How Influential is Your Birth Religion in Your Adult Life?

Reply Fri 27 Dec, 2002 10:39 pm
Some. I practice no formal religion, but my early religious upbringing has had a moral influence on my life.

Very much enjoyed reading all about everyones lives and the effect of religion weather it be birth or choice, or even lack there of.
I thought I would add as well, as you might find it interesting, as I did when given the poll and how I really had to answer it.

This is a bit complex so, Ill do my best here, hope it works out clearly. Grandparents were basically Catholic, its a bit crazy about that background but, when raising my parents, they were raised Catholic. My Paternal Grandparents very devout Catholic, my maternal Grandparents, not so much so.
Both of my parents went through the mill with Catholisism in regard to church and Sunday school, and my father went to catholic school, and he and his siblings were placed with the church during a period of time. Their marriage service was High Mass and in the middle of a heat wave when people started passing out, the Mass just kept going...I personally think that amazing but, tis what it tis. My parents had planned on me being religiously educated but, without the strong arm they were held accountable to.
When I arrived very early and within deaths grasp, my mother even had me immediately Christened. I think the turning point for her was when her Mother In law entered the hospital room the first words from her were "When shall we have the Christening?". Being a bit weak and feeling non conformist herself...she said, "There wont be one". My dear and lovely grandmother from that day on thought of me, and spoke of me as the devil. She wouldnt listen to anything, and sadly, went to her grave thinking this way. This was a large rift between my father and his parents and it only grew wider as time went on. Adding to that was the abuse he carried from childhood due to these beliefs. It only made stronger what they had decided: that I would be informed but, not pushed, molded, or infered with when it came to religion.
I do have to say though, my parents were on the edge, almost hippies, but not entirely. They thought a great deal about my freedom of religion and actually, I think for myself, it ended up quite well.
Having the large families with the backgrounds they had, I certainly had my fair share of Catholisism, and I was very happy not to have to do the things my cousins and aunts did.
Upon reaching young adulthood, I think it was around 12, I started asking more and more questions. My parents were absolutely fabulous now that I look back on that. If I wanted to find something out, they got books, they found people for me to talk with, they did everything they could to make sure I was informed and making my own opinions.
Eventually I did go to Junior and Senior Pilgrims groups after school at the local Congregational church, even went on Retreats. Additionally, through high school I had a good friend who was Catholic that I went to Mass with, and another who was Jehovahs Witness that I spent time with.
When I went on to college it was to a private girls school that was mainly Jewish, and I was able to now find out a great deal about Judaism.
After college I lived in Salem, where I was now introduced to Wiccan and Alternative/Self Healing/Naturistic views and concepts. All very interesting, all very informative all revealing to me some really great ideas and practices, and some really strange concepts as well.
Since then, I have read. I still have much to read and much to learn in my opinion. It is a wonderful study path.
I have a very dear friend that is Born Again, and we have had many long discussions and interesting exchanges of information. We came to a point recently where we needed to put it all aside however, and Ill share that with you as it really came to where I am now, what my general thoughts are.
I dont have any good feelings for any organized religion. At the base of them all are some wonderful moral values and grand ideas of how we actually could live, how perhaps we should try to live. In there as well however I always find that, even if not spelled out completely in the works is one thing that gets my goat. If we are to live together in harmony, or to live as good people, where we would achieve a great and wonderous place amongst ourselves, we need to accept each other for what our beliefs are. The fact that most people belive in a high power of some sort should be what brings us together, and it has only showed to pull us apart. Simplistic thoughts are very large when you consider the impact. Do unto others, love thy neighbor, etc. but only if they are exactly like you are. I have seen many people bend their religion to fit their needs, or have hatred towards another person because they arent exactly the same. I, personally cannot take one religion with these guidelines and say its the one for me. I havent found it yet, probably never will. Not without bending it, and I simply cannot do that, for me, it would make it pointless. I can certainly take the information Ive gathered and hope to live my life well, as well as I can, and as well as I can treat others at the same time, so I cannot simply put myself into a catagory that someone else has seen fit to advise me of is correct. I cannot look down upon another for what they have chosen, as it is only there choice, their upbringing, their belief, and I have no say in how another lives or chooses. I believe in evolution, not creation...at least not how it is generally thought of in a religious aspect. I think we have grown from nomadic tribes with religious thoughts and practices that may seem quite terrible or uneducated to us now but, was wonderous to them and then right through to the Greeks and Romans, and lets throw in Taoism and Buddism, and into such a calamity of beliefs that I think it just intersting actually. I choose to live life as a good person rather than a religious person.
My friend said I was too sensitive. Ill take that, it works for me.

So...my upbringing has had a great impact on my adult life, and I still practice no formal religion although many have been available. I dont however think it is a lack of being pigeonholed at a young age into one religion or another.
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Reply Fri 27 Dec, 2002 11:09 pm
quinn1 wrote:
I choose to live life as a good person rather than a religious person.

