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religion poll


Carolina Wren
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Your current religious affiliation  

404 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you say, speaking about yourself...

    • I was raised religious and still consider myself an active participant in that same faith.
      138
    • I was raised religious and have changed to a different religious affiliation.
      52
    • I was raised religious and would now say I'm not religious.
      70
    • I was raised non-religious and remain that way.
      30
    • I was raised non-religious and have joined a faith that is part of my family's heritage (e.g., like the one Grandma went to).
      25
    • I was raised non-religious but have joined a faith that is unfamiliar to my family.
      22
    • It's more complicated than that (e.g., left my family's church, tried something else for a few years and went back to it).
      61
    • Other.
      6


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More complicated than that. I was raised very religiously . I was very devout and devoted my teen years to being very zelious ( spelling?) . I am still very religious and keep true to my upbringing but do not go to church or practice the preaching and have not brought up my children with the same brainwashing as me.

Edited by Melissa in Australia
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I put that it's more complicated than that. I was forced to go to a horrible, fire and brimstone church as a kid that my parents didn't actually attend because they thought I needed religion. I happily jettisoned Christianity as a teen, and my beliefs have evolved over the years. Now I'm mostly a secular Buddhist.

Would you be willing to talk a bit more about this? I know that Buddhism is arguably not a religion but a philosophy. Is that what you mean? You follow the philosophy and don't believe in a creator god?

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I was brought up in an Afrikaans community.  Christianity was expected and part of our very conservative culture. 

Apartheid propaganda was part of the package and the church justified it based on the Bible.  When I started to question injustice as a late teen, it included questioning everything about the church and the "truth" it was selling.  I rejected the autocratic, misogynistic views and with it the Dutch Reformed church and the religion of my youth.

 

I haven't found an exact label for myself yet - Logically, I want to say atheist, but then I tend to pray to God for protection when in dangerous situations (just this week I drove past a group of rioters and did it again), so I guess agnostic is it for now.

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I grew up in the Lutheran church.  Every Sunday was church service followed by Sunday School.  Dresses and tights until I was in my teens.  I taught Sunday School as a teen, went through Confirmation classes, did Youth Group.  I never actually BELIEVED in any of it, though.  In fact, I was astonished when I realized that the people around me on Sundays DID!  I had been asking questions, both to my mother and to my pastor, for years.  I think their non-answers or vague answers must have led me to conclude that they were just going along with an allegory, too.  And then I read what I was supposed to proclaim at my confirmation and my world got rocked.

 

So I voted that I was raised religious, but there are some semantics involved.  I'm an atheist, and probably always have been.

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I grew up Christian, very Christian.  In fact, my parents are missionaries and devoted their lives to their faith.

 

I am Christian as well, but I have been pulling away from traditional evangelicalism lately.  I still attend an evangelical church, but there are some things I differ in, none of which are the basic tenants of the faith or the Bible, although some might argue about that, but I think some of the interpretation  is not quite right.  I can't say too much without adding in politics, but I can say that I find much of Western thought to be incorporated into the ideology of the faith, mores than i think should be there.  Not sure if that makes sense. 

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Would you be willing to talk a bit more about this? I know that Buddhism is arguably not a religion but a philosophy. Is that what you mean? You follow the philosophy and don't believe in a creator god?

 

I can't speak for what Mergath means, but pretty much all religons have a philisohpical element - certainly all the major religions have a very significant philisophical element.

 

What makes something a "religion" as opposed to just a personal view of reality is the instiutional and/or practical aspect.  Some, institutionally some accepted group or community that defines in some way what the religion includes - which if you think about it, you need to call something by a name anyway, even if it's very informal.  And by practice, the philosophy has some kind of concrete actions associated with it - maybe rituals or meditation, almsgiving, offerings to ancestors, whatever.

 

Buddhism tends not to say much about God, so some would say it isn't theistic and some certainly practice it that way. I've heard people describe such a practice as "secular",  but there isn't actually anything in the definition of religion that says it needs to be theistic at all.  You might also say an individual practice apart from a group or formal institution was secular, but again, that isn't really all that unusual, practices that are individual or family based only aren't new in the study of comparative religion.

