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Religion and Spirituality 
1st-Feb-2012 09:39 am
KungFu Pope


Poll #1815792 Spirituality

When it comes to spirituality and religion, how would you best describe yourself?

I am spiritual and religious
11(15.7%)
I am spiritual but not religious
20(28.6%)
I am religious but not spiritual
0(0.0%)
I am neither spiritual nor religious
34(48.6%)
None of these really describe me (if so, please comment and explain if you're comfortable doing so)
5(7.1%)

Do you believe in a Higher Power (however you define that term)?

Yes
26(36.6%)
I don't have a firm belief in such a power, but I acknowledge that such a power might exist
19(26.8%)
No
22(31.0%)
Something else (please tell us what in a comment, if you feel comfortable doing so)
4(5.6%)

What do you think happens when we die?

I don't have any idea or notion
15(21.7%)
I think we go to a heaven or hell or some other place
7(10.1%)
I think we are reincarnated
2(2.9%)
I'm not exactly sure, but I think death is a transition, not a termination
18(26.1%)
Nothing. That's it, that's all, end of story.
19(27.5%)
Something else (what?)
8(11.6%)

Do you practice any form of prayer?

Yes, regularly
11(15.7%)
Sometimes
10(14.3%)
Only if I'