Friday, March 4, 2011

Thoughts on Religion

Religion: It doesn't register or resonate with me.
I have some religious friends, and I invite them to believe whatever they want to, but I will be eternally questioning of any claims to a universal truth represented by an omnipresent deity - or some such.
My resistance to Christianity can be articulated in the following way: I don't have, or wish to have, that much guilt. I lack the investment in guilt as a motivational emotion. Christians always seem to be struggling to overcome the darkest parts of their nature, of which they are ashamed. But we all have light and dark, and this is where self-acceptance comes in real handy.
Of the major religions, I am least turned off by Buddhism. I make use of some meditation techniques, and practice my own version of 'mindfulness'. And there's something quite beautiful about the Cao Dai temples in Vietnam, with their warm and light colours, and creative blend of world religions and particular theorists. But I would never believe in a religion, not even if I had to pretend to convert to one at gunpoint.

My parents were raised in a period of Bulgaria's history when religion was banned. (The dictator replaced the role of god, entrenching nation-wide veneration - the more adamant, the better.) I was raised to barely give religion a second thought, something about my upbringing I am thankful for, because religion breeds xenophobia, racism, sexism and homophobia. I do have a grandmother who is deeply Orthodox Christian, but I hardly ever see her, and in multicultural Australia it's unusual for religious groups to strongly assert their beliefs, so it's only when I listen to clips from Fox News (brought to me courtesy of American progressives) that I get the sensation that anyone believes my spiritual beliefs need improvement.

Today is one such day. Hence this post. I figure the atheists among my readers will sympathise, and the cool religious people will at least have a better understanding of my views. Lots of love to you all! :o)

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