Do You Ever Question Your Religion?

0 Posted by - May 28, 2009 - Real Life, Real Talk, Religion & Spirituality


During the course of last week’s discussion about virginity, a smaller conversation got started about religion, which always seems to be a hot button subject open for debate and conflicting opinion. It reminded me of an interview where rapper Ja Rule said he didn’t believe in religion. About a year and a half ago I got the chance to sit down with Ja and ask him about that. Raised a Jehovah’s Witness, Ja explained to me what he meant by that statement. “I’m not a religious person at all,” he began. “Not into religion. I think religion is bullshit, but I’m a real spiritual person. I’m more into my one on one thing with God. I believe it’s a higher power.”

I understood exactly what Ja was saying because I have a very similar outlook. My grandfather (R.I.P.) was an extremely religious man, and while he was only alive for the first 10 years of my life, he made sure that I had a strong connection with God. Plus, I attended Catholic school for 12 years. However, when my grandfather passed away, my adherence to religious practices he instilled in me began to wane a bit. My daily conversations with God began to dwindle. I didn’t pray before consuming every meal. I stopped attending church weekly. I didn’t get down on bended knee before closing my eyes each night. It wasn’t that I believed any less, it’s just I’m no longer following any set religion. That’s why I consider myself more “spiritual” than anything else.

Just the other day I had a conversation with my homegirl Robyn and the question of my religious beliefs came up. I said, “I’m spiritual, not religious.” Robyn is one of those friends that’s always up for a debate, so she pressed me about my unique response. I continued, “I don’t subscribe to a specific religion or follow a set doctrine. I take note of a Higher Power and try to live my life as just as possible. I pray on occasion and respect all the things that people consider religious and holy, but I just choose to walk down my own separate and distinct path. So I’m spiritual by nature, but not religious in the normal sense.”

In retrospect, though, I’m not sure if that’s necessarily true. Like I said earlier, I don’t pray or attend church regularly. I’ll mumble, “Thank you Lord for this food in Jesus’ name, Amen,” before dinner, but most times it just feels like I’m mindlessly reciting random words. It’s kinda like when a kid says their ABCs, strictly autopilot with not much thinking. Over the course of the past year and change, I’ve gone to church a few times but I never feel “worthy” enough to receive the Holy Sacrament. (In fact, I wrote about that feeling HERE when I partook in Ramadan last year).

Sure, I believe in God, but that’s because I was raised to. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that blindly believing in something solely based on faith or believing in something that cannot be analyzed and dissected with research and notes goes against everything my rational mind would do on a normal day. But, in essence, the basis of religion is faith. The Bible? No disrespect and I say this with the utmost respect, but it’s a book with no author, no footnotes and no solid point of origin. It’s been altered, changed, translated and retranslated (i.e. King James) over the centuries but in spite of all that the Good Book and other religious texts (i.e. the Koran, Torah, et. al) are highly revered by those that believe—and those that believe, believe strongly. Some may call that “irrational” or “myth,” but others call that “faith.”

Ja Rule had an interesting take on this. He said, “To me, the Bible is stories. Not necessarily true facts of things that happened. I think some of the stories are facts. I think they’re good for life, when you read the Bible. Stories that you read in the Bible you can take for life and kinda [equate] them to things that are going on in your life and you can make good sense of it. But sometimes people take things in the Bible too literal. You know, people get too serious with religion and faith and belief. You can have faith and believe in a lot of things—but it’s hard for me to believe in man. For me, faith is that. Faith and belief, it’s just what it is. You may never see, you may never touch, but you gotta believe.”

It’s hard to believe that I could be so in tune with a rapper on this subject, but apparently I am. Ja basically echoed my earlier sentiment about people believing simply because that’s what they were taught. Maybe it’s “fear,” but I’d much rather believe in a Higher Power and discover there isn’t one than to not believe at all and find out that I was completely and utterly wrong. In case of the latter, I’d be subjected to an eternity of damnation, which could have been avoided had I simply had a little faith. Although I have and probably will sin again—I’m not perfect, I’d like to believe that I am a good person. So I’d hate to reach the end of my life and meet God at the pearly gates only for Him/Her to say, “Close, but not close enough, Ans. Go see the guy in the red suit downstairs.”

But is belief based on fear true faith? Or is religion just a fear-based system created to keep us all in check? Because without the moral fabric of religion and the possible retaliation for “bad” behavior; we’d probably exist in a world of total chaos and anarchy. Instincts and impulses would rule and there’d be no sense of self-restraint. It would be Sodom & Gomorrah all over again. A nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t wanna live there—especially on Judgment Day. But if fear of a fiery afterlife in the pits of hell is all that keeps my “faith” in check, then how true is my “faith/belief” in the first place?

So am I religious? Am I spiritual? Or am I just a heathen trying to skate by on a few good acts/gestures? Shit, I mean, shoot…. I dunno. When I do pray it’s not just because I want something. God has bestowed a lot of blessing upon me that I am very grateful for and try my best to stop and take time out to say thank you. I do send prayers out for the continued health of my family and friends. I do acknowledge the fact that I have more than a lot of other people and I try to share with others when I can (maybe I could do it more). But I know I also am a sinner and I ask for guidance in staying on the right path. Sure, I’m bound to sway and drift off course from time to time, but at least I try, right? I am after all only human, and only God can judge me.


So what’s your take on organized religion? Do you believe everything that your religion promotes or do you only practice some of its tenets? What religion do you currently practice? Is that the same one you were raised under or did you switch religions as you got older? If so, what do you practice now? Do you consider yourself more “spiritual” than religious?” What is your definition of “spirituality?” How do you feel/respond to people that attack others based on their religious beliefs? Do you feel that atheists have the right to not believe in a Higher Power? How do you rationalize any conflicting accounts in a religious text or between different faiths? Have recent church scandals weakened your faith in organized religion? Do you feel religion is just man’s way of explaining the world? Could you date someone that didn’t have a relationship with God?

Speak your piece…and please be respectful


  • Toy

    I’ve questioned, but didn’t need answers to get me back on track. I don’t know if I can explain the way spirituality makes me feel and maybe that’s the reason I wanted answers. I found it hard to believe something that wasn’t tangible. I realized that the only things I can believe are the small, seemingly impossible miracles in my life and the way I feel when I pray, when I’m in church and when I think about God. I’ve come to the conclusion that following this path isn’t easy, but will be worth it.

  • Anonymous

    i think questioning religion and also converting to others is a lack of faith in what your originally believe in. I am christian. Like you I have not gone to church in who knows how long. I never really liked it except for the sermon and some of the singing. I only like old school gospel hymms lol. I guess i could go long with you in the sense of being more spiritual but unlike you (and please realize i am not knocking your or anyone else’s beliefs) i woul never particpate in any other religion or relgious practices outside of christanity. It could be close minded but like i said earlier if i honestly believe in my heart of hearts in God and Jesus Christ I would not test my faith in anything else. Whether it be ramadan or hanukkah. And i dont expect anyone who is muslin or jewish or any other religion to be apart of easter, christmas or lent. i dont knock anyone elses but mine although im not in church evey sunday is pretty set. I love god. we talk mulitple times a day lol. and i read my bible, which was written by multiple authors and had multiple translations so there are all kinds of perspectives going on. But i see it as a guide or map. I dont have to follow it 100% to the letter cause we all know stuff contradicts itself especially between the old and new testements. i get the gist of eing a good person, the commandments, and having God in my life. In my close to 30 years on this earth i cant ever remember questioning my religion. I probably didnt want to go to church lol but I didnt question god at all…ever

  • Shay from L.A. (Los Angeles)

    No comment.

  • distinguishedgentlewoman

    How weird is this. I was thinking about this very subject just last Friday while listening to Biggie’s “Suicidal Thoughts.”

    I’m with Ja 100%. I was raised Catholic, but at some point in my young adult life, I made a decision to no longer believe in organized religion. I’m a spiritual person who love and respect the Father, and prefer to have a personal relationship with Him rather than “worship” in a man-made building designated, by man, to be a “place of worship,” or live my life solely by a book written, analyzed, and interpreted my man. God is in my heart, and that’s what counts. Not how many times I walk up the steps to a brick building with a cross in its yard to put money in a collection plate of an institution that is part of one of the richest cooperations in the world. Or duck my hand in holy water and genuflect toward an altar, made by man, before I take my seat to listen to a man preach about his religion’s interpretations of the Word. I think that as long as I have a personal relationship with Him, that’s all that matters. I try my hardest to live a righteous life, thank Him daily for my many blessings, and ask His forgiveness for my sins in the privacy of my own home.

    But while I don’t believe in organized religion and no longer attend church, I do respect individuals’ need and desire to attend church and believe in what and whom they choose to believe in—or not believe in. I respect the church because it is the vessel at which I learned a lot about the wonders of the Father. And for that I’m grateful. My decision to stop attending church was because I realized that for me it was a farce. For me it seems like the Catholic church wants us to believe that worshipping a priest, a building, and the symbols of that priest and building means worshipping God. And for me that is just not the case.

    I respect all forms of worship, even those I don’t necessarily agree with. I even respect the “non-believers.” I don’t understand someone not believing in a Higher Power, but it’s not for me to judge, and I respect their choice.

