Recently I was asked if I was religious, not so much religious as if I believed in God. I nodded, but the confused look that my face must have worn made her ask the question again. This time I uttered the word yes. Either she believed it or she just decided to stop asking. But that question for some reason, hours, even days and weeks later still haunted me.
Look, I don't think I was ever the religious type. I mean, when I was younger my mother would tell me the Catholic stories such as the birth of Jesus and the three wise men or of Adam and Eve and Noah and the large ark that God asked him to build, I guess then maybe I believed a little. But as time passed and I grew older I started believing less on the stories that Catholic Church would tell us (note: I never really went to church unless it was because of a wedding), you know the stories about us being born in sin and basically the rest of our lives we will be seeking to make right. All the punishments that would be placed upon us for breaking any of the many sins that they have listed and if you didn't ask for forgiveness a hot and dark eternity waits for you in the afterlife... I just didn't bite. Nevertheless, I would still say I was a Catholic whenever someone would ask me, just for the reason that I wouldn't know what to say. Could I say I wasn't religious? So did that make me an atheist to the one who asked?
It wasn't until I got to college and decided to minor in religion that the little I believed was diminished. At first, I joined the classes to learn about other religions and not only about Catholics; however, the more learning I did the more I realized that religion is man driven. Men that wanted power, men that wanted to control and by doing so used God as their weapon.
The funny thing about learning and becoming more involved with something is that the more I learned the more interested I became. I admit, college made me less religious, actually it made me not be religious at all, but to learn about other beliefs was fascinating. I love to talk to others about their beliefs, to see what drives them to be believers or why they are religious or why they are not. That is probably why I am sharing my story with you guys, because I try really not to get into my views with people, scared that I would offend. Just like when I told my mother I didn't believe in religion she was in shock. She, of course, went on to say she doesn't understand how I can't be religious and what has happened to me that I am so different from my sisters. She would even tell me she doesn't understand how I studied it in college and yet still don't believe. I never had the nerve to tell her I always doubted religion and that school was in fact the reason that made me lose any small drop of religious i still had. On the other hand, now when I mention God my mother and sisters for some reason always have to say something about me not believing in God. This annoys me. I said I didn't believe in religion, not that I didn't believe in God. No it is not the same thing... not at all.
So, while I believe religious to be a sham, I do believe that God does exist. Don't get me wrong guys, I do believe in God or of a higher being of some sort. I mean after all, something had to bring forth the bacteria that started life on our planet. I do even at times find myself praying. God is not religion. That is something that I wish many would understand.
*Please note this is my opinion, I respect everyone and their beliefs.*