"Do unto others as you would have done unto you." "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone". See, I learned something in my 12 years of Catholic school. Much to my mother's dismay, I am not religious. "Just have faith", is something she says a lot. "I just wish your faith was stronger," is another quote I hear often. I'm not a good Catholic because I question everything. Catholics are taught not to question, just to accept. I'm guessing that's pretty much the same with all religions, but I don't know. I want to have faith. I want to believe in something. The problem is, organized religion and very "religious" people turn me off from whole thing. It's those "religious" people who think they are holier than thou because they attend church on a regular basis. They have their kids in bible study. They go to bible study, etc. It's those same people who are closed minded, judgmental, hypocrites. It's the people who don't live their lives as good people. I've seen it my entire life. That's the main reason I left the church. I couldn't take the hypocrites any more.
Through my 12 years of Catholic education, there were several things I could never figure out. From what I took out of the stories of the Bible, Jesus treated EVERYONE fairly and with respect. Putting that into modern age, why is it the church takes a negative stand on homosexuality? Would Jesus have cared if someone were gay or straight? I think the bigger question is, are they good people, not what their sexual preference is? Even then, we are taught Jesus forgave the sins of others. So why is it that people aren't forgiving? People are so stuck on "revenge" and "justice". I just never got why we were being taught that Jesus did one thing and we should do another. Be nice to these people, but not these people. And then, when you question something, it's because your faith just isn't strong enough, now do 10 Hail Mary's and 20 Our Father's. Because that fixes everything.
I'm most definitely not perfect, but I don't claim to be. I also don't claim to be a good Christian. Do I have trouble forgiving? Of course, but I try. My mom and I were actually talking about forgiveness and how she's impressed with my ability to forgive all the wrong that has been done to me in the past because she can't forgive those people. Being a parent, I get that now. It's a lot harder to forgive those that hurt your children, but for your children's sakes, it's important to try. Children learn from example. Am I judgmental? I am. However, I try to chalk it up to people can be who they want to be and I'll be who I am. It's not easy to do that though when the people who live behind you have their 4 year olds up until after 10 every night screaming and running around. I judge their parenting, but, I'm not the one who has to deal with those kids. Hell, this post is judgmental. Again, I don't claim to be perfect.
I'm not religious. I do have faith. I think my faith is more is about being a good person and that will make my life richer and I'll be happier. I don't know. I have faith that when other people have strong faith in something, it helps them through. I believe in heaven. I don't believe in hell. I believe in karma. I believe in reincarnation (yet that is something I will not discuss with my children until they have come to make decisions on their own about afterlife). I believe that going to church, temple, etc. does not make you a good person. I believe living your life by treating others how you would like to be treated makes you a good person. I believe things happen for a reason. This is what "religious" people call "God's plan". It's what I call destiny. I believe people can change, but I only give one chance to prove it. I believe that you teach what you believe by example, not by words on a page. I believe you can know the Bible inside and out and claim you are living your life for God and still be a horrible person. I believe you can be an Atheist and be a kind, loving person who lives a truly good life. I believe that if you don't practice what you preach, you are a hypocrite.
I know a lot of religious people who are good people. The problem is, I know more who are not. I'm not religious. I try to be a good person. I learn each day from my mistakes and try to make my life better. I try to treat others how I would like to be treated. Am I better than other people? No, but I'm probably happier.