    But I don’t think I can date a person who is not spiritual and who doesn’t have a relationship with God. Nor can I date religious fanatics and anyone who is overly critical of other religions and set out to attack anyone who doesn’t share their beliefs.

  • knappi

    I had written out a whole sermon but this is what God put on my heart to say:

    PRAY. No one is stopping you from getting on your knees and talking to God. Pray often and daily. People spend 8 hours of the day at work but won’t spend 1 hour with God. Then they get mad at religion for not awnsering their question. That’s not fair cause you’re not holding up your end of the bargain.

    If you pray, God will give you the awnsers you need about religion, life, etc. You just have to be quiet and listen…

  • da ThRONe

    The idea that anyone group of people know everything is the silly shit I ever heard of. Who really chooses there religion? Thats right its forced on you just like slavery was forced on black people. They forced us to do more than pick cotton and clean there houses they forced there beliefs on us.

    If you just stop and actually think about it any logically person should see straight through religions.

  • Litabia

    I’m with shay (from L.A)…I’m Monica from Oakland and I have no comment.

  • Beth

    I dont understand why people dont believe in God after a loved one dies. Just because they can’t deal with death dosen’t mean there isn’t a God. What do you want God to do make everyone Immortal.

  • Beth

    @ DaThrone…….your argument is “Silly” and weak. Religion has existed longer than slavery. Any logical person could see that there is extensive historical and archaeological evidence, which proves that the events and people in the bible existed.Your parents may force you to participate in religious practices, but your beliefs are an individual choice your parents can’t truly control. Read this book about this atheist guy that wanted to prove Jesus wrong, but ended up believing in God. It’s called the case for christ. Thanks, and I hope I didn’t come off too strong, but I am really passionate about God.

  • ML

    No Comment.

  • Elle

    Organized religion is a scam in my opinion. The Bible hasn’t been faxed to us by God – its contents have been negotiated by the men in power at that time in order to ensure their position and to keep the people quiet. If more people studied history as opposed to religion they’d understand the dynamics behind it. I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that grown ups in the year 2009 can believe that God snapped his magical fingers and all life on earth was created. I’m a realist, I believe in science and in proof. Religion is based on theories. So it aint for me. But that’s just me. I don’t care what others do or believe. Live and let live is what I believe in above all.

    I’m not the type of person who follows movements period because I have a tendency to do the exact opposite of what society/family/the norm expects from me.

    At best, there is something like Karma out there – although then that would mean that Karma is sleeping on the job because the “bad ones” are getting away with too much BS if you ask me.

    If people believe in God, that’s absolutely fine with me. Whatever suits them best. What I hate though is when they try to make me out as a lost soul and feel the need to save me. That really irks me. Many very religious people lack the necessary amount of tolerance that it takes to accept different lifestyles. I never heard of an Atheist knocking on people’s doors to convince them of his/her beliefs. The other way around happens all the time though and I find it disrespectful.

    Oh the funniest thing to me is that some religious people always seem to think that Atheist = Satanist. Where the fuck did that come from? If somebody doesn’t believe in God why would he/she believe in the Devil?!?! Makes no sense whatsoever.

  • cherryl

    i am both – religious and spiritual.

    i talk to god, jesus, the universe, every day. i was raised catholic, with a southern baptist grandma and was nearly converted, but i thought that shit was scary.

    i because a muslim, but thought salat 5 times a day was a bit much, so i dipped…on to the next and became a NOIer, then 5%er.

    then a buddhist. a daoist. whatever was clever.

    i’m a religion ho. jumping from this one to that one, but never staying with one long enough to get serious and make it last.


    I recently had a near death experience, and now i am 100% convinced, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there is something after this life waiting for us, whether it is reincarnation or heaven, hell, etc.

    some people say it’s just the chemicals that are released in your brain when u are about to die, that put you in a state of euphoria….a nirvana…that eases your transition to the other side & it makes you have delusions and visions until you are at the point where you don’t know if you are alive or dead.

    is that what happened to me?

    maybe. because i was on death’s door with the knob turning!

    So, i guess like you, i am staying on the safe side by believing in god/dess, and living my life to the best of his/her goals for me, putting my life in his/her hands, praying, meditating, etc.

    I guess i have made my own religion – one where i can attend a church, mosque, temple and find/feel the spiritual essence in all those places, without one being “better” than the other.

    Today, I see myself as a spiritual rover and rambler, a tumbleweed, picking up the things that are helping to improve my life on a day to day basis.

    And loving people as i wish to be loved and treated – no matter who they are. And accepting our lord jesus christ as my personal savior in the midst of it, because i truly believe jesus is the only reason i still walk this earth.

  • DJ Ghost

    This subject gets me in trouble all the time… I don’t follow any one religion – I dabble in all religions because they are all fascinating … at the end of the day: we are all following the same thing by different names – a Most High Being that eventually all of us will have to answer to. All religions have some truth to them and some have fables… think about it – the Bible was either designed to keep control over a group of people or it’s a blue print for the future. I feel it may be a little of both.

    I am spiritual, not religious. I found a book in my father’s belongings (who was a deacon at his church and a sabbath school instructor – I call them Black Jews). In this book it broke down the bible into portions: Law, prophecy, songs, and History. I am sure to follow the books that spell out law and pay attention to the books that describe prophecy. At the end of the day – all the book says is love one another, don’t judge, don’t be spiteful, and treat others as you want to be treated. Who needs religion to explain that to you?

    I think it is possible to be spiritual and religious at the same time – but those solely stuck on religion haven’t reached the self-actualization they need to be a complete person. They need direction. I think being spiritual is the final plane. I have a great relationship with God: I know this because he hears and answers my prayers in due time. And I can’t quote you scriptures out of the bible…so I couldn’t be all THAT bad.

  • paulette-BAJAN-gal

    Anyone that believes in a Judgement Day and that “He” (why not she?) is gonna meet you at some pearly white gates are religious.Cause those are things that were invented to passify people.

    I don’t believe in the Bible because science have proven that immaculate conception is impossible and most religions are built on the premise that the Virgin Mary gave birth to the Son of God Jesus Christ.Which did not happen.She gave birth to somebody’s son…we will probably never know who his real father was.God was not of flesh and blood therefore he had no sperm to procreate.

    And if any educated person followed the timeline of the Bible they would know it was translated from many languages…we know what happens when we pass info along a chain of people…things get added and subtracted.And more importantly the Vatican is known to have chapters that were never released to the public.

    But the main reason I am not religious…I am a woman.I refuse to cater to the ignorant belief that I am lesser than a man and my main lot in life is to be a mother and wife.Show me one religion that doesn’t elevate the fake premise that a man is the better sex.There is none.

    I know whatever created all this that is life is on some next level shit…I don’t think it’s human cause we are too self centered to have consideration for each and every element that needs to exist to make life possible.

    I kinda believe in a reincarnation of the spirit within us….that invisible thing that gives us consciousness.But I think when we die ….we die.Cause noone has ever died and returned to prove us that there is a heaven or hell.

  • artsyheartsy

    I know many who are spiritual but not religious. That is me for sure. My childhood was spent outside of church but with a HUGE focus on ethics and commitment to service to my people. My mother started going to church at some point but didn’t make me and my brother join her so I generally didn’t. I was an announced agnostic from 10 till my early 20s when I gradually began to recognize the power of Spirit in my life not spirits but The One/Creator/Divine. I pray, I read spiritual texts, I have kept altars and lit candles and participated in rituals alone and with others and at various points craved a spiritual community but am deeply repelled by dogma and evangelism and suspicious of what I percieve as the judgmental nature of most organized religious groups I have encountered. That said I adopt bits and pieces of lots of traditions (I celebrate everybody’s New Year!) and am a sort of Metaphysical/African traditionalist/Buddhist freelancer not a religion exactly but lots and lots of Spirit.

  • Lonias

    I was baptised Catholic, went to Catholic schools K-12, and always had questions about the traditions, sacraments and contradictions that I was almost always afraid to ask out loud. When I went to college, I discovered that there are people who take God (and the Bible) at His Word and believe it literally. I started to develop my own personal relationship with Him through my own discovery. This was the best way for me, so that no “man” can lay claim to what they taught me. Several years later, I joined a church of my own volition for the first time. As a result of some very unfortunate events, I am no longer a member there, or anywhere else. I explain all of this background to say that the difference for me between religion and spirituality (or by my definition: “my personal relationship with God”) is that it all comes down to who we are trying to please. Traditions, doctrines and rote practices are all outward displays of supposed devotion to God. Here’s the thing: it’s all for “man” to see. God is concerned about the heart. He wants us to follow Him, worship Him for who He Is, and since He is Omniscient, He doesn’t need us to prove it by genuflect. God actually frees us from religion and the “Old Law” in the New Testament, but what do we do? We split off into God knows how many denominations, loosely organized according to the “Old Law”. Now I am not saying church, its doctrines and/or practices are bad, and I will join a church again. What I am saying, though, is that I choose to be a God-pleaser and a me-pleaser, NOT a people-pleaser.

  • jay1

    whatever gets you through the day.

  • Soulyn

    Great topic.

