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How did you decide which religion to follow?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on July 26, 2008

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Photo of Kevin Montgomery

“I have many beliefs from a number of different religions, many of which are Christian. I just try to learn as much as I can about other religions and cultures and try to determine the truth for myself.”

Photo of Anne Winter

“From the way I was raised and from my parents.”

Photo of Frisco Morse

“From my mother, who was an atheist and raised me to figure things out for myself. I’ve attended many services of different faiths, but to this day I remain an atheist.”

Photo of Dave Brittelli

“I guess by searching for the truth. You have to question everything, and by doing so I found many flaws in organized religion. So I’ve decided to have no religion at all.”

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Comments

spiderman 5 years, 8 months ago

it was easy after attending a six day retreat in 1999 with Thich Nhat Hanh --just follow the footsteps of the buddha........see www.plumvillage.org

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ReadingSports 5 years, 8 months ago

BuffyloGal, true...true...true...

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ReadingSports 5 years, 8 months ago

I would suggest the gospel of John. The 3 sequels are great!It will tell you what is truely important in life."Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis is also a great primer in Christian thought and philosphy.

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BuffyloGal 5 years, 8 months ago

Distractions like a blog on a small town newspaper??

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Victoria 5 years, 8 months ago

I suggest the book, Many LIves, Many Masters. If you don't follow a religion, this book will show you how we are all connected to one another and to a higher power which you can call God or anything you want. Every religion has a belief in a higher power...we do share that much in common.Read the book with an open mind. It helps you discover what is truly important in life and those things which simply are distractions.

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ReadingSports 5 years, 8 months ago

Marion,Personally, I find it ironic, maybe even mildly hilarious that the only thing standing between you and "Hail to the Chief" being playing every time the Obama walks into a room are those Christian voters that you seem to loathe so much. Going back to your number 4) Do I know, or for that matter can I know what this "creator" thing is?Here's the problem that I have with your philosophy:So you're a theist? Some of us have earned your contempt and scorn for believing that we can know the creator, and that the creator has revealed himself to the world. You believe that the question can't be answered. Fine... Live with and accept the consequences of your choice. Don't mock others that come to different answers. Of course, to whom is Marion accountable? No greater moral authority than Marion. Warlike is okay, as long as Marion approves. Your answer on the creator isn't good enough for me. But I will live with and accept the consequences of my choice. As for your knowledge of the Bible and Christian theology... You're missing grace, mercy, and humility. As for the rest, Shakespeare had a quote about someone who liked to quote scripture to his own ends. And as I have pointed out to you before, I have read the Bible, several times.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

Quigly: "Like this newspaper. It makes me life and feel better about myself."Been feeling a little "down under" lately?

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Quigly 5 years, 8 months ago

Yeah ok so poster is already pretty stupid but this is so funny!!! http://www.adultswim.com/video/?episodeID=f0a0e3011201234b41bb870bd6d01734 and good one tr. Thats funny. Like this newspaper. It makes me life and feel better about myself.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

Quigly (Anonymous) says: OOOOH!Family Guy Evolution removed from YouTube-extended version here...http://www.jibjab.com/view/117034[ click "View It" ]

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Quigly 5 years, 8 months ago

NO WAIT! I found the perfect religion. House of the Evil Monkey!, Yeah, what can go wrong! http://www.adultswim.com/video/?episodeID=ba0f0b29d20bc3300710d4510010c519

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ReadingSports 5 years, 8 months ago

awkward. An acronym should roll off the tongue. Sort-of. Try tangential_reasoners_anonymous, lawrence_alternative, league_annexorGlobal Ophthalmologist Organization Fund, Balanced Association Limited.:-)

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

TRAWL?tangential_reasoners_anonymous, life_alternative, lawrence_annex

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ReadingSports 5 years, 8 months ago

tangential_reasoners_anonymous Isn't the full name of your group: tangential reasoners anonymous worldwide league?