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I grew up under the impression that religion was a matter of belief.

 

As a young tween I began pulling away because I did not "believe."

 

I spent my much of my twenties under the impression that to attach to religion meant checking rational inquiry / scientific method / questioning / sifting / personal agency at the door.  Since I valued all those things pretty deeply, I steered clear of religion except to honor the customs and rituals of people I loved.

 

In my thirties, as my husband and I started our family, I began to recognize the pull of ritual and its value in binding people together and sending taproots into children's psyches.

 

In my forties, I began to really appreciate metaphor and its value in sharpening my vision and understanding of the world around me, in both its brokenness and its beauty.  In those years I really stepped up much deeper study of, and immersion in, the treasure trove of sacred and legend texts of my tradition.

 

Now I'm in my fifties, and despite my introvert inclinations am savoring the value of community, both its potential to hold one another up as individuals and also its capacity to enable people to work together toward justice and healing a fractured world.

 

 

It's worked out to a very gradual but very steady deepening of attachment that has almost nothing to do with "belief."  It doesn't feel "complicated,"more like "centering";  but it seems in a slightly different direction than the journeys many others describe (?).

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I voted "It's complicated."

 

I was raised non-religious but always felt 'called' to attend. Back when I was young (elementary age) the church bus ministry was thriving. I would get up on Sunday, get dressed, feed myself, take 50 cents for the offering plate from my mom's purse, and catch the bus to the Baptist church miles from my house. I did that for years. I still have the Bible the bus monitor gave me when I was 8.

 

As I aged, I bounced between churches and religions (Baptist, Lutheran, Nazarene, Buddhist, Disciples of Christ,) seeking truth and trying to 'find my way'.I even helped plant a Baptist church a few years back. Over time, the feeling of being 'called' dissipated and attending church, reading the Bible, and participating in worship became a chore and something that caused stress and distress and I walked away. I no longer attend church and I no longer have faith. I still believe there is a God but I believe that not everyone is among the 'chosen'. I fall into the 'forsaken' category.

 

I do not foster any ill will toward those who have a faith and I have seen the power that faith can have for some people. It's just not for me.

 

 

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More complicated than that. Raised by Chrisitans of a fundamentalist stripe. Haven't been that in adulthood - none of my sibs are either. I identify as Christian for practical purposes, but let's say my beliefs are very liberal and very different from my upbringing. None of my siblings appear to embrace the faith, certainly nowhere near to my parents' level.

This describes me. There are practical reasons for me to loosely identify, but since I am too liberal to actually be considered United Methodist or any other mainline (though I have been told we might fit in with Episcopal), and we are not religious adherents - no longer have a church home so attend irregularly mostly due to total disagreement with evangelicalism in practice - I voted raised religious but not now because what the terms religious and adherent or follower or whatever tends to imply probably do not describe me very well.

Edited by FaithManor
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I was raised nominally Christian, meaning we sometimes attended church with Grandma on Easter or Christmas.

 

I've had "close encounters" with the Lord a few times in my life, now leaving me firmly in the believers' camp.

 

Dh and I are both evangelical Christians, not tied to a particular denomination. We go to whichever church the Spirit is strong. Currently it is a Southern Baptist church.

Edited by Kinsa
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Would you be willing to talk a bit more about this? I know that Buddhism is arguably not a religion but a philosophy. Is that what you mean? You follow the philosophy and don't believe in a creator god?

 

I'd be happy to talk more about it, but that pretty well sums it up and I'm not sure what else to say. :lol: Like Bluegoat said, deities are not a necessary or even particularly important part of Buddhism, and many western Buddhists consider Buddhist teachings a way to live *this* life without any regard for an afterlife.

 

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I'm surprised by how many people were not raised in religious homes but were sent to church/religious schools. I didn't know that was a thing.

