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I'm curious... - Happy's Obsession
or what I do between bouts of Real Life
I'm curious...
What religion were you raised in?

What do you practice now?

For the record: I was born and raised as a Christian Scientist. But after a death in the family, we migrated to Baptist (with a year long stop-over in Lutheran), and stayed with the same (huge) church until the pastor was convicted of being a "little too friendly" with his new divorcee's. Then we switched to the Baptist megachurch, which was too impersonal for me.

Cue visits to different religions - Quaker, Unitarian Univeralist... I found the UU to be the closest to what I believe now. But who knows. I took a test once, and UU Buddhist came up tied.

Maybe I should look into it further. It would be interesting to see if it's nature, or nuture... LOL!
25 Voices or Sing to Me
weirdqafan From: weirdqafan Date: February 3rd, 2007 05:46 am (UTC) (Link)
What religion were you raised in?
I was raised in the Conservative sect of Judaism. Essential, the one where we follow all the holidays and proper Jewish behavior without being crazy/sexist about it (aka how Orthodox Judaism is)

What do you practice now?
I still practice Judaism, but not as rigorously as I was raised. My mom raised us in the Temple, but once each of us went through our Bar/Bat Mitzvah's, she left it up to us to choose if we still wanted to continue attending Temple. We opted not to, simply because after attending practically every Friday night/Saturday morning service since we were born and having to go through Hebrew School, we were simply frustrated and tired of the whole process. So I'm a bit non-practicing, but ideas still remain close to how I was raised.

qafhappy From: qafhappy Date: February 4th, 2007 06:26 am (UTC) (Link)
The SO went through a similar thing with Catholicism. He had catechism on Wed nights and Sats. He loved football, but rarely got a chance to see a game on Sundays, as church was a priority. As you say, "he was tired of the whole process", so when his father gave him the option to choose (at about 14), he opted out.

Now, he is a "recovering Catholic".
scheisse_adc From: scheisse_adc Date: February 3rd, 2007 06:04 am (UTC) (Link)

kinda long...

I wasn't really raised in any religion. My mother is Catholic, my father Jewish. They purposely did not have my sister or me baptized, bat mitzvahed, or confirmed.

As far as the Catholic side of things went when I was a kid, we only went to church on Christmas and Easter... and at funerals/weddings/etc. And after my grandmother's funeral when I was younger, my mother knew she was never getting me into the Catholic Church (some of the things that the priest said made me SO ANGRY! ... looking back, I realize that it had more to do with him being kind of a bad priest than anything else, though. He said things like "She was a good person because she sent all 7 of her children to Catholic school"... and nothing else about her as a person), and so she stopped taking us even on those holidays.

I am much more "open" to my Jewish side, but I unfortunately do not hold the necessary beliefs. Sometimes I wish I did. Judaism is sometimes considered to be not just a religion, but a culture, and if you agree with that, then you might consider me to be a "non-practicing Jew" (there are quite a few in this country!). I went to a Jewish nursery school, and I went to a Jewish summer camp and spent some of my after-school time each week at the JCC's after-school enrichment program for most of my formative years.

As far as my current beliefs/practices go, my parents decided when I was in 5th or 6th grade that my sister and I needed to have some sort of "spiritual presence" in our lives, so we started going to our local Unitarian church. I continued to go, even when the rest of my family started going less regularly, throughout middle and high school, and I still go when I am home from school (though I don't go while I'm here, even though there is a UU congregation right down the street). After college, I will probably start attending a UU church regularly wherever I end up.

There isn't really a specific belief structure, per se, to adhere to, but I'm still not sure I'm a UU, really, though I do like the church. I'm really just a secular humanist. I call myself a UU agnostic, though, for the purposes of having a label if people ask.
chrismm From: chrismm Date: February 3rd, 2007 06:11 am (UTC) (Link)
I was raised Catholic until, well, my folks took me out of Catholic school in third grade, but we didn't stop attending Mass for a few more years.

Now, I dunno. I did some religion searching, one round for me, and then another round some years later, when I had a foster daughter and we were trying to find something both of us could live with. Probably the closest would be UU? Except my Sundays are precious to me, and I'm not really interested in spending a chunk of time getting up early, getting dressed and driving halfway across the county to the closest UU church.

