Dear Thursday: Month of Minefields: This I Believe

Statue: "Le Rémouleur" by Giovanni Battista Foggini Photo Credit: gilderic

Statue: "Le Rémouleur" by Giovanni Battista Foggini Photo Credit: gilderic

As I mentioned on Tuesday, though I’ve returned to organized religion, I don’t necessarily have the same belief system that I did when I was younger.

To give you a bit of background, not only was I raised in the Lutheran church, I also went to Lutheran school, was confirmed, and spent a year as perhaps the worst acolyte of all time. Falling asleep easily when bored and having little to no attention span does not a good acolyte make. But still I loved using the little stick with the bell on the end of it to put out candles, so I’ll always have that to keep my memories fond.

There are two reasons I left the church. When I was seven or eight, my mother told me honestly that sometimes she wasn’t sure if there really was a God, but that she hoped that there was. My immediate thought was, “Oh my God, she’s going to Hell.” And I saw her falling into the hellfires of damnation, b/c she wasn’t a true-true believer. This gave me nightmares for years, so yes, when I was given the choice of public or private school at the age of 12, I was all too happy to go public.

The other thing that led me down the path of completely rejecting organized religion was my mother’s death. I didn’t blame God for it, but at the same time it didn’t do much to make me want to sing his praises. And we ended up having a decade-long cooling off period in which I took the time to really study who I believed God to be and carve out this ever-changing belief system. So without further ado, this is what I believe…

1. God loves all of us just the same, no more, no less. And I think that drives some of us a little crazy.

2. There is no hell.

3. There possibly might be no heaven or it might just be the ether or the universe that we get sucked back into when we die.

4. There are no blessings. Only luck and the fruits of hard work.

5. God does not punish. (I had to remind myself of this one over and over again when we were going through IVF)

6. Jesus was awesome. I believe him to be the son of God. But even if he wasn’t, he’d still be awesome.

7. The Golden rule is the most important rule and the hardest one to follow. If you conquer “do onto others as you would have done to you,” you are the Best Person You Could Ever Possibly Be.

8. After the age of 25, your life is your own, and you are completely responsible for it.

9. God does not judge. Even when we want him to. And that also drives us crazy.

10. There is no devil. The devil didn’t make you do it. You did whatever you did yourself. See rule #8.

And last but not least: I truly believe that God doesn’t need me to be perfect, but he would like it a lot if I got better and better until I died. If I die a better person than I am today, then I’ve done a good job.

What beliefs do you hold to be true, even if they’re not within the tenets of your organized religion? Let us know in the comments.