 

I put complicated, but I probably could have put same. My parents were occasional on again off again Catholics, then evangelicals, but I wouldn't call our home religious at all. Christianity was never really discussed other than "the man upstairs" type of comments.

 

I am an active protestant (dh is a pastor, it doesn't get more active than that).

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I guess you could say that I was raised religious - Catholic, baptized, went to Sunday School, had first communion, went to church most Sundays - but it was very surface Catholicism.  We never discussed religion at home (perhaps some bedtime prayers were said when I was quite young - 6 or 7ish) and never observed any things that Catholics might be required to observe and didn't even go to church outside of Sundays (were we supposed to?  No idea).  

 

I was also a very skeptical child - I never recall having any belief in religion or any other things that the culture expected you to believe (Santa, tooth fairy - I always knew those were not real).  When I was 12 I told my parents that I had had enough of Sunday school and they let me make that decision (my dad had always gone to church only as an intellectual exercise in figuring out why people went to church, my mom was more of the driver of things).  And honestly I think that was it for the whole family.  We never went to church after that as a family, although my mother went for a few years after my brother and I had already moved out.  Because it hadn't really signified anything to our family, and we had never been involved with the church save for our cursory appearances on Sunday, we didn't feel anything was missing.  We just got on with our lives.

 

So I would classify myself as raised religious but always felt myself to be an atheist and continue to be one in a secular humanist style.

 

I do sometimes see the community that friends have through their church as a glorious thing and wish that there was somewhere for our family to find that community but we try to create it in other ways (we had a 6 year long weekly potluck tradition with a group of 9-12 families who met due to the moms being part of a breastfeeding support group and that cemented some firm friendships that continue to this day despite the fact that with kids in so many activities we can no longer meet weekly).

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I was raised going to church in adolescence and attended private religious school until 4th grade (different faith than my church). I had a basic understanding of Christianity, but due to the mixed faiths, I also saw how different faiths interpreted the same Biblical passages....very, very differently. LOL  This undermined the validity of man's interpretations the Bible and since man was on pulpit, I saw this as  flaws in the system.

 

I haven't attended church as an adult to worship. I attend for events and celebrations. I would most likely say I am agnostic at this point.

 

 

Looking ahead:

 

When it came to my own children, I found a church that is kind, loving and supportive. I don't think people will choose to follow a faith unless they understand what faith is. Due to this, I wanted my  kids to have exposure to faith, but when they were ready for it.  My older kids both chose to attend Christian school for part of their education, and were given the option to attend youth events if they wanted.  I never forced faith on them but provided opportunity if they instigated it.  I used some Christian homeschool materials, but never pushed the religious components of those materials. DD10 is special needs so has not gone to private schools (they can't meet her needs) but she attends and enjoys the same youth programs my older kids did at her age. 

 

DS22 has 2 BA degrees: Bible Theology and Pastoral Ministry.  He is working on his MA in Pastoral Ministry.  He is on staff at the same church he first attended, now as the Jr High Youth Pastor.

 

DD18 is either atheist or agnostic.

 

Same parenting. Same opportunities.  Same youth programs. Same pastors. Same summer camps. Very different outcomes. LOL

 

Edited by Tap
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My family didn't go church and I don't think God was ever talked about much but I have a cousin (who is my mom's age) who would sometimes take me to church and church camp with them.   My mom was a single mom and this cousin would let me use her daughter's clothes and shoes to wear to church.  Then we moved because my mom married a man in the military and a church bus would pick me up and take me to church.  I was around 6 or 7.  In my teens, my parents decided that we would all start going to church and I rebelled.   I hated it and the kids were mean, especially the pastor's daughter.  That didn't last long.  Still, I always believed in God, and I have been a Christian for most of my adult years.  Although I'm not of the same denomination, I credit my cousin and the church who sent the bus to pick me up. 

 

 

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I was raised non-religious but a lot of schools (including standard government-sponsored schools) in the UK are religious, and in fact, an 'act of worship', usually quite vague, is still mandated daily.  Parents can withdraw their children from it if they wish, and children over sixteen can also remove themselves.  There was no intent to convert and it was educational.

