Religion makes me uncomfortable

Ever since I was a child I never felt comfortable with being religious. I was raised by Catholic influences.

I never felt comfortable because the questions I have made out to be agnostic or an atheist. These questions include:

Is this God real?
Where did this God come from?
Is the bible used as a ploy to get people to believe?
How did this God create fully mature humans (Adam and Eve) when we evolved from primates?

Don't even get me started with praying at a church! I always feel uncomfortable listening to a bunch of people sound like mind controlled, hypnotized zombies. I pretend to pray inside my head, when really, I would want to get out of there. I mean I would refuse to get married in a church if praying was involved! I understand that others do believe, I'm just not for it.

Everyone in my family is religious and I feel excluded during family gatherings. I'm the only one in my family who truly isn't religious. Instead I turn to witchcraft since I feel really connected to the earth. I feel the effects of each moon cycle and feel euphoria on nature walks. I'm collecting gemstones, candles, salts, and sage.

Is It Normal?
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  • Its all a bunch of shit.

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  • It seems that people's repulsion to Christianity depends on which denomination they were raised in.

    By far Catholicism produces the most hate-filled anti-religious types. You just don't see that with most Protestants.

    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Catholicism is so far off from true Christianity (joy, freedom, guided by spirit and not ritual, etc).

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    • My first exposure to religion was a couple of Jehovah Witness women who visited my mother every week to work through the cult's basic indoctrination book. (To be fair to my mother, I'm sure she only kept this up for as long as she did because she was desperate for a little adult company.)

      When I was about to go into seventh grade, my wingnut parents (who were alt-right before that title existed) decided that rather than inflict the horrors of public school junior high on me, they'd join the Seventh Day Adventists and stick me and my younger siblings into an SDA school.

      The three years I spent in that truly crap school, going to church every Saturday and attending camp meetings every summer were a significant factor in me coming to realise at a pretty young age that all religions are nonsensical and primarily about egotistical people exerting power over sad, lonely, fearful people.

      The only things positive I ever got out of my association with the SDA church is that at one memorable camp meeting, I got drunk for the first time, smoked pot for the first time and _almost_ had sex for the first time.

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      • I remember hearing about Sunday school and my knee-jerk thought was, "Glad I don't go to that, it would just be one more grade for my dad to bitch about how I should be doing better".

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    • Used to be a lutheran. But those motherfuckers turned to the far left when they proclaimed Jesus was non binary and god was a female (I'm fine with God being labeled as genderless because he is fucking God but I'm sure its disrespectful to call him "it" rather than just God the father)

      The ELCA (evangelical Luthreran church of America) are losing a shit ton of their conservative congregation by doing this.

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  • My father was Jewish, my mother is Pagan, and my fiancée is Buddhist, so I’ve had the privilege of getting to experience a lot of different forms of religion in my life lol.

    Most Abrahamic religions (Christianity/Judaism/Islam) really can be summed up as death cults. It’s a religion centered around death and dying, yet the (western) followers seem to be some of the most afraid to die out of all people on earth.

    I’ve found some Christians use prayer as sort of a way to set the tone for their intentions, like a mantra or self-help therapeutic activity with more spiritualism involved.

    Also some questions you can answer only if you want to; Which path are you going down? Left or right hand? Are you incorporating western Esotericism and occult community? Where does “Spirit” play a role in your craft?

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    • I remember leaving a devout Catholic somewhat befuddled once.

      Pope John Paul II was scheduled to visit some country (it might have been Yugoslavia), but some sort of disturbance kicked-off there. There were concerns it might turn violent and spread to the area JP was due to visit, so it was announced that the trip was cancelled because of concerns for the Pope's safety.

      This seemed very odd to me. It wasn't like John Paul would have been landing in the middle of a war zone and there was a real chance he'd have to dive for cover off the steps of his airplane. And clearly, if any area of the world needed some spiritual guidance and a nudge towards solving problems in a peaceful way, it was the country he was supposed to visit.

      So the only possible logical conclusion was that while the Pope and the church he led kept everyone that this life is not all there is and the death of the body is not The End, the man himself was clearly frightened of dying. I wouldn't have questioned a non-religious person deciding not to visit the country, but it was pretty clear that the Pope lacked the courage of his convictions, and that calls into question everything he and his church preached.