The two need not be mutually exclusive. Sadly, they too often are. A very engaging and personal post, quinn1. You are obviously a "Good Person", and a thoughtful one at that.

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Reply Fri 27 Dec, 2002 11:21 pm
i concur, "known" quinn for a couple of years now. how the time flies. a good and thoughtful person indeed.
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Reply Fri 27 Dec, 2002 11:34 pm
Wonderfully written, insightful - I appreciated your story very much.
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Reply Sat 28 Dec, 2002 08:05 am
Having had considerable religious training as a youngster I find that the emotional ties to my religion cannot be broken. That despite the fact that I believe that religion is a man made concept and only practice it in a superficial way.
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Reply Sat 28 Dec, 2002 08:52 am
timber...I agree, it is a sad thing. I figured someone would pick that one line if anything, and hoping it was taken as I put it, not negative in any way, just my own personal choice between the two. Actually I liked seeing "Good Person" like that...I think Ill take that and make it my own...perhaps in bold Caligraphy Smile

Pueo...gosh does time fly! good to know you sir, and thanks.

edgar...glad you enjoyed - I thought perhaps my own story would be interesting in regard to the poll at least

au..you know..the emotional ties you speak of, are very powerful. Im thinking now..gosh! Perhaps I just have a great emotional tie to not make a choice so basically my upbringing has made my choice.
Very interesting indeed.
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Reply Tue 31 Dec, 2002 01:06 am
Guinn1, you've had a fascinating spiritual journey, as have most who have posted on this thread. Thanks for letting us into your life.
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Reply Tue 14 Jan, 2003 12:38 am
Raised as a lukewarm Presbyterian, & when
compared to persons raised in the Catholic or
Baptist church for example - is an easy one to
ditch, and with minimal sense of doing anything
wrong or immoral. Mother was an episcopalian
father was member of some very strange sect
so - I guess that the compromise was the best
they could do. I never seriously got into a strong
rigid, bell ringing belief in any church, or any
religion. For the 8 years when I was married to
a Catholic, I was a Catholic - and while I DID
enjoy the ritual-ness of it - it gives one a sense
of stability, of constancy, Well, it did back then
at any rate. I find that I have absolutely ZERO
absolutes about religion at all. I see them as
being purely man made groups, for the sole use
of - in part, a social organization for members, and
also - as an organization which desires to "assist"
others people to see things in the same way that
they do, & get them to agree with their creed & to
give them your money. This last part; the concept of
tithing money ... is a very interesting one to me.
One would naturally want to give back TO any
group from which one has received so much benefit.
The problem was. is - that I have never received
any benefit from being a member of any religion.
I see them as amazingly arrogant - here they are
Baptists, for example, they are just like the little
crest of one little wave in a enormous ocean, yet
they see themselves as being the entire ocean. There
is no place for ego in spirituality. While many people
chase an easier, softer way - allowing themselves to
be led, to be lulled into non-thinking, because they
desperately WANT someone, some organization - to
do their thinking for them. To tell them what is right
and what is wrong. It takes ALL the work out of it.
It is the height of laziness. Any person who is at all
spiritual knows that not much can be accomplished by
following anothers path, when you have your own
path to follow. No 2 people are exactly alike, and no
2 paths are exactly alike. I found the greatest spiritual
awakening in a 12 step group which encourages an
honest, and continual program of study of self, and
examination of our life on a regular, daily basis. Only
when this is practiced with the utmost frequency and
gut wrenching honesty - can I find the help that I need
to pass on through THIS life. So I gladly give money
to this group, because it is here that I found what was
able to help me the most. When I think of the arrogance
of American christians going to,for example Hawaii,
such a land of peaceful, happy, pleasant & healthy
people, living life as their ancestors had for many
years - the white man brought them not only every
disease known to man - which nearly wiped out these
people of Hawaii altogether... but on top of that, tried
to make them accept their moral ideas, like wearing
of more clothing - or the conversion to a new religion.
What EGO is involved here. I have never met a
single missionary who does not have a serious ego
problem. Where for me I find that letting go of the ego
entirely - is what brings peace and happiness into
this woman's life. Each of us has a path to travel.
No one can tell you where you need to go, or how you
will arrive there - but perhaps within, there is a small,
still and quiet voice that urges you to extend yourself
to the heights that you can reach. There is no easy way,
and anyone who tells you that HE knows the answer for
YOU is a charlatan of the very worst kind.
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New Haven
Reply Thu 16 Jan, 2003 11:48 am
My "birth" religion was significant in my life up to the time I decided to change religions. The conversion occurred in my adult life .

Will it be my last religion prior to my death? Who knows! I hope so. The process of studying and converting is very time consumming, both physically and mentally. Cool
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