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Scarlett Nation » Religion » Being a Theist.

Being a Theist.

I should be honest from the get go – I’m no biblical scholar. I wasn’t even raised in a Christian family. My mother is agnostic, which is to say she’s never really thought about whether she believes in God or not, and my father is a staunch atheist. That’s right, I said staunch. But I always believed in God. I don’t know why, but I always have. I suppose that’s what they call faith.

I personally felt sure that I was intentionally created by something. I have no logical reason for this, so I’m not going to suggest anyone else should feel the same way – it’s a gut reaction, and if you don’t have it I’m not going to try and talk you into it.

But that’s all I was sure of. I had no idea about any of the rituals and rules associated with organised religion, because I was never taught any of them. And that meant, when I made my own decision to research them, I was free to evaluate them and interpret them as I wished.

“”You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain”

Now, without a priest or Sunday school teacher to tell me what that meant, I had to figure it out for myself. I thought it was unlikely that the actual word ‘God’ was sacred, because that’s not really their name, is it? We gave them that name. It’s not so much that it’s a different word in Islam; it’s that it’s a different word in Spanish. So I didn’t consider that it meant saying OMG was a sin (although I know plenty of people who think it should be, but for different reasons).

I always thought it meant that you shouldn’t use God to defend your own sensibilities, or as a measure of control or conquest. I assumed that referred to those Churches using the name of God to accrue millions that they don’t use to do God’s work. And, because I wasn’t obliged to think of the bible as any more sacred than any other piece of writing, I began to wonder if the passage in Leviticus about homosexuality or the bit about stoning adulterous women to death weren’t just examples that made it into the bible.

I think that might be why I gave up on the organised religion side of it and decided to stick with faith. I began to suspect that ‘not worshiping false idols’ might apply to certain religious leaders – I’m not sure the bible I read supported the idea of any human being infallible.

If God is everywhere then I don’t need to be in a church to worship them. If I am made in God’s image then I am as capable as any priest or rabbi to interpret their will. I am often told that I can’t pick and choose when it comes to faith – apparently it’s better to follow the human beings who have picked and chosen on my behalf. But the little voice in my head that I believe comes from God is as valid as the little voice in the Pope’s, and I don’t think it is a sin to be gay. I don’t believe it’s a sin to have an abortion. I don’t believe you’re going to hell if you commit suicide. It doesn’t feel right, and it doesn’t make sense given what I know of God.

Beware the false prophet, know when there may be an ulterior motive, trust yourself when you think you’re doing the right thing. Whatever else you have faith in, you should have faith in yourself.

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Co-founder and contributor to Scarlett Nation.

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