Z, I was raised a catholic, in Turkey. we were of course the minority.
maybe because we were raised in turkey, where the muslin religion prevailed, we would never discuss religion with a group of people we didnt know.
I had jewish friends, protestant friends, greek orthodox friends and of course muslim friends. We were raised to be very tolerant of each others religion, I think in those days religion played a bigger role in our lives.
the funny thing is that we would all participate in each others religion. for example:
when the muslims fasted, we would fast, when our jewish friends fasted, we would fast, during Lent, when we gave something up, our moslem and jewish friends would abstain also. I think this was grade school thru high school, or maybe junior high.
but we knew all of each other's religious holidays, we would always honor each other's special day. I had a Jewish friend, and they were fairly religious, the family I mean, and they would strictly observe the no electricity after sundown on friday till monday, but it was ok if an outsider turned the lights on...so i would turn their lights off and on during the weekend (Not every single weekend....just once in a while)
I think the way they got around it was they would have their turkish (moslem) neighbours turn the lights off and on....
When we came back to the states, we joined an Aramaic church, i attended for a while, but then i moved away from my family, down to san francisco, and religion wasnt a big part of my life, and I never did get involved.
But the key I think is to respect everyone's religlion...what's the big deal in this?
why cant we all live in harmony? I mean, we did.........our little community in Izmir was very respectful.....I look back and am simply amazed at how we were able to all get along.....
I dont follow any religion now, i prefer to think of it as different philosophies in life, and try to follow the buddhist philosophy mostly. The Bahai is also one that i like.
I don't subscribe to any Religion (but have a set of 'Rules' by which I conduct myself). When I was a kid (about 11 or 12) and told my mother that I was going to stop going to Sunday School she made me go to "any denomination I chose until such time as I could present her with a logical argument as to why I shouldn't. So for a couple of years I did the rounds of all the churches where I lived; Methodist; Anglican;Catholic; Presbyterian; Salvation Army etc - The 'Sally-Anns' definitely had the best music (with the Mehodists a close 2nd) but I also liked to hear the RC Service in Latin (couldn't speak it - just liked the sound of it). Later on (in College) I did a course in Comparative Religions and gained a fair insight, but not enough to 'convert' me.
Having said all that, if I were to convert to any religion (which I wont) the one that commends itself to me (apart from the sexual inequality) is Islam.
I don't do the god squad,you didn't put a section to tick for this.I just need to look at the hate religion encourages,eg 9/11,the treatment of the Palistinians,the holocaust,the reformation,Ireland,etc etc etc.
I grew up attending Catholic schools and church in NYC because my mom was Catholic. Some of the nuns and priests were abusive, therefore Catholocism made a bad first impression on me.
My dad is an athiest, so I always got both sides of an ongoing religious family debate.
When I moved to Missouri in my early twenties, I got involved with the Baptist religion. I have to say that my experience with that religion was horrible-all I wanted was to find peace and all I got were people telling me how evryone in my family was going to hell if they didn't convert from Catholocism-I didn't dare tell anyone that my dad was an athiest! Since I believe in tolerance, this was not the place for me.
At university, I majored in psychology and sociology. There I found Humanism-almost 30 years ago.
As a Humanist, I don't believe in a supreme being-I believe that people are capable of doing the right thing on their own without the threat of damnation-obviously, this a condensed version, but you get the idea.
I read literature on all religions and find it interesting and sometimes inspiring-but the humanist philosophy works best for me.
Everyone should be able to practice whatever faith they believe in without condemnation-the worst thing for me is a feeling of superiority by one group over another.
Tolerance, I think is the key.
I was born and brought up a catholic, dabbled in paganism, decided it was all b*ll*cks and am now a cheerful and contented atheist.
It was actually the dabbling in paganism that was the catalyst for rejecting religion. Seeing how the christian (and islamic and jewish) religions grew out of earlier beliefs and how they borrowed from other sects and philosophies made me see just how man made and predictable it all is. No god involved just a lot of deluded, misguided and (in some cases) power crazed people.