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      • Yeah I mean if there were a heaven, wouldn't the Pope be first in line? In such a case, someone should not fear death in the least.

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      • "but it was pretty clear that the Pope lacked the courage of his convictions, and that calls into question everything he and his church preached." Dude, this is a really good point. I had no idea he did that, but if you rise to be pope then you've got to be willing to die for your faith.

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    • That's a full house right there XD

      Tho I wouldn't agree with you that religions are death cults. Isn't the whole idea of these religions to comfort you that there IS something after you die... Afterlife, rebirth, alternate timeline... If you are good, you get a good afterlife. If you are bad, you rot in hell.

      My mom is Christian and she loves to believe that all of us will be reunited in heaven when we die.
      My dad and me, we think it's a nice concept and I would love to be reunited with my parents after my death in some utopian wonderland, but I also accept the possibility that when we die everything ends. I just cease to be and that's it.

      The only parts of me that remain after my death are memories of those that still remember me.

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      • Oh yeah it was lmao, we celebrated Christian holidays cause it was just the most popular 😂

        And I guess so, though Buddhism and some other spiritualisms are more life-based and I think those are the ones I find to be the most healthy.

        Heaven and Hell definitely sound like a good idea though, I certainly hope bastards get punished somehow! I just feel that those who believe in Hell are less likely to take matters into their own hands, but some people who rely on karma do the same thing too.

        I’m not solid on what I believe, but I know I hope that I get reincarnated. Paradise doesn’t seem like my style, and I would stress WAY too much if I had to watch all my loved ones go through life from up above

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    • You make me feel sad.

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      • Why? What did I say that upset you?

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        • "Most Abrahamic religions (Christianity/Judaism/Islam) really can be summed up as death cults. It’s a religion centered around death and dying, yet the (western) followers seem to be some of the most afraid to die out of all people on earth." It saddens me so much that someone can misunderstand our beliefs so thoroughly.

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          • Hm. I guess what I mean is Christians seem to be more obsessed with death than most other religions. They seem to base the whole religion around heaven and hell and sin, which only matter after you’re dead.

            I guess I’ve always preferred a more grounded religion, one that doesn’t just go “Oh well, atleast it will be nice when you’re dead”

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            • The main focus of Christianity is not about death. It's about a relationship with God. Death is an important part of it, but you're kind of taking it out of context.

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          • Yeah, I'm not any of those religions, and even I understand they're clearly not a death cult. The Jews don't even have a canonical heaven, and I would be astounded if even 5% of the bible talks about heaven/ the afterlife.

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    • I feel like Abrahamic religions are driven by money through the exploitation of fear of the unknown.

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  • It's fine if you dont feel comfortable with worshiping any god or religion. But moving on to Crystal's and rocks are kinda moving back in time religiously. Heck most of the bible can be taken as a metaphor, not literary.

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  • My oh my. With a critical thinking and skepticism it's plain to see, once one pulls back the curtain (learn history) and blind(faith)folds -- all religions sprang from imagination and magical thinking in barbaric and completely superstitious times.

    Not saying some good can't come from some aspects of spirituality, but organized religion serves only to control. And how 'good' can it truly be to brainwash children and indoctrinate masses, with NONSENSICAL THINKING? This does nothing to educate a populace in preparation for reasonably navigating the world today. Unlike the maths and sciences, religion's applications are less useful and creepily cultish to boot. That is why the world is full of ignorant (often willful) zombies willing to hate (non-believers) and fight (sometimes to the death) over beliefs many haven't even fully examined, all in order to avoid admitting they are bamboozled by mindless tradition.

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  • i despise religobabble

    'sacrament this holy trinity that bla bla bla'....on & on & on with a buncha abstract arbitrary stuff that all build this wall of lore that seems to make perfect sense to the indoctrinated but leaves me thinkin its a buncha made up bullshit preyin on peoples feara the unknown while grabbin power & cash

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  • You have very valid questions. I also had some of the same questions many years ago. At the same time, there were a number of statements about things the bible actually said that most religions deliberate misstated (which is leading to some of your questions).