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jonas 5 years, 8 months ago

I went by the total circumference of the smile of the guy who was trying to convert me to their way of life, the biggest was the one I bought into. I'm a Zoroastrian now, that guy had some truly enormous incisors.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

acg: "Well I just looked at all of the religions and first I eliminated any of those that require a tithe. WTF is that about. Then I eliminated any that discriminated against a group of folks because they were different, then I got rid of any choices that preached fire and brimstone, then I exed off the list any that swore they were the only ones going to heaven and then I looked around and realized, there were none left. It was a pretty easy decision at that point."So... let me see if I've got this right...¢ you're cheap¢ you can't tell the difference between one thing and another¢ you probably won't be vacationing in Yellowstone¢ you wouldn't belong to any club which wouldn't have you as a member¢ and, so, you opted for "nothing."Ommmmmmmmmmmm!

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

Marion: "(3) Since the Universe exists and I could not have created it, nor do I know anyone who could have done, something greater did."Creation fallacy.If the existence of the Universe requires a Creator, and, therefore, a Creator exists, then who created the Creator?

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Esq2eB 5 years, 8 months ago

Holy Church of St. Mattress.

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ReadingSports 5 years, 8 months ago

OldEnuf2BYurDad,I come to my Christian faith, by the Bible. But also by philosophy, history, the natural world, and by personal experience or Christ working in and through my life. All of which point, correctly and consistent with, back to God's saving grace as revealed through the prophets, and Christ's life and redeeming sacrifice on the cross. God Bless you, brother.><>PS. You might not be old enought to be my Dad. Marion,Thank you for your answer.

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bobberboy 5 years, 8 months ago

I judge religions on the type of believers it happens to have.To be a great religion its believers must :Be considerate, kind and gentle to others.Live and let live values, that contribute to the well being of others.Without opinion as to what others should believe.

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Aisling 5 years, 8 months ago

research, research, research. Oh and scrying!

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BuffyloGal 5 years, 8 months ago

"art was the first religion. no wars were fought over art that im aware of."Mom! He stole my crayon!

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acg 5 years, 8 months ago

Well I just looked at all of the religions and first I eliminated any of those that require a tithe. WTF is that about. Then I eliminated any that discriminated against a group of folks because they were different, then I got rid of any choices that preached fire and brimstone, then I exed off the list any that swore they were the only ones going to heaven and then I looked around and realized, there were none left. It was a pretty easy decision at that point.

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Aiko 5 years, 8 months ago

By letting the people around me at that time decide.

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 8 months ago

cont'd:"Nor do I accept the notions of "good" and "evil"; these things are merely constructs which allow such as Christians to let their version of "God" off the hook when bad things happen, right along with the idea of "Satan"; the ultimate scapegoat!I do go along with the idea that right and wrong do exist but in a very narrow and practical sense, more so than one of "ethics" or "mores".Now as far as the tax-free status of churches go, churches and similar non-profit groups undeniably to good works anad those works would be hindered if tax-free status was revoked anda the burdens would then fall on government or the public at large.As concerns the so-called "establishment" clause and that whole "separation of church and state" thing goes, it is one of the most misunderstood phrases in the Constitution.The use of the word "respecting" in that clause means "having to do with", NOT "respect" in the modern sense and does not mean that government cannot recognise that a religioni exists.The clause only means that the government of the United States may not set up a state religion, nor can it, within limits, tell you what kind of religion you can set up!Christianity, Judaism and Muslim are indeed violent, brutal and murderous religions and if you doubt me, go read the primitive and superstitious texts which guide them.As far as a pre-emptive strike on Iran goes; I oppose any more countries developing atomic bombs, especially countries which are engaging in warlike behaviour, especially religious warlike behaviour, as is Iran. If Iran cannot be negotiated into ceasing such efforts and allow inspections, than as a practical matter and to protect the rest of the world, Iran should have its ability to construct such devices forcefully taken away.Then the example of Iran may be shown to Pakistan, India and a few other little atomic-wanna-bes, rinse and repeat until clean. Better to do it now before fifty countries have atomic bombs and the likelihood of global atomic war becomes a virtual certainty!Nothing at all to do with religion from my end."

