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Just some of the things that occupy my mind.
Don't bother to read this if you're narrow-minded. I'm coming out of the closet as a religious liberal.
Terry Goodkind says people believe what they want to be true or what they are afraid might be true. I've always suspected that anything I may choose to believe may be wishful thinking or guilty fear.
I am an agnostic, or some days theist, who lives on faith. We as humans cannot know the truth about God and the Universe. I therefore recognize no authority in such matters. But if we knew, it wouldn't be faith would it?
It is a challenge to have faith without knowing what it is I have faith in. But it's perhaps the most important aspect of my life, along with the love of my family and friends, a not unrelated matter.
Edie Brickell says religion is the smile on a dog.
She won't remember this, but my mother once tried to bribe me into going to church with her because she was concerned about my immortal soul. I asked her, if it were up to her, whether she would send me to hell. She said she wouldn't because she loved me. I said, do you really believe God loves me any less?
Who is the more religious person, the better person--the person who says there is a god but behaves as though there isn't, or the person who says there is no god but lives as though there is?
How we live this life matters. How we treat each other matters. How we treat the Earth matters. The journey matters.
I believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person. I celebrate diversity. I think the most important verse in the Bible may be "God is love," and I try to choose love over fear in all things.
As the UUs say, "We live not in our selves alone. In others' good we find our own. Life's worth in fellowship is known."
Intellectually there are two religious matters that intrigue me, though I've barely begun to investigate them very.
One is the history of the Judeo-Christian tradition--how the beliefs I was raised with developed, including the evolution of its main source of wisdom, that poorly translated anthology of virtually unrelated writings, compiled centuries after Christ by a politically influenced committee, known as the Bible. (I warned you I'm a heretic.)
The other is how science, particularly physics, seems to be coming closer to religion, whether religion likes it or not. Of course, I never even took a physics course so I'm out of my depth here.
Challenge of a Liberal Faith by George N. Marshall
The World's Religions by Huston Smith
The God We Never Knew: Beyond Dogmatic Religion to a More Authentic Contemporary Faith by Marcus J. Borg
A History of God: The 4000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam by Karen Armstrong
When God Was a Woman by Merlin Stone
The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers
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