So, sort of halfway between UU and whatever muddled spiritual ideas I got from ten years in Al Anon and more years in the lesbian and intellectual communities, learning about random world religions, I guess. Not particularly Christian, I don't think.
sassym From: sassym Date: February 3rd, 2007 06:22 am (UTC) (Link)

Hi there:)

I was born, raised and baptized Episcopalian. I joined the Church of Religious Science when I was in my thirties, and married my second husband in that church. Later, I had my son baptized Episcopalian...one of the most wonderful times of my life.
When I moved to TX, I attended a Baptist church, but I had to stop because of health reasons. The services started at 10:30AM-11:00AM and continued for three to four or more hours. I simmply couldn't do the hours. I still think about their magnificent choir and friendly parishioners. I've since moved back home to and will most likely reconnect with an Episcopal church in the city.
Some of the churches I've visited in the past are the Holiness Church, The Unitarian church and The Catholic Church. Of those three, I feel very comfortable in the Unitarian church.
sassym From: sassym Date: February 3rd, 2007 06:33 am (UTC) (Link)

One more post:)

I forgot to mention my ex second husband, a non-practicing Jew, is totally supportive of our son's religious education and experiences.
My ex-husband's birth parents were Jewish, but his adoptive parents raised him as a Protestant. My son knows he is half Jewish, but since his dad never practiced that religion, he remains Episcopalian and happy....so far:)
in_the_tropics From: in_the_tropics Date: February 3rd, 2007 07:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Raised Catholic - the full bit: Catholic school, Mass on Sundays and Holy Days, etc. Started questioning it in my late teens and early 20's. Now I don't attend Mass at all unless a wedding or funeral, or at Christmas, and only then at a very liberal parish. I am totally at odds with the Vatican points of view on most things, and will not "toe the party line". My views are more in line with liberal Anglican (Episcopalian), but even then, I do not support some of their factional groups.

What I would really like to find is a church where the Whole Church Philosophy is about love and acceptance, the message I believe Jesus preached, but so far I've not found one.

I dabbled in Wicca for a while, but could never fully connect.

I still wear around my neck my St Christopher medal, that I've had for years - I guess there are some Catholic things you never shrug off!

jane2005 From: jane2005 Date: February 3rd, 2007 08:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Very interesting post - I enjoyed reading the responses! You jumped around quite a bit, huh? Do you think that makes you more open to keeping religion a part of your life - because the style can change and isn't a take it or leave it (as my experience, more in a sec)? Also, how was the experience of moving through churches on your ideas of faith?

I was raised Missouri Synod Lutheran - hard core fundamental sexist homophobic repressive bullshit. The whole religious training, memorization of Bible and creeds, confirmation, etc. Needless to say, I'm not affiliated with a church anymore. I separate the teachings of Jesus from church practice and the institution as a social practice, so I have no problem with real Christianity. I just think it's individual belief and action, not social, though it can be communal. Does that make sense?

I consider myself a humanist now - I don't attend church, and I have spiritual beliefs which are basically personal but I'm committed to a humanistic agenda. So, not really agnostic or atheist, but not really religious either.
qafhappy From: qafhappy Date: February 3rd, 2007 04:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually, I think moving around through a number of churches may have diluted my faith, or maybe I didn't really have any to begin with. Oh, I was "saved" at Baptist church camp... but then again, so was almost everyone else. And it really didn't change anything for me, either how I felt, or acted.

I haven't attended church regularly since I was in high school (after the big Baptist megachurch), except for a few visits to a Spanish-speaking Pentacostal church with a bad-boy turned good (who turned bad again, ending that for me). For a bit, in college, I went to the Quaker church, then stepped out of religion again. I thought about returning to the Christian Science religion, but really didn't want to give up my Sunday-sleep-in time. When I moved to the PNW, I attended the UU church for a while, but was working 6 days a week, and just couldn't stomach getting up early on my one day off.

Now I get two weekends off a month. I could go back to church again, but I so much just want to do nothing on those precious four days.

And do I really want to go? I like the idea of community, of having someplace to meet like-minded people, which is so difficult after you leave school, especially if you work in a small office and see the same people every day. But I'm not really big on the idea of "God".

I actually have kind of strange personal beliefs. I believe that there is a certain finite amount of energy in the earth, and it is used by all living things. When you die, that energy goes back into the soup, and is returned to the cycle. A teaspoon ladled out gives you a mouse, a cup is a dog, a quart is a human, etc. And as for actions? If you do good, good will come to you. If you do bad, it will come back to bite you in the ass in the end.