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 8 months ago

ReadingSports (Anonymous) says: Marion,"There is a big difference between accepting the notion that something greater than ourselves created all this and being part of an organized religion."This was actually an interesting statement from you. Please explain. Specifically, do you believe in something greater than yourself?While you're at it some of your other posting seem to be at odds with each other. For instance you mentioned something a while back about churches doing good work. (In the context of tax exemptions.)Then there is your oft-repeated claim about Christians being warlike, and your advocacy of a first strike on Iran. Not that I have an argument with your stance on Iran. The possibility of Ammaabignutjob having nukes should give any rational person shivers, and I'm not talking about Chris Matthews shivers either.But I digress, what is your something greater, Marion? And you mention that something created this? What? Define the something."Marion writes:Oh, my position on the matter of "something greater than myself" is really quite easy once you accept it and quite liberating!I worked it out like this, sort of based on Descartes, "I think, therefore I am." thing; "Cogito, Ergo Sum".(1) The Universe exists.(2) I cannot create the Universe.(3) Since the Universe exists and I could not have created it, nor do I know anyone who could have done, something greater did.(4) Do I know, or for that matter can I know what this "creator" thing is?(5) Nope; no way but I am not about to go out and set up a superstious belief system to make me feel better about the whole thing. I ust accept it and go on down the road.cont'd:

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 5 years, 8 months ago

There are a lot of posts here. I'm saddened that so many (but not a lot) have suggested that they are Christian, but that no one has simply posted "Reading the Bible is how I chose my religion".Reading the Bible is how I chose my religion. I would be fiegning security if I were just following "my gut". Remember that insane chick you dated in college? Your gut told you to go with her. Remember those bug-eyed sunglasses you... are still wearing? Your "gut" told you that was the way to go. Rember disco? Remember voting for George Bush?

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

To believe that one can exist outside the mythos is not to understand the mythos.

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Pywacket 5 years, 8 months ago

A few years after I realized the implausibility of Santa and the Easter Bunny, I faced up to the implausibility of all other supernatural beings. It was like throwing away training wheels when you realize you do have the balance and skill to ride without them. There was some sadness at first, and a feeling that I was betraying something--the beliefs I had been steeped in--but after that, a great sense of peace and liberation settled over me. It was a great relief.It was truly like some kind of epiphany to realize I would never again have to "pray" and trust that blind chance would answer or not answer those prayers, and that if it didn't, I would never again have to mentally justify "God's" actions, etc., etc. I am so happy not to be an adherent to all that mythology. No more questioning.. no more making excuses or trying (within the framework of Christian explanation) to rationalize the horrific and bitterly unfair things that happen with the omnipresence of a "loving God" who is all powerful.Everything that happens makes more sense. Life is more precious for being the only shot we have. The diversity of species is more precious for having evolved in a logical and elegant response to environmental parameters and changes. Doing right in the world is all the more noble and honest when done for the pure sake of righteousness, rather than because one expects "eternal rewards" for doing right or hellfire and damnation for doing wrong.

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gobbluth 5 years, 8 months ago

art was the first religion. no wars were fought over art that im aware of.

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ReadingSports 5 years, 8 months ago

Marion,"There is a big difference between accepting the notion that something greater than ourselves created all this and being part of an organized religion."This was actually an interesting statement from you. Please explain. Specifically, do you believe in something greater than yourself? While you're at it some of your other posting seem to be at odds with each other. For instance you mentioned something a while back about churches doing good work. (In the context of tax exemptions.) Then there is your oft-repeated claim about Christians being warlike, and your advocacy of a first strike on Iran. Not that I have an argument with your stance on Iran. The possibility of Ammaabignutjob having nukes should give any rational person shivers, and I'm not talking about Chris Matthews shivers either. But I digress, what is your something greater, Marion? And you mention that something created this? What? Define the something.

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Crossfire 5 years, 8 months ago

Father son and the holy ghostThey're three guys that I like the mostEverybody say a prayer each dayThat oughta keep the devil away

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

labmonkey: "I do want my doctor to have a belief and feel accountable to a higher power. To me they are more likely to hold up their hypocratic oath than an atheist."Keith: "Here's a newsflash for ya labmonkey, Hippocrates was a Pagan." Hey, Hippo had his higher power(s)..."I swear by Apollo, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath...."

