Saturday, April 30, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 4

Your views on religion.

My take on religion was actually the topic of my very first blog post back in July of 2009. But it's been a while since I've written (or even thought about) it. So. Take two:

From _Let Me Stand Alone: The Journals of Rachel Corrie_:

"I thought we were Christian because we were white people who weren't Jewish. Those were the only options I was aware of...When I was a little older I asked [my mom] if we were atheists. I think it made her sad that I thought we were atheists" (191).

I once asked my mom that very question. And she reacted the same way.

I was raised without the influence of religion. The only thing I regret about it is that my lack of Biblical knowledge makes me a terrible English major. I miss a lot of imagery/symbolism that many fellow literature enthusiasts find very basic/obvious. It's kind of embarrassing, actually. I really ought to fix that.

Somehow though, both my sister and I wound up baptized Catholic. My paternal grandparents were Catholic, and my dad was raised that way (although he gave it up once he reached adulthood). I was born with some pretty serious medical problems, and wasn't expected to live more than a few days. So my grandparents insisted I be baptized, because they were afraid that if I died, I wouldn't be able to be buried in "holy ground."

My sister's baptism, like mine, was done on the fly. She had surgery on her kidneys when she was eight, and just as they did with me, my grandparents stepped in and voiced their concern. What if something went wrong? What if she died on the operating table? So Paige, like me, was baptized.

But that's literally the extent of my exposure to religion as a kid. We celebrated the big Christian holidays: Christmas and Easter, mainly. But that just meant that we got together a couple of times per year, ate a nice meal, and exchanged gifts.

To this day, that's what my family does. Sometimes I partake, and sometimes I run off to spend time with other people I love, even if we're not related by blood. In 2007, I spent Thanksgiving with my friend Sarah and her family in West Branch. And two years later, in 2009, I flew to Durango, CO to visit my friend Victoria for Christmas/New Year's.

I'm an atheist. Spent some time exploring religion as a teenager, and decided that organized religion definitely wasn't for me. Tried to be spiritual. Had to admit--to myself and to others--that I'm just not.

And that's okay. A friend's mom put me in an awkward position a couple of years ago when she asked me if I considered myself a "good Christian." I didn't want to lie, but I also didn't want to sound like a huge dick.

So I told her, "No. But I'm a good person."

And I am, or try my best to be.

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