I’m really having a hard time with this, and not because I don’t know what I believe. I know exactly what I believe, I just can’t find a church home that happens to agree with me or will accept how I believe. All of the churches I’ve attended over the past few months would probably tell me not to come back if I was 100% honest with them about what I believe, and that bugs me to no end. I know I’m not the only one who believes the way I do, so why can’t I seem to find a church where I would feel safe being myself?
I know I belong somewhere. The problem is finding that place. Which brings me to the bigger point of this post.
We’re human. We make mistakes, big ones. We’re not perfect. And my favorite phrase when it comes to religions is people fuck that shit up. So my problem is how can we be certain we have the right answer? They say have faith, but how am I supposed to have faith in a man-made religion, when I know that the men who created it were just as screwed up as I am? Don’t get me wrong, I’m good on the God part. Beyond that though, I can’t say for certain what it is I believe, and I’m pretty sure that 90% of the people who fill the pews of these churches are in pretty much the same place as I am. And it really bugs me that they go around all high and mighty pretending like their religion is the only way to God when we can’t say this side of the grave whether it’s all real or not.
The bigger problem I have is the exclusivity of it all. The “If you don’t follow this path, you’re going to hell.” How can we say that? How can we be so certain of that “fact” (and I use that term loosely) that we ostracize entire groups of people based on the writing of MEN 2,000+ years ago? Plus, how can we be certain that the meaning hasn’t been lost in translation? Furthermore, how can we say we believe in a bible (the Christian one) that says to love everyone without prejudice, but then turn around and insult and belittle anyone that doesn’t stick to the mold we hold ourselves to? I have a really big problem with that.
Additionally, how am I supposed to believe in a religion that contradicts what millions of scientists the world over have PROVEN with FACTS and EVIDENCE when the only thing that religion says I’m supposed to go on is faith, despite the mounting evidence against that faith? And why should I be damned to an eternity in hell just because I don’t believe some guy named Moses lived to be well over 600 years old and lived on a boat with millions of animals while God “punished” everyone else?
Furthermore, how am I supposed to believe that people who live good lives, who improve the world around them, who work hard to be decent human beings are going to hell just because they don’t believe what some pastor is telling them? I have a hard time being okay with that, especially considering the rather subjective litmus test most pastors are preaching as the path to heaven. From what I’ve seen of God in my life, he isn’t that exclusive, and I resent the implication that good people are going to hell just because some pastor says they are. And I’m pretty sure God does too, whoever God happens to be.
So I’m done. I’m done with organized religion. Who knows, maybe I’ll get a hair up my butt and start my own. Lord knows it worked for Joseph Smith.