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Keith 5 years, 8 months ago

"labmonkey (Anonymous) says:I do want my doctor to have a belief and feel accountable to a higher power. To me they are more likely to hold up their hypocratic oath than an atheist."Here's a newsflash for ya labmonkey, Hippocrates was a Pagan.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

ChristmasCarol: "Whatever. ¢ Follow your heart. ¢I would hope it would be good....I think you can find knowledge and good in the teachings ofJesus and Buddha and Dr. Seuss as well as Aesop's Fables."and Antoine..."Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."So, I guess that means we'll all have to do a better job of reading between the lines.,;-)I know... what a flake.

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thebcman 5 years, 8 months ago

2 hits of acid and a Grateful Dead concert.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

Das_Ubermime: "Read again. 20% are not sensible. 90% of the sensible do not stand-up against the non-sensible. Thus, you have 20% non-sensible, 72% weak sensible, 8% strong sensible. Life makes so much more sense when you understand English: unless you live in Paraguay:",:-DMuch of the time, I live just vertical of Paraguay,so even there the words are faint aint int nt t t t . . .Thanks for help with that word problem, though... Ubermom. tang: "... so even there the words are faint aint...."Ubermom: "BTW, 'aint' ain't a word." Mommmmmmmmmmmm!

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Das_Ubermime 5 years, 8 months ago

"Good point TGR about the 110%."Read again. 20% are not sensible. 90% of the sensible do not stand-up against the non-sensible. Thus, you have 20% non-sensible, 72% weak sensible, 8% strong sensible. Life makes so much more sense when you understand English... unless you live in Paraguay...

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ChristmasCarol 5 years, 8 months ago

I follow the convictions of my own heart and observations and not follow the lead of others if I can help it because I find that people will lead you to many a pitfall.In French the word Pastor is derived by Pasture and the shepherd is the leader which is a metaphor used in the "Lord's Prayer".I found that many a time I went to ministers and felt left without answers. I went to fellow clergy and deacons or other people in the church and asked for help like Sunday school teachers and they let me down as well. The elders in the church did too and I found that they as well did not practice what they preached.I searched long and hard for answers and was confounded many a time. I had some pastors try to lead me in their direction instead of help me find my own. I looked hard in books about Saint lives and synopsis of Bhagaha-vita and Joseph Campbell and decided to follow my heart and the teachings of Buddha.A lesson I learned from Christianity was the tale of the Good Samaritan. I believe they were actually Sumerians. Whatever. Follow your heart. I would hope it would be good.I think you can find knowledge and good in the teachings of Jesus and Buddha and Dr. Seuss as well as Aesop's Fables. Be good. I choose my own made up beliefs based on Kant's utilitarianism.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

Marion: "There is a big difference between accepting the notion that something greater than ourselves created all this and being part of an organised religion."People seem more preoccupied with defending or refuting the existence of God that the more pertinent questions of what God might be or might mean seem to go unaddressed. What is it exactly that you are talking about when you say "God?" Some major dude in the sky? or beyond the sky? or between the sky? Something so nebulous that it defies definition? Or simply "Good" with concentric "o"s? Does God exist or not? Gotta define your terms to even begin to approach that call.

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 8 months ago

There is a big difference between accepting the notion that something greater than ourselves created all this and being part of an organised religion.

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mr_economy 5 years, 8 months ago

Labmonkey, what happens when someday your medical needs conflict with the religious 'beliefs' of your doctor? Will you feel safe in her/his hands knowing that 2000-year old dogma is outweighing scientific reality to your detriment?Religion should be completely divorced from medicine as far as the doctor/patient relationship is concerned.

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gccs14r 5 years, 8 months ago

I want my physician to rely on his skill, not his deity, in performing his duties. The idea of a prayer circle before surgery scares me.

