Oh, God.

I got up at 5:45, brushed teeth, slapped on my Delta College t-shirt, worked out with m’trainer–although let’s talk about how I have no core. I’m like a hollowed-out apple.

Anyway, then I came home, fed everyone with four legs, showered, sat under the Laila Ali dryer so I wouldn’t look drowned at work even though the Laila Ali always gives me dumb hair after so it was a drowned/dumb Sophie’s choice, then came to work, finally, and?

Nothing. I’ve got nothing to do. This is a rarity, and I’ve written just everyone to ask for work, and you know how it gets really still and quiet right before a storm?

Anyway, here I sit, prestorm, so I thought today we could talk about religion. I know we’re not supposed to talk about religion but who cares.

I am not religious. Once a long time ago before I fell asleep I sat quietly and said, in my head, “If there’s a god out there, I’d love for you to make your presence known.”

That night, Julie Andrews came to me in a dream and gave me some life advice; I am not making that up.

Anyway, if you do have a belief, does it actually bring you peace and joy or do you just, like, go to church because you always have? Did you ever pray and get a result, or is it like how I keep trying Retin-A and still look like a hag?

Also, if you do have a belief system, does the hashtag #blessed annoy the Sam Hill out of you or is that also just me, like the Retin-A thing and the Julie Andrews is god thing?

Thanks for your participation, and there will be no bad talk about anyone else’s beliefs. I will delete your ass and ban you for life and also drive to your house and slap you clean across your head.

In Julie Andrews’ name,
Amen

128 thoughts on “Oh, God.

  1. I was raised Catholic, but am non practicing at this moment in my life. I have a lot of conflict with the beliefs of the church and have to work some stuff out. However, last weekend we were in Las Vegas for a family reunion and my husband couldn’t find his wallet. I texted the family group text and said we were going to be late for an event because we were looking for the wallet. After about half an hour of looking, my mom texted for us to take our time and then said a prayer to St Christopher to help us find the wallet. I had just finished reading her text when my husband yelled from the other room “I FOUND IT!” Y’all, he found it in a place we had both checked TWICE!
    When I was a child and had scary dreams my mom would always say a prayer to calm me down. I find myself whispering quiet prayers when I get scared at night, and it still helps.

    Like

  2. I enjoyed this post and the comments so much. The sincerity of everyone was refreshing, and comforting. I am a Christian. I grew up going to a small Congregational church–formal, conservative. I never really connected there–it was my parent’s church. I am grateful for the experience, though. I stopped going to church regularly in High School and didn’t go until after I was married. I started going to church again in a Catholic church, although I never converted. I loved that church and going every Sunday. Once I had kids, I kept trying to go…but my husband is NOT a church goer and with three kids under three it was too hard. When we moved, I found another church, but mostly for my kid’s sake, not because I loved it. In fact, I disagreed with many teachings in the Sunday school–so I was doing a lot of re-teaching at home. The children’s minister REALLY wanted me to teach Sunday school, and finally I had to tell her that she really didn’t. I told her that I didn’t believe what they were teaching and gave her the specific example of the Vacation Bible School experience my kids had just finished. The Bible story was The Battle of Jericho. My kids were LITTLE–preschool and early elementary school. They acted out the story of hiding in Rahab’s house as “spys” and then marching around the city and killing everyone but her family to take over the city. They came home scared and said there were spys that they were hiding from–which is opposite from the story. I told the children’s minister that I had huge problem with teaching children to violently take over a city because God told them to. Especially when we had other people fairly recently flying planes into buildings because God told them to. I think I made my point. We kept going to that church for a couple more years, but once I began my master’s program time became short and I just sort of stopped going. My kids are not religious, and one is anti-religious as a result. I feel kind of like a bad parent, mostly because we live in such a Christian society and not having that background knowledge will be a detriment to them. I know I have raised good kids–moral kids. But I wish I would have had the strength to FIND the time and energy to give them a spiritual background. I regret that so very much. I find a lot of comfort in prayer and in the Anne Lamott’s definitions–Help, Thanks, Wow. I have Mother Teresa’s quotes up and they give me comfort. I try to let love show me the way and to follow the golden rule. This was a wonderful topic June.

    Lovely post, lovely June!

    Like

  3. I don’t believe in any god, power or afterlife. My feeling is when someone or something dies, it’s just dead. I don’t care what anyone else thinks or believes as long as they keep it to themselves and for try to force their beliefs on others or use what they believe to impact the life of another. Nothing bothers me more than people claiming to speak for their god and using that to bully (even if they don’t see it that way) someone else.

    Like

  4. I am so late to these comments, but I still want to share. My own upbringing was as a Methodist, and my husband’s a Catholic. When we married we tried both churches and settled nicely at the Episcopalian. It is the best choice for us. My own beliefs and values are that I do believe in God and that he wants us to be our neighbor’s keeper, meaning friend. We are to love ourselves and our neighbors as ourselves. That means you can’t be mean, you can’t be a selfish dick, and you need to watch out for each other. That pretty much covers it.

    I have had a couple of strong religious experiences and know that is what they were. My son and daughter-in-law are non-believers and aren’t raising the kids in any faith and it sort of breaks my heart. I need to get over that they will not go to Sunday School and learn the same songs and we won’t get to share these things with the kids.

    Like

    • Aack!! I forgot to say about the hashbrown Blessed nonsense, I see an awful lot of Thankful, Grateful, Blessed. The trifecta of “I’m more devout than you”.

      Like

  5. I’m finding this hard to write about. I am a lapsed cradle Roman Catholic, K through 9th grade of parochial school. I did begin questioning things at 14, more due to my father’s drinking than anything else. I do believe in the trinity although Jesus and The Blessed Virgin Mary are my go tos. I too find the Mass beautiful, the rituals and pagentry etc. I pray to the BVM , the Memorare, a special prayer daily for other people’s intentions, sometimes my own. Sometimes I just talk to Them.
    I prayed without ceasing for a husband and I DO believe that is how I got mine and he was a good, kind man too. I lost faith with my unresolved infertility for a bit. I came to realize that it was more that I was hurt and deeply disappointed that those prayers were not answered in the way I wanted them to be. I was enraged and turned my back to God. It was a very dark year and I will never repeat it. I do not blame God for my husband’s cancer and death. I know people’s prayers helped him live longer than expected.
    I don’t see God as some giant pupetmaster in the sky, we have free will and he lets life run its course. Life is cruel. Sometimes miracles occur but not for everyone. Why is a mystery to be accepted by faith. I am very disillusioned with the RC church. There is a very hip, progressive Episopalian church I keep meaning to attend. The WOMAN who runs it , can I say how much I LOVE that after the mysoginy of the church I grew up? Anyway she spoke at my husband’s memorial service and I loved it. I need my faith, I would be in a state of complete despair without it. It comforts and sustains me.

    Like

  6. I have a problem calling myself a Christian, as I don’t think anyone can agree on what that means. But I guess I am, if being Christian means being a follower of Jesus, and admitting that I’m bound to get it terribly wrong. I follow Jesus because I believe that he lived and understood a right walk with God, and that’s what I want. I am a lay pastor in two churches – one is Presbyterian Church USA and one is United Church of Christ. My focus in being with these tiny congregations is to lead them to understanding that Jesus had one mandate: love one another as I have loved you,and that our job is to go out into the world and be with it, love it, and help with healing in the same way that Jesus did. Every time I’m with these lovely people, I learn more about how frail my faith can be, and how they “get it” in ways I still have to encounter.

    That said, I don’t think that Jesus is the only one who understood the right walk. Barbara Brown Taylor wrote a book titled “Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others,” wherein she describes a year of teaching Religion 101 at a small college in Georgia. Brown is an Episcopal priest, and I’ve been reading her work for years. In it she quotes Krister Stendahl: “When trying to understand another religion, you should ask the adherents of that religion and not its enemies. Don’t compare your best to their worst. Leave room for holy envy.” She reminds me that God, the Universe, the Creative Force, is not to be contained in a box of my own device. When I limit myself to what fits tidily within the 4 walls of my God-box, I’m just going to be formed into a box-like creature myself.

    Thank you for giving all of us this great opportunity to spill our spiritual guts! The comments here are so great, and remind me that you have helped create quite a diverse little community with your not-blog. I appreciate how respectful everyone is around a tricky subject.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Of course I was off today so I’m just now seeing this. Normally I wouldn’t comment but I am tonight. I was born and raised in a fundamentalist born-again Southern Baptist household. I went to church mostly all day on Sunday, every Wednesday night for prayer meeting, Friday night for youth group, and any other assorted revivals or special services that were held. My father was the preacher.

    When I was 15 I found out that my father was the preacher who had been cheating on my mother with assorted church members his entire pastoral life. It suddenly made sense why we moved nearly every year. When I was 16, he left on Christmas Day to go be with his mistress. My 38 year old mother was left with me, my 15 year old brother, my 4 year old brother, my 1 year old sister, and no way to pay the bills.