    I finally decided to study the bible and those issues; and found about half were clearly true (Geniuses actually says "In the beginning - the gods created heaven and earth") and the old testament uses the plural "gods" many many times; and modern printings of the bible change virtually all of those to singular (The unabridged "hard sided" "The New Jerusalem Bible" actually identifies all the plurals and has extensive footnotes on them a variety of other things).

    Many other "Christian Scholars" claim that they believe that the plurals were just occasional transcriber mistakes, and it re-translating them as singular corrects the mistake.

    I personally found that all but one case that the sentence and paragraph made total sense with the plural "gods." Also, that the overall story presented of multiple gods doing things was consistent (and that Yahwey was just one of those gods). So, is it that there are hundreds of consistent transcriber errors occurred on just this word, or only one?

    Older versions of The Catholic Encyclopedia explicitly state that the reason that these plurals of "gods" are all translated to modern English as a singular "god" was for the "religious significance." Duh... now isn't that nice. "We chose how to translate a word to form a specific religious concept." Wonderful... And now you know why they have all been translated in almost all modern printings as the singular word "god."

    Another piece of evidence: Judaism is clearly not monotheistic. It and the old testament clearly acknowledge the existence of other gods. However, Yahweh and Abraham chose each other - and Yahweh would be the god of Abraham and his children. His children (and descendants) became the Jewish people.

    Judaism is the religion most of those children and decedents chose, and others have joined - which emphasizes that only Yahweh is their personal god (and the others don't count). Thus Judaism has elements of monotheism; but, still admits those other gods exist (or existed) for other people.

    How Christianity somehow became purely monotheistic out of that is one of the great mysteries of life...

    I could mention many other things... but, in the end after many books including textbooks used in seminaries; I eventually accepted that there is a god in this world. Now, in the end I found that while hiking in the woods and though open prairie field on a sunny day by contemplating the world. I can offer no definitive proof one way or the other. But, I seriously studied the question for about 2 years and was looking for the answer.

    At the same time... I have no idea about much of what the modern Christian Church teaches and how it acts (other than concentrating power and wealth in its leaders, which is not something I believe that Christ would believe in). There are common themes about caring for others, being honest and acting decently, etc. throughout both the Old and New Testament (and many other religious texts I have read from other religions). In fact; if you take what is considered the Christian "10 Commandments", and remove exactly who (or what) is worshiped and the day of rest and contemplation (the Sabbath), you will find all the others virtually repeated word for word (and certainly concept for concept) in every other major religion in the world.

    We have a lot more in common than many expect.

    I wish you well with your journey to figure it out... I found the journey to be very enlightening about the world - and give me great hope for the future..

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  • God is real. Stop being a fag and start believing in the bible, or I see an indefinite stay at the hotel hell in your future. God's message is simple and clear. Turn or burn!

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  • Religion is just another form of entertainment. No different than music or TV or whatever lifestyle.

    The only problem is when people use it as an excuse to act stuck up or like pricks.
    Like when you are around someone's grandfather who is right wing conservative fundamentalist christian. Like oh boy, we better clinch our asses extra tight when his old judgemental ass is around.

    BTW, how come most people don't see to get holy and righteous until they are close to the end of their lives?

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  • The standard-brand religions, whether Jewish, Christian, Mohammedan, Hindu, or Buddhist, are, (as now practiced) like exhausted mines: very hard to dig. With some exceptions not too easily found, their ideas about man and the world, their imagery, their rites, and their notions of the good life don't seem to fit in with the universe as we now know it, or with a human world that is changing so rapidly that much of what one learns in school is already obsolete on graduation day.

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  • A possible answer to one of you questions on evolution.

    If you follow the religious texts of many religions around the world... the formation of the world and peopling of it took time.

    Who says that whatever god, or gods, is or are... that they did not use evolution as a way of creating mankind.

    Please don't fall for the concept that the modern translation and use of the word "day" necessarily meant "24 hours"... Most seminary books that I have reviewed it present it "day" as a period of time. In the days of old... kind of interpretation. So, who says the biblical "day" was not a million of our current years - or perhaps closer to a billion. Who knows...