 

I briefly worshipped a copper beech tree, but otherwise haven't had any religious impulses.

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I'd be happy to talk more about it, but that pretty well sums it up and I'm not sure what else to say. :lol: Like Bluegoat said, deities are not a necessary or even particularly important part of Buddhism, and many western Buddhists consider Buddhist teachings a way to live *this* life without any regard for an afterlife.

 

 

Thanks.  I recently spent four days at a retreat run by a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk, so I've been thinking about Buddhism-as-philosophy.

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I was raised in church and baptized in both a Methodist and a Baptist church. We were never over the top as in being there every time the doors opened or anything like that. But casually talking about/debating religion at home, praying before meals and there on most Sunday mornings -- yes. Things happened over the years. Life experience and self-education and a 2e kid who wasn't understood at all by the Sunday school teachers led us to the conclusion that organized evangelical Christianity wasn't the type of influence we wanted on our kids. Once that realization hit us we got out as quickly and quietly as we could. For awhile we considered trying a RC or EO church but decided it's all just too fairy tail-ish for us to really believe any more. I do think there's a lot of value in Jesus' teachings. Mostly I think of myself as an agnostic now. I also find a lot of value in the teachings of Buddhism, so maybe secular Buddhist would fit, too. I definitely see that more as a philosophy than a religion.

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Sort of raised religious if my parents sending my sister and I off to Sunday School with a neighbor so they could have Sunday mornings to themselves counts. I didn't like going TBH.  Then add in that both mom and dad "found" churches to belong to after they got divorced because both wanted custody of us kids and that's what "good" parents did in that day.  Neither attend church now and haven't for years.  There was very little "religion" in our home aside from the secular form of holidays.

 

I, however, have a strong faith with no regrets - starting in 10th grade of high school and getting strengthened with challenges in college - looking deeper into why I believe what I believe, etc.

 

I voted the first option because I was sort of raised in the faith - knowing the stories.

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Mine is not complicated. I was raised Protestant Christian (baptized Missouri Synod Lutheran, then later Presbyterian, where I was confirmed. My mom switched when the Lutheran Church got a new pastor she didn't like, switched back later after I was an adult and that pastor was gone). My grandpa was Assembly of God and owned a bible bookstore where I read all the Chick publications one summer, I attended a private Christian school for 3 years of middle school that used ACE Paces and some Abeka materials, affiliates with an independent Baptist church.

I left the faith I was raised in at 16 because I got a loud and clear message that I wasn't wanted or acceptable because LGBT. I found my way into neopaganism and settled into Asatru as an adult (by age 19).

ETA: Last year I joined a Druid grove. That wasn't so much moving to a different religion as expanding it though. 

Edited by Ravin
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I was raised Catholic but fell away in my 20's.  Due to bullying at the Catholic school and the lousy way they handled it (or didn't handle it,) I had a very warped sense of my relationship with God.  Met dh, a good Catholic boy, who would leave our dates at 11pm to get up and go to Mass.  I began to reexamine my faith and started attending church with him. My faith grew over the years.  The last few years and K's struggles with gender identity and mental illness have been hard and all the relationships in my life have changes.  Many close friendships have evaporated.  Nothing makes sense anymore.  I have so many questions for God and I'm pretty angry.  Mass is a struggle ... especially with a lousy pastor.

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My mother was raised Methodist.

My father was raised agnostic and really got into eastern religions in college.

 

By the time I was born they were attending Quaker meeting.  It was Christian enough for my mother; the silent worship suited my father.

 

When I was five we moved to a little town in the Midwest.  No Quaker meetings were nearby we sometimes attended the Methodist church, other times Presbyterian.  I had strong atheist leanings as a young child.

 

When I was older we moved to a large city with a Quaker meeting, so we did that again.  I stopped attending as soon as my parents would allow me to stay home alone.  I became very interested in religion in high school.  I attended Catholic mass for a few years, but never believed.  I dabbled in Buddhism.