    I think it was then I decided that it, i.e. religion, faith, whatever you want to call it, was all a bid lie and I walked away. It has taken me a long time (I’m 59) to come back around to some kind of faith. I do believe in God but often wonder if it’s true that he cares about me. Because I haven’t felt it or seen it. Yet I really do feel there is a God who is bigger than me and out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Like most of my life lessons, I learned about religion through musicals. Specifically Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar. I like the teaching of Christ but really dislike many of the people who claim to be followers. So much hate is spewed in Christ’s name it drives me crazy.

    Recently I have started going to my local church. It is amazing what a divorce will make you do. 🙂 I had hit bottom and happened on the right sermon at the right time. I have been going more often than not this last year and really opening up to new ideas. I kept thinking the people at the church had something that I wanted. I was interested in how they got there. On the way I have made some friends I never would have met.

    This summer the Covenant church (which is the church I go to. I have never understood why Christians are so hung up on the individual denominations. The similarities vastly outweigh the differences. But I digress. End of rant) This summer the church that I go to, that I have met many wonderful people, that I have recommended to friends, that has helped me down a good path, voted to expel a fellow covenant church that committed the crime of marrying same-sex couples. This summer I found out that I was supporting a homophobic church. I have not been back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • One of my top-10 favorite songs is Graham Nash’s Winchester Cathedral. The line I invariably quote whenever the subject of religion comes up is “Too many people have died in the name of Christ for anyone to heed the call. Too many people have lied in the name of Christ that I can’t believe at all”.
      I’m sorry to hear about your experience at that church.

      Like

    • Seattle Steve,

      I am so sorry that you had this experience. I was reading your comment thinking that you were having such a lovely spiritual experience–which was what you needed–and then at the end…
      It must have felt like such a betrayal. I think humans screw up good things all the time and this is a perfect example of that.

      Like

  9. I don’t believe in God because I believe in science and I don’t know of a way to resolve those competing things. I also see things that are done and said in the name of religion that I want no part of, like racism and misogyny. I feel like religion began as a way to explain the things that scared us and, for some reason, we never evolved out of it. I believe that you should try to be a good person for the sake of living in a society that isn’t a hellscape, not because a guy in the sky told you it was the right thing to do. That said, I do not begrudge anyone else their beliefs and think some of the ceremonial traditions of organized religions are the most beautiful things ever.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I have been riveted to the comments today. I’m surprised by all of the people who say they are person’s of faith but do not go to places of worship. I shouldn’t be surprised because it’s what research clearly shows, but oddly, I am. It’s amazing how much insight you can enjoy when thoughtful people can talk (type) freely and respectfully. Thank you for this post today, June!!

    I am a Christian. I know that God created me and everyone else in his image and he loves us just the way we are. I attend church every Sunday, not out of obligation, but because I want to. I need it. In this crazy, frustrating, rapidly-changing world, I need time every week to be reminded that God is the only thing that never changes. We even attend church when we travel – it’s a fun way to be a tourist. I’ve been part of the Episcopal church my whole life. It’s not perfect, but it suits me. It is a liturgical church meaning the songs and prayers follow a church year calendar of seasons. I take great comfort in the sameness each week. It’s traditional and ritualistic and makes me feel better. (The hymns played at royal weddings? I know them by heart.) The Episcopal church focuses on faith and reason. For instance I have zero trouble squaring faith and science, because I don’t believe the Bible is a science text book.

    While I am a church going Christian, I absolutely believe that God reveals himself in many ways and through many faiths, and that heaven is a very big place/idea with room for as many people as want to be there. I have great friends with different faith traditions, and when I hear their stories of how drawn they are to their faith, it reaffirms my own, and they would say the reverse is true. We are close friends with several families on our block and at a recent get-together one neighbor described how afraid she feels when she takes her children to synagogue, how she tells them to always look for an exit, keep an eye out for the behavior of security guards, reminds them how to meet up if they get separated, and on and on. The rest of us were absolutely heartbroken and in tears with her. Her devotion to her faith inspired everyone who heard her, and we all felt even more protective of her right to worship fully and freely and even more connected to our own various faiths.

    I had a near-death experience as a child. I was a goner, as my mother says. I don’t remember much about it, or much from my childhood before that, but I do know that I have never doubted that God loves me and that I am going to heaven. It’s for sure! I don’t know if my experience solidified that idea or if I just would have come to the same conclusion anyway. It doesn’t really matter.

    I disagree with the Christian denominations that seek to exclude or prevent people from being their true selves because of their own churchy man-made rules. I am grateful to be part of a church that values and ordains women, that puts enormous emphasis on loving your neighbor as they are, and including others and respecting the dignity of every human being. I need God’s help to do all that.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I’ve really enjoyed the comments today, too! I love that you go to church when traveling! I’ve done it once when traveling with my mother, but my husband never seems interested. I enjoyed seeing another church, hearing from another pastor, singing the hymns they’d chosen for that service. Maybe I will ask him to attend next time we are out of town…or just leave him to tend to the children and I can attend alone. Now that might be really peaceful!

      Like

    • Ditto all including the Bible is not a science book and should never be used as such. We also go to the Episcopal Church. We also like to go to church when we travel to see the churches and always feel at home. Whenever I see an Episcopal Church sign I know there is help inside for me if I need it. The Presiding Bishop who preached at the Royal Wedding was our Bishop in NC and exemplifies the church of love and inclusion, faith, tradition, and REASON. You said it well, Texas K.

      Like

  11. People who call themselves Christians but who are not following Christian precepts have done so much harm, giving people who are not Christians inaccurate views of what it means to be a Christian. I grew up in a Christian home and my beliefs have only strengthened with age. Most of my prayers are not formal but are mental conversations with God throughout the day. They largely center around discernment and thankfulness. There have been times when praying has given me immense peace and one time I “heard” a specific reassurance. I know that prayers are not meant to be a wish list but rather a way for me to conform to God’s will for me.

    Like

  12. To marry my Catholic husband in the church, I only had to agree to raise our kids Catholic but I converted as well. I may have overshot the terms of the obligation because I ran the Sunday School program for years. I saw a lot of the sausage being made and the dark side of my boss, the beloved pastor of the Cathedral parish, who peppered his entertaining homilies with humor and a Johnny Carson-style delivery. I wish I had only happy memories. My husband still goes to Mass every Sunday but I can’t go. My mind wanders to thoughts that rankle: the hypocrisy, the judgment, the misogyny. I had hoped I’d work through it because none of those issues are new but then there was the arrest of another popular local pastor. I won’t go into details because it’s just too gross (if you want you can Google Fr. Faucher in Boise or pull up the Idaho Statesman and search there). Thank God, so far, we have no evidence that he actually touched a child but I can’t stop thinking about all those times when I asked him to help us out at First Reconciliation and I put him in a room with 7-year-old children.

    Like

  13. I am a believer, and I believe the church is part of what we are supposed to do as believers. However, we just moved to a new town, and we’re looking for a church that isn’t all about doing what’s always been done. Honestly, we Christians have given ourselves a bad name. Crusades anyone? I think many use Jesus as a crutch for whatever ails or befalls them. I also believe many use Jesus as an excuse for bad and unacceptable behavior. Like protesting funerals and such. To be fair, Christians aren’t the only ones who do this! There’s a great book called “Blue Like Jazz.” It’s a great read, and it expresses everything I feel about being a Christian. I can’t look at nature and think it came from nothing. I also read the Bible and believe what it says. There again, MUCH is taken out of the context of who wrote it, why, to whom, and what the culture of the area was. I love Jesus. Have I had real times I know prayers were answered? Yep. I know twice, I was definitely spoken to. It wasn’t my “head voice.” It wasn’t something I’d have said on my own. It had to be God. I cuss, I drink, I sin, I am nowhere near perfect, I don’t pretend to be, I love bikinis, and I hate when churches make girls wear a one-piece to church camp when the boys can get by with their no shirt selves. I have tattoos, I love 80s hair bands, and I love to watch movies and TV shows that are crudely humorous. I also love people from other races, countries, religions, and (gasp) LGBTQ. If you read the Bible, you’ll see that humans messed up, kept messing up, messed up some more, and continue to do the same thing. The point is we do have someone to love us and accept us and forgive us. Thank, God! 🙂 Read Blue Like Jazz. It’s a “Christian” book from a real-world perspective.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I am a believer in the great mystery. I believe god is so much bigger and weirder than we can even imagine. From the time I was a child Jesus has made himself known to me. Persistently. I have been given audible instructions twice that saved my life. I have been given information I was desperately needing. God? Guides? The great mystery.