    I am a practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism- chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. Of course this wasn’t always what I believed. My grandparents were Angelican, so I had to attend church every Sunday. Once I came to the states and began making my own choices, Buddhism seemed logical, and made more sense to me. The responsibility for one’s life really drew me to the practice.

    Could you date someone that didn’t have a relationship with God? Sure I can. I don’t have a relationship with God, therefore I can’t expect that from anyone else. I just hope my beliefs are respected and accepted. I’ve dated men with different beliefs. I’m ususally the open minded one, accepting their religion.

  • EmotionalFunk

    Organized religion (sounds like some kinda gang ,lol) is not my thing. I was raised Muslim, attended catholic school for a few years and became a christian @ 26 for a year. I did the last one mainly for the benefits like the awesome church activities and friends, lol. I left a year later…I never really believed. Then said I was spiritual for a sec ’cause that was the “hot” word everyone was throwing around.
    I’m an Atheist, I don’t believe in god. The thing is I’m smart and too rational. I could not continue to turn a blind eye to obvious contradictions and things that I know to be nonsense, so I left it alone. I know for a fact that I don’t need to have a religion or fear of a spiritual entity in order to treat each human being well. So I don’t have any conflicts to rationalize with religious texts. I never have been rocked by a church scandal either. EVERYONE on this earth is human and will make mistakes so I think it just irrational when a person leaves their religion of choice because of a scandal. They wanted to leave anyway and just got their excuse. Like when someone waits for their S/O to do something so they end their relationship with them…same thing.

    I can’t really answer the question about would I person who doesn’t believe in god because that’s me! However, once I was seeing an atheist but I had to dump his ass quickly! Shit all he could do was be all crazy fanatical about how ridiculous religious people were and yada, yada, yada…..ugh and he was a lawyer so he could argue. Lol, I had to go I’m not down with all that crazy fanatical ish on anything. I think you have to let people do them and just get along with everyone who wants to get along with you.

  • Soulyn

    I meant Anglican.

  • Amber

    Anyone read the book “The Shack”?

    Its been on the best seller list for months…

    The Shack talks about God and what He means in your life versus the insitution of church (and how that is not the most important thing in your life). Its written in story form about a man and his struggle after a serial killer attacks his young daughter. Very good book!!!

  • Naturally_Pretti

    Great stuff!!!

    Thanks to all of you for sharing your beliefs.

  • reginaslim

    As for me, I was brought up in a Baptist church but once I was able to make a decision for myself regarding religion, I would say that I have definitely swayed away from any organized religion. Honestly, I believe that all these existing denominations divide us rather than serve the purpose they were intended to. I classify myself as spiritual as well and believe that you can see the God in everyone. I have a personal relationship with God and live my life seeking to become the extraordinary person he intended me to be. Overly religious fanatics scare me and I would not marry any of the two extremes although I do respect their belief. On occasion, I do attend church and believe that its purpose is meant solely to encourage my walk with God. At times, I admit that I do get turned-off from church because of the way that some of these pastors/priests and so called Men of God live their life, but then again we are all human and I am not following Man. BE BLESSED all!!

  • Sistagirl

    @ Amber.

    You are right! I have read “The Shack” and it is a great book! It is also an eye opener…i’m not very religious myself, but i am spiritual!

  • chocopina

    i believe in a higher power, but i choose not to subscribe to any one religion.

    i could babble on and on about why i feel this way but i will say that in my experience and in the research and information that i have come across man usually corrupts religion. there are many instances of man changing customs, holidays, traditions, etc of a religion to benefit a select group of people to make money, gain power, gain followers, etc. in my opinion once that has happened what once was true and just is now tainted and corrupt.

    also i am of mixed heritage (hence my handle) and i have often wondered if the people of the part of the world where each of my parent’s ancestors originated were practicing some sort of spiritual relationship with a higher power(s) for hundreds of years, how could that be wrong? who is to say that one religion is superior or more correct than another? i think there are many paths to the same destination. not one superior to another, just different.

    i also did my master’s thesis on concepts and beliefs of heaven and hell in religions so i’d like to think i’ve done a lot of reading regarding religion. but you know i could be wrong, lol. what i set out to prove was that people are more alike than different on a macro level. i wanted to use religion as a measure because countless conflicts and wars have been fought in the name of religion which to me is silly because a lot of religions have similar beliefs, just different practices.

    so again, i do believe in a higher power i just choose for my journey and practice to be one on one.

  • Latsyrc41

    @NWSO The “napkin” graphic is great!

    @jay1 I concur

  • Dc Man with a Plan

    One of the MAIN things NWSO said is BE respectful! So the way BETH came @ Da Throne was not respectful. Evidently, BETH, U need to work on your “ let he that is free of sin, cast the first stone “ component of being a Christian. There are suicide bombers in Iraq, among other places, that would strongly tell you your belief system is wrong–and they’re willing to die to prove they have “faith” their beliefs are correct. The willingness to die for what you believe shouldn’t be construed as “proof” though it’s a strong indicator that there are other opinions and ‘”beliefs” that are strongly held by MANY. Christian belief has gone thru a period where stoning and other actions we NOW would consider barbaric were common place–and by the way, what denomination was that? Are you a Baptist, Southern Baptist, Presbyterian, Catholic or OTHER? And how many of US Christians, trace our history back to a period that conveniently over looks the period when CATHOLICS were the only Christians? Kinda strange, even if you go to a non-denominational church, how MANY different takes there are on being ” Christian.” And just in case you think Muslims all think alike, look no further than Iraq, where we can read news reports of the constant challenges the Islamic faith has between it’s two major religious sects, which are the Sunni and shi’a sects. And just in case you conveniently think Christian’s have no beefs…think about how many non-Catholics don’t even consider Catholics as being “Christians” yet King James back in the day, said other wise. And think about peeps who bomb abortion clinics becuz they and their Christian “God” are against abortion…or against drinking alcohol..or against gays..or blacks..or…Yeah, U get the picture.
    Me, I’m an ever evolving Christian and I BELIEVE “Gods ways, are not like ours “……I …I don’t think GOD will punish every non-Christian…..Hey, Muslims bend their knees 5 times a day in worship, so they pass part of the “ every knee shall bend test “…… And when you wish death and destruction on others–what kind of God are you praying to then? How about praying for God to “ Bless America “ instead of Bless the World? Do you pray for God to “bless our troops” and assume everyone else is out enemy? So we’re the only ones God loves? We’re The only ones on the GOOD team? A friendly country today, could be our enemy tomorrow—and then do we HATE them instantly, or what? Remember Vietnam…They were once our enemy, now we’re importing fish and other thangs from there…..And you believe WHAT again?

  • distinguishedgentlewoman

    @ jay1:

    I cosign. I was raised Catholic, but now prefer to just have a spiritual relationship with God; my dad was Anglican and switched to Catholicism; my great-grandmother practiced Catholicism and Hinduism; some of my cousins are Seven Day Adventists; some are dedicated Muslims; some Rastafarians; and others I’m convinced are spawns of and dedicated worshippers of the Devil. So you’re absolutely right: “Whatever gets you through the day.”

  • Wishful Thinker

    Ans, I’ve been following your blog for a minute now and I knew today I had to comment.

    Now I love The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit with my WHOLE being! I would be lying if I said I have never doubted my faith. I have seen and been through many things in my short 19 years that made me question my faith. But I’ve also witnessed miracles that strengthed my faith.

    I think a problem our country as a whole has is that we equate going to some building, whether it be a chapel, mosque or temple with our relationship with a higher being.

    I go to church just about every sunday but I know that going to church doesn’t mean I’ll get into heaven. It is my personal relationship with Christ that is going to determine how I’ll spend the rest of eternity.

    Will people disagree with me, of course they will. Will I scream at them, curse them, and/or tell them they are going to hell, NO. I’m not here to make people understand why I believe what I do. I think we need to be able to agree to disagree which

  • SingleMama

    For me, I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God and that Jesus was born through a virgin birth. And that Jesus died for everyone’s sins on the cross. I believe it’s not about the religion it’s about your relationship. I believe everyone everywhere is given the opportunity to know God (i.e nature). I believe prayer and going to church are necessary and it’s not a religious ‘thing.’ God reveals himself through prayer and when we come together it allows us to utilize the gifts He gave us. I believe these things not because I was raised a certain way but because it’s what I believe in my mind, heart and soul.

  • Gina

    I believe in God 100%, but I don’t feel the need to go to church every Sunday to prove that. If your relationship is between you and God, why does it matter if you’re invovled in a church? God knows whats in my heart and I’m not a bad person so I have no worries. So I agree, I am more spirtual than religious.

  • paulette-BAJAN-gal

    How can a woman hold the Bible in her hand and trust a faith that denies her the right to be who she wants to be?? Women weren’t even “allowed” to be pastor/preachers until recently.

    Muslim and rastafarian women have to cover themselves.To prove what exactly??

    Common sense tells me no virgin can give birth…it tells me that the first woman wasn’t made from the ribs of a man.Education taught me that books are manifestations of a man’s desires.So the man that sat down and coined the Bible did it for his desire to create a fantasy that made him feel “whole’ and “chosen”.