 

I have always been quasi-atheist, but I would say that religion has remained a large interest of mine.  

 

As for my parents: 

They still attend Quaker meeting.  My mother is still Christian.  My father describes himself as a "Vedic Quaker", so Hinduism, Quakerism and lately Russian Orthodox Christianity.  So yeah . . .   It's complicated.

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I voted "more complicated," but I could have voted "raised religious and now participate in same religion."

 

I participate in the same religion where my folks took me to church, but I'm only participating in it for my kids and for the community aspect.  I don't totally believe what they teach, but I believe in basic underlying beliefs that span most major religions.

 

I didn't have a horrible experience with religion, though there were some moments that were turn-offs.  Attending church with my parents was kinda boring, I didn't love dressing up and acting civilized, but otherwise it was positive.  As a middle-aged parent, I felt comfortable taking my kids back to a similar church experience.  But in the intervening 25 years, I explored all the major religions and came up with my own ideas.

Edited by SKL
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I voted "It's more complicated than that". 

 

I was raised nominally Catholic. My grandparents were the ones that made sure I got baptized, had my First Holy Communion, and then Confirmation. My parents weren't really involved with my religious education. I married a Protestant husband in the Catholic Church. We had our first child baptized Catholic and had intentions of raising her in that tradition. I began to have doubts about the Church's demands, particularly the need to go to Confession. I eventually discovered that it would be "easier" to be Protestant. We were evangelical Christians for approximately 15 years. Five years ago I had an experience that I have never been able to adequately describe but it led me back to the Catholic Church. My husband and two younger children converted to the faith. My older two have not. The oldest has been attending an Episcopal Church and the second considers herself atheist. 

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I voted "more complicated," but I could have voted "raised religious and now participate in same religion."

 

I participate in the same religion where my folks took me to church, but I'm only participating in it for my kids and for the community aspect.  I don't totally believe what they teach, but I believe in basic underlying beliefs that span most major religions.

 

I didn't have a horrible experience with religion, though there were some moments that were turn-offs.  Attending church with my parents was kinda boring, I didn't love dressing up and acting civilized, but otherwise it was positive.  As a middle-aged parent, I felt comfortable taking my kids back to a similar church experience.  But in the intervening 25 years, I explored all the major religions and came up with my own ideas.

 

Some days I still feel like this.

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I chose Option #1, but thinking about it I probably should have chosen "complicated." 

 

Episcopalian mom, non-practicing Catholic dad. Went to church with mom growing up, but they both did their best to teach me the similarities and differences between the two faiths. Stopped going to church in college... started attending an evangelical church in grad school... through that experience, God called me to join the Catholic Church. So, if you consider that I was raised sorta-Catholic (Episcopalian being pretty similar to lapsed-Catholic), I ended up in the faith I was raised in. If you consider that I was raised Christian, I ended up Christian as well. That's why I picked the first option. But as other folks have mentioned, the Christian I am now doesn't really "look like" the Christianity I was raised in apart from very superficially, and I spent significant time away from active faith.

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I didn't have a horrible experience with religion, though there were some moments that were turn-offs.  Attending church with my parents was kinda boring, I didn't love dressing up and acting civilized, but otherwise it was positive.  As a middle-aged parent, I felt comfortable taking my kids back to a similar church experience.  But in the intervening 25 years, I explored all the major religions and came up with my own ideas.

 

I didn't have a bad experience either. Many people think all atheists who started out as believers had some horrible experience that sent them away. Not so. Some of us just drifted away. Some had horrible experiences. Some just started searching and ended up as non-believers.

