Day 19 – What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
“What do you think of religion?” is a pretty broad question. I was raised United Methodist and came from the kind of family who dressed up for church every Sunday. As a kid, I got excited on those rare Sundays when we didn’t go to church, since it meant I could sleep in. I participated in summer church camps (as a camper and a counselor), church choir, and youth group every so often. I was even a Youth Director at one point. I didn’t fully embrace my faith until I was in college, when I connected with a group on campus that challenged my beliefs and my spirituality and pushed me further than I’d been before. Unfortunately, the leader of that group left after my first year, and I took that a little hard. After that my focus from the group was gone. My then boyfriend/fiance/husband didn’t come from a religious family and I didn’t want to push my beliefs on him. Church slowly faded from my life, and I was ok with that. I had always felt that if I was doing it out of a feeling of obligation, I should step back and then come back when I was ready and willing.
Fast forward to the beginning of my life with DH back in 2005. DH was raised as Catholic, but identifies as an Atheist. While that may be off-putting to some, it has been such a learning experience to me. I’ve grown so much more tolerant and sensitive of the beliefs of others, and I credit that to him. I find myself thinking about how uncomfortable people who aren’t Christian must feel when in situations when assumptions are made about the beliefs of the crowd. For example, at one of my jobs the leadership distributed religious Christmas cards at holiday time, complete with a CD of traditional, religious carols. I was a little flabbergasted, to say the least.
As for what I think of politics, I am a big believer in the motto, “If you aren’t part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” I don’t believe you should whine about what’s happening in our country, our society, if you make the choice not to participate in the process for change. I’m not as active as I’d like to be (or I used to be), but I try to make educated decisions about my voting choices. I do consult with the recommendations of groups that I belong to or subscribe to the same beliefs, such as educational associations, my political party, and organizations that promote equality for women and members of the LGBT community. Ultimately, I try to do my best when I make my decisions. I’m not prepared for the upcoming election day, but I’ve saved information so I can read up on the candidates.