    At the end of the day it doesn’t even matter.We are all born one day and we die another.No matter what religion you practice.

    So many assumptions are made with religion.And a lot of people are throwing common sense out of the window.I have no problem admitting when I’m wrong.There are things I believed so strongly and was later shown or proven it wasn’t what I thought…and I admitted my mistakes.Why is Christianity and the whole lot of religions so “hellbent” on defending falsehoods??

    We are human beings…not fictional characters.Noone can walk on water…part oceans with a stick….turn water into wine.It’s pure fiction.

    If preachers were the gateway to God…do that ish for free…be a part of the working class like the rest of your “followers”.Pool resources and pull your community out of poverty.Extend a lending hand to ALL of your fellowmen.Stop creating wars cause you are the “chosen”…stop telling me what I need to do with MY body as a woman.

    The list would go on forever.The more I trust in self and respect my fellowmen…the richer my life is.

  • Dc Man with a Plan

    I am a spiritual person….with a Christian background…BUT, if you ask questions just for informational purposes, just to feed the need to know…..YOU have to at least be truthful enuff to admit…some shyt just don’t make sense to OUR understanding of science and history and pro-creation…….like the virgin birth….like, Issacs wife was what, 90 when she conceived…….Don’t even try to discuss Revelations…….and the thing is, despite ALL the denominations……..which essentially believe ALL the other denominations don’t pray right, don’t believe correctly, don’t speak tongues..blah, blah, blah….ALL that confusion, and yet God is always on your side? and that of your church members? And do you ever feel free enough to ask questions? To do any self study? To wonder if you could handle all the suffering JOB went thru, and incidentally, after JOB had it all taken from him–he ended up with a new wife and a new family…meaning his old family was killed off…but that’s “cool” with you and makes sense? Too often, belief systems require you to suspend your use of logic to discover and uncover the TRUTH……….causes you to try to gage this sin, versus that sin..

  • NWSO


    the problem is the phrase “common sense” has nothing to do with the concept of “miracles” and “faith,” which are built on faith and belief.

    Science to me is another “religion” in that it’s people’s way of explaining the world. The only difference is it’s based on what we call “facts” but even facts can be proven false. Back in ancient times it was a “fact” that the world was flat and anyone who said otherwise was talking myth and legend until we discovered it was round so the “facts” changed.

    I hear ya, but if someone wants to believe walking on water while you want to believe in flat/round planets it’s all individual choice.

  • Anonymous

    you know Dc man with a plan put so much emphasis on Beth condeming Da throne but what about paulette-bajan-gal….Im all about everyone having ther own opinion and even if i dont believe in what you believe in I would never say stuff like

    “…….science have proven that immaculate conception is impossible and most religions are built on the premise that the Virgin Mary gave birth to the Son of God Jesus Christ.Which did not happen.’

    I would feel a lot better if she said imo or i dont believe it happened….never straight disrepecting someone’s core beliefs whether i believed in it myself or not. I have been reading this blog awhile and I swear the only comments from her I ever got anything out of and could appreciate was on the rape survivor blog. everything else is her trying to argue or force her beliefs on other people, or making comments belittling people’s beliefs in religion, sexuality or even STD statistics. Everyone hears her voice and for the most part is respectful, one day i hope i can read a comment of hers and feel it was respectful of another person also.

  • binibabi

    I’m definitely not religious and I don’t consider myself to be spiritual either. I grew up going to Catholic church (only on Easter Sunday, tho, lol) and I’ve never been baptised because my father wanted me and my sisters baptised into some type of men-dominated “religion” and my mother wasn’t having it. When I got older and was able to choose for myself, I decided not to bother to get baptised even tho my mother wanted us to.

    I don’t believe in organized religion AT ALL. I don’t understand people who feel that giving 10% of their income to a church is required of them. Isn’t a church a charitable organization? And why should I give the church 10% of my hard-earned income when the preacher is living in a huge mansion and driving a fleet of expensive cars and I can barely afford to pay my bills? And some of the most religious folks are also some of the least tolerant. They can not and will not tolerate anyone who is different than they are, i.e. gay, a different religion, doesn’t attend church every week.

    I believe it is more important to be a good person than to be a religious one.

  • paulette-BAJAN-gal

    @ Anonymous….doesn’t even make any sense being anonymous I already know who is writing.

    Immaculate conception is impossible.I’m not making that up.And obviously if you had any common sense you would know that.

    You have way too much time on your hands following what I have to say.And since you already know what I’m gonna say…gather your own thoughts and stop worrying about me.

  • Anonymous

    As i suspected you completely missed the point youre so wrapped up in contradicting anyone’s beliefs other than your own. fyi im pretty sure you dont know….like it would matter anyway. its not even about keeping up with you…you have a lot of time posting more than nwso based on all the comments you make. no im not trying to attact you which is the way you are taking it. i appreciate hearing other people’s opinions. but i can take what they say and either agree or not without being disrespectful

  • lynn

    hmmmnn lol well i always thought my self to be spiritual and not religious but i guess u guys have proven me wrong i believe in the bible and every word that flows out of the mouth of God IMO alot of the things that science has explained away are simply because they cannot figure out how it happened so instead of having a faith in it they dismiss it as a myth but my question is how can u believe in a higher power yet not believe in his miracles and blessings such as him giving life to a woman who was a virgin i mean isnt he the creator of all life so how simple must it have been to make that happen right?? oh wait a minute my bad a mere man said its not possible and tinkered with a few hypothesis and came up with zilch this “higher power” could not have done this because this Man said so lol some churches are dead wrong and are preying instead of praying on the people but i have seen some things with my own two eyes that science cannot explain away so how do u explain this scientifically one example i have seen a woman break her leg with the bone coming up out of the skin and as a man prayed for it i saw it as it went down in seconds how can u explain that scientifically?? i have seen alot over the years and if there is a scientific explanation i would rather believe and find out that im wrong then not to and find myself in hell lol

  • paulette-BAJAN-gal

    @ NWSO…like I said…there are things that happen that are proven wrong later.The world was thought of as flat for quite some time and then there was evidence that it wasn’t.So would it make sense for you to still believe it was still flat after you see satellite pics of a round planet??

    The same with religion…we now know that virgins cannot get pregnant ((unless they had invitro)).So would it make sense to continue to believe that the Virgin Mary gave birth to the Son of God??

    Anyone can sit down and pen arguments for and against whatever.Unfortunatley we are so gullible as humans we’ll believe just about anything.Dudes that wrote the Bible took a risk and won.

  • stiring the pot

    First off let me start by saying I don’t attend church, I’ve gone to many churches, however, I attend none at the moment. Second, I was raised in the church. Every Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, for various things, from choir rehearsal to bible study. Baptist, Pentacostal, Church of God in Christ, Evangelical, Holiness, Apostalic, etc, etc, etc. I’ve also dabbled with buddhist, muslum and scientology. Not for the religion of it, but for the philosophy. With that said, here are my OPINIONS based on my own life study of me:

    I think at some point as we approach adulthood, and beyond, Almost everyone questions their religious beliefs. Why?
    1. Because we are cutting the dependency strings that tie us to our parents/caretakers, and want to assert our independence.
    2. Because, what we were taught does not jive with how we are living.
    3. Because we prayed for something and it didn’t happen how we wanted it to.
    4. Because we lost someone or something we loved that we felt was sooooo good and GOD didn’t save them for us.
    5. Because we put our independent self into a situation that we needed GOD to save us from and s/he didn’t.
    6. Because religion, as we know it today, does not sustain us.

    We see church fathers committing crimes that should only be commited by “SINNERS”. We see diasters like Katrina, take out whole communities, elderly, children, homeless, families and we wonder why would GOD do or allow this to happen? We see religious zealots claim that thier religion is the ONLY religion ordained by GOD, and that every other religion is wrong. We see people use religion as their reason to KILL inocent people. In modern history, we have watched Nations fight a religious war over a piece of land, and the right to live on that land. We have seen people die over or beause of their religion.

    RELIGION as we know it today, is not the SPIRITUAL food, that GOD intended it to be. It has become on some level so much verbal throwup. If you were red lipstick you will go to hell. If you don’t cover your head you are not a righteous person. If you eat pork, you are a unclean. BLAH! BLAH! BLAH!
    I believe in GOD.
    I believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. I believe that there is no way to GOD, but through Jesus. He is our ambassador.
    I believe, that if you live a f*cked up life, then you will get f*cked up sh*t back. Is that karma? Or is it GOD letting you know that s/he is there. And that s/he does see what you do. That’s what the Angels do. (childhood belief that I never forgot)
    I believe that God doesn’t allow bad things to happen to good people, he allows us to live the life we were given before conception and whatever the outcome of that life is , it is what it is. (Free will) When it’s time to lay this life down, we should just lay it down and let it go.
    For those who believe in Jesus and the crucifiction, when jesus was on the cross and he asked the father, why me LORD. God said to him, I have something better for you, but you must let this one go. (not the exact words, but you get the point). When he (Jesus ) let it go, he was given the keys to the kingdom, and the authority over allll mankind and his dominon. This may be fiction, or a fable, It may be just a story we tell our children to scare them into doing the RIGHT THING. But the lesson remains. Stop trying to force your will on others. Let it go. Let people live their own lives, and make their own mistakes. Let people decide for themselves what they want to believe. Leave people along and let them come to their own conclusion. Most times, given all the facts and/or the truth, people will decide on their own to do the right thing
    I believe that most people are inheirently good in their souls/spirits/hearts. And given the oppourtunity, they will do what is best for the community. But they must believe that the outcome will be good. That there IS a reward for that behavior. Is it right? Is this a way to think? I know from my own experience, that when given the choice to do what is “RIGHT” vs. what is “WRONG”, when I do what I feel is right in my heart, I feel better. I don’t worry or lose sleep wondering “did I do the right thing?” Is that religion, or is that spiritual? My spirituality is based on my religious beliefs. How can you claim to be spiritual if you never felt or known SPIRIT? What is SPIRIT(UAL)? Is it God? Or just some thought in your head. Is it a trend, like being bi or wearing pink?