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labmonkey 5 years, 8 months ago

I do want my doctor to have a belief and feel accountable to a higher power. To me they are more likely to hold up their hypocratic oath than an atheist. Yes, I do believe that a doctor's personal beliefs effect their job. cds says: Thats the thing, the sensible christians ones may count for the majority, but the other 20% are the loud vocal ones that push the sensible ones to believe what the 20% want, and the 90% of the sensible ones are too sheepish to disagree with the loud 20% who use fear tactics instead of facts to get what they want.Good point TGR about the 110%. cds, it isnt that the majority is sheepish, it is just that other things preoccupy their lives besides religion and they really don't want every dicussion to turn into religion which is what happens when you talk to someone in the 20%. Even though most of my beliefs are just slightly right of center, I have been told that I will go to hell basically because I am not conservative enough or that my thinking is crazy because I am not far right enough. You basically just want to avoid conversations with these types of people.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

cds: "Thats the thing, the sensible christians ones may count for the majority, but the other 20% are the loud vocal ones that push the sensible ones to believe what the 20% want, and the 90% of the sensible ones are too sheepish to disagree with the loud 20% who use fear tactics instead of facts to get what they want."Looks like the Christians are giving 110%!

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cds 5 years, 8 months ago

ms_canada (Anonymous) says: FYI - most sensible "christists" don't hate aethists or muslims or wiccans, for that matter.__Thats the thing, the sensible christians ones may count for the majority, but the other 20% are the loud vocal ones that push the sensible ones to believe what the 20% want, and the 90% of the sensible ones are too sheepish to disagree with the loud 20% who use fear tactics instead of facts to get what they want.

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cds 5 years, 8 months ago

Quigly (Anonymous) says: Church of the Fonze. Cause it's cool__I tried the Church of the Fonze, but Peter farted in my face and went aaayyyyyyee with his thumbs held high, then laughed, so I left. Now I'm agnostic

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boogeyman 5 years, 8 months ago

I'll always be there too Snap

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Flap Doodle 5 years, 8 months ago

The scary clown under the bed and the giant lizard in the closest RPS'd to see who would get me. The lizard won.

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gccs14r 5 years, 8 months ago

The burden of proof is on the believers. It's not possible, nor is it necessary, to prove a negative. A believer might as well be arguing for the existence of faeries, leprechauns, or The Great Pumpkin. In the absence of empirical evidence, I'll not be joining in their fantasy.

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George_Braziller 5 years, 8 months ago

I never chose a religion. I was raised Methodist, but even as a child I remember thinking " Huh? none of this makes any sense." I went through the motions of going to Sunday school because I had to. After grade school I said "done" I don't believe in any of it. Now the only time I set foot into a church, temple, shrine, or mosque is to attend a wedding or funeral.

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you_ignorant_sick_animals 5 years, 8 months ago

well this question along with all of these comments pretty much sum up Lawrence Kansas's problems.......................... geeezzuuusss

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autie 5 years, 8 months ago

born and raised Episcopalian. Then connected the dots and gave up organized religion. I go fishing instead. Or paint the kitchen again.BTW, did you all hear about the wiccan chick that stuck a sword in her foot celebrating her good luck?

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OTSSweeper 5 years, 8 months ago

What a stupid religion... people blowing themselves up for nothing. I wish there really was an afterlife so those bozos could realize how screwed up their religion is.

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Damian666 5 years, 8 months ago

News Flash: There are no more virgins left in Heaven!!!

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ms_canada 5 years, 8 months ago

FYI - most sensible "christists" don't hate aethists or muslims or wiccans, for that matter. As an avowed christist, I have studies all three of this above beliefs as some on this board can atest to.Every single person on the face of this earth believes something. And non belief in a Diety is still a belief. I was raised in a Catholic household and at the age of 24 broke from that institution. Eventually I became a Christ believer. Okay, hold on now, how does that differ from Catholicism? I never found a personal relationshiip with Jesus Christ taught in th RC church. That is what I have now. A personal relationship with Christ as my Saviour. He is the One in whom I put my complete trust. Trust for what you may well ask. My entrance into eternal life with Him when I shake this mortal coil. Through Him I also have the guidance of His Holy Spirit. And that is all I need. End of sermon. You can let it in one ear and out the other if you so choose.

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Damian666 5 years, 8 months ago

The price for souls has dropped lately too.

