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6 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2008 - 10:45PM #1
LokiChild
Posts: 3
I had what could best be described as an agnostic or atheist up bringing. Both my parents were catholic, but for whatever reason they decided to raise their children with no religion. Not that this was a bad thing, but some times I feel that I missed out on a community. In my household Christmas is ultimately a commercial holiday and an excuse to get the family altogether, and the word God itself became an acceptable swear word because my mother would have rather heard that than damn, hell, or other things I can’t mention in this particular public forum.

At the same time I feel that I have missed out on the community that religion has offered. I mean there are schools, sports associates, scholarships, work places, and many other aspects of a community that are more centered because they focus on faith. Although religious communities interest me, actual religions don’t. I don’t want to think about Christianity because of a bad experience with a “good” Christian when I was a child. I kind of have an interest in Islam, but then I don’t like the society it comes from. Judaism and Hindu seem like things your born to, and other religions like Wicca, Buddhism, and what not once had an interest to me but the concept of prayer seems kind of silly to me. I want a religion but then I’m not sure I want any of the traditions of a religion.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2008 - 11:56PM #2
LeahOne
Posts: 16,478
[QUOTE=LokiChild;896761]I had what could best be described as an agnostic or atheist up bringing. Both my parents were catholic, but for whatever reason they decided to raise their children with no religion. Not that this was a bad thing, but some times I feel that I missed out on a community. In my household Christmas is ultimately a commercial holiday and an excuse to get the family altogether, and the word God itself became an acceptable swear word because my mother would have rather heard that than damn, hell, or other things I can’t mention in this particular public forum.

At the same time I feel that I have missed out on the community that religion has offered. I mean there are schools, sports associates, scholarships, work places, and many other aspects of a community that are more centered because they focus on faith. Although religious communities interest me, actual religions don’t. I don’t want to think about Christianity because of a bad experience with a “good” Christian when I was a child. I kind of have an interest in Islam, but then I don’t like the society it comes from. Judaism and Hindu seem like things your born to, and other religions like Wicca, Buddhism, and what not once had an interest to me but the concept of prayer seems kind of silly to me. I want a religion but then I’m not sure I want any of the traditions of a religion.[/QUOTE]


There's a 'Belief-o-matic' quiz you can take to see which organized religions your beliefs are most like...you might start there.

I can't really answer for the Hindu faith, but Judaism does indeed accept, welcome and respect proselytes - we just don't actively seek them.  There are 'Learn About' boards for both faiths here on B'net - so come and inquire, explore, investigate the possibilities!

I don't consider myself knowledgeable enough to discuss the large spectrum of Pagan beliefs represented by believers here - but many of the Pagan folk are friends and I expect they'll be by soon to speak for themselves (which they do quite well)

Is it the ritual of prayer that 'seems kind of silly'?  Like having a fixed liturgy and worship service?  Just wondering....

I am smiling at your ID:  our first kitty was a gorgeous silver and black tabby, who earned the name Loki for himself....
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2008 - 12:10AM #3
Genocon
Posts: 404
[QUOTE=LokiChild;896761]I want a religion but then I’m not sure I want any of the traditions of a religion.[/QUOTE]

I know where you're coming from. I really have a love/hate relationship with religion- I'm fascinated by them and love learning about them, but there's something about pretty much every single religion that I absolutely cannot stand. Prayer feels very silly to me, too, especially in English. Using English in ritual and prayer feels very, very wrong and awkward to me, for some reason I haven't even begun to figure out.

I've pretty much accepted the idea that I'll likely never find a religion that I could comfortable enough with joining. :cool:

Hinduism does accept converts, or at least some sects do, since there are a few members that I know of around here that have converted.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2008 - 8:45AM #4
Sacrificialgoddess
Posts: 9,496
*shrugs*

Various pagan religions do accept converts.  But we also expect a lot out of those converts.  Study, study, study.   Learn what you are converting to and why.  Ask questions.  Just don't expect any pagan to offer a creed to believe in.  We don't work that way.  Actually, the study bit is probably good advise no matter what you are converting to.
Dark Energy. It can be found in the observable Universe. Found in ratios of 75% more than any other substance. Dark Energy. It can be found in religious extremists, in cheerleaders. To come to the conclusion that Dark signifies mean and malevolent would define 75% of the Universe as an evil force. Alternatively, to think that some cheerleaders don't have razors in their snatch is to be foolishly unarmed.

-- Tori Amos
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2008 - 1:12PM #5
itty
Posts: 2,949
Loki, Pagan religions do accept converts. Well, we almost have to because most of us were not raised as Pagan. :)

It is a matter of study, study, study. Ask a million questions.

I am going to say something here that may be sort of foreign to you. I understand the point you are making about Christmas being celebrated as a secular holiday. But, even if you and your family don't have religious traditions associated with Christmas can you personally imbue it with that meaning. Sacred or religious doesn't have to be associated with a church or denomination. It can be very personal and it can be shared even if those around you aren't on the same sheet of music. Your family may partake in a secular holiday. You may understand and believe that this time you share with your family is sacred and special. You can make that choice.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2008 - 2:18PM #6
Sacrificialgoddess
Posts: 9,496

itty wrote:

Loki, Pagan religions do accept converts. Well, we almost have to because most of us were not raised as Pagan. :)

It is a matter of study, study, study. Ask a million questions.