    Good topic NWSO. Thought provoking. Your brain must be ON overdrive all the time. When do you rest my friend?

    2 cents worth


  • Forty Something

    This is a very interesting topic…I dont consider myself to be religious… However I am spiritual and I do myself a christian… I do believe in God and Jesus Christ… I believe Jesus died to save our souls and to give up an opportunity to have a relationship with God.

    I have traveled down some dark roads during my lifetime and I know that if it wasn’t for my faith in God I wouldn’t be here today…. I have seen the power of pray… I have seen Gods promises manifest in my life over the years….

    I can honestly say that I believe in God and that he is in control of all things and I put my faith and trust in him at all times….

  • paulette-BAJAN-gal

    I don’t believe in God or Jesus Christ or the saints and the Holy Ghost. There was a time before this when the “religions” of today didn’t even exist.People believed something else.They lived and they died.

    The only thing I can say for sure…is that I am going to die one day.In the meantime I am loving the people in my life until they die…which is gonna happen regardless of what I believe in.Cause noone is immortal.

    As long as your religion doesn’t make you step on my toes and forget to say sorry…life is good.I am content with the choices I have made thus far and will make no apologies for it.

  • KeishaDabney

    As a christian I too have had issues with questioning what I have learned to be indicators of my faith. The things some family members taught me had very little to do with the nature of God….

    The difference between then and now is that I have a personal relationship with Christ. This personal relationship does not mean that I should not pray, or that I should not attend church, it simply means that I am in constant fellowship with him, and that I allow him to speak to me through his word (bible), through prayer, and through those men or women that he has ordained in the earth. In this relationship I note that his directives are thhe absolute guidance by which I conduct my life…

    The bible says, “my sheep know my voice”… and yes as a christian I can say that there are some people (family and otherwise) who pervert (steer away from) the intentions that God so carefully designed, but that is how having a relationship with God comes in… it’s okay to tell God your concerns… that’s why he God said in the the bible that we can approach the throne boldly. God is the key to understand his nature through the devices that I listed previously.

    I am a christian and I will admit it, people try to make God out to be this mystical figure that only speaks to perfect people, at the perfect time, in the perfect way… LIES and PROPAGANDA!!… Yes, God is HOLY, and all that other good stuff, but I can also speak to him about anything that is bothering me or that I am excited about!… If the bible speaks about him experiencing what he experienced when he was here, then why can’t i talk to him about issues, thoughts, doubts, that I have while I am here…

    -Keisha D.

  • older & wiser

    Ans, I don’t like any of the choices you gave us to describe ourselves b/c they both are loaded and biased labels that come with a lot of baggage.

    I am REDEEMED from my sinful nature by the sacrifice of the life of a man called Jesus the Christ. As a result of this act, I am eternally grateful for his substituting Himself when it should have been me. In response to His generous gesture on my behalf I try to live my life in gratitude and as a demonstration to others of what knowledge and revelation of His life as recorded in the Bible means to me.

    As often as I am asked about my outlook and disposition on life, I share my secret with others. I tell them the same peace and contentment I have is available to them IF THEY TRULY WANT IT!

    I know from experience that when people ARE READY to hear about the difference that Jesus has made in my life that IS WHAT THEY WANT TO KNOW!! I am not going to try and persuade them that my life’s story is the only way to peace -IT IS THE WAY THAT WORKED FOR ME AND THE DECISION IS FOR THEM TO DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES if they want to. But they will have a witness and a living example in me of what faith in God, His Son, Jesus, and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit can do for you if YOU want them to!

    I live a BLESSED LIFE and I am not ashamed to tell the world who is responsible for it! I have not participated and do not plan to participate in this world’s recession. I have been amply provided for b/c of WHO I AM REPRESENTING and we are on a different economic system. We are prospering (in Goshen) while the world experiences multiple plagues (in Egypt).

    I do attend non-denominational worship services weekly, read and/or listen to scripturally based teachings daily, and I look for people I can be a blessing to as God gives me direction through prayer.

    These are things I do in response to my gratitude for the life I am living by the grace of God, not out of obligation to a religion or denomination.

    In response to a question asked in your post, NO I would not date nor marry anyone who does not believe or view life as I do.

  • litrisha

    Well first off I would have to say if you and your significant other doesn’t have any spiritual values(not necessarily RELIGION)then I don’t think the relationship will work. I’m not saying living holier than thou and all that but I feel that a relationship HAS to have some type of belief or spirituality. I personally wouldn’t date anyone without spiritual values because in my opinion it’s just a waste of time. I’ve dated a WANNA BE MUSLIM, and he was trying to get me into Farrakhan and reading the Holy Kuran and all that, but I wasn’t going that route. I don’t have a religion per say BUT I do believe that there is a God, and if it’s two different religions going on, then I’m sorry it won’t work.
    My Mom made sure that she instilled in us to have God in our lives and to know that there IS a god, I have my own way of praising God. I don’t necessarily go to church or read the Bible but I DO pray and that’s enough for me until I can better myself spiritually and gradually start going to church and getting into the word.
    I can say that I’m truly blessed and grateful for what he has done for me and what he will continue to do for me.

  • Dc Man with a Plan

    @ KeishaD….so how is that working? Has Christ directed you to go to a certain place at a specific time? Has he chastised you for cheating on your taxes, not using your time wisely, making bad dicisions regarding the men you bring into your life or eating too much? Or is ALL you do good in his eyes, with no need for improvement? I’m just asking the question to better understand how the personal relationship you describe works and how it’s going? What does it mean on a daily basis….Do you pray and say ” thank you Jesus each time you start your car (?) or just when it hesitates to start? I’m just wondering how you show appreciation and continuous praise…or are those things he’s working on you with? and if so, what does he say and how did he say it?
    Faith is crucial. I’m not one to say science has all of the answers, but God gave man the ability to figure things out–so science is from him too… Tthe problem I see, is not giving everyone else the chance and ability to have THEIR faith in their way….TRUTH be told, it is quite difficult to have faith that everything in the bible is correct, while not acknowledging that means alot of people are WRONG…other people that aren’t ME…or YOU of course….faith to me means standing on what you believe–and if judgement day finds you azz out–so be it…like-wise, if on judgement day, Jesus tells a guy who proclaimed to be a muslim–job well done son, come and live with me for eternity….don’t U be the christian talkin about: naw, Jesus, you can’t let him in…that’s not what your WORD says…lookie here, Jesus, let ME tell you what you really intended to say……




  • Ozymandias

    Religion is simply a control system. Study of religion is actually a study of group dynamics and mob mentality. One need not be ‘religious’ to be spiritual. One does not need to pay into their church or feel like they are not contributing,just for example.

    As church was the first government, it certainly has it’s place in this world. It provides material support and mental resolve to those who cannot, and will not wrap their heads around certain virtues of this thing called life without some sort of guidance. And that is a large number of people.

    I gave up interest in religion interestingly enough, upon meeting a girl in 3rd/4th grade who couldn’t do some activity (dont remember what) because she was catholic. My response was simply “why”. And it has been that way ever since. Keep your relegion, I’ll enjoy my freedom of thought.

  • Shay from L.A. (Los Angeles)

    I know early I said no comment, well, I lied. LOL
    Religion, like politics, is a subject matter that is similar to a revolving door. Everyone talks in circles and there is no means to an end.

    I do not believe in organized religion. I believe that once man becomes involved, things are no longer pure. It is very difficult for me to believe in any doctrine that was created by a man or woman and have total faith that they were not motivated by their own personal agendas.

    It is tough for me to believe in a god that allows so many heinous things to occur. Reading the post about molestation and rape the other day even solidified my view, but hey, that’s my view. I don’t look down or criticize people for what they believe in. However, I don’t want to be beat over the head or scorned for my beliefs either.

    If there is a god, he provided me with a molester for a father, a woman-beater for a step-father a chronic illness and multiple rapes for icing on the cake. I have heard many views on why god “allows” things like that to happen, but I’m just not buying it.

    I would like to close with Kathy Griffin’s remark about Jesus, but I don’t want to offend anyone.

  • paulette-BAJAN-gal

    @ Shay….I hear that.I had someone with the nerve tell me my brother was murdered because God knew I could handle the aftermath and find something positive out of that experience.Like really??