    I often feel the presence of god (I don’t like to say God because it’s too easy to turn that into a person visually) and it is as frequently female as male. God has come to me as mother. The great mystery has sought me out and chased me and I have fought with it, not wanting to believe in it giving a whit about me.
    Jesus is my teacher. I go to church about half the Sundays because it is a place I can work with others who are feeding the hungry, fighting for affordable housing, putting beds in houses where kids are sleeping on the floor, welcoming celebrating and comforting all who are rejected elsewhere, acting as mentors for kids aging out of foster care. You know, things like Jesus said to do. Those are hard things to do all alone.

    I feel like the vocabulary of Christianity has been stolen by people who are intolerant and judgemental and like to makeup rules that scare others and benefit themselves.

    To be Christian is to be a reconciler, a source of refuge, and a bringer of hope and love. That is what I believe in.

    Liked by 6 people

  15. I probably fall under the category of agnostic, not sure what’s out there. I believe there’s life energy out there to be tapped, more of a The Secret kind of belief than anything. I’m also of the “live your best life and try your best not to hurt anybody” persuasion.
    But…back in the 70s I was part of the Charismatic movement, the Catholic version of Pentecostal. I wanted so badly to be able to speak in tongues, and one day I could. Even now, when all my religious beliefs have really fallen by the wayside, I can open my mouth and these nonsense syllables come out and it feels like prayer.
    I guess I’ll find out when I die.

    Like

  16. I want to believe, but not to some narcissist who wants me to praise him all the time and do everything he says. I grew up in a deeply religious “Christian” family that was perfect on the outside and rotten in the middle. I think I would like religious people a lot more if they were honest about the struggles and doubts they have. If you don’t questions your beliefs then how do you know what you believe?

    Like

  17. I attended a protestant church until I was 20 and fully believed all of the church teachings. After that, I no longer really got anything from organized religion although always enjoyed Christmas service with my family. (Yes, I became one of those Christmas-only church attenders.)

    I believe in God and pray in Jesus name as I was taught. I like to pray during morning walks, especially when the sunbeams shine through the trees creating what I call God’s Eye. My favorite bumper sticker is the one that showed many religious symbols and said, “One God, many paths.” My spiritual path is evolving and I believe we could be spiritual beings having an earthly experience because how else can we learn if we aren’t faced with life’s problems? I believe in an afterlife, but not angels playing harps on fluffy clouds. Perhaps the afterlife is a parallel universe. Like I said, my spiritual path is evolving, but I fully expect to see my loved ones again in the next life. I also talk to family members who have passed from this life.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I believe in God and Jesus. I believe in loving God who’s full of grace. I am trying now to find a church now that is progressive, which is not easy in the south. I’ve been very let down by many of the church people in my life. I thought of them like family and they were great when my parents were sick and died, and when my triplets were born, but they all treated my divorce like it was contagious. I’ve been going to the same church for two and a half years and have had no contact with anyone outside church. I hear them making plans together every Sunday. For a while I thought it was because we were new. After about a year I realized it was because I’m divorced.
    I’ve had several experiences with God speaking to me, and in the last year have discovered Emmanuel Journaling, which is a type of prayer journaling while interacting with Jesus. These personal experiences with Jesus are what keep me going and believing. If my faith hinged on church, I would have given up years ago.
    Great topic. I’ve really enjoyed reading the responses.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I know I’ve already commented, but . . . I wanted to say how impressed I am with how respectful everyone has been and I’m hoping June hasn’t had to delete anything.

    Also, I think everyone will enjoy this guy – John Crist. He’s a Christian comedian, but he sends up all those #blessed and “live, love laugh” people just as much as anyone else. He’s the one that did that “Every parent at Disney” routine you might have seen. Anyway . . .

    Like

  20. I can’t stand #blessed, when we had a business the person that took us for the most money ended his voice mail with “have a blessed day.” Makes my blood boil.

    I am not a religious person, but I am very spiritual and a believer. I have a deep faith and trust in the sovereign God, Creator of the Universe, God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. I was raised in the church and I do attend church regularly. I believe the Word of God, it is the final authority in my life, it is what keeps me grounded. I pray, all the time. My prayers have been answered, but not all of them are answered the way I want them answered, I don’t know why. I just have to trust God, which is not always easy, because I can’t get through life on my own, I have to have help and the Lord is my helper, guide and peace.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Hoo boy, this is quite an interesting topic and I appreciate that everyone is being respectful.

    I believe that organized religion is a total racket. There. I said it.

    I was raised Catholic in the 60s and 70s, which meant we still covered our heads when we attended Mass. My paternal grandparents were very devout and my uncle is a Carmelite priest. I enjoyed the pageantry and theatrics of the Catholic Mass (incense, candles, bells, stained glass everywhere, genuflecting, the sign of the Cross, the ritual of Communion, etc.) Did I BELIEVE any of it? Heck, no. Immaculate Conception? Please. I don’t believe Jesus Christ was the son of God via a spiritual one night stand. I read the Bible every so often and I just don’t get it. My thought was that the Old Testament God was a total dick and not the loving father who watches over his flock. I believe the Bible has been rewritten so many times that it’s just fables and stories.

    I don’t consider myself an atheist, maybe more of an Agnostic because maybe there’s a supreme being, maybe there’s not.

    I also very much believe in reincarnation and an afterlife but not the Christian version of heaven and hell. I NEED to believe that horrible people who do horrible things get punished one way or another. Maybe not in this life but perhaps in another. I don’t believe that just because someone wasn’t baptized into a specific denomination doesn’t mean they won’t go to “heaven.”

    Neither of my kids were baptized and no, they are not damned to hell because of that. I did send them to a Lutheran preschool, not because I wanted them to have religious instruction but because it was within walking distance and it was a darn good preschool. They did have Chapel every week but neither of my kids “took” to religion.

    I hate, loathe and despise the whole #soblessed thing. One time I mentioned some sort of good fortune that happened to me on social media and someone told me I was blessed because of it. I corrected them and said, “No, I’m FORTUNATE. I don’t believe that a Higher Being decided that *I* was deserving of it over someone else. It’s pure dumb luck.

    And don’t even get me started on people who use religion to shill their wares. “God has called me to approach you to buy into my pyramid scheme. It’ll be such a blessing to have you as my downline.”

    On an amusing and ironic note, I’ve been too scared to take Communion the rare times I attend a church service that offers it. You can take the girl out of the Church but you can’t fully take the Church out of the girl.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. When I was younger, I used to believe because I was afraid of hell. Hedging my bets. Logic prevents me from believing now. My only belief now is that we are made of energy. I work with folks who attend pretty ritualized churches. They seem happy. It’s a BIG world and I feel that the religion you follow is largely what you are exposed to. Not always, of course.
    Personal mantra…try to be nice. You never know what people are going through. I do better some days than others. I’m a work in progress.

    Like

  23. I am not a church goer even though I went to catholic school for 8 years. What has always bothered me is when someone survives something horrible, say a disease or a natural disaster, and they say “God was watching over us” or “God answered our prayers”. Well, what about all of those who died? Why didn’t God listen to them? Are you saying my 16 year old niece didn’t deserve to be listen to when she died from cancer? Or my brother who died at 37 from ALS. Why wasn’t he listened to? Because let me tell you, there were a shit ton of people praying for them. No shortage there. So yeah, I have doubts. Lots of them. As far as the church, there are numerous reasons I don’t agree with the Catholic Church. I’ll just give you one. The priest who married us turned out to be married himself and had a child. Now, I have no problem with priests being married, they should allow it. But the lies and hypocrisy were too much. Last I heard, he was a real estate agent and a big time poker player. Bless his heart.

    Liked by 6 people

  24. I believe in God. I guess I’d call myself a quiet Christian. I’m not a fan of plastering bible verses all over social media, my car, etc. Those folks are usually the biggest hypocrites. Pound sign blessed drives me nuts! My faith is very strong & it has gotten me through some difficult times. Some of the times that I’m the most worried or upset, I’ll get an overwhelming feeling of calm & know that everything will be okay. I feel like that’s God taking control & letting me know that I can’t be full of worry & full of faith at the same time. My prayers are simple..more of a one sided conversation every night, thanking God for what I have & asking Him to watch over the people I love.
    I try to not overthink it too much.

    Liked by 4 people

  25. Of course there are gods. I know that for a fact, because I am one. However, people today no longer worship me, except as I appear in Marvel movies, where I’m played by a ridiculously handsome Aussie actor. I’m actually even better looking. I must say, however, that it was a huge disappointment to be worshipped one day as a god and then, the next, I was being replaced by a single god I didn’t even know. How in the world did that happen? How do religions even get created, and why does each one claim to be the one, true religion? They can’t all be right, can they? The key, for me as one who has pretty much seen it all, is to live your life in a good and honorable way. And for that, all you really need to know is the Golden Rule. And maybe the Infield Fly Rule.