 

We were Catholics on both sides of Vatican II and many of the changes took a while to filter down to individual churches/parishes. When I was growing up Catholic women had to wear a hat in church. I hated hats (still do). Every self-respecting Catholic mother at the time, including mine, carried handkerchiefs and bobby pins in her purse. If someone of the female persuasion forgot a hat, throw the handkerchief on her head, hold it in place with bobby pins, and voila! Instant hat. :D

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I voted one, because my husband and I were raised UU and currently belong to a UU church, but my path within UU has been more circuitous.  It sounds a bit like Pam's.  Mine is a rather typical path within the UU church, so I voted one, despite the fact that I wouldn't call myself, my family, or my church "religious".  I have had many dealings with the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhists and generally tell people I am half Buddhist, if pressed, but I don't know if the Nipponzan Myohoji would consider me Buddhist and being half Buddhist is common in a UU church and doesn't disqualify me from being UU as far as the UUs are concerned.  When I take those what-religion-are-you tests, they say I am liberal Quaker.  When I am old, I intend to go to evensong at the nearby Episcopal church, just for the centering effect.  : )

 

Nan

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My grandpa (more like a parent) was a baptist pastor, so I was raised in a very Christian family. Then I decided I didn't like the Calvinist type predestination and was nothing. Then I realized most Christians don't see it that way, and the Catholic Church was the church where everyone believes the same thing worldwide and became Catholic. I was even in a convent for a while. Very involved in the Church now.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Raised non-religious but vaguely culturally Catholic. Always drawn to church as a child but thought I had to believe. Now I know better. Raising my children Catholic. Church is a community I belong to and a ritual I gladly perform. I believe it connects me to the sacred, but it doesn't really matter to me whether the stories are "true." Catholicism is my family tradition, it's where I belong.

 

But when the kids grow up, I'm going back to the Epsicopalians. Way better music.

Edited by Lawyer&Mom
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I was raised in a Catholic family and went to church and Sunday school every week.  There were crosses over every doorway in our house and usually a picture of the pope hanging up somewhere.  My mother continues to be very active in their parish, volunteering, etc.  Nonetheless, I don't ever remember "believing" in God.  When I was preparing for first communion, I told my teacher I didn't believe in God and she sent me out into the hall for misbehaving.  When I was preparing for confirmation (sixth grade) and told my mom I didn't want to do it because I didn't believe and it would be a lie, she threw a conniption and I did it anyway.

 

I prefer the term agnostic ... I don't "know" if there is a God(s) and I don't think it really matters if there is one ... I just try to live the best life possible and hurt the least amount of people as possible.  I actually find the topic of religion very interesting and love reading / learning about all the varieties.  In some ways, I do miss the "community" of the church, but there are so many options out there, and they all say they are the one-and-only, I don't see how I could ever pick one.

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I debated between it's more complicated than that and other. My parents were both raised in the same faith. My mom was a believer and my dad wasn't. We went to church when we visited my grandparents (monthly) and sporadically at other times. I can't say I was raised religious no more than we were at church, but it wasn't non-religious either. 

 

I remained in that same faith most of my life. During college my faith became more important to me and took a stronger role in my life and it stayed that way. I recently left the denomination I was raised in because I am just not socially conservative enough to be there anymore. However, my faith hasn't changed much. I go to a non-denominational Christian church that is more open and accepting and I am happier there.

 

There was a time when I was able to attend churches of my previous denomination and the pastor stayed on biblical topics and away from political ones and I was quite content, but that seems harder to find now. 

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Raised non-religious but vaguely culturally Catholic. Always drawn to church as a child but thought I had to believe. Now I know better. Raising my children Catholic. Church is a community I belong to and a ritual I gladly perform. I believe it connects me to the sacred, but it doesn't really matter to me whether the stories are "true." Catholicism is my family tradition, it's where I belong.

 

But when the kids grow up, I'm going back to the Epsicopalians. Way better music.

Lol. Sounds you go to a parish with a strong Haugen influence - Mass of Creation and all that. You have my most heartfelt sympathy. The parish I attend, most especially both the traditional NO Mass and the Latin Mass, has effectively banned most music composed after V-II.

 

The Mass my family attends (the aforementioned traditional NO Mass) chants the Mass parts and the choir (which I sing in) sings music mostly from the 18c. and earlier. The Latin Mass choir rarely sings anything composed later than the 17c.