I am going to say something here that may be sort of foreign to you. I understand the point you are making about Christmas being celebrated as a secular holiday. But, even if you and your family don't have religious traditions associated with Christmas can you personally imbue it with that meaning. Sacred or religious doesn't have to be associated with a church or denomination. It can be very personal and it can be shared even if those around you aren't on the same sheet of music. Your family may partake in a secular holiday. You may understand and believe that this time you share with your family is sacred and special. You can make that choice.



The basic question we all have to ask ourselves is "what is sacred to me?"  Right, Itty?  :D

Dark Energy. It can be found in the observable Universe. Found in ratios of 75% more than any other substance. Dark Energy. It can be found in religious extremists, in cheerleaders. To come to the conclusion that Dark signifies mean and malevolent would define 75% of the Universe as an evil force. Alternatively, to think that some cheerleaders don't have razors in their snatch is to be foolishly unarmed.

-- Tori Amos
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2008 - 8:14PM #7
LokiChild
Posts: 3
I took the belief o matic, and the results I got didn't surprise me. The first five were 1.  Unitarian Universalism (100%)  2.  Theravada Buddhism (89%)  3.  Neo-Pagan (84%)  4.  Mahayana Buddhism (82%)  5.  Liberal Quakers (81%). The problem is that I don't know where to go from here. I've tried getting books on Buddhism and Neo Paganism, but Buddhism has its problems in where to start (i.e which translation O_O), and a lot of pagan books seem to tell a person what to believe instead of giving out basic information and taking it from there yourself. I agree with SG in that what is sacred to a person is sacred, but at the same time I feel like I could have more also.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2008 - 10:20PM #8
LeahOne
Posts: 16,478
We-el, you might want to stick around and talk to Chiyo, who is Buddhist...  Or try the 'Welcome' boards for the faiths you think might be for you?

Books are a great resouirce, byut people are even betterr!  : ))
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2008 - 10:21PM #9
itty
Posts: 2,949

LokiChild wrote:

I took the belief o matic, and the results I got didn't surprise me. The first five were 1. Unitarian Universalism (100%) 2. Theravada Buddhism (89%) 3. Neo-Pagan (84%) 4. Mahayana Buddhism (82%) 5. Liberal Quakers (81%). The problem is that I don't know where to go from here. I've tried getting books on Buddhism and Neo Paganism, but Buddhism has its problems in where to start (i.e which translation O_O), and a lot of pagan books seem to tell a person what to believe instead of giving out basic information and taking it from there yourself. I agree with SG in that what is sacred to a person is sacred, but at the same time I feel like I could have more also.



Loki, reading books about Paganism, especially some modern authors, can be a frustrating experience. I have wanted to tear my hair out more than once. I have to reallllllly careful about that these days. My hair is just growing out. I like that. Don't need any more bald spots of my own making. :p

A good start might be to ask questions here. This is multifaith. We have a whole bunch a Pagans and we have a whole buncha Buddhists. We also have our other people who represent a very broad spectrum of other faiths. I chose these two because you mentioned that you have tried to get information about them. Try going to the Pagan boards and asking the questions you have. Same for the Buddhism boards. Getting basic information about Paganism is hard because Paganism isn't a particular path or religion. It is an umbrella term, really. It cover many paths, spiritual journeys and religions. It isn't unified. So you get a lot of 'we believe' or 'I believe' in the books.

You're in a good place right now, Loki. Ask questions right here on this board. I know I"ll answer as best I can. I think others will too.
You can have more. Question is what is more? What are you wanting more of?

I don't know if this helps. I hope so. Take some time here. Get to know the inmates in this particular little corner. You might find something that will ring true to you. You certainly will be challenged to clarify what you want. You'll have to think and really clarify what you believe right now. Try, if you are the type to write, making a list of the basics of what you believe right now. Then bring them here or eslewhere and let the challenge happen. I have found having to articulate what I believe helps me. Getting challenged about it further boils it down and clarifies it still further. It is a process and at times it isn't fun. But it is rewarding.

If you are interesed in reading you might try:

The Pagan Way by Ed Fitch. An old book but it has good information. Look up some of the books by the Janet and Stewart Farrar. Their works are mostly Wiccan but they, too, have good information. I hope others will come along and give you some books to check into. Don't worry about the specific beliefs but over a period of reading see the similarities. For how to get started in any religion ask the practitioners. We have some really good boards in the Paganism boards. So do the Buddhism boards. We have a couple of wonderful people here who are Buddhist. That would be, off the top of my pointy head, Chiyo, ZenYen and Sakhaiva. Sak may not be Buddhist precisely but I think she is.

We have Tigers Eye Dowsing. He is part of Divine Science and New Thought. He can help.

Keep looking. Ask questions. Don't be afraid of the answers. Don't be put off by any challenges. They won't be personal but will be geared to trying to understand what you believe and why.

Welcome, Loki. I hope some of my blathering helps.

itty

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6 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2008 - 10:23PM #10
itty
Posts: 2,949

sacrificialgoddess wrote:

The basic question we all have to ask ourselves is "what is sacred to me?" Right, Itty? :D



Absolutely, SG. :)

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