Losing My Religion

I grew up with very Catholic grandparents and not so Catholic parents. When I was in elementary school, in an effort to make my grandparents happy, my parents sent me to Sunday school. There are only two memories I have of Sunday school. The first is that there was a lot of coloring, and you were given a piece of candy if you got a question about Jesus right. The second was the singing. At the end of every session, each grade would gather into the main hallway, and an old woman would sit in the middle with her guitar and make us sing songs about Jesus.

I didn’t understand anything that was happening, and I often asked my teachers for proof of the history of Jesus (artifacts, anything), so my parents promptly removed me from classes.

As I got older, my family and I started going to church less and less, and pretty soon, all I knew about being a Catholic was that Jesus rose from the dead on Easter and that his birthday is what we call, “Christmas.” As we were pulling away from God, I questioned everything spiritual more and more, year after year. Eventually, when I was nearing the end of high school and beginning college, I decided that I didn’t believe in the afterlife, heaven, hell, God, anything. I had no proof, therefore, it was not real.

I didn’t think about anything regarding religion until I watched an episode of “Long Island Medium” with Theresa Caputo. I had watched other mediums perform before like John Edward, Sylvia Browne, and James Van Praagh, but they were always positioned in front of a large audience, and everything about it seemed so staged. Theresa, on the other hand, was stopping people in grocery stores, doing private readings, going on cruises and reading groups, and walking in to someone’s home and reading a group of 10 people. She did it all. Every situation she was put in, she came out with a victory. How could you not believe her? But, I still wondered, was it a sham? Were these cameras set up? So, when she came out with her book, There’s More to Life Than This, I bought and read it. Then, my life changed forever.

I started believing again when I watched Theresa on TV, but her book really won me over. She talked about experiences that people have in their everyday lives that are signs from spirit, instances that you can’t write or verbally explain to anyone else. It was as though someone had gotten into my head and described everything I’ve never been able to tell anyone else in perfectly strung sentences. I finally felt normal.

In fact, so normal that I recently began working at a Christian college. Everyone that I work with is obviously religious, and they have been their whole lives…Unfortunately, this is where I fall short. I know hardly anything about being a Christian, and I can safely say that I’m not one. At least, not the type of Christian I’ve come in contact with. Yes, I like everyone that I work with. But, I also believe in gay marriage, the fact that homosexuality is not a sin, that swearing is a part of human nature, and being edgy is what makes you real. I love Lady Gaga! Of course, all of these things are generally not celebrated in Christian faith, and that is why I can’t be a true follower.

Theresa Caputo has stated multiple times that all too often individuals use religion to pull themselves apart from others or as an excuse to “hate” someone. When, really, we should be using religion to spread love, kindness, and compassion. They use God as a symbol of fear, instead of a symbol of understanding. Like the GOP, once Christians can wake up and modernize, then maybe I’ll jump on their bandwagon to Bethlehem. I’m not trying to say that all Christians are bad people, most of them are the most compassionate individuals I’ve ever met, but, it’s time to embrace the new world and remind ourselves that Jesus was friends with a prostitute. So, seriously, is being gay really that awful?

Granny Smith – over and out

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51 thoughts on “Losing My Religion

  1. Christianity starts with love – the realization that God loves and cares for every person, and they have value in his eyes, the poor the rich, the aflicted, the child, all are all equal in that vision. It is to live with that love that we strive.

    Christianity is like a sports game – some practice much, some less so, some hardly at all. The game can be very difficult – some succeed, some fail, some try again, other quit. God calls us to try,
    and offers help if we pray and read his word. One who judged me
    against a brilliant athlete would say I’m a failure. One who judged me against Christ I hope would see I’m struggling with my failures to improve.

    hope this analogy helps

  2. If only all who call themselves Christians were as open-minded as you! Unfortunately, they aren’t. They’re usually bigot, stupid, hateful beings, and they think they have the right to be so. It’s why I would never even want to be a Christian. I wouldn’t want to be thrown in with the lot who roam the world, oppress people and think they are a godsend, and that they are doing these hateful things in the name of god. I dislike the missionary eagerness so many of them have, too. Why can’t they just leave me be, after all, I don’t go about trying to convince them that there is no god. I accept their belief (even if I do not understand it) and I claim the same right for me. 🙂

  3. That’s true. Almost no one who is religious really understands (or makes an effort to understand) what they believe, and that’s why they use religion to judge others and justify their own bad behavior.

