Losing my Religion

Seems like I see one of these articles or interviews about every day. Someone who professes their lack of spiritual belief shares with the world why life is so much better on their side of the fence. Frankly, I’m getting irritated.

Not because of what they believe or don’t believe. That’s their choice. But because they do such a bad job of representing what I believe. Today it was a blogger who described the free and happier life without his religion. It opened up a world of learning to him. It freed him up not to have an answer for every question. It enabled him to embrace people whose lifestyles were different; for example, people who loved and wished to marry people of the same gender. Friends who are more fun. On and on.

Guess what? All of those things (and many others) are already a part of my faith. Yep, I’m a Christian. And even a Baptist one that that. And I’m not narrow minded.

I don’t fear learning. I am curious about the world and believe that science opens us up to wonder. While I believe that there is a life beyond this one and hold that belief with great hope, the reason that I try to live a moral life is that God asks me to do justice and love mercy, not to earn brownie points for heaven. My faith pushes me towards embracing diversity because it reminds me that those people who are different from me are made in the image of God as well.

I have gay friends. I love them. I do not think they are going to hell. Sometimes I envy them because some of them are such great couples. I have friends both straight and gay who are pretty fun folks. We don’t just sit around quoting the Bible to each other. We laugh. We go places (even to the theaters!) We have been known to dance. Even in church. Sometimes with them I laugh so hard that my face hurts and I am physically exhausted.

Yep, I’m a Christian. Even a Baptist one at that. And one who is getting a little tired of people who are so proud of their open-mindedness being so quick to confine people of faith into one narrow little box. The varieties of religious experience are wider than one small experience or shallow stereotype.