    Liked by 4 people

  26. I wouldn’t say I was religious, but I am a believer. I believe there is life after death. I believe there is something out there bigger than us. Raised as a good Catholic girl, I remember Latin masses, having to wear something on your head during mass, nuns with wimples (I think that’s what they called those hard cardboard like things under their chins). We were even sent to a Catholic school for a year in Buffalo, NY.

    My Mom died suddenly, on 9/2/90, blood clot after knee replacement (asshole doctor). I was shattered and could not stop crying. I remember I was in my bed, after coming home from the hospital, still sobbing. I felt someone pat me on the back and say “I’m all right sis, it’s going to be all right”. I rolled over and said to my husband, “Did you just say something?” He was sound asleep. I know it was my mom who was there. My parents were the only people who ever called me Sis, for big sister.

    My younger brother (57) was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer 2 years ago. He never smoked a day in his life. Devastating news. The same day we got the news, I happened to be playing a slot machine at a local casino. Still kinda emotional, I spoke to my mom (in my head) and asked her to give me a sign that Scott was going to be all right. Five minutes later, I hit a jackpot for $4800.00. Weird I know, but true. Initially I didn’t want to tell my brother what happened since I thought it was so self-serving of me. He was good with it and asked for his cut. First time I ever cried in a casino.

    Scott is still here, two years later, fighting the good fight. He has gone thru two trials and starts chemo today and you can bet I will be praying my ass off for him. I gotta believe someone will listen, they just have to.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Great question and I am enjoying the thoughtful responses. I am a practicing Catholic. Was raised Catholic. Catholic school from 1st thru college. I have a strong faith and I pray daily. I do see prayers answered and I feel God’s love. I do not always get things to work out just how I want them to work out, but that is the way it is. My faith gives me comfort and peace of mind that God is watching over me and my family. I pray for guidance and for strength. I sometimes feel that I could be a better follower, but I try. A favorite priest often says: ‘A saint is a sinner who keeps on trying.’

    I am not into the # blessed thought process. My in-laws are religious zealots (in my estimation). They judge, they preach, they are in-your-face about their faith and they doubt anyone is as faith-filled as they are. It is the most irritating thing in the world. They are so self-righteous that I just try to keep my distance from them. I find that kind of religion disruptive and sad.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. No gods, no masters.I find religion interesting from a sociological and historical standpoint but also illogical and sort of nuts. Be a good person, be nice to people unless they give you a reason not to be and help people who are less fortunate than you are. I don’t need a cosmic cookie (promise of an afterlife) to do those things.

    Liked by 3 people

  29. I am religious, but on my own terms, in my own way. Organized religion doesn’t work for me. At all.

    Like

  30. Lovely post, Coot.

    First, let me preface this by saying I am a very spiritual person. Not in a woo-woo way but in a deep in my heart way.
    Second, I was brought up Bathtist (Baptist) and was told to leave the church during afternoon bible study when I asked if Adam and Eve were the first man and woman and they had Cain and Able where did their wives come from. Well, evidently that is a question a ten-year-old is not allowed to ask. I was told to go home and read my bible. I did. I still did not find the answer. That was when religion became a big hoax for me.
    Third, I started following A Course In Miracles years ago. I find some things comforting, somethings ridiculous and some things inspiring in the studies. Mostly I just try to be a good person.
    Lastly, I don’t care if you tell me to have a blessed day or say hope you die a miserable death. It makes me no difference. Those are your beliefs no mine and none of my business.
    Now let me ask do you think this world is real or just a dream? Could this all really just be like in the movie the Matrix? Someone elses reality? Or that we live many lives all at the same time?

    Like

  31. I am not able to believe in religion – it all just seems too illogical to me. It has always seemed to me that I should by definition not be able to be more compassionate than God, and yet apparently I am. (For example, if it was within my power to strike a child molester dead before he hurt a child, I would.)
    Anyway, when my daughter was small I thought she should have some introduction to formal religion so she would be less likely to be turned into a Holy Roller by her friends during her teenage years (we live in the Bible Belt), and we attended the UU church for several years, which I did enjoy. There were people of many different religious backgrounds (Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Pagan) and a number of atheists and agnostics. There were still a lot of basic things we could all agree on. I liked the “one church, many windows” concept of it.
    My husband was raised by a devoutly religious mother, and when his mother told him Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy were not real, he looked at her and said, “What about God and Jesus?” She said, “Oh, they’re real,” but since she’d just told him three other magical people were not real, he was unconvinced. So I guess we were meant for each other. And yes, I do like my mother-in-law a lot.
    I once had an office mate from Iran who was a Zoroastrian, and he told me their tenets are: Good words, good thoughts, and good deeds. I think that pretty much covers it, regardless of your religious beliefs or lack thereof.
    Speaking of living in the Bible Belt, the competitive praying thing bothers me.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Raised Catholic, more because my maternal Portuguese grandparents were very ‘every Sunday Catholics’. We lived on a ranch next door to them (which was an amazingly awesome way to grow up) and each Sunday morning they would pull up in our driveway, toot the horn on their sea mist green Skylark and take my brother and I to church with them. They dressed up in their best, tweed coat & smart hat, Sunday dress & polished shoes, sparkling hand bag. When we were very young, there were sandwich baggies of Cheerios & dumdum suckers in that hand bag to keep us quiet in the pew, along with crumpled handkerchiefs, Avon lipstick and rosary beads. We sat in the same pew every Sunday, surrounded by familiar faces from our smallish town. Coffee, hot chocolate & donuts in the parish hall afterwards. Sigh, I’m in tears at the rush of memories….
    My beliefs are a mixture of Catholic, can’t we just get along, treat each other equally, the universe works in mysterious ways, there is a higher power watching over us, reincarnation is all around us, mish mash of things. I believe strongly in a higher power and that praying and asking the universe for guidance can help, even if it just brings you peace or quiets your inner turmoil. I haven’t gone to church regularly since my grandparents passed away, I have a hard time reconciling the Catholic church’s dealings with LGBT (my brother and many family members are gay) and judgement of those that are different than “us”. But, when I do go it instantly brings me a calming, peaceful feeling, likely because of the strong memories associated with sitting in our beautiful church for all the important things in our lives – weddings, funerals, baptisms, and the weekly connection with my incredibly special grandparents. I sat in our pew as I was 9 months pregnant with my son on 9/11 and prayed, when my dear friend battled cancer, when a friend lost her husband to sudden suicide, and it brought me calm. Traditions have been important to me in my life, our church is a big part of that, a solid foundation that tends to ground me when things are falling apart. On the other hand, #blessed makes me want to throat punch people.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Usually I want to read all comments before deciding if I can add anything with my comments. But you asked about “my” beliefs and thoughts so here goes. I am a Christian but I have grown so tired of people loudly proclaiming that they are ”religious .” I like to say that I have “faith.” There are two women I use as role models. Both have passed on to what I hope is a much better place and truly they had and lived their faith. They shared so much love with all around them that we just felt their peace. So to me, “religious” is all about yourself and how you think others should think and behave. “Faith”, to me, is all about love of others as well as of yourself.

    I attend church whenever I am in my small hometown because I have come to feel that almost all of the small congregation is family (a family in God?). I frequently “pray” but usually it is brief and either asking for strength/guidance/help or I am saying thanks. I rarely say formal prayers. I just “talk” but usually without saying actual words. Also too, I am not going to make a show out of praying. The Bible says to go to a private place to pray and I practice that. Oh, speaking of the Bible, I do not think that ALL things in the Bible are exactly as written. That history was oral for many many years before it was written and has been translated many times. And I KNOW there are no perfect humans so errors have been made through the centuries. I do believe in evolution and have my own ideas how the Bible’s account of creation can fit into evolution. I also have NO artwork anywhere of a smiling/loving blond haired blue eyed Jesus! As if!!! Speaking of Jesus, I only wish/pray that the rigid “religious” types would stop judging and live what Jesus said are the MOST important TWO commandments: love the Lord thy God, and love thy neighbor as thyself. And yes I love the poetry of the King James version. Ok. Enough preaching for now. Peace out, everyone!

    Liked by 2 people

  34. I believe that God is filled with unlimited, unfathomable, limitless goodness, generosity and mercy.

    In His generosity He sent His Son to spread His loving message, (probably thinking, “Maybe they need to hear this one more time.”)

    It is stunning to me that even though He knew that His son would be abused and killed He sent Him anyway. How’s that for limitless giving?

    A God of so much love. This is irresistible.

    I know God is with me always. In the bad times I picture Him standing next to me and mentally I say, “Jesus, can you believe this?” I know I’m not alone and it gives me peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so touched by what you have said . I am a follower of Jesus ( God in sandals ), and I try to follow His two commandments . I walk by faith ( would prefer by sight bc I want control ) . I don’t understand so much , but I trust Him. God supplied a frantic need late one night in a supernatural way … has never happened before or since like that but I know what I know .
      I am thankful for my upbringing that I saw my mother perservere through such hard , hard, cruel and damaging times , relying on her faith . I’m old, and I am very much still a work in progress . God knows my heart.