I have no idea what religion that is the closest to. I just know that of all the churches I've attended, I felt the most comfortable in the UU. But I still am bouncing between atheistic and agnostic. Though I've told many people I don't believe there is a God - you can imagine the discussions that starts!
jane2005 From: jane2005 Date: February 3rd, 2007 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
bad-boy turned good (who turned bad again, ending that for me).

Bwhahahhahah!!! Loved that one. Good for you for not taking the, "I can change his choices!" route. I've been there with one or two bad boys. thank god I'm over that!

Though I've told many people I don't believe there is a God - you can imagine the discussions that starts!

I suppose I can imagine - but I live in Brooklyn and work in academia, so God isn't a big center of consideration in these here parts - it's more the norm that God doesn't really make sense. I like your explanation of the energy pool - although I'm not sure how the doses are doled out! It seems to me I've met a few cats who certainly have more of the spirit pool than some people I've met.

I don't believe in God per se - I think it's kind of like believing in Santa Claus. It's the idea behind the myth that gestures to an interpretable reality, there's no big bearded white guy in the sky keeping a list ready for the Apocalypse.

thanks for the detailed response! Very interesting.
duffy_60 From: duffy_60 Date: February 3rd, 2007 01:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
As Jane noted above, it's very curious to view everyone else's experiences. I am a member of the United Methodist church here in Maine; whose motto is Open Minds, Open Doors, Open Hearts. Unfortunately the part of the church that's in the Midwest and the Midsouth is not so open minded as they have defrocked a few lesbian ministers.
Our pastor is great. He has performed commitment ceremonies; knows that I'm gay and doesn't hassle me about my partner not attending; and I'm very involved with the Youth Group. The New England branch of the church is very liberal, almost like the Unitarian Universalists.
My philosphy is the division of church and hate!

nessa_t From: nessa_t Date: February 3rd, 2007 01:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was born a Muslim and became an unhappy one due to the strict upbringing I went through. I gravitated towards Christianity for a bit but reverted back to Islam on my own accord because I believe that it is the right faith for me.

I still read the Bible though, because I believe Christianity and Islam teaches the same thing.
gabilady From: gabilady Date: February 3rd, 2007 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was raised in a huge rich, southern baptist church. Can't remember any of the teachings though. My husband was raised in the big Methodist church across the street from the Baptist church I went to.

We started going to a gay friendly presbyterian church when our kids were small. Felt at home there, but there werent' too many kids.

I consider myself agnostic. My husband considers himself methosdist and will sometimes take the kids to a tiny methodist church that my mom goes to now.

I have studied wicca, and bits of others while trying to find my way.
aurora_84 From: aurora_84 Date: February 3rd, 2007 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was born and raised in a post-Communistic Bulgaria, so my parents weren't really big on religion, basically because they'd been raised without. (Me and my brother were baptized in secret :D). We did go to church at Easter and Xmas now and then, but that's basically it. So, um, raised Orthodox, more in theory than in practice? (I actually read the bible along with my fairy tale books when I was little and read everything I could get my hand on).

Now? I believe in God, but it's a personal (eclectic) religion. I wouldn't consider myself Christian, because I don't really believe in the existence of Jesus-as-God. It's more of a 'trying to live right, with a few principles i've taken over from the bible and other religious sources'.

I'm weird. :D
qafhappy From: qafhappy Date: February 4th, 2007 06:43 am (UTC) (Link)
You're not weird at all. You're just like me.

jealin98 From: jealin98 Date: February 3rd, 2007 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Born, raised and baptized in the United methodist Church. We had a great pastor that just left our church, the one thing I do not like about Methodist is the fact that the pastors do tend to move more then other religions. Pastor Jim (the one that left) said that they do that to keep a fresh perspective, they do not want them to get complacent. We have an older woman now, Pastor Roberta, loving her. Her family were very active in the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. actually had dinner in their home, she and I sat down and talked for such a long time about things that happened when she was younger. I really like her so much. She is a very fascinating woman.
forever_frozen From: forever_frozen Date: February 3rd, 2007 05:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was raised Roman Catholic, and have attended Catholic schools from K-12. I began studying other religions when I was 11, and spent a couple of years involved in Wicca. Now, I'm an agnostic. I structure my life around existentialist theory, but lately I've been thinking about looking into Buddhism. It makes a lot of sense to me.
qafhappy From: qafhappy Date: February 4th, 2007 06:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Keep searching, girl! And let me know what you find out. You always need to explore your options...
hah424 From: hah424 Date: February 3rd, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I grew up in a Baptist church, but I think it was more out of convenience, more than actual faith on the part of my parents. We lived out in the boonies, and the Baptist church was the only one closer than 10 miles away, so that's where we ended up. After my parents divorced, and we moved away, we never went to any church after that. So I went to the Baptist church until I was about 7.

