Speak Compassion

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Heading to Church

by @ 11:25 pm. Filed under Atheism, Empathy, Nonviolence

So, I have been attending a church.  It is a local Episcopal Church in town.  The building has been around for over 100 years.  When you walk inside, the church was designed to look like the inside of a ship turned upside down which makes such sense when you live on the shoreline.  It has two Tiffany stained glass windows I wish they would sell off to the highest bidder and use the money to feed the poor and help the town and I guess I can live with their choice not to do that.  I get they want to hold on to the history.

Don’t get me wrong, nothing has changed.  I still don’t believe in a god, let alone the Christian god.   I struggle a little with some of the readings from the bible, and I definitely struggle with the communion thing each week as I think it is creepy to talk about eating the body of a dead guy.    I stay for two reasons.  One my beautiful and partner and husband wanted to join a church and I could have sent him to do this by himself and that also wouldn’t be me.   I am there because I want us to do this together.  I also think there is something here in this church for me to learn.

Over the years I have gone from a very devout Christian to a die hard nonbeliever.  It has also left me with some intolerance of religion.  That hasn’t changed for me.  I get very frustrated with the lack of critical thinking I see in religion.   It seems people of faith have made a conclusion and then looked for facts and data to back up this conclusion. This is very different from my belief that we have to look at the evidence and come to a conclusion not come to a conclusion and then look for facts to back it up.

I am looking to this local church to teach me tolerance and patience.  Not everyone is where I am and they are happy where they are.  Maybe this whole god thing meets needs for them it clearly doesn’t meet for me.  Can I learn the lesson of understanding for this?  Can I learn to be okay with others believing in stuff I not only believe is crap, I believe this can be harmful?  I don’t know the answers to those questions but they fit with this journey of nonviolence I am trying to take.  So, I have been going to church each Sunday and exploring it.  I love the people and the coffee hour after service.  I am a little freaked out by the rituals.  While some part of me finds them nostalgic, the other parts of me find them creepy.

It will be interesting to see where this takes me and what I will learn.  Mostly, I am hoping to learn a new view and look on believers.  I want to be able to find a place of compassion for those who believe even though I don’t.  While the intellect in me wants to debate with them right and left, the spiritual person in me wants to stay open.  While the atheist in me wants to roll my eyes, the Gandhian follower in me wants to learn a new respect for believers I currently don’t have.

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