      Like

  35. I am very religious and I go to church every Sunday and other days as well. I’m involved at church, too. I pray regularly and I see answers to my prayers, but I don’t treat God like a vending machine. It brings me deep joy and I can’t imagine living without any aspect of it. I don’t use the #blessed hashtag because it can look (to someone who is hurting, especially) like they aren’t blessed because they don’t compare to your blessings, which is not helpful to them. That’s just a personal thing for me in regard to other Christians or other religious people, though. In general, I think the “thoughts & prayers” and #blessed stuff is pretty ridiculous.

    Like

  36. Not a believer. It’s all magic and nonsense (to me). I was raised Catholic, but left the church, tried a few others until I realized that I don’t believe in God, or Jesus, or Vishnu or Mohammad, etc. I lead a moral life, and that’s enough for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. I am a Christian. I was raised in the church and still attend somewhat regularly, but not every Sunday. I absolutely do not have any problems with people who believe differently than I do. Heck, there are so things that are taught in church that I disagree with based on my own research and what I feel God is telling me. God designed us and gave us free will. It does make me sad that some people who claim to be Christians do not act like they are. I believe Jesus was the Son of God. His teachings were of love for others. My relationship with God is very personal and very precious to me. I cannot imagine trying to live my life without it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I started to like every single comment on here. Finally stopped. You guys are all so great. I think the most important thing is to be honest with yourself — you guys all sound so sincere. I really respect that. I am replying here — sorry I can’t find the regular comment link. I am definitely Christian, try to practice the actions Christ taught. But once again I really respect anyone trying to live according to their heart. Except maybe Trump supporters. I kid. Kind of.

      Liked by 2 people

  38. I’m Christian and believe in God and Jesus. But I can’t stand organized religion. So I guess I’m more spiritual than religious. I’ve had too many bad experiences with churches and church people to want to attend. My mom is at church every Sunday and regularly said she wishes I would find a church. I finally told her a few months ago all of the reasons that isn’t going to happen. To my surprise, she said she understood and she hasn’t harped on me about it since. I have an African American church right across the street from my house. A lot of Sunday mornings I’ll sit on my front porch and I can hear them singing and hear the preacher shouting. It brings me comfort to hear it even though I’m not a fan of organized religion. I do pray occasionally but not every single day.

    When I was 5 my biological mom died. Her parents were staying with my brothers and I that night and I woke my grandmother up in the middle of the night. She asked me what was wrong and I said, “My mommy is dead.” She assured me she wasn’t dead, that my dad was at the hospital with her, but I kept insisting she was dead. 30 minutes later my dad called them and said she had died.

    When that same grandmother died, I suddenly awoke in the middle of the night because I had a vision of our entire extended family standing in a circle holding hands around her hospital bed. My grandfather, who had died about 15 or 20 years before, was in the bed with her, wrapping her in a giant hug and he had a huge grin on his face. I knew she was with him again. 20 minutes later I got the call that she had died.

    I once had a medium tell me that those grandparents are my guardian angels and that they are with me every second of my life. She said I also have a protector (someone I don’t know) who wears an off-white robe with a brown leather belt and he has a sword. He has dark hair and a beard and he’s with my grandparents watching over me at all times. It gives me comfort to believe that it’s true.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. I do have a belief in God. I’m a Christian. I’m a southerner. Those are synonymous for some (many). My brand of Christian is a little more open to doubt that leads to open ended, thought-provoking questions. If I think too hard about it, I wonder how God and Jesus could possibly be real. But I swear that when I pray and when I am in distress, something restores peace in me that is within me yet outside of me at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. I am a Christian. I have a deep and abiding faith in God born out of a number of experiences – some WOW and some just wow – that I have had in my life. I pray daily, sometimes hourly, occasionally constantly. But my understanding of prayer has changed – I used to believe I prayed to change an outcome or to gain some favor from God. Somewhere along the line I started to realize that I was praying, not to change God’s mind or heart, but to change mine. My prayers became about gratitude and acceptance and comfort and peace. Basically because hearing people say things like “ALL YOUR PRAYERS WORKED! Little Jimmy didn’t die!” drove me to distraction. Did people really think God was up there with a Pray-o-Meter, waiting for enough people to pray for little Jimmy so he could change the outcome? What about all the little Jimmys who DID die… not enough prayer? Couldn’t push the meter over the top and God pulled the plug? Ridiculous. I think the turning point was when my dad died and my MIL (best thing she ever did for me was dying herself) called me up to tell me about her very devout friends who’s dad had the EXACT SAME THING happen to him but he was saved by the Power of Prayer. Really? That’s not a God I’d be interested in knowing.

    I’m enjoying all the thoughtful answers. Good question today June!

    Liked by 4 people

  41. I was forced to do all the Catholic things when I was a kid but I was never a believer. I thought most of the stuff I was told was ridiculous and was sometimes sent to the principal’s office during CCD (Catholic Sunday school) for asking pointed questions that the old maid teachers could not or would not answer. The principal was a nun but she was nice and never mad when I was sent to her. I don’t recall her ever bothering to chastise me. I think she knew a true pagan when she saw one and didn’t have the call or interest in converting me. I remember thinking that she thought I was somewhat amusing. Now I think of myself as a lazy Celt who pretty much just lights candles on Samhain (Halloween for the rest of y’all) for those who died since the previous Samhain and who says a Celtic blessing to the deceased at funerals.

    Liked by 2 people

  42. I am a Christian and do attend church Sunday and Wednesday evenings as well. I was raised in this religion and while there was a period I did not attend services much, I never have strayed from my beliefs. I feel comfort from attending the services and being with the others there. Our church is growing and I think it is because people who visit see that we all truly love each other and want to help those around us. I love that we have food banks, clothing drives and what we call ‘faith in action’ where we find something that needs doing and do it. I also attend a Tuesday morning ladies Bible study and have really grown to love and count on those women who attend. I pray daily and know that my prayers have been answered even if I don’t get what I ask for. My mom had a stroke, heart attack and saddle block pulmonary embolism at the same time last year and should not have lived. Not only did she live, she got over all of the problems quickly and was back to herself within a few months. There were a lot of people praying for her recovery and I was comforted knowing that. I do not like #blessed or any of the other obvious references to bringing attention to yourself. I do not bash folks over the head with my beliefs but will tell them about it if asked. I believe that your life should reflect your beliefs and people will see Jesus and God that way.

    Like

  43. # blessed is a solid no. I have many of the same experiences as a lot of you. At a very low time in my life a voice said to me “my grace is enough for you.” I was dumbfounded and shaken but knew without a doubt it didnt come from my own head. My life wasnt instantly fixed by any means, still isn’t, but I knew the God behind that voice had my back. I work at learning about him to understand better. I’m loving hearing all your experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. I believe and I have faith. I don’t formally attend church but pray daily. I mean toward the Catholic church. When I was diagnosed with stage 3c breast cancer I found our catholic radio station in my town. At 3 pm every day (when I get off work), they have a host that prays the chaplet of divine mercy. I cried every day and prayed that prayer and told God I would accept His will. I never prayed for myself but for my 10 year old daughter. One day I was turning the corner to my house and I heard a voice telling me I was going to be okay. After I finished chemo, I had a double mastectomy and the pathologist asked my oncologist if he was sure I had cancer because there was no evidence that I had (and I most definitely did I could feel the tumor and it hurt).

    Liked by 1 person

  45. I do say grace every morning before breakfast but I loathe church. I spent many years as a Wednesday night youth leader and refused to them the Pentecostal beliefs of everything will send you to hell. Anyway, I won’t set foot inside a church other than funerals or weddings and that is iffy.

    Like

  46. I believe in a God, but not necessarily the one that’s all over Facebook. I’ve never gotten a sign or heard God speak to me, but maybe that’s because I’m too much of a logical person rather than because I’m not worthy. No one knows for sure, but I do believe that you have to live your life trying to love everyone, even those you disagree with. I love the idea of Karma, because to me it’s fair, and fairness is a big deal.

    Like

  47. Wow there are some awesome things posted here! I am a Christian, go to church and hate any hashtags that imply someone is blessed and someone isn’t. My husband died over a year ago and on the day he passed my daughter and I had no idea he was that sick. A huge sense of peace and comfort came over me and I kept feeling like everything was going to be ok. Well my whole life upended, we owned and ran a business I could not run alone, our home was mid restoration and once again I could not finish alone or afford to pay someone to finish it. People came out of the woodwork helping me from winning a $1k gift card to a grocery store, to old men in the town bringing us fresh veggies from their garden. My half restored 3 story house sold on a cash offer the 3 rd day it was listed after getting multiple offers! I made three times what we paid for it. Real estate was dead in my old town. My husband died without a will so I had to go through probate which means I couldn’t finalize the sale for 6 months. Some how I managed to run two newspapers(our old biz) for 6 months while trying to sell them. I ended up selling the papers independent from my home. Luckily my daughter is awesome and moved to college right after her dad died and has flourished and I moved in with my parents in a different state. I can not say there is no God all these things happened to me and I usually don’t win stuff or sail through drama going on in my life. I am still trying to find a new job/career but still have that overwhelming feeling everything is going to be ok. If there are a million posts by me so sorry!

