they couldn't get the logical leaps that 'proved' Jesus messiah, but that it didn't matter because it was safer to remain and I do not begrudge them that, but when I too didn't see it I wanted answers not deception and safety and was pushed down the Abrahamic line and was given praise by others that I was close enough and soothing words by a Rabbi, the whole 70 nations and Noahide as equal and intertwined bit. I lived with that for 15 years, built my identity around it, before someone trying to push Noahides to become full Jews showed me and my partner how actually we were unequal, that the harshness of our position had been hidden from us, and I again felt deceived. It was not easy, it was not being picky - I searched for days to make what I was told untrue, to revalidate the faith I'd been raising my family in and not losing all my answers. But the facts only got worse. Leaving was both painful and left me lighter in a strange way. Learning to enjoy being outside doctrine and celebrating the philosophy of a path without it is becoming better though still difficult. You may wish to trivialise this but for many people growing into a new worldview is difficult and about owning who we are as individuals and families, not because we bear grudges for those in our past.
So, swapping religions is pointlessly picky and an essentially teenage act of rebellion
I disagree with this - it's actually incredibly patronising and there might be numerous genuine reasons for switching from one faith to another.
Raised Catholic, taken to Church every Sunday. As I reached my teens I started questionning the Catholic Church and decided I hated the structure, the dogma and so on. I stopped going to Church. A couple of years later I began to lose my faith altogether, and by the time I was 18 I was an atheist.
I became interested in other spiritual paths a few years later. My long term girlfriend was Wiccan. I felt a need for some spiritual path but I definitely do not believe in a God or Gods. Today, I am an atheist who identifies quite a lot with Humanism, has some Pagan ideals/beliefs and celebrates some Pagan festivals/holidays, but I wouldn't say that I was Pagan on any official form because I do not fully subscribe to any particular pagan path (eg. Wicca) I just take some bits I agree with and use them. It brings me a lot more happiness and peace than celebrating nothing. I would say 'no religion' or 'atheist' on an official form.
Born into a C of E family but parents stopped going to church when I was little. I went to Sunday School which I loved and church with the Brownies which I hated.
My teenage rebellion included an agnostic and then an atheist phase when I worked out that life isn't fair. When I went to university I met some people who were starting up a C S Lewis Society and as 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe' had been the first book I bought I joined up. Through them I met mature Christians and I, much to my surprise found myself arguing with God, which was odd as I was pretty convinced he didn't exist! That experience was part of my journey to an adult faith. Fast forward 30 years and I'm ordained in the C of E which as a woman can be interesting.
If I hadn't been brought up Christian I might have ended up in one of the pagan/celtic circles as that is the path where I have a number of friends who look to the presence of the divine in nature.
I am also owned by two gorgeous cats...
I'm CofE, both by tradition and by choice.
I was baptised in the CofE, although my mum's family were traditionally Methodists (my dad's family were not practising as anything, though they have traditionally done CofE baptisms, marriages and funerals). We went to a Methodist chapel for a while and then - more for personal reasons than for theological ones, as I understand it (I was pretty small at the time) - changed to the local CofE church, where I was confirmed. I also went to a strongly CofE school.
I had a long period of agnosticism from my late teens to my early 40s, during which I half-heartedly sought a church where I'd feel comfortable from time to time, but never settled on one. My children were not baptised; my DH is an atheist. I went back finally during a period when I lived in the US, when I attended an Episcopal (Anglican) church. On my return, I started attending my local Anglican cathedral (knowing that my local church was not really 'my style') and I'm very happy there and now quite involved, as is my DD2 (DD1 doesn't want to know).
In answer to the OP's questions, I could have chosen a different denomination when I went back to church, but several things were important to me, and I felt that these were best met within the CofE. I wanted a church that was as liberal as possible on issues of gender and sexuality, as well as on other 'moral' issues. The CofE is not perfect in this regard (the Episcopal Church is the US does a bit better) but at least these issues are discussed openly and things are changing. I also wanted a church that was liturgically fairly traditional... I like a service that has a clear 'shape', and above all it means a lot to me to be able to take communion every week if possible. I would rule out many non-conformist denominations and 'low' CofE churches on the latter grounds; and Catholicism (and some more fundamentalist Protestant denominations) would be out for me on the former grounds. I'm now so firmly ensconced back within my faith that I could probably compromise on the liturgical side if need be (though not on the liberal side!), but I can't see myself going back to my old agnosticism. If I weren't CofE, I'd probably be URC, because everything I've heard and seen about them has been very good.
If you're not happy with the Catholic Church's teaching on some issues, there are two possibilities (three if you include simply giving up on religion altogether...). Either you stay with the Catholic Church and accept that there are aspects of its doctrine that you don't agree with and just sort of turn a blind eye; or you look for another church (I'd say try the Anglicans for a liturgy that won't be all that unfamiliar, but a more liberal outlook...) where you feel more comfortable. Good luck, whatever you decide.
Christian of the RC persuasion, RC by baptism and by choice and just have a deep sense that this is the right place for me personally. Happy to openly say that there are aspects of the church I would like to see change but those parts that I see fundamental to my personal faith sit best here.
I'm CofE now, but was brought up in an atheist, non-churchgoing family. I'm the only one of my family that has ever voluntarily been inside a church apart from going to a funeral or wedding.
I started going to church with Guides, and carried on going as a teenage rebellion. Then stopped, and gradually resumed my family's reflex atheism. Many years later God tapped on my shoulder, and wouldn't stop tapping. I walked into my local CofE church and that was, more or less, that. My reasons for staying are somewhat similar to Tuo's - I like liturgy, and I like the middle way the CofE walks between Catholicism and Calvinism.
It's interesting (and quite telling) that the vast majority of people either follow the religion they were born into (perhaps a slightly different denomination) or have become atheist.
Says a lot.
This has been so interesting, thanks so much!
Looks like most people who replied are of a Christian background, I am Muslim, and chose this religion at the expense of pretty much everything else in my life at the time about 10 years ago. I did that because I believed, and believe it to be the truth. That seems to be the bottom line for me, but beyond being Muslim I made other choices according to what felt most comfortable to me, such as which mosque to attend, which Islamic scholars to listen to etc etc.
Although I wasn't raised as a Christian, Christianity would be have the most obvious choice for me, based on my school, friends etc. But I never really got the theological aspects of it so never really got into it.
I wish you all the best in your journey to finding what is right for you and family OP.
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