First off, for those that know me, this is unlike anything I’ve ever written about before, or probably again. But I also tend to write, or rant, about whats on my mind, so here it is.
I am by no means religious, I have personal values, beliefs and ideas that don’t necessarily involve a formal god entity. However, I also don’t consider myself an atheist. I believe there is something, not a being per se, but something, whether its a group mind, the force, or pan-dimensional mice that created Earth to determine the ultimate question of life, the universe, everything (they know the answer is 42 of course, they just are unsure of the question).
I do have religous friends, those with deep faith, and I am happy for them. I am glad they found something that works for them, and respect that immensely. In return I ask my readers, if there are any :), to respect that what I have found works for me. Trying to sell me is going to have the opposite effect.
A couple articles this week made me feel a need to write though about spirituality, first off Mr. Rex Murphy wrote an article about atheists demanding a chaplain in the armed forces, and about how many were so vocal in their atheism. Mr. Murphy raises some valid points, and some I agree with. One though I take a little umbrage with is saying that atheists can’t be spiritual. Apologies to Mr. Murphy if I’ve misunderstood his article of course, but that was my take on it.
The second article was linked by my old friend Mr. Harry Tucker, a man I consider to have deep faith, while also being a fellow geek…. the two aren’t mutually exclusive! The article itself was from CNN about “Why millennials are leaving the church”. This article hit some nails on the head for me, and relates to how I feel.
I grew up in rural Newfoundland, and like most kids of that time went to church with my parents. The church leaders of that time back home had definite ideas on what a minister should preach, and what he shouldn’t, so generally the ministers we had preached hellfire and brimstone. Yet my religious studies in school taught of a man who preached love and tolerance. The two didn’t go together for me, and I never really find a home there.
Nowadays the big debate seems to be about the LBGT community, and church’s attitudes to them. Again, I see bodies who call themselves christian acting with hate and intolerance, rather than love and tolerance, and feel somewhere things have lost their way.
I know all individuals aren’t like that, many are tolerant, and understanding, but too many are not, and as the article says, people are leaving the church for those reasons.
Back to atheism and spirituality, again my position is that they aren’t mutually exclusive. Some would define me as an atheist, and maybe I am in the strict definition. But I do feel I have feelings of spirituality, even if my definition varies. Do I need a chaplain? No probably not, at least not in the normal definition of the term, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a desire to discuss my feelings, my spirit if you will with someone else.
I saw a quote a note by Morgan Freeman about Black History month, saying the way to get rid of racism is to stop talking about it. I’ve said Canada is less racist for that very reason. I also remember Pinball Clemons saying something similar. We see people as people first, not as a color. Well its time to stop seeing them as a label of any sort. Look at them as your family, and live by the Golden Rule, and I think you will find your own spirituality.
I hope you find peace, happiness and fulfillment in whatever religion or lack thereof that works for you.