there is no name for my religion
There is no name for my religion. I grew up a Christian. A seventh-day adventist, to be exact. At sunset on Fridays, we respected the Sabbath. On Saturdays, we spent our time in church and worshipped the Lord. I never once questioned God, His existence, and the guidelines we were to follow in order to meet our Creator at the pearly gates.
In tenth grade, I took a World History course. To this day, it is still one of the best courses that I have ever taken. (Probably because I'm a history nerd). In World History, I specifically remembered learning of Hinduism and the controversy surrounding its development in India. From what I can recall, the Aryans entered the Indus valley, carrying with them Hinduism and making the Dravidian culture their subordinate. Upon learning this, I immediately thought of the religion's caste system and how easy it must have been to rule an area with their religion imposed. In Hinduism, it is taught that every person is born into a specific place within this caste system-- with some positions being lesser than others-- and that they must stay in their lane with the hope of upward mobilization during their next lifetime. This is a very simplified (and Western) understanding of the religion. Nonetheless, I interpreted this as a man-made way to control groups of people while ridding them of the opportunity to mobilize upwards or compromise those in higher societal positions than them.
I immediately thought of Christianity. I thought of Christianity's bloody history. Specifically, I thought of slavery and how it was practiced for centuries by God-fearing folk. I thought of how conquered peoples were fed foreign religion so that they could remain complacent and unthreatening. Should we even begin to list how much land was stolen in "God's name?" I thought of the Ku Klux Klan, and its roots in their interpretation of Christianity. I thought of how religious Black folk tend to be and how we are constantly told to "Let go, and let God" while we experience unending bloodshed, systemic oppression, and blatant racism.
This didn't sit well with me. I couldn't excuse inaction and injustice with religion. While not all Christians delay action, I encountered many that did. As I thought about Hinduism and Christianity, I realized that organized religion seemed problematic. It just wasn't for me. The hierarchy, the greed, the judgement. These were things that I just could not understand. These things ultimately seemed to be man-made.
There is no name for my religion, but I do believe in the God of Christianity. I am spiritual. I do appreciate inspirational church services, no matter the denomination. I love gospel music. I do enjoy bible scriptures that bring my life positivity, support, and courage. I do believe that everyone should do good unto others.
I am not an atheist. I am not a deist. I am not agnostic. I am not a non-denominational Christian.
I am not confused.
My belief in God and spirituality takes precedence over picking a religious denomination.
(A lot of the people that I know may find fault with this blog post, and you are all entitled to your own opinions. Please do realize that as a 22 year-old woman, my present-day choices are based upon personal experiences and my journey. Also my decisions are based upon my understanding of history and religion. And as always: I am not speaking for all, I am speaking for some. Any comments? Drop it in the comment box or shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)