Being Spiritual in a Religious World
I don’t practice a religion, unless you consider Christmas a religion. I was baptized Anglican but as soon as I could make my own decisions, I determined Christianity was not for me. I’ve never liked being told what and how to think about things. And God is a big one.
Flash forward 10+ years later and I find myself madly in love with a Jewish man. We love each other passionately but we are told that it can’t work, it won’t work and that our life together will be too hard.
We hear it from the very religious and the somewhat so. Our love will not survive the chasm that is religion. We are too different. And our children will suffer because of it. It makes you question your Self, but only for a moment.
In these conversations, we weren’t treated as individuals, as people who have a choice as to whether religion had a place in our lives. It’s always assumed that he identifies with the label “Jew” and I with “Christian” and that one of us must and is giving up our beliefs in support of the others. 20 to 0, I am asked if I am converting to Judaism.
You Don’t Understand
Neither of us feel the need to explain our life choices but when we find ourselves in discussions related to religion, we must preface them with statement that we are not religious. For it is the tendency of humans is to project their ego in another person’s situation and make a judgment, without recognizing that their perspective and views differ and thus they can try but can’t truly understand it.
I don’t try and understand why one chooses religion, just as another should not try and understand why I do not. Our points-of-view and life experiences are different.
When did ‘God’ and ‘religion’ become synonymous?
I am aware that the statement, “I don’t believe in religion” is a powerful one. But it is also a simple one. It doesn’t mean I don’t believe in God, or that I don’t believe we are each souls, it simply means that I don’t believe religion is necessary in order to be one with God.
I believe in spirituality. I believe in our power to create our own God. I believe that God resides in each of us and it’s our choice if we honour him in a way that is true to us.
This is what I believe as the “Christian”. And what Daniel believes as the “Jew”.
It’s about goodness in action. Be in the moment and act compassionately.