Started by SeaLioness, September 03, 2019, 10:27:14 PM
Quote from: SeaLioness on September 03, 2019, 10:27:14 PMHello all. I joined this forum and posted here because I am conflicted and confused and I am either looking for more answers or support (or maybe both).
Quote from: SeaLioness on September 03, 2019, 10:27:14 PMI don't know if I am an agnostic or atheist or not and the idea of identifying as such scares me for some reason. I suppose it's because I've had religion in my life for my whole life and while I've never "bought in" 100% (although I've come close) I am feeling more distant from it the more I learn.
Quote from: SeaLioness on September 03, 2019, 10:27:14 PMA little background on me. I grew up Catholic and went to Catholic school for a while and even a Baptist college before transferring to a public University. Despite all this, I really never bought into religion much. I was really more of a science oriented person (evolution was always fact to me) and never really believed everything I was supposed to. I went though periods of going and not going to church for various reasons but was always a lukewarm Catholic at best.
Quote from: SeaLioness on September 03, 2019, 10:27:14 PMFast forward in my life and I was married, but it turned bad (not abusive or anything, in the end, it turned out my husband was gay and that's why it wasn't working and that's why he left me). For some reason I turned to the Church then. I guess it's one of those points in your life where you are vulnerable. Some people turn to alcohol, some to drugs, some remake their lives, I turned to religion for some reason.I was at a low in my life and prayer and the idea that someone "up there" was looking after me gave me comfort. To be fair, the priest at my church at the time was also very sympathetic and a good listener. I focused more on the church and I became a "better" Catholic although I still struggled with things.
Quote from: SeaLioness on September 03, 2019, 10:27:14 PMA prime example, I just couldn't believe that the bread and wine at Church literally became the flesh and blood of Jesus but yet by some miracle still looked and tasted like bread and wine. That seemed too convoluted. The idea of a priest forgiving me for things I didn't even think were sins seemed silly too (although I still went to confession). And I also didn't make my child go to church once she was old enough to stay home alone and told me she didn't want to go to church/didn't believe in the religion. I told her she didn't have to go if she didn't want to, so she stopped going. That made me a very bad Catholic parent--by church belief I was definitely doomed to hell for that. But I didn't think it was my right to force my daughter to go to church, if they church said she was old enough to be confirmed as a Catholic (basically old enough to take responsibly for her faith) then I figured she was old enough to make her own decisions regarding religion.
Quote from: SeaLioness on September 03, 2019, 10:27:14 PMAnyway, I am a curious person so over the past few months I started to really question "why" with church beliefs. I am not really sure what sparked that, but I get like that sometimes. I find a topic and start digging into it. So for religion it was why do we believe X and why do we do Y? What's the meaning of Z anyway and who started that tradition? That lead me down a rabbit hold of sorts. I found apologetics to be full of double talk, so I went to scholarly resources.
Quote from: SeaLioness on September 03, 2019, 10:27:14 PMI ran across Bart Erhman's books to start. Then I started reading the bible again myself. I watched any secular documentary on religion that I could (any religion). I found one about religion by Richard Dawkins on Curiosity Stream (I can't remember the name) but it really struck a chord with me. Then I found a few others on the origins of Jewish (and therefore the roots of Christian) belief on another streaming service. I was surprised by what I learned though archeological evidence presented in that series. Lately I've been watching someone called Aron Ra and another speaker by the name of Richard Carrier. I like the way they speak, the way they lay out their arguments, and they make a lot of sense to me and I can't disagree with their logic.
Quote from: SeaLioness on September 03, 2019, 10:27:14 PMFor a while during all this, I was still going to church and I actually prayed for faith. Over and over. I begged god to give me faith. Surely god would grant that, right? Nothing happened. No faith. So I stopped going to church. Even my daughter said, "mom, you don't seem religious anymore."But here's the rub. I really don't know what I am. Technically, I belong to a church (I am on the roster of my mom's church, not my local one). And I support a Catholic charity that helps the poor in Africa (helps to keep their kids in school). I still go to church once in a while for family events/to keep the peace.
Quote from: SeaLioness on September 03, 2019, 10:27:14 PMBut at the same time, I don't believe the Bible is the word of god, just the words of men. I don't have any faith. I don't buy into the "just accept it, it's a mystery" anymore. I don't want to talk to Christians or read apologetics anymore, I want to talk to people in places like this and watch more factual documentaries and read more historical books. So I wonder if deep down, I am just looking for validation. I wonder if I am agnostic? atheist? Maybe just irreligious? I really can't say I am Catholic anymore, because I am not (technically, never believing in the "real presence" in the bread and wine means I never was or that I was just a heretic).Anyway. I am in a bit of turmoil right now: conflicted as I said before. I don't have a label for myself. I am just kind of... here and questioning. I will probably lurk a lot on these forums. But I wanted to say hello. Maybe my journey is typical? Maybe you have some advice or words of wisdom for me?I do know one thing. I've asked myself. If I were brought up religiously neutral (not raised in any religion). Would I choose to be Catholic or even Christian? The answer is no for a lot of reasons. I don't think I would belong to any religion. I think that's interesting to ponder.
QuoteBut here's the rub. I really don't know what I am. Technically, I belong to a church (I am on the roster of my mom's church, not my local one). And I support a Catholic charity that helps the poor in Africa (helps to keep their kids in school). I still go to church once in a while for family events/to keep the peace.
Quote from: Baruch on September 04, 2019, 05:37:58 PMYou have to go thru gyrations to process the presence of evil in the world, religious or not.