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  • Most people have an innate desire to believe that they're part of something much bigger and much more significant that just a self-aware, squishy bag of biochemical reactions that happened to come into existence due to the random genes in an ovum and a sperm joining and producing a viable embryo. And lots of people never really grow up in the sense that they always find it comforting to believe that there's an invisible, wise father-figure hovering somewhere who takes a personal interest in their well-being, nods approvingly when they do something good and frowns and shakes his finger at them when they're naughty.

    Many people find it easiest to just accept whatever brand of religion their parents believe to be true, but the fact that there are something like 10,000 distinct religions in the world makes it pretty clear that the religion you grow up being told is The Truth is almost as random as the combination of genes you inherit from your parents.

    There are not 10,000 different explanations for how gravity, electricity or chemical reactions work, and there are not countless different versions of the Periodic Table. The rules for those things are universal and were set at the moment of the Big Bang, but all religions are human inventions and the priorities and values of cultures have varied greatly during human history.

    Religious beliefs are nothing more than a matter of opinion and traditions that gain in perceived value due to the passage of time. Some religions are more socially positive in that they allow societies to work in a way that means individuals can enjoy their lives as much as possible, maximise their potential and care for their fellow human beings. Some are socially evil because of how they restrict and oppress individuals, very often in a way that results in the leaders of the religion gaining some worldly benefit or a psychological pay-off.

    I firmly believe that everyone should have the right to hold whatever religious beliefs they choose so long as those beliefs down't infringe on anyone else's basic human rights and as long as they don't lead the believer into surrendering their freedom to someone else or physically or emotionally harming themselves.

    As far as I'm concerned, Wicca is just another religion, and it's pretty much benign. Like all religions, it has a fair amount of BS attached. In particular, Wicca is a much more recent invention than is usually claimed, and some of the claimed roots of the religion have been refuted by researchers.

    While I don't accept that the things which you believe to have some mystical power actually do, the human mind is a weird place, and if you get something positive from messing around with them and from performing rituals, then there's no harm in that. Connecting to nature and the passage of the months and the seasons is definitely a positive thing in a world where there are so many pressures and temptations to distance ourselves from the reality surrounding us.

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  • "I'm the only one in my family who truly isn't religious. Instead I turn to witchcraft..."

    You're religious.

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    • No, I'm more of a spiritual person who doesn't follow religious rules.

      You see, Religion is a belief of a higher being, but there's a massive set of rules attached to it. Like going to church on Sundays, and not following the 10 commandments made you a sinner.

      Spirituality on the other hand; is a desire to awaken a higher, more deeply connected state of consciousness within ourselves. However, unlike religious beliefs, there's barely any rules to follow. It's not as strict as following Christianity for example. You're allowed to make mistakes without thinking you're a sinner. Providing it's not anything like murder, or anything really harmful.

      In terms of witchcraft: I am aware that there are rules, if anything these rules are useful to awaken my higher up state of consciousness. Besides, I already have the ability to manifest things in my everyday life. Plus this happened before I even knew what witchcraft is.

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      • What you're talking about is accepting only personal spiritual knowledge and rejecting the authority of any group of (usually) men to sanction certain texts as containing spiritual truths, interpret those texts in a particular way, derive rules for life from the texts and their interpretations, and judge your compliance with those rules.

        In the first century AD, there were a number of Christian and Jewish sects who came to be called Gnostics and their approach to spirituality was in line with yours. Of course, those who manage to claw and politic their way to the top of any religious hierarchy are primarily interested in exerting control over people, and permitting people to figure stuff out for themselves means they lose that power. So in the second century AD, Gnosticism was declared heretical, Gnostic teachers were repressed and the vast majority of Gnostic writings were destroyed.

        Those - such as your family, it seems - who feel a deep need for spiritual certainties in their lives and lack the confidence and imagination to figure these out for themselves are never going to be comfortable with those who seek their own path. Many people become extremely uncomfortable and defensive when anyone challenges things which they accept unquestioningly and beliefs which giving meaning to their lives.

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  • Im by no means a Christian but I have huge doubts about the big bang theory, and how we evolved from fish or whatever. Just seems silly. Scientists like to play smarter than they are. They throw numbers around with no shame like "420 million years ago a squid turned into a fish" like how do you know it wasnt 300 million years? That specific number reeks of bullshit. Theyre guessing they have no idea.