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JJE007 5 years, 8 months ago

It was a piece of cake!I chose them ALL!Of course, I found that wouldn't work.It would require suicide just a tiny bit too healthy for that.So...I had to just brace up and go the agnostic route.It's a tough life. I don't believe...it's worth it!~)

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spiderman 5 years, 8 months ago

the one that i was baptized into....in my case.

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Quigly 5 years, 8 months ago

Church of the Fonze. Cause it's cool

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

yourbestwetdream: "The theistic and atheistic conclusions are logically equivalent."yourworstnightmare: "Maybe so, in an abstract, theoretical sense."No. In a very simple sense.Each draws an absolute conclusion from ( too ) limited information.And, regarding the religious perspective ( someone will have to help me out here ), a thoughtful man once observed: "Is the existence of God any less conceivable than your own existence?"If you reply with the mind-jerk reply, "Yes, it is less conceivable," then perhaps you simply have too limited a concept of God... and/or of yourself. As usual, I'm working from a weak trace.Seems it was one of those "A" guys... Augustine? Aquinas?( Geez... what has happened to Catholicism in modern times? )

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yourworstnightmare 5 years, 8 months ago

"The theistic and atheistic conclusions are logically equivalent."Maybe so, in an abstract, theoretical sense.I do not believe anything that cannot be supported by data, observations, or scientific testing. There is absolutely no empirical data for the existence of a god in the sense that most world religions claim.Therefore, theists assume something for which there is no evidence and atheists tend to go with the facts. I will always go with the latter. The former is mere fairy-tale worship.

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i_tching 5 years, 8 months ago

If you'd rather stay sick than consult a reality-based physician atheist, then perhaps you are stupid. There's no medical nor surgical treatment for that.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

yourworstnightmare: "... The only group hated more by christists than muslims is atheists. You are of course correct, however."The theistic and atheistic conclusions are logically equivalent.Go ask Agnostick.

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yourworstnightmare 5 years, 8 months ago

Dr. Morse, you can expect your practice to suffer.The only group hated more by christists than muslims is atheists.You are of course correct, however.

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Das_Ubermime 5 years, 8 months ago

"Frisco Morse ... is a physician. I hope I never end up in his care."I'm sure most lab monkeys hope to never end up in the care of a physician. Medical experiments are the worst!

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Agnostick 5 years, 8 months ago

75x55... everyone dines in a cafeteria, at one point or another.Some folks are just more honest with themselves (and others) about the experience. ;)Agnostickagnostick@excite.comhttp://www.beliefnet.com/http://www.buddhanet.net/

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amart84 5 years, 8 months ago

Like being an atheist will really have an effect on the way a physician performs his job. What an idiotic comment!

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 8 months ago

tangential_reasoners_anonymous (Anonymous) says: Marion: "I drove to a crossroads under a full moon, spun an empty beer bottle and when it came to rest, travelled down the road to which it pointed!"So, the bottle rolled into a ravine?,;-D"Marion writes:No, that came later as the first road didn't work out, so I had to empty each bottle in the case and spin those also and of course I couldn't just dump them out on the ground................

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labmonkey 5 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

Marion: "I drove to a crossroads under a full moon, spun an empty beer bottle and when it came to rest, travelled down the road to which it pointed!"So, the bottle rolled into a ravine?,;-D

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tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 8 months ago

Follow?Wouldn't that be putting the cart before the horse?

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 8 months ago

I drove to a crossroads under a full moon, spun an empty beer bottle and when it came to rest, travelled down the road to which it pointed!

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nobody1793 5 years, 8 months ago

I usually put the fate of my eternal soul on who leaves the best pamphlet on my doorknob...

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75x55 5 years, 8 months ago

I don't dine at cafeterias.Actually, my 'religion' chose me.

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Das_Ubermime 5 years, 8 months ago

A dartboard. Once a week I throw a dart to find out what I believe for the week.

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trinity 5 years, 8 months ago

from ljw posters who recommended the flying spaghetti monster. ;)first religion in my life i was born in to; the second, i chose myself; now, i just try to pray often and live according to basic principles. organized religion is absolutely fine for some folks, however i just can't seem to "belong". and i'm good with that.

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