As more and more light is shed on religion in this country and around the world, I thought it would be appropriate to share some things I’ve been learning. I picked up a great book in the Seattle airport that does a fantastic job of fairly explaining the fundamentals of the world’s major religions: Teen Spirit: One World, Many Paths

In light of Bill Maher’s documentary about the idiocy of religion “Religulous”, I think it is important to have an open discussion about religion’s merits as well as its disadvantages.

As times get more and more uncertain, people demand labels, and they demand consistency. This year has been a reunion year for me. For each major reunion I attended (high school, grade school, and mother’s side of the family), at least 1 person has approached me with this sentiment: Just tell me one thing, are you still a Christian? Not “What have you done in the past 15 years?” or “What have you learned?” or “What are your plans for the future?” just “Do you still have the same beliefs we shared X years ago.”

And these people won’t take “Well, actuallly….” for an answer. I have done my best to explain to people my evolution of thought, but honestly it is not something I have spent a lot of time trying to fit into a tidy little box, much less a tidy little decorated box with a bow on top ready to hand someone.

So in the spirit of answering to these people, I took the quiz on to find out what religion I most closely identify with. Now I can just give them this list when they ask (with the caviat that the list is only valid for the next 6 months)! Here are the possibilities, supposedly in order of closeness to what I believe:

1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
2. Neo-Pagan (93%)
3. Scientology (89%)
4. New Age (87%)
5. Liberal Quakers (84%)
6. New Thought (84%)
7. Hinduism (81%)
8. Mahayana Buddhism (79%)
9. Reform Judaism (74%)
10. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (70%)
11. Bahá’í Faith (67%)
12. Jainism (64%)
13. Secular Humanism (62%)
14. Taoism (61%)
15. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (58%)
16. Islam (57%)
17. Orthodox Judaism (57%)
18. Theravada Buddhism (56%)
19. Sikhism (51%)
20. Nontheist (40%)
21. Orthodox Quaker (40%)
22. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (26%)
23. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (21%)
24. Seventh Day Adventist (20%)
25. Eastern Orthodox (18%)
26. Roman Catholic (18%)
27. Jehovah’s Witness (7%)

So there you go. If you really want to know what I believe, let’s sit down and talk about it. I won’t mock or make fun of your beliefs. I have no interest in converting anyone, even though my nature is to loudly proclaim what I believe to be true. I probably should adopt the advice I heard today about giving advice to family members, as I think it applies to sharing your ideas/beliefs with family members. Don’t do it. And only share if they ask or beg for the information three times.

What it boils down to is that I have an enormous amount of peace & joy about my place in the universe, and if anything else matters to you, I’m sorry, but that is your problem and your disturbance. Live and let live!

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15 years ago

1. Orthodox Quaker (100%)
2. Seventh Day Adventist (94%)
3. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (89%)
4. Eastern Orthodox (87%)
5. Roman Catholic (87%)
6. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (75%)
7. Liberal Quakers (57%)
8. Bahá’í Faith (56%)
9. Orthodox Judaism (55%)
10. Hinduism (53%)
11. Islam (52%)
12. Unitarian Universalism (44%)
13. Sikhism (42%)
14. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (39%)
15. Jainism (38%)
16. Jehovah’s Witness (36%)
17. Reform Judaism (36%)
18. Mahayana Buddhism (31%)
19. Theravada Buddhism (31%)
20. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (26%)
21. New Age (23%)
22. Neo-Pagan (23%)
23. Taoism (20%)
24. Secular Humanism (20%)
25. Scientology (19%)
26. Nontheist (19%)
27. New Thought (19%)

15 years ago

cool! thanks for sharing!