Monday, February 10, 2014

Are You There, God? Readers Open up About Religion and Spiritually

Religion is among the most personal—and divisive—topics out there. What we believe (or why we don't) and how we express our faith (or lack thereof) are questions everyone considers at some point, and part of growing up is figuring out the answers for yourself. Read on for readers' thoughts on God and spirituality, and share your own in the comments.
The Believer
"I come from a very religious Methodist community, and believing in God is one of the ways I find comfort in tough or fearful situations. If I didn't have my faith, I don't know how I'd be able to have hope for the future; I think everyone needs something to give them hope in some sort of a way. I'm on my own path with God, and even though I stumble on that path quite often, I know I'll continue to believe." —Sydney S., 17, from Iowa
The Explorer
"I've always been really curious about other religions. I wasn't raised with any one in particular and have always been free to experiment. There are certain aspects of many religions that I love! Instead of completely pledging myself to one or the other, I've taken the parts I like and practice those in my everyday life. I also try to stay as open-minded as possible regarding my friends' religions. Even if I don't always agree with their views, it's important we respect each other. As I've gotten older, this has definitely become a bigger thing for me since my friends have gotten more intense in their views. I've learned that when people try to push their ideas on you, it's important to have a strong sense of what you personally believe in and who you want to be." —Justina S., 16, from California
The Questioner
"I haven't really figured it all out, but I'm probably a mix of atheist and 'somewhere in between.' I've always been drawn to religion, but it's something I've also been avoiding at the same time. Religion is power: It unites so many people, but it drives others apart. It's also an otherworldly experience I don't think science will ever be able to explain, and that scares me a bit. You have to wonder: Is this real? Was this a story that was mistaken as fact at one point? If God is controlling everyone's destiny, why do bad things happen? Am I just so desperate to believe in something that I'm making all this up? When does your religion start controlling your life? There's a lot to think about." —Iris Z., 14, from California
Read the rest here

1 comment:

S.N.Grundy said...

The irony of this article is that many of the views of these young girls, are common amongst most adults. While some of us are grounded and definitive in our beliefs, many of us teeter between the differing schools of thought expressed by the young people in this article.
Depending upon life stages, circumstances and just plain ole' emotion, many of us have felt like "the explorer," or "the devoted," or "the questioner," ....so on and so forth...at certain times in our lives. If we're honest with ourselves, there are times when we do question our faith or at least wonder: "is it all worth it?" As we mature in age, in our views and our spirituality, we hopefully, begin to embrace God and religion in a broader, more inclusive sense. As I personally grow, I tend to ask less questions, be more exploratory, more deliberate in my devotion and prefer spirituality over the ritualistic aspects of religion.