March 7, 2012 §
I wasn’t sure how to answer the question of whether I was religious or not. My initial thought was that I’m probably more spiritual than religious. I spent some time researching the differences between “being spiritual” and “being religious” and I’m not sure that I can identify myself as either one. My experience with religion has been very complex and sometimes it’s difficult for me to talk about it. To be honest, it’s always difficult to talk about how I was raised religiously. I grew up in a strict, Christian home and my parents were very religious. They were legalistic in how they viewed religion and they expected my sibling and I to follow their beliefs. I felt confined and depressed by all the rules and regulations and I felt that I couldn’t do anything or be myself. I felt that I could only express myself in certain ways and I felt that my parent’s religious beliefs were choking my creative and spiritual self. Things were so bad that as a teenager I rebelled against my parent’s religious beliefs and I even ran away from home because I wanted more freedom.
These days, I’m skeptical of organized religions in general. Many times I view religion as being dogmatic and controlling. Although there are many principles/teachings that I believe from Christianity, I have a hard time attending church. I don’t know if I want to be a part of a Christian community and I’m not interested in participating in most church activities. I’d rather study, pray, and seek answers on my own and to be open to whatever faith my studies take me on.
I know that my parent’s beliefs are not the beliefs that all Christians share but the experiences from my childhood are something that I can’t let go of.