I’ve mentioned a few times that I am working on a side consulting project. Last week, I had to express my religious views, which for those of you that don’t already know, I am not religious. By choice, I do not believe in a higher being or an all knowing force. (Read: that absolutely does not mean that I do not respect those that have chosen to be religious. The overwhelming majority of my closest friends and family are religious.) One of my main hangups with religion and one that I have spoken about in great detail with religious friends is the sense of hypocrisy that seems to go with religion. “Love all…except this certain demographic”…it always feels like, to me, that someone or some group is getting persecuted because they aren’t in the “selected” group.
I find religion fascinating. Some of my favorite conversations are simply learning about religion and having respectful conversations about differing views. One of my nearest and dearest best friends is Mormon and I remember visiting her in Alaska and asking her and her now husband about their religion and just simply wanting to learn about it. Not because I was interested in becoming Mormon, but because I wanted to learn about her religion. I follow the Dalai Lama on twitter, not because I am Buddhist or interested in becoming Buddhist, but because I am fascinated by him and his religion and want to learn more. But at the same time, I cringe at the thought of placing my life in someone else’s hands. I see friends all the time with status updates about putting a decision in whoever they believe in’s hands.
The summer in between my freshman and sophomore year of undergrad, I took a few college classes at a community college. One of my classes was a psych class and almost immediately my professor recognized that I have a very strong internal locus of control (meaning I control my actions and what happens in life; my success are a direct result of the work that I have done). We actually took locus of control test in his psych class and when we finished, he immediately asked me what my score was. It was a 3. Low scores indicate an internal locus of control. Upon hearing my score he said, “I figured it was around that range.” (Side note: apparently doctors tend to score in the 10 and under range for this) (also if you are interested in taking the survey, you can HERE)
The point of this is that, even though I find religion fascinating, I will never be a religious person, and that is ok. But respecting others that are religious is important. And I believe to my core that religion is something that should support good things and not something that people use to persecute others. But I know that’s not the case.