Now, I'm pretty much a Unitarian Universalist, according to a quiz I took. We're probably talking about the same test. My beliefs are all over the place: Buddist respect for nature and animals, Hindi belief in past lives and reincarnation, Karma. It's all over the place, so the quiz just found the most accepting religion it could find...lol.

Interesting question, and it's fun to read everyone's responses too.

qafhappy From: qafhappy Date: February 4th, 2007 06:46 am (UTC) (Link)
I totally understand the community thing. That's the biggest draw for me. I'm pretty much a loner in other areas... I work well in competition against myself. Which can be a benefit, but not always...

Thanks for sharing - and read the responses!
skittles From: skittles Date: February 3rd, 2007 10:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Technically I wasn't raised any religion. My mother was raised methodist and my father was raised protestant but they decided they didn't want to force religion on me or my sister. We went to church on Christmas Eve and occassionally on Easter when we were younger but church, religion and God was something we never discussed in our house. When I was around 17 my mom started going to church again because of mine and her depression and because she felt like she needed more support. Now her and my father sort of regret not taking us to church simply because my sister and I don't believe. We're good people though and my parents know that, I think it's just harder for them now that they're older.
tootiredtosleep From: tootiredtosleep Date: February 4th, 2007 01:14 am (UTC) (Link)
A most interesting question... I was raised in the very Calvinistic Church of Christ and attended church services and Sunday school until my early teens. I dabbled at the Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) until I graduated from high school and then I attended a private Catholic college. My spouse was raised Catholic. I have considered myself to be agnostic for many years and have explored a lot of different religions including Wicca and Paganism and have found I like the Universal Unitarian Church best. I have recently read the books by Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins and find myself tending towards atheism. I have long felt that fanatical religious belief has been the basis for much evil perpetrated throughout history. I am beginning to believe it is the greatest evil of our time. It is too often used to justify hatred and intolerance. I do acknowledge that having a religion does bring some people a great sense of comfort and strength. I just draw the line when they want me to embrace their particular brand of theology.

I have raised my children in a secular home. My daughter is in her freshman year at a Catholic high school. She is enjoying the challenge of trying to rationalize the Catholic viewpoint on a number of issues such as stem cell research, HIV/AIDS, reproductive choice and abortion rights. She certainly enjoys putting her teacher on the spot. I've had to caution her to tone down her rhetoric otherwise she is guilty of being intolerant as well. It is a fine line to walk; she needs to learn that now.

I am not surprised at the responses you have received as most of us were drawn into this virtual community by shared enjoyment of QAF. I think that as a group, we certainly don't reflect literal mainstream Christianity or Islam. Of course, this is just my own personal f*&ked up opinion.
qafhappy From: qafhappy Date: February 4th, 2007 06:52 am (UTC) (Link)
F*&ked up? No way! You're totally right, we are a subpopulation that is more liberal and accepting than "the usual". But it's interesting to see how many people were attracted to the UU church. It's like QaF was a great gathering signal, which pulled us all together... or maybe it's the drinks I had at dinner talking!
veryshortlist From: veryshortlist Date: February 4th, 2007 11:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Conservative Judaism at school, agnostic at home.

Now that I'm out of Hebrew school, it's the golden rule for me.
gaeln From: gaeln Date: February 5th, 2007 10:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
What religion were you raised in? - none

What do you practice now? - nothing, although I play with stuff like karma because it's fun and gives me an excuse when stupid shit happens, 'ahh...must be something I did in a past life' I'll saying knowingly, most especially knowing I don't believe in past lives or karma gods or karma but it's a helpful way to balance things out I've found.
25 Voices or Sing to Me