    Liked by 2 people

  48. I don’t go to church. Haven’t since around 1980. I really don’t want to go into details of how outdated the Catholic Church is and how poorly they treated my mom and sister. That being said, I think believing in God is ingrained in me. I worry that if I stop believing then BAM I’ll be struck down (Catholic guilt?). I’m actually working on becoming more spiritual and opening my views to spirits and souls. I have a friend who is a Medium – really cool stuff that she can do in her readings. Anyway, that’s all I got to say about that.

    Like

  49. Did no one else already quote George Michael and Ya Gotta Have Faith?

    I have it, but don’t go to church any more — was raised a Lutheran and then my first husband was Catholic so went with him (and took the kids) but never converted.

    My second husband has no faith, which bothers me a bit.

    Like

  50. I am a Christian, and have always believed that Jesus is the Son of God. The church I attended as a child had some quite rigid and harsh teachings. As a result, I didn’t attend any formal church services for many years. True story, when I was a child I found myself uber confused by many of the things being taught to me in Sunday School. I was disruptive by asking too many questions, and thereby irritating the Sunday School teacher. One night during the week, my parents got a visit from a couple of the Elders from our church. Apparently, the Sunday School teacher had just had it with me challenging her too often, and they asked my folks to have a talk with me about it. Although at the time I didn’t quite get the big deal about it, our family actually began attending another church as a result. No more Sunday School for me, either. So, I must have been a real pain in the ass.
    I am likely an overly empathic person, and as such I’ve had occasion to feel that I have depleted myself in the interest of others. A health challenge in my family has seen me going further and further down the proverbial rabbit hole of denying myself in the interest of my loved one’s needs. A few months back I felt the urge that I needed some form of spiritual guidance, if you will. I had noticed a tiny, hip looking little church very near my home and mentioned it to my agnostic husband. To my surprise he agreed to go with me, and we are both very much enjoying being a part of a small, progressive group of free thinkers. Attending this church couldn’t possibly be any more different than my early church experience. He jokingly refers to it as our hippie church, and I guess in some ways it is: minister on the first Sunday we attended was wearing a John Prine tee shirt, hawaiian shorts and well worn Chuck Taylors. I actually look forward to going and walk away feeling uplifted.
    I pray often. In fact, I have a somewhat ongoing dialogue with what I perceive to be my Creator. Sometimes I wonder if that makes me certifiably insane or do others have this same dialogue? Anyway, to date no miracles granted or witnessed, but I do take some form of comfort in these intercessions. I still find that I have to fight off my childish mental view of God as a bearded despot in the sky writing down my every transgression in a giant book.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. I’m not religious. I don’t believe in a divine being. GENERALLY, If someone is born in Thailand, they’re Buddhist. In United States, they’re Christian. In India, Hindu.
    If born in the 6th century, they would’ve believed in The Gods.

    Like

  52. I’ve been a Christian nearly my whole life. And I’ve even heard God speak to me, like some kind of Old Testament prophet or crazy person or something. Faith has been an important part of my whole life.

    But. I recently found out that my favorite childhood church was actually a cult. It’s kind of got me in a tailspin. I’m not even in the same denomination anymore, having converted to Catholicism awhile back. And I love my church, but fuck. I loved that church too.

    I still believe in God, but I no longer know how to believe in him.

    Like

  53. I am a Christian. I was raised Lutheran but am not Lutheran now, however parochial school does require a copious amount of scripture memorization and for that I am grateful. I attend church and am semi-involved. My faith incorporates my whole life, not just church. My prayer life consists of conversations with God, not structured prayer.

    I have had many many signs from God and spiritual experiences but two stand out. In one case, I made a terrible decision. Before I made it I heard a voice say don’t do it but I did it anyway and my life fell apart. God helped me pick up the pieces and change my path and I wake up grateful every day that He did. I don’t deserve all that He has done for me. In the second case, I was all scheduled for a hysterectomy and I got a call from my doctor that a specialist went over my scans and said I don’t have the condition that they said I did. I was praying for strength to get through it and didn’t realize it was possible that I would not need the surgery. God is bigger than we think He is.

    And I hate the hashtag blessed thing too.

    June, I find it interesting that at one time you were a church secretary. I would love to hear more about that. I was a church secretary for four years.

    Liked by 2 people

  54. I am a Christian and believe in the power of prayer. I don’t go to church anymore since the kids are grown. I live across the street from a Catholic church and the Lutheran church is on the other corner from my house. These days I’m just too lazy to get myself together and go. My husband was raised Catholic and I was Lutheran . We were married in Lutheran church and our kids were baptized Lutheran. My husband said whatever iI want to do is fine with him. But my Catholic MIL always wanted me to convert so we could be in the same part of heaven. That did cause a few eye rolls on my part. So I’m waiting to see how that works out.

    Like

  55. I grew up with a catholic mother who had attended catholic school and mass regularly as a child, but didn’t as an adult. We only ever attended mass a few times. I chose to start attending church in middle school and some in high school. In college I was more skeptical of organized religion, but I still believed in God. Later in my twenties, my husband and I started attending church. We miss church now and then, but mostly we are regular attendees. I wish I’d grown up in church so I’d know the Bible like the back of my hand. Our kids enjoy church and I think faith comforts them and reassures them that things will be okay, even when life is a little out of sorts. We pray each morning on the way to school and my son always prays for others when he sees an emergency vehicle with sirens going. I believe God hears prayers and I believe he knows our thoughts even when we don’t pray. I believe Jesus was the son of God and I believe in heaven. I believe there will be animals in heaven and my children believe that their pets in heaven watch over them. I find that I feel lighter and more peaceful when I leave church.

    I think the blessed hashtag is sort of like live laugh love and I love you to the moon and back. Just so overused and not really coming across as sincere.

    I adore the story about Julie Andrews. Mary Poppins/Maria as a sign from God makes perfect sense to me.
    We are planning to watch Mary Poppins Returns tonight!

    Like

  56. I believe in God but very rarely attend church. My family were not church goers and I have just never had the desire to get up early every Sunday morning. I think if you believe in God and are a good person then that is all you need. I don’t think you have to try to beat people over the head with your beliefs because everyone else is so wrong. I think God knows who is good and who is not. That being said, I do admire the sense of community and support that some churches have. I have been to three very different funerals that have made me think that I would like to go to church but never followed up on it. The biggest thing that I took away from one of those was when the preacher was encouraging everyone to live life. He said Take the plastic off your couches and sit on that fine furniture and pull your china out of the cupboard and use it! Live your life today because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring. He was very animated and I enjoyed that funeral very much.

    Liked by 2 people

  57. Not religious at all, my uncle was a preacher and my cousins (male and female) couldn’t go to the beach (I grew up in FL) without covering their bodies with long shorts and tees; they couldn’t wear bathing suits, even in the ocean to swim. Off topic I know but I always remember that, that and singing hymns after dinner at their house, torture for me. Hate #blessed and when people have “have a blessed day” in their email signatures, annoys. I do believe in karma and “putting things in the universe”.

    Like

  58. I believe there is a peaceful God. And our real purpose is to love one another, forgive one another and try not to hurt/murder, steal or covet others spouses. Decent human being sh#t.
    Prayers bring me an instant comfort answered or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  59. I believe in the God of the Bible and that Jesus is the son of God. I go to church because it’s good to think about it and deal with my fellow Christians. But I’m not religious in the way I think most people think of religion – or how religion is shown in the US (Australian and I am alienated by the way the US church is portrayed although I realise I’m probably not getting an accurate picture). I work in science and would like to think I’m a very rational person. I don’t expect God to appear just at my request in some supernatural way and am always surprised that other people do. I think he reveals himself quietly in the small things of life. #blessed has to be one of the most irritating hash tags ever because what it really means is #privileged. I equally loathe taro, fortune telling and horoscopes. I’m always interested in having a rational evidence based discussion with people about religion but I think it is flawed to come to a broad conclusion based on personal experience. Personal experience is such a small part of the whole and as humans we are so easily misled. That’s my belief.