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    • I'm sure no reputable scientist would declare, "On Tuesday, 6 March 420,000,000 BCE, an egg laid by a squid hatched out as a fish."

      That's not only because fish seem to have been around for at least 480 million years, while squid appeared roughly 100 million years ago, but also because that's not how evolution works. What's more, there's always a margin of error in palaeontology because our current understanding is based on a very incomplete fossil record. The margin of error increases the further back in time you go, since the fossils become rarer and rarer because geological processes tend to grind them up or bury them deeper.

      Fossils are not dated by guesswork, but by a huge amount of data that has been collected over the last two centuries and forms a coherent whole which allows geologists to date rock strata and by an ever-increasing library of fossils which show stages in the gradual change of organisms from one form to another in response to environmental influences.

      What your comment highlights is a fundamental difference between science and religion. Religion is about being handed the truth on a plate where everything you need to know is neatly laid out and all you need to do is believe. Science is about looking at a messy world and searching for truths in the apparent chaos, but knowing that whatever truth you might find could be only partly correct and it might eventually become just a tiny part of a much larger and much more complex picture.

      Most people are much more comfortable with certainties, particularly when it involves something that's totally irrelevant to their day to day life. I mean, who really gives a damn when the first distinct ancestor of the trout they're eating appeared in some ancient lake? But something being simple and easily understood does not mean it must be correct, and assuming that those who have studied a specialist subject for decades are only guessing and bullshitting is - to express it as politely as I can - naïve.

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    • If you understood even the basics of earth science, your disbelief would be replaced with awe. The Internet is full of FREE educational materials. Anyone with access can learn the basics and more on innumerable subjects. Ignorance is a choice.

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  • If you believe and are wrong.. you've lived a good life treated people the way you would have liked to be treated and asked a higher being for forgiveness when you did something you thought was wrong. You're now dead and there is nothing. However if you decide not to believe and you're wrong, well let's just say you better be right...

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  • Technically you're not uncomfortable with religion, because Wicca is a religion, or religious practice, but it's not a big organized religion like Christianity.

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    • Maybe I'm not going for a Wiccan vibe?

      There are many other different types of witchcraft. I'm still learning about them. I just know I feel connected to gems, essential oils, the elements, spell books, the look, and the witchcraft culture in general.

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  • Normal. Organized religion can often come across as stilted, stale and creepy.

    I think that in a perfect world everyone would be able to pull a Buddha and set aside several weeks to just sit somewhere and think until they create their own belief system from scratch. Otherwise, choosing among existing spiritualities feels like deciding whether you want to be a bot, a snowflake, or both.

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  • If you question if God is real or where he came from, you just have to believe. There is no findable answer to those questions. You cannot prove he is, yet you cannot prove he isn't. You cannot prove the Bible is; you cannot prove the Bible isn't. You cannot prove we evolved from primates, either. I have thought of what it would be like if Christianity weren't true, and my first thought is death. It's better to believe and go to Heaven than not believe and go to Hell.

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    • You can easily prove that the Bible is an amazingly accurate history book about a certain area of the mid-east.

      No archeologist who works in that area of the world discounts it; and many carry a copy when exploring new areas as has so often archeologist have found places or evidence of events that turned out to be places or events described in the bible.

      Now you cannot prove or disprove the "religious" portions of the Bible. However, what other civilization has written so much of their past failures and faults. To the best of my knowledge; the Judaeo history in the Old Testament/Torah is unique in the world in this respect.

      With that and the proven archeological accuracy... It raises a point that its not so easy to dismiss the concept that the religious portion might have some truth behind it as well...

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    • I believe in my convictions, not some written material purported to be 'The Word Of God'. Because whatever force/energy/entity/superbeing from whence all creation, everything in the universe, (and maybe beyond), sprung from is surely part of, if not all me and all of creation.

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    • "You cannot prove the Bible is; you cannot prove the Bible isn't." I know several people into apologetics that would disagree with you on that.

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      • They are wasting their time trying to prove things that don't matter to people who don't care. Proving or disproving the Bible will not help either side, whether possible or not.

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