  4. Thank you for the transparent post, Grannie’. What strength and courage! I really admire how you’ve taken a topic of deep impact to you and spoke gracefully and honestly on it. And yes, Jesus went and lived amongst, and spoke to society’s rejected folks. I believe He loves ALL people…those with differing sexual orientations, addicts, the broken, those who’ve given up hope, etc. All are equal in His eyes. I grew up with the same feelings about my Christianity…was turned off for so long. Now I’ve found a church that’s more of a hospital since it witnesses to the broken hearted, the hurting, the sad, the depressed, the confused, the angry, and the rejected. This is the true love we should be spreading. Thank you again for your words here my fellow warrior 🙂

  5. It does not matter.

    The problem with the church universal is that we “love the creation more than the creator”. We continue to choose the law over grace, in our case the law being our religious belief systems. That os not what God is interested in. First off, the law was not meant for Christians–it was given to Jews because they asked for it. Secondly, even after all of that, the goal was to show that it couldn’t be done–so why try? Thirdly, redemption was free of charge, the goal of THAT being eternal forgiveness and return to the creator in wholeness and love and light.

    What we have done is chosen to worship the rules instead of embracing the love.

  6. I used to be very religious, but now I’m more an agnostic atheist. It was a long road to reach here, but I’m happy now. Sounds like you are peace where you are and you’re working to build people up, not tear them down. Religious or not, this makes you a beautiful person. 🙂

  7. Apropos God and the bible and what people teach and say and interpret – I just want to give you some links. IF you haven’t heard of these books before. I found myself much more in Gods love partly because of these, and understand Jesus much mor – who he actually was when reading another book.

    But fist I want to recommend books written by Neale Donald Walsch – Conversations with God – as books and on Internet. You can start with this link to one of his sites: http://www.cwg.org

    and this is his latest book: http://godsmessagetotheworld.kajabi.com/fe/74056-sample-chapters

    I find them so true, and keep pointing out that there is only one big issue with God. GOD IS PURE LOVE!
    Everything said by men, written by men, taught by men – are gone through mens mind, hand and tongue. It has been interpreted by men – and you know as well as I do, that we humans are not perfect. We don’t understand everything. We don’t know everything. We do things for the wrong purpose. We think we know, and sometimes we do, but we do NOT know everything.

    So we have to seek everywhere and then think for ourselves. Not only take for granted that what other people say is the truth and nothing but the truth.
    We have to pay more attention to the feeling, the experience of God in our hearts, then to peoples words about God.

    And religions are made by men. You know that, don’t you?
    I wish you all the best.

  8. Loved your post. I was born to Baptist parents and unlike yours mine are still religious to this day, and I am now the odd one who doesn’t believe out of all my relatives. Some people feel comfortable with moral rules and social structures given to them, a code they can belong to, and I think religion appeals to those people. Others like us, who are more individualistic and need a more personal, specific code that we can relate to, probably get turned off of religion while questioning why it isn’t working for us. While I won’t applaud or respect that act of unquestioningly believing in irrational things, we have to accept that it makes life easier for them, and it doesn’t for us, and just be confident in our own decision about our outlook and moral code.
    My two cents – Michael Lochlann

  9. The cool thing about Christianity is it is based on unconditional love. There are so many Christians out there with different beliefs. Yes, some make it their goal to thrust their beliefs on you saying “You must believe this way or you’ll be eternally damned!” But I don’t. I happen to be a quite firm believer and have a strong relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ. I also believe in gay marriage. I’m pro-life, but I also think it’s situational and abortions shouldn’t be illegal. I think sex is most beneficial within the bounds of marriage. Beliefs are one thing, but true faith is a heart matter. Do you believe in God? Did you believe Christ was raised from the dead to clear us from our sins? Do you love God? Do you love your neighbors as yourself? I think those are the most important things, the rest is just a bunch of crazy for religious folk to argue about. Not that the issues aren’t important, I just think if we focus too much on the cans and can’ts then we forget to actually love and take care of each other. Faith is the fun part. I think if I knew all the answers that life would be pretty boring – sometimes we need to leave room for the unexpected and have a little faith 🙂

  10. Religion versus Christianity. I consider myself a Christian, but not a very religious person. I love Jesus with all my heart but I despise, as did Jesus, religion. Religion is a set of rules trying to earn God’s grace, while Christianity is the free acceptance of God’s grace. Grace is the action to God’s love. Grace is a teacher (Titus 2:11-12). It teaches us how to live holy, Godly, and righteous lives. Grace is a life long process. Grace picks us up when we fall and sets us back on our feet. I have had to be stood up many times during my walk.