    Like

  60. My parents forced us to church our entire childhoods but I’m thankful for that. I had a good group of friends and mostly stayed out of trouble. I still deal with a lot of residual guilt from the “do’s and don’t” but I’m working through it. I believe in something… probably not the version of “God” that has been concocted today, though. I do go to church most Sundays and belong to a “life group” not really a bible study, just a group from church that gets together to have fun and support each other. I think I’m in it more for the community than anything else. I think it’s good to believe in SOMETHING but, Buddha, God, Swiss Cheese, does it really matter as long as it gives you comfort and encourages people to be kind to one another? Great topic, thanks June!!

    Like

  61. I was raised Baptist, but I think my sister and I were sent to church just to get us out of our mother’s sight. I can’t remember either of my parents ever going to church. Now, I’m firmly in the non religious camp.

    If I’m at a wedding or a funeral and everyone is supposed to bow their heads in prayer, my head is also bowed. I’m very respectful of other’s beliefs. One of my best friends is very religious and we can have different views and opinions and still be friends.

    #Blessed drives me nuts.

    Like

  62. I am a person of faith, a Christian, if you will, and I don’t go to church very often because church people annoy me and the Christian lingo annoys me even more. #blessed = gag me with a spoon. Christianese turns me off and I can see how those who are not Christians would be turned off by it as well. Having said all that, I do wish I could find a church full of “my people” but that might be asking too much. I have had experiences that give me absolutely zero doubt that God exists AND he listens and cares for me. I think Jesus was way cooler than anyone gives him credit for being – just because of who he hung out with – he was hanging with the black sheep and made them feel included. The Christian religion is supposed to lift people up, not bash them over the head with a Bible. Was it Ghandi who said “I like your Christ, it’s your Christians I can’t stand” or something like that? I identify with that more than I want to admit.

    Liked by 1 person

  63. #blessed irritates me from a #i’mmoreblessedthanyousothereha kind of way. But #grateful is what I think a lot of the people use it mean. I do try to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude” (how much do I hate that saying?) because (a) it forces me to focus on positive things in my life which makes me happier in the long run, although a good bitch session is a visceral short-term pleasure and (b) science says it’ll make me happier and more resilient and live longer.

    Years ago, I worked at a company that had something called the “love machine” (sounds dirty, which we all thought was hilarious) – it was a very public way to thank someone for going above and beyond. There was a twitter feed equivalent recording it and people actually would read it and sometimes chime in. You would send someone love for things like, “Picking up a sandwich for me when I was overwhelmed with work,” or “Fixing that minor bug that was a major headache,” or “Dealing with a super cranky customer.” Yes, both of those last two were kind of part of someone’s job description, but that didn’t mean you couldn’t love them for it. And bonuses were often partially tied to how much love you got. I would try to send love at least three times every day. And it did truly help me to appreciate my coworkers and enjoy my job more.

    Anyhow if I have a religion it’s of the “don’t go to church because Sundays are nice to sleep in on” kind and pretty much just means follow the golden rule.

    Like

  64. I’m a giant Jesus freak. I loathe #blessed. It feels smug. If you have to talk about it and tell everyone about your faith or your blessedness, then I also feel it is insincere and not very deep. We are to do lots of things in private, not for show because otherwise it’s just that – a show. I struggle with organized religion because not everyone is perfect like me, but I do find a church where there’s passion and I go there until the passion turns into a show.

    I also have never felt the need to shove my beliefs down anyone’s throat. Nor do I talk about my faith all the time. We were given personalities for a reason. It’s the like the person who decided to sell Mary Kay and then their entire personality becomes Mary Kay. You no longer get to see Janna, you get to see Mary Kay with Janna hiding in the background. So I am still me without the “Jesus this, Jesus that, I’m so blessed.” Besides, I’d rather my actions speak for me, not my words. And my actions are sincere or they’d be no good. Basically, I still say bad words and treat the girl doctor terribly and never say blessed when I’m wearing a paper gown that is too small and there’s a headlight near my nethers.

    Liked by 1 person

  65. I believe in a God but not organised religion so much. I also don’t think there is any one belief that is right to the exclusion of all others. I think different cultures have different ways of celebrating their version of God. I don’t mind #Blessed. Also, I will take any prayers, blessings, etc. anyone wants to send my way. They can’t hurt and I see them as wishing me well.

    Like

  66. Born and raised Catholic, went to a Catholic school all my life, mass every weekday before school started and every Sunday, etc. I ‘lost my faith’, as they say, when all this brouhaha about birth control, living in sin, pedophile priests, gay bashing, happened. My family loved the Polish Pope (we are all Polish) and all have his picture hanging in their living rooms and a Pope ornament on their Christmas tree. Rarely go to Church except Christmas and Easter now but have begrudgingly come to admire the new Pope, the guy that said “Don’t hate anyone”. I still think the Catholic church has a lot of nerve saying you can’t get divorced or go on BC or be with whomever you love but they can move pedophile priests all around the US to avoid being caught. I have never met such a bunch of hypocritical assholes as I did when I sent my daughter to Catholic grade school–the same one I went to. I transferred her to the public school after 5th grade and she was deliriously happy. However, I fondly remember many, many nuns and priests from grade school that certainly enriched my life and gave me a great education. My grandma was a housekeeper/cook for the convent when I was in grade school and I hung around all the nuns and they spoiled me rotten. I believe in God, pray every night an still follow some of the old traditions, like not eating meat on Friday during Lent, because if I’m going to hell I sure don’t want it to be because I ate a hot dog on Friday.

    Like

  67. June. I swear. I just typed a HUGE long comment. Hit comment and got a message “you’ve already said that. Second commented deleted”!!!
    My comment was still sitting her in the queue so I copied and will try again in a bit. I’m worried that my comment will show up 6 times.

    Like

  68. I’ve heard God’s voice twice in my life – both times under circumstances that had me totally shocked and looking around, asking if others had just heard that. Given I’ve never heard voices other than that, I’m pretty sure I’m not insane. 😂

    I am a Christian but rarely go to church. Church members have stolen from my father, lied about him, sued him, and he still has unbelievable faith. But it’s turned me away from going to church regularly, something I’ve felt guilty about given that means my kids don’t go either. It doesn’t help that at the church we would go to, the woman who made my PTO experience an absolute hell is the director of women’s studies. Yes, everyone falls short of the glory of God, etc but she reminds me of all the false Christians I grew up with soooo. I also grew up in a very sin-based church vs the grace based so often preached now. Part of me doesn’t feel worthy of being at church due to the messages I grew up hearing (condemnation, hell fire and brimstone, etc).

    Like

  69. My mom was raised super Catholic, that’s a regular Catholic but to a maximum degree. My dad was raised Pentecostal. Those are about as far apart on the belief spectrum as possible. When I was little we lived kitty corner from a Baptist church so that’s where I went to Sunday school and later, youth group. Neither of my parents practiced anything, really. I was pretty faithful in my attendance of church and my beliefs.
    As I’ve gotten older I truly believe in God and Jesus and pray often, usually prayers for other people or prayers of gratefulness and thanks.; but I do not attend church regularly and haven’t raised my kids in a church home.
    I find too often many religious views on God being a vengeful, punishing being doesn’t jibe with my view of Him being a loving, forgiving being. God is always referred as our father. As a mother I love my children desperately, am disappointed in them when they do something I perceive as wrong, but I know that because of my love of them I genuinely offer them grace and forgiveness and nothing they could or would do would ever change that or make my love for them end. That’s how I feel God sees all of us.
    I’ve written a novel and haven’t scratched the surface of my thoughts and feelings on this subject (shocking. Jan RAMBLED??? Fascinating).

    I look forward to reading the comments. I am pretty solid in my beliefs but always have an open mind when others talk about their beliefs. I usually learn something.

    Like

  70. I don’t go to church but I believe in God and Jesus. I pray for others and also ask for favors for myself. When my dad died unexpectedly I was just torn apart. My daughter and myself went to the cemetery the day after. I was begging God to just let me see him one more time. (This was to myself, I didn’t want to scare my daughter, although I was crying). We stayed for maybe 30 minutes and it started raining so we left. As soon as we got into the car it stopped raining and was sunny again. When we were pulling out of the cemetery there is a church and a statue of Mary across the street, there was my dad standing onside of the statue, I was scared and didn’t say anything, made my left hand turn and my daughter asked, why didn’t we stop and talk to pawpaw. I said you saw him too, she said yes. So I whipped my car around d and went back, he was gone and I went farther down the road to see it anyone was walking, no one was. We were also the only o es in the cemetery, there is only one way in and out and we were all the way to the back. I also went back to the cemetery to make sure. Since then I feel that there is a God and he does help you when you need it most.

    Liked by 5 people

  71. I don’t believe in god and I hate #blessed and #soblessed. Can’t help but think fuck you to everyone who writes that. I’m a nice person, I swear…just cannot stand that kind of smugness.

    Liked by 2 people

  72. I am a Christian although I don’t attend formal church. My husband was raised Catholic and I do enjoy attending mass with him occasionally. I find it meditative. I pray and I also meditate and both are helpful to me.