    And I’ve always felt that if God picked and chose who “he” gave miracles too…what did the people that didn’t get a miracle do to warrant no miracles??these are questions I had to ask myself once I was old enough to have a choice in going to church or not.

    And the icing on my cake…was going to church with people that were nut jobs during the week and “gathered” themselves on Sunday in their best clothes and looked down their noses at folk that didn’t attend church.Mind you these were folk that were “sinners” the other 6 days. Right now the preacher in my village in Barbados doesn’t even acknowlege people but for Sunday.And she’s the gateway to God?

    Maybe there is a God.I’ll wait to find out after I die.So we can sit down and have a chat bout why I wasn’t eligible for “miracles” either.

  • Mimi in the OC

    I wasn’t really raised anything although both of my parents are catholic, yet not religious. I believe my mom is spiritual, but I doubt my father believes in anything, otherwise he would be scared of punishment when I think of some of the things he does…but that’s another story.

    Until I was 15, I chose to be religious although nobody in my family was, went to church weekly, prayed before going to bed and tried to observe rules as much/long as I could (originally I wanted to be a virgin when I married). I also attended a catholic Middle School, but rather for convenience than religious beliefs.

    Then when I was 16, my family moved to France and my perspective on life really changed. I can’t really explain or define what happened, nor what was the turning point, but I felt that I had arrived into the real world and God couldn’t help me anymore, I had to help myself, by myself. Until that time, I had always felt that if you prayed, believed and worked for it, things would turn out well. It just didn’t seem possible anymore.

    Now I am more of a spiritual person. Like many have mentioned before, I believe in a higher power, I use the Bible for guidance rather than a manual. My general outlook on life is based on moderation, balance and tolerance. Having lived in different spots, I really think most people don’t know, or understand what tolerance means regardless of their religion. Every single religion demands to treat others how you want to be treated and to love one another. For some reason, everybody forgets about that part but rather focuses on not eating pork, remaining a virgin, not eating beef, not transferring blood, or other things that I can’t help but see as irrelevant on being a good human being…I don’t mean to disrespect anybody’s beliefs and truly respect all religions; these observations are just based on my personal experience.

  • Shay from L.A. (Los Angeles)

    @ Paulette

    I will be next in line for a similar conversation

  • brendadc

    I grew up Baptist and my mom was really into the church, so you know we were up in there every Sunday! I would say I was pretty religious until I graduated college. While I still pray, I haven’t been to a church in a couple of years. Do I feel like I’m missing out? Sometimes I do. I miss the fellowship and those old school gospel songs. However, I know I can pray at home and have an equal, if not better, relationship with God. I know, the whole faith thing is tricky. I know I questioned God when he suddenly took my mom away when I was 18. Yet at the same time, I had faith that I would make it through something I didn’t have an answer too. Do I feel like I need to follow the bible to a tee? No. I’ve questioned a lot of things that have happened in this world, but then I think, there has to be a higher power working somewhere to make all this happen. The pure amazement of a woman having the ability to create/give life? The intricate systems that make up our bodies and allow us to function? Then again, that’s just me. However, I don’t know why, but my views on religion in general got really screwed up after reading “Da Vinci Code.” I haven’t touched a Dan Brown book since!

  • D from La

    I was raised on a Baptist church and honestly I have never questioned my beliefs. I have experienced a lot in my 21 years of life and I truly believe that it was God that brought me through. I think the biggest difference for me is it’s not about a particular religion, denomination or doctrine, it’s about relationship. I think it is that relationship part that many people lack. I don’t beieve you can truly get that relationship with God until you have had an experience, whether good or bad, that allows you to see Him move within your life. Once you have that deeper connection things that were once seen as mere rituals (church attendance, prayer, Communion, fasting etc) become an integral part of your life that you can’t do without.

  • Chocolate Beaute

    I was raised as a Christian and was blessed with a prophetic annointing as a child and God often used me to heal those who were hurting or sick and i was able to see good and bad spirits in people , foresee deaths , and have prophetic dreams and visions

    These days i continue to have visions and i can see things in certain people yet i feel that i have lost the anointing that i once had . I know that it is because of my current lifestyle which has steered me towards the wrong direction

    Being spiritually connected to God and being in his presence daily is very important to me and when i lost that connection i felt so lost. Everything from my thoughts to relationships with other people started to fall apart . Lately i have started to rebuild my relationship with God and i am feeling happier , healthier , and everything is falling into place

    In my opinion spirituality and religion are necessities and as far as relationships go a man will have to be in a relationship with God before i will consider being in one with him

  • Raycent

    Anslem-Thank you for sharing your post! Like you, I agree with Ja Rule’s thoughts. I was raised in a Jamaican Pentecostal church when I was younger (kid’s class & service every Sunday, etc). But as I got older, I considered myself to be a Spiritual person, Rather than a Christian or religious. I’ve met & am friends with people who are Rastafarian, Yoruba, Catholic, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, and other faiths, and there are bits from each that I found to be appealing. I try to be of service to others and be my brother’s & sister’s keeper. I do say prayers throughout the day and am thankful for each & every blessing bestowed upon myself and loved ones each day. I don’t have a church home as I no longer follow a singular organised religion; but have attended services with loved ones at their church home & respect their house of worship. However, I meet people on a daily basis who say they are Christians but don’t demonstrate love, kindness or help toward their fellow man & woman, so aren’t they going against the very teachings from the Bible they study so diligently? Or some post practically naked pictures online but doesn’t that go against Christian values (and why turn around & question my clothing choices)? So it makes me wonder. I sin every day and I consider God & the Ancestors to be my judges, not any mortal here on earth. Each of our spiritual relationships are individual and unique; so it’s not really up to any other person to determine that for anyone else. Without a Higher Power I don’t believe that I would’ve made it to where I am now at 38 or thru dealing with my Mum’s illness & passing 6 yrs ago or dealing with all the craziness for the past 7 yrs. So I say thank you, thank you and I am blessed! ~Ache

  • Me me Me

    I no longer belong to a religion, and a few weeks ago, I decided that I might be an Atheist…(EVEN THOU I HATE LABELS)
    the definition of an Atheist is=ithe position that deities do not exist,[1] or the rejection of theism.[2] In the broadest sense, it is the absence of belief in the existence of deities.[3]

    I dont believe in Deities, I believe in the power behind man and behind our world…its all one, and one with us….

    I was raised muslim, and as I gotten older I went to church and sometimes still go to church..but I find that religion is fear based, it help keeps people minds in bondage..

    Religion is one of those things that keep people from using there natural, reasoning and logic o yeah and common sense..

    i noticed that alot of people dont want to take responsiblity of there own lives, they rather put it in Gods hands… which if they did some soul searching and really searched for the truth I think they would see who and what our world is really made out of (matter/Spirit/Thoughts/Energy)
    then they would know who God really is..

    Fear is bondage it keeps people from asking questions, it keeps people from moving forward in life…
    the fear of hell has many on edge, but they dont realize that hell is right here right now, or heaven can be right here right now…its all on how u arrange ur life and how u feel on the inside..

    emotions over run majority of societies intellect… most people cant make a rational decision, so they allow the media, and others to make decisions for them….
    I say question everything, even God, until it appeals to ur logical mind…

    buddha said it best..Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense…

    No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.


  • da ThRONe

    @All religious people

    I know God exist because I know love. Jesus is no more or less the son of God then I am. I do believe in a higher source how is it everything got here. Science can explain alot (most of it discredit religion) but it cant explain everything. Science says “Energy is niether create nor destroyed it just changes from one form to another” than where does it come from. But to think that God just randomly chooses to enlight some and abandon everybody else is a God I would not wanna follow.

    Religion is not based on love its based on control, power,(sometimes greed) and ignorance. Since the history of man Ms. Beth every person who claims to know the will of God has been able to become powerfully in that Gods name.

  • paulette-BAJAN-gal

    I can’t tell what religion people practice when I see them in public…my 1st impression is attitude and the way they treat me.A lady stopped me the other day very politely and asked me if I wanted to attend her church and I told her very politely I do not practice religion.We both smiled and wished each other a good day.

    Another time I saw 2 Jehovah’s witnesses on the train preaching with bibles in hand and a pregnant lady got on the train and neither of them stood up for her to sit.I stood up.There is a time and place for everything….but you cannot forget you are human.

    None of us can afford to live in a bubble.Cause the day a flood hits your town or some infectious disease ravishes our community…we are ALL gonna be affected.So denying a helping hand to a Christian because I don’t believe in the Virgin Mary is not an option.It never was and it never will be.

    Humanity 1st.Always.

  • KD

    @ DC man with a plan

    How are you? I wanted to first apologize if I made it seem as if I was the perfect person, or the perfect christian.. I most certainly AM NOT!!…I thought I made that point clear when I talked about the whole people trying “…to make God out to be this mystical figure that only speaks to perfect people, at the perfect time, in the perfect way… LIES and PROPAGANDA!!… ” What i was saying there is that I know you don’t have to be perfect to have a relationship w/ God, or even talk to God. I am NOT perfect .The main thing about that is: if we were there would no room for him to be God.