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I chose, "I was raised religious and still consider myself an active participant in that same faith," although it was a little more complicated than that.

 

I attended a liberal UCC church as a small child, then no church at all until the age of 14. My parents were always Christians, but were very young when they married and were growing and maturing in their faith as I grew up. I believed in God and Jesus, but didn't know much about the Bible. That changed as a young teenager. I professed faith in Christ, started attending a Bible church, was baptized, wore Christian t-shirts, listened to Christian music, carried a Bible around and knew it well, was an officer in FCS, the whole bit. 

 

Over time my life matched my profession less and less until it bore little resemblance to what a Christian is called to be. It was bad.

 

I eventually came to realize that the faith that I professed was not my own, but adopted because of my family, friends, and culture. It was a very difficult time. I never stopped believing in God, and I saw miraculous things that Christ did in other people's lives, but I didn't seem to be able to believe the way others did.

 

I kept praying like the man in Mark 9, "I do believe; help my unbelief." I just wanted to know the truth, no matter what it was.

 

God knew what I needed, because after some very unpleasant events and coming to the end of my rope, I came to faith in Christ and determined to actually follow and obey Him as best I could. 

 

[...] Edited for privacy.

 

Everything has changed for me since coming to faith. There are a few in this thread who mentioned feeling scared, confused, struggling, forsaken. That was absolutely me and I just want to encourage you to keep seeking.

 

Jesus said, "the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out," and I have found that to be true.

Edited by MercyA
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I grew up under the impression that religion was a matter of belief.

 

As a young tween I began pulling away because I did not "believe."

 

I spent my much of my twenties under the impression that to attach to religion meant checking rational inquiry / scientific method / questioning / sifting / personal agency at the door.  Since I valued all those things pretty deeply, I steered clear of religion except to honor the customs and rituals of people I loved.

 

In my thirties, as my husband and I started our family, I began to recognize the pull of ritual and its value in binding people together and sending taproots into children's psyches.

 

In my forties, I began to really appreciate metaphor and its value in sharpening my vision and understanding of the world around me, in both its brokenness and its beauty.  In those years I really stepped up much deeper study of, and immersion in, the treasure trove of sacred and legend texts of my tradition.

 

Now I'm in my fifties, and despite my introvert inclinations am savoring the value of community, both its potential to hold one another up as individuals and also its capacity to enable people to work together toward justice and healing a fractured world.

 

 

It's worked out to a very gradual but very steady deepening of attachment that has almost nothing to do with "belief."  It doesn't feel "complicated,"more like "centering";  but it seems in a slightly different direction than the journeys many others describe (?).

 

I know exactly what you mean about ritual, metaphor, and community, although for me I found meaning/centering in those things in a very different religion than the one I was raised in.

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It's complicated. Not the example given for that choice though. 

 

Raised by a "spiritually mixed, but non-religious" mother and a backslidden Nazarene stepfather. Dad's family, unbeknownst to myself, but not unknown to my mama, were all Baptists. I was put on an IFB church bus every Sunday. I went to an IFB school for a bit also. I would visit the Nazarene church when visiting with stepfamily and visited the LDS church with my best friend once, when I was six (stepfather never allowed that again). Became SBC in highschool, while dating my husband, whose father was a former SBC pastor. We married, weren't welcomed into the married group, and went to the UMC. Eventually became uncomfortable with the wealthy, country club atmosphere of that particular congregation and went to a non-denominational, fundamentalist church (brethern background, mostly baptistic, somewhat messianic, and with a mix of Gothardites and Calvinists). A few months in a oneness Pentacostal church while dealing with some things. Ran off to join an ultra conservative Mennonite group, came back to the non-denom. Became Calvinists, went to a Reformed Baptist non-denom. Moved across country...PCA, OPC, RPCNA, PRC, URCNA, and back to PCA. Husband was becoming more "Catholic". We became Eastern Orthodox (a bit of a story there). I'm fine with studying various faiths, but Orthodoxy is home.

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