    Like

  73. I am not religious either. My mom made me go to CCD classes until I was in junior high, when I told her that none of it made sense to me and could I please stop going. She let my younger brother quit too. He is now married to a girl whose father is a Baptist preacher. I have no idea how they get along.

    Like

  74. I do believe in God and that Jesus is His son and that He’s coming back – and there are days I’m hoping it’s this afternoon. But I don’t go to church. It’s a long, complicated story. Basically, I find other people annoying and I don’t want to be around them. Even for an hour a week. I think your grandmother and I would have gotten along just fine. When my kids were young, I took them to church and my older son said, “All they talk about is God and Jesus, God and Jesus.”
    Speaking of signs, a friend of mine is always going on whenever she sees a red Cardinal (the bird) in her yard, that it’s her deceased husband, sending her “a sign.” So I was feeling blue that I never got any kind of sign like that from any deceased relatives and that night my grandmother came to me in a dream and told me to stop looking for signs, that she was always with me (why am I tearing up as I’m typing this?!?) but to get on with my life and enjoy it. When I woke up, I thought about why I would have dreamed about my grandmother then and I realized it was the day she died. So.

    Liked by 11 people

  75. I’ll be shunned and banned and slapped I’m sure. I’ll just answer your questions, I think.

    I have beliefs and they bring me peace. I am not a joyful person, I’m your basic crab, so nothing gives me joy. My mother dragged me to church for the 18 years that she legally could. I went sporadically after that, then when I had kids and enrolled them in Catholic school (not for religious reasons) I took them every week until eighth grade. For completely un-Christian reasons, I won’t go to either local church, but recently during Advent I went to a different nearby church each week. That was interesting.

    I have asked for and received signs. I have prayed and gotten the desired results. However my prayers to win the lottery remain unanswered.

    I was raised Catholic but have decidedly un-Catholic beliefs. I have encouraged this in my kids. (My husband is not Catholic, not at all religious. He was raised Lutheran, or Catholic-lite.)

    I have cousins-in-law who are Born Again and #Blessed every &^%$^&* thing and work it into every conversation and it makes me want to choke them. Also very un-Christian. I find it insincere.

    Like

    • Whenever someone says blessed whatever I come back with May the Lord Open, Blessed be the fruit. I love the show The Handmaids Tale

      Like

  76. Practicing Catholic here. Go to church because it’s how I fuel for the week. Before my new job and the change of hours it brought me I went to morning mass at least 2 times a week.
    This is part of who I am. As I’ve worked to grow my ability to hear what I need to hear from my spirit guides, I’ve become a lot more trusting in God’s role in my day. I have to trust that, because otherwise hearing assorted messages from your dead relatives when I am talking to you in person would just cause me to freak the heck out.

    Like

  77. I do have a strong faith in God, and it’s very comforting to me. When life is rough and people fail and rotten things happen and I can’t control the outcome, it’s comforting to know that I don’t have to have all the answers or make all the plans. Although “let go and let God” is cliche and drives me crazy in the same way #blessed does, it actually is peaceful/comforting to let go and let God. My church is my support system and my community. I have friends from all walks of life and many other faith traditions, so my church isn’t my ONLY community. But it’s my family here in St. Louis where none of my actual family lives except my brother, who might as well live someplace else for all I actually get to see him. We serve our community together, we pray together, we do life together, we cry and laugh together, they’re the ones we call when we have emergencies, and we talk about tough topics together. I grew up in the church, and then I spent time away from the church, so when I came back it was because I wanted/needed something more than what I was managing on my own. It was a choice that I made as an adult, and I don’t regret a minute of it. I often wonder how people without faith get through life, because it gives me hope.

    Liked by 5 people

  78. I definitely have faith, believe in God and Jesus. I’m not a diligent church goer at this time of my life. I have a church that is very laid back and non-judgmental, and I appreciate the atmosphere and the compassion there. I’m just pretty lazy. I’ve had many reasons to believe throughout my life, many “signs,” both large and small. My faith, 100% gives me peace during very difficult times, like right now. It also gives me great joy in happy times. I am not a fan of #blessed. My faith is part of who I am, I don’t have to wear it as a badge or make sure others recognize it. But some people enjoy that, and that’s okay too.
    I grew up with a stepfather who was a Presbyterian minister. He welcomed us to question any and everything and to help resolve those questions in realistic/logical ways, pretty unorthodox. He encouraged us to try every type of religion/church, and that helped me tremendously to develop into my own beliefs. And because of that, my particular beliefs are probably not traditional and tend to incorporate teachings from different religions as well. He is no longer my stepfather, had a very public affair with the minister of music at our church, and that turned my brother into atheism. For my mom and I, we recognize that he was a man, not God. So it didn’t change our views.
    My very best friends are Muslim, Buddhist, and Atheist, and I respect all of their beliefs. I think God reaches us in different ways – like different languages.
    Sorry, that ended up being long and serious.

    Like

  79. I consider myself a Christian in that I try to follow Jesus’ teachings. I am not a churchgoer. I feel like an outcast there for some reason. When I pray I picture my image of Jesus. I have had two mystical experiences after prayer. I am not going to share them lest I be thought insane.

    Liked by 1 person

  80. All I know is God hates Cleveland.
    And NotChloe starts Delta this fall.
    And starts Michigan State in January.
    😳😳😳

    Like

  81. I believe in God. I believe Jesus is the son of God. I pray every day, usually twice per day-on my way to work and before I go to sleep. I go to church on Sunday, and look forward to it.
    I was the type who always gave lip service to prayer; I thought I believed in it, I thought it worked, but when my husband died 12/31/16 I truly found God. He showed up by putting people in my life at just the right time to help me through. He showed up by showing me how other people care for me and that even at my lowest, I am not alone.
    I don’t believe in beating others into submission at MY interpretation of the Bible. I don’t like #blessed, because (to me) it implies if things aren’t going well in your life you are somehow out of God’s favor. Bad things happen to good people because we live in a sinful world.
    My faith is the one thing I know I can count on…even when I turn from Him, He doesn’t turn from me.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I was trying to compose a comment but you stated everything that I wanted to convey and in a more eloquent way. Thanks.

      Like

  82. I almost never comment. When I was 13 I had the opportunity to go to the Vatican. It was very interesting and completely killed any belief I may have had. I refused to get confirmed and have only rarely gone to Mass since. I do love carols before midnight mass at Christmas though.

    Like

  83. I am a Christian but not a regular church goer. I pray and sometimes things work out, sometimes they don’t, that’s just how it works. Sometimes you just get a feeling about something or a thought, and personally I think often (not always) that is God giving you a nudge towards a particular path or idea. I think it is hard to deny there is creator when you look at a person, an animal, a plant, a flower, everything is this world , that is amazing . Humans did not create them, He did. And those are my thoughts. I also don’t begrudge anyone else theirs, we all have to acknowledge each other’s beliefs.

    Liked by 2 people

  84. I don’t believe in God or any organized religion. I think you should just try to live a life where you give back and treat others, unless they are an asshat, well. I lean towards believing the we are all part of an oversoul and in reincarnation. It’s too scary to think that one day we will just blink out of existence!

    Liked by 1 person

  85. I am a born again Christian. My faith is what gets me through. I had breast cancer two years ago and I have never known peace like I did at that point when I should have been scared out of my head. I have felt the presence of the Lord. It’s a lifestyle for me not just a visit on Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

  86. Jumping in…. I do have faith and consider myself #christian (eyeroll). I attend a church but do not think that’s what makes me a christian. If I say I’m going to pray for you then I’m honestly going to pray for you. I don’t say that lightly. I feel there is always an “answer” to prayers, although it may not be the one you wanted. To me, the prayer itself brings peace. It’s like talking to yourself but not appearing crazy. #blessed irritates me. Again, these sentiments are thrown out without true consideration. I don’t think being a christian makes me better or worse than anyone. We are all human. This is part of my journey. It’s ok that your life is different, in fact I love to be with people who are different than me.

    Like

  87. I do have beliefs and all but am not really a church goer. The one time I prayed my butt off was in a Hospital Chapel after my mom had a heart attack and she died 2 days later. But I do HOPE there is something after you pass as I long to see her and everyone else I have lost or will lose.

    Like

  88. When I think about my transition from church-ish to decidedly un-churched, I remember a button I used to wear that said, “ My Karma Ran Over My Dogma. “ Now I’m a new-agey , the Secret, Abraham-Hicks, follow-your-bliss kinda gal.

    Like

  89. I just asked give me a sign. Like making a large deposit in a Swiss bank account in my name. Woody ( said before he married his daughter)
    Anyway I do believe in God and I think Jesus was an interesting man (not the son of God) But to think to this day he is revered and loved,
    it’s a very long run for a man. And I thank God for him.

    Like

Comments are closed.