    When I speak of a personal relationship w/ Christ, imagine it like this… Say for instance you are married, and are DEEPLY in love with your wife… would you not try to have an frequent system of communication with her… even if it ranges from you telling her you love her, or asking her about her day, or simply about anything? That’s part of what I mean when I say I have a relationship with him. Now like any marriage or even if you have children You are going to tell your children what they are dooing wrong, you are going to chastise them. So to answer your question, “Yes, God does chastise me”… trust me when I tell you!

    You also asked was my relationship all GOOD in my eyes…NO, like I said before if I was perfect then there would be no need for him to be “God”, or a higher power b/c when we are describing no room for improvement then I would be actually saying that I am perfect.

    You asked if God ever lead me to a specific place at a certain time? No. I believe that this type of things is possible, but it hasn’t happened to me…

    To discuss the prayer thing. When I spoke of prayer to God I don’t mean that I fall on my knees, and pray like that all the time. That goes back to how ppl see God as this mystical being… It’s not the only way I can pray to God.For example, I have been on a diet recently, but today my trainer said that I could eat a hamburger. When I bit into my hamburger, I thought, “thank you God for this hamburger”… LMBO! true story. But that ex was to show you that prayer does not always involve long drawn out spills.. I’m not saying that this “spill” isn’t sometimes required… What I am saying is that we don’t realize very often that little words, or things we may say are prayers also. It the same as telling you wife/gf that you love the color of her dress.. isn’t that the same as, “honey you have great style…? :)

    You are right. Faith is crucial. You said you defined faith as standing on what you believe. (and that’s fine)… I define faith as standing on what I can’t see, yet KNOW to be real.

    I don’t know what you ready in my blog hunny, but I never ever tried to make myself seem as if I was the type to push my beliefs on anyone, or that I was judgemental like that.. (see your last few lines)… I would never do that. That’s not me.. The bible says, “they will know you are my disciples by the way you LOVE”… I don’t demonized people b/c they are christians or b/c they believe something different from me… In a situation like that I would just pray, continue loving the person, allow them to be who they are.. and let God do his job! He decided the plan of action.

    I hope I made myself clear DC. (smile)… Let me know if I missed something..

  • Ms P

    I am spiritual and I am religious. Although I attended Lutheran schools until college, my family is not religious at all. However, I have believed in God since I was 6 y/o. I can tell you of so many times that I have seen God move in my life. And yes, when I was younger there were times when I had the “O why me?” faith? But then I always remembered how God pulled me through before. Even now I am having a really trying year, but part of faith is also having peace no matter what. I have peace now even in the midst of my storm.

    As for prayer, I pray all through my day. Prayer doesn’t mean that you have to get on your knees, hold your hands over your head, etc. I pray silently throughout my day. When I wake up I tell God thank You for watching over me & my family while we slept. I thank God even when my car is messing up because someone somewhere doesn’t have one. I thank Him throughout my day just because. I am not perfect & I will never be, but my faith sustains me. And everyday I try to be a little better. I used to be a sista who could snap you in a heartbeat & I always had to get the last word. This blog sometimes shows me how far I have come, when I resist the urge to comment sometimes. LOL! I go to church on Sundays because it fuels me for my week. I just feel like something is missing without it. I don’t believe there is one set religion. Nor do I believe homosexuals are going to hell. I believe in a woman’s right to choose. But most of all I believe in God. I respect everyone’s choices though. However, for me some things have no rhyme or reason, it just is. God is. Jesus is.

  • Ms P

    @ KD, I think we were writing at the same time. Our emails are quite similar. :) I feel you on all that you have said. I understand exactly what you meant.

  • Jenn Perez

    WOW… So many good viewpoints.. DC man with a Plan ~ i enjoy your posts- you are very thorough and I like all your angles.
    I was raised Catholic and I don’t agree with it 100%, but I can tell you that for some reason I baptized both of my children in a Catholic Church. My experiences with the Catholic Church (Hispanic side ~ latin/South American Priest etc) is that its ALL about money. The Priest who Baptized my daughter actually WAITED until he collected all of the “Donation” envelopes until he proceeded with the Baptisms. I, myself did not get married in Church because their demands were more than I felt like they deserved. And let me tell you that some of my Catholic Acquaintances and even family members tell me that the reason why I’m getting divorced is cuz I didnt get married the ‘right way’. It takes all of me to “turn the other cheek”!!
    I have always had these ‘premonitions’ of bad events and dreams of death prior to someone dying ~ which has always freaked me out. When my cousin died, he was 15 and I was 16 and he died playing with a gun. I dreamt with him and I dont think It was my imagination. When I would wake up ~ I could smell his cologne and feel his presence. There were times where I would be home alone and I would feel him ~Usually times when I would be focused on something like homework or scrapbooking and would just mutter “jonathan leave me alone I’m busy” then he would ‘leave’ ~ then I would panic and run out of the house. So I do believe in an afterlife or even life after death. After my cousin died I found no solace in the Catholic church ~ I looked elsewhere. I spoke with my Muslim uncle.. my Jehovah Witness Aunt, Pentecostal neighbors and even other people such as tarot readers, Dominican ‘taza’ cup readers, people that could communicate with the dead (or so they say).. Ive read books from religious books to Sylvia Brown, Brian Weiss.. and i think that there is some truth in all that I read. I think when we take things to extremes then we distort what it is all about. My uncle and cousins are Muslim but they would never do any of the things that the suicide bombers did ~ my uncle’s reasoning for that was that those people are usually recruited by the Muslims with money and they are brainwashed from childhood and if/when they do commit suicide in that fashion, their families would be taken care of and they willl reign in the afterlife.. Huge Extreme. My Cali aunt is Jehova Witness ~ my children’s prior babysitter was Jehova Witness. Was she evil or crazy or aggressive with her religion like other Jehova Witnesses Ive known ~ not in the least. But one conversation with her regarding surgery and blood transfusions ~ she would let her son DIE than get surgery or even a transfusion because it was Jehova’s will ~ WOW.. that to ME is an Extreme.
    I believe in God and I don’t know if I believe in the devil anymore (not sure yet). Maybe Earth is the worst that can happen. Ive read so many ‘different’ books that makes me wonder ~~ Sylvia Brown and Brian Weiss suggest that we plan our lives before we get here as sort of a way of perfecting ourselves. Sylvia Brown (which i heard of from the Montel Williams show) says that the reason why fortune tellers and those types can read our ‘future’ is because they are reading our ‘chart’. We set things for us to accomplish on this earth and we come back to this earth many many times.. Brian Weiss was a psychologist who began regression hypnosis and is now a believer in past lives. Muslims beleive in reincarnation and that is why they do not donate organs ~ to me that is silly, because if you would reincarnate I dont think you have your heart and lungs in a little soul pack..
    I believe in God, I beleive in Love ~ and I beleive in Miracles and the power of having Faith. I do not Pray for God to give me things (a good marriage, health for my mother) ~ I just Pray to God to give me the Strength I need to get through all and any turmoil I may have in my life. I do think we are all here to serve a purpose and I do feel that we have free will but some things do happen for a reason. I think the older I get, the more I appreciate everything that has happened to me ~good bad and ugly. I have learned to be more open minded, to love more and judge less, to enjoy each day and to make the people who are important in my life a priority. I used to question God but now I don’t. Im going through a very bad divorce right now, only breadwinner for my two kids.. have a mom battling incurable brain cancer.. but Im still here.. working, going to school, enjoying my kids, friends.. and of course blogging!

    Each mind is its own world and it doesnt matter how many religions there are in this world~ if we were to all learn the fundamental of All religions ~ LOVE , then there would be none of this war bullshit and all of these massacres and rapes and awful things that happen around us every day. I truly hope that the only Hell is Earth, because so many of us deserve so much better..

  • da ThRONe

    I dont understand how people can say we have “free will” then claim that God blesses or punish people. Religion is just to inconsistent for me.

  • KD

    @ Ms P

    Thank you girl!

    I pray that your faith will continue to strengthen you and that you will not be led by what you see, but by who Christ is…. He that can do, shall do!! (now watch God work!) :) smile..

    Yes, I just prayed ya’ll… (and noticed I typed it)… Now please believe God honored my prayer just as much as if I would of had tears rolling down my face, or if I was on my knees.

    Ms P, I say it all the time, ” Trusting a God I’ve never seen just makes sense… I can’t explain it, but somehow I know he’s real”.

    Jesus is the best! Be blessed!


  • The Intellect

    Sorry I missed this post yesterday, because this is something I have been struggling with for years. My parents are what you would call not religious, they believe in God but they don’t attend church. So long story short, I became very religious and went out and joined a church and got myself baptized. But after years in my church, my pastor died and that changed my outlook about the institution of church. Seeing the congregation split after his death and seeing all the hypocrisy within church I became disillusioned and left.

    Furthermore, since coming to college and studying African and African American history, I see how much religion and church played a part in the enslavement of our ancestors. IMO, Christianity is dangerous, racist, and not meant for African or African American people. In reading how this “religion” was forced on our ancestors while their religious practices were forced out of them makes me want nothing to do with this religion. And, yes I did renounce my ties to the church.