    Do I agree with much of what you wrote? Sorry, but I do not. However, I do understand your quest to find the truth. Do I judge you as wrong for what you believe? Nope, that is not my job. Are all who call themselves Christian’s really living what they claim to believe? We both know the answer to that question. Just because I claim to be something does not make me that something. Christianity is not about a set of rules. It is about a relationship with our Heavenly Father and with Jesus.

    Do I follow the teachings of the Bible? Absolutely! However, as a teacher of the Word, I know that it is often abused and taken out of context for selfish gain or argument. Notice that Jesus never argued with the “sinners,” but very often gave the religious folk a good tongue lashing.

  11. As a born again follower of Jesus Christ I would like to commend you on having lost your religion. Religion has always had the adverse effect of making people hate others instead of loving them as it should be. You see, people have always used religion as an excuse for killing and mistreating fellow humans even when that was never God’s intention.

    In the Old Testament, God gave laws to man that were to be obeyed in full if someone were to be righteous. Naturally, people could not handle this and a temporary solution was provided by God in way of atonement. [Leviticus 16]
    The laws given to man by God included:
    -You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud. (this makes eating pork a sin) [Leviticus 11:3]
    -“Keep my decrees”. “Do not mate different kinds of animals”. “Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed”. “Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material”. (this makes most of our state of dress a sin) [Leviticus 19:19]
    -“If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads”. (this is what makes gay marriages a sin) [Leviticus 20:13]

    In the New Testament, however, upon dying on the Cross, Jesus fulfilled all the laws of God, so that those who believe in Him are forever righteous. (“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” [Matthew 5:17] )
    What this literally means is that, someone who accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior can eat anything and do anything and still remain righteous [Note: This is not an encouragement for people to keep doing bad things as was written that: “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?” [Romans 6:1]]
    Now therefore if you say, gay marriages are a sin, you shouldn’t eat pork either, or wear clothes with multiple fabrics. And if you obey these laws then you must obey all the laws in the Bible at which point you are no longer a follower of Christ Jesus because Grace(personified in Jesus) cannot mix with law. Religious people have always been selective in the what they consider sin and what they don’t. A true christian should treat people the way Jesus treats them: With unconditional love, regardless of whether they comform to your ideals or not. ***Isn’t it interesting to realize that the only people Jesus had issues with were the religious ones

    My advice then to you and anyone who wants to know about God is simply that continue to want. That is all that matters. As it is with success, all you need, is the yearning to attain something and you will have it. For it is written that: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. [Matthew 5:6] As you see from that verse, the only criteria for attaining righteousness is the hunger and thirst for it.

    Be blessed

  12. Thank you for the follow. I do enjoy your writing, its flows and is so easy to read. You seem to be a “real” person – honest and refreshing. Hope my writing can be like that one day.
    Losing your religion may be a whole lot easier than finding God. He sometimes hides Himself and you have to go and seek Him out. It will require faith, and not proof, to find Him. He is well worth the pursuit, and you will be magnificently amazed, and bowled over by His love. Begin your earnest search by reading the Bible, and start in the book of John. Do the paradigm shift and choose to believe – earnestly ask Jesus Christ into your heart…and all that is a rational choice!! Hope you will soon be surprised by His love and joy. And… I love dem green apples !

  13. The first sin was the seeking of knowledge. Nope.

    I think I have a post somewhere on my blog that echoes much of this. Also, I will have to find it, but one of my favorite speeches was from a woman who left the “Quiverfull” movement and became an Atheist.

  14. It’s funny because much as though I’ve mentioned my lapsed Catholicism from time to time in my blog I’ve never written at length about it. Maybe I will. It still shapes much of the way I think about the world and there are elements of faith that I certainly respect, but when the Catholic church responds antagonistically to the recent Irish vote in favour of gay marriage I’m thinking, yes, what else did you expect, but also when are these people going to stop mistaking their nasty little prejudices for the will of God? Life is better than this.

  15. Jesus never preached exclusion. He taught inclusion. he did not teach violence he taught peace. He accepted women,men,children,roman officers,politicians etc. he never said lets treat this group as less than. he never said rise up against the romans and kill them. It was really kinda simple.

  16. So true. I am religious but I am constantly shocked by how my fellow believers preach hate and intolerance when really acceptance and love are the core values of most religions.

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