    I still continue to believe in a Higher Power that is greater than myself, and in keeping with learning more about where I came from I have been looking into the African religious belief associated with Yoruba (which I highly recommend for you NWSO). Since reading up on the religion I have found my faith return back to me but this time I am able to take this faith and spread it to everyone not just “Good Christians”

    Sorry for the long comment, but this is something I have been going through for a long time, and attending college in the South is not always the best place to have this sentiments and have intellectual conversations about religion. Thanks for letting me vent, and keep up the good work on the blog

  • NWSO

    @ The Intellect

    Interesting, why do you suggest Yoruba for me?

  • Dc Man with a Plan

    Dang, Jenn P..You have a LOTTA shyt going on–and yet, you still RISE? You’re kids seem to have a mom with a GREAT outlook on this thing we call life. PROPS to you, bcuz you have a full plate. I like the fact that you have invested the time and effort into trying different things, learning of different belief systems and granting yourself the ability to change and grow as you became more aware…..I lived in OKC once upon a time and went to like 10 churches to find a church home, but I wanted one that had reasonable representation of whites, blacks and hispanics…Do you know how difficult that is? At the time, that was one method I used to get out of my religious comfort zone. But Jenn, I REALLY regard your words that you do not pray for favor…do not pray for gifts as the most wisest thing of all. part of growth is recognizing that God isn’t just there to request gifts from…something as practical as wisdom, faith and kindness are GREAT things to pray for and about. The strength to not SNAP when traffic is crazy…when the kids are getting out of control…when your boss is getting on your last nerve…..encouragement to eat right and do more exercise are simple things I pray to God for assistance with. How about WORLD peace? How about less pollution? Hang in there, home-gurl….

  • The Intellect


    I think that would be something good for you to look into because it focuses on spirituality, meditation, and honoring our ancestors. And from reading your blog I feel that since you practice most of these things you would find a connection to this religion. Another bonus, the people in this religion are not fanatical and I actually had to seek them out and they were very patient in letting me decide if this was something I wanted to do. All in all I would at least look into it.

  • t.allen-mercado

    While there was clearly a God-fearing undertone to my childhood life at home, religion was never enforced. As time went on, my initial feeling on the matter was indifference. After a few years at a Jesuit University and many more in the world, I have to say not only do I not believe in the need for organized religion, but I find it detrimental. It impedes free thought, it is oft-times exclusionary and more lives have been shed over loose interpretations of the good book(s) than the rules of a card game in the hood.

  • Anonymous

    history and religion are both “written” by man. the so called authors such as Paul, write in their stories that this is not their word but Gods word. and if people seriously just read the bible before they passed judgments about it being altered would see that everything that God talks about in the New Testament is going on today. People let these other half-stepping so called Christians trick them into thinking they can be Godly but live in sin or doubt of God. dont let the enemy fool you! the devil always will try and destroy you MENTALLY

  • paulette-BAJAN-gal

    Who is the devil??And why is he more/equally as powerful as God??

  • da ThRONe

    So where does the old testament come into play? The Bible is somebody telling a story from there end of it. If you wrote a story based on your beliefs it would say that there true. So you think the other billions and billions of people who dont believe what you do is wrong?

  • LL

    Religion, been there done that, and finished.

    Don’t know why……but that prayer before every meal….

    I just want to eat. lol

    But, there was a time where I believed because I was told to, and because everyone else was doing it(traditions passed down, especially from grandma)…..

    After venturing into church on my own and after studying various things and listening to more sermons than I care to mention I started seeing church and religion as the farce it is.

  • paulette-BAJAN-gal

    Religions by number of followers worldwide.1/3 of the world’s population are Christians…which means the rest of us are going straight to hell…2/3.

    # Christianity: 2.1 billion
    # Islam: 1.5 billion
    # Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion
    # Hinduism: 900 million
    # Chinese traditional religion: 394 million
    # Buddhism: 376 million
    # primal-indigenous: 300 million
    # African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million
    # Sikhism: 23 million
    # Juche: 19 million
    # Spiritism: 15 million
    # Judaism: 14 million
    # Baha’i: 7 million
    # Jainism: 4.2 million
    # Shinto: 4 million
    # Cao Dai: 4 million
    # Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million
    # Tenrikyo: 2 million
    # Neo-Paganism: 1 million
    # Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand
    # Rastafarianism: 600 thousand
    # Scientology: 500 thousand

  • Trell

    Why would God want 10% of something he already owns? where does it go?

  • Miche

    Okay i know im late with this comment but my good friend July pointed me this way.

    Honestly im prone to be more spiritual, i have limited faith in religion. I believe men has taken something good and exploited it to suite his own needs.
    Most religious people I meet seem to go on blind faith and I believe they mistake coincidences for miracles
    i think religion is just a medium to faciliate our belief in ourselves…like if u believe in something so much the universe will conspire to make it happen

    thats why the good the bad the ugly and the evil can prosper

  • Jenn Perez

    DC Man with a Plan.. Thank you~Very Much!!! I do have a lot of my plate but I am still happy. Setbacks and stuff only make you stronger. I have had a LOT of love and support from two babies and family~ which is really the foundation for everyone. I do believe that there is a God and that everything happens for a reason!!

  • da ThRONe

    @Jenn Perez

    I hate that pharse “Everything happen for a reason” how do you know? Everything happen because you cant pause life and you cant control it. To think the reason I stub my toe on the door is an act of God is just silly to me. Its hard to believe intelligent adults brains work that way. This seem like some Santa Claus or Easter Bunny type thing.

  • Jenn Perez

    Oh shut it da throne.. Youve just lost your Crown
    I do believe Everything happens for a reason.. adversity…loss..tragedy causes you to find your inner strength, find the true meaning of happiness and focus on the real things of life.
    By “everything” i dont mean every broken nail or in your case a stick up your a** .. but Every event, hard, sad or happy is for a reason.. That’s what I believe. You may not be able to control ‘it’ but you can sure control how you face it or deal with it

  • paulette-BAJAN-gal

    Why would God ordain the death of a family member just to give you strength?…doesn’t make sense.And if he does…how much does he really love you? There are other ways to build someone’s self esteem.

    It’s pretty far fetched to think God burns your house down so you can learn a lesson and then blesses you with a new house.

    Religious folk would be better off becoming grounded with reality and take the Bible for what it is…a great epic work of fiction.Study the history of the God and religious concept and it will make a lot of sense.It isn’t a concept that existed from the beginning of time like most folk believe.Its a white patriarchal concept.And its most definitely not about/representative of the people from the African Diaspora.

  • Spinster

    Former churchgoer turned agnostic. People need to live and let live, not shove beliefs down others’ throats. Let your conscience be your guide.

  • ebwriter

    I am a Buddhist.

    Buddhism is a religion that is based on putting in work in order to get results. Mainly putting in the work requires faith and chanting.

    Moreover, Buddhism is a tested and proven type of philosophical religion which attracted me to it because I don’t believe in blind faith.

    So based on my personal experience practicing Buddhism, and getting the results that I needed in order to devote my life to this particular faith doesn’t make me question its authenticity because through experience, I know it works.

    The great power of Buddhism is not the religion itself, but the power it gives your spirit in making life decisions on your own!

  • Tay

    This world is surrounded by so many people that have facts, opinions, and thoughts.

    This earth and world that is full of all different creation as not been formed here just because.

    Now whether you want to just run away and hide or because the choice of lifestyle that you have choosen doesnt allow you Serve both Masters.

    Do give up just yet.. Picture yourself in this story if you was accused of stealing money of a bank and you and 20 people on the jury stand watch the tape and saw that you didnt steal, but your arch enemey wanted to see you go to jail for life so he make a porposal to make pay off the jury to convict you for life in jail.. How would you feel? And I know already what you would want to happen. So think about this when you think about regilion or God in general when you are not sure ask and pray and dont give up just like how I know you wouldnt give up remeber you are in the “HOT” seat in the court room yearning for freedom and truth and justice to to revealed because you know and the 20 know that you are innocent and did no wrong and you deserve your freedom.

    Well that’s the same wat that you should feel about searching for answering in finding ‘The TRUTH” about because you deserve it and so does he!!! He hasnt been represented to you in a truthful way.

  • Pingback: Could You Date An Atheist? | FreshXpress.:.The PULSE of Young Black America()

  • Pingback: Do You Ever Question Your Religion? | FreshXpress.:.The PULSE of Young Black America()

  • and she used to be the sweetest girl.

    i was born and raised in a pentecoastal church. i don’t even think that’s how you spell it. but it’s like COGiC. and i believe in God & all the marvelous things he does. but i don’t want to be apart of my religion anymore. maybe it’s because of the way my church functions or maybe because it’s because of the people. hell, it could be just me. i consider myself more spiritual because i know who God is. if i was 18 . . . i wouldn’t go to church. you don’t have to go to church to be religious. i know who God is and i believe everything that the bible says. and if someone didn’t believe in God . . . we couldn’t even hold a conversation.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like you are a sincere person and although due to you not being about to find answers to your deepest concerns it’s leading you to live with confusion and uncertainty.

    When religion is not encouraging strife it is acting as a drug which numbs the human conscience and fills the human brain with escapist fantasies. . . . It causes human beings to be narrow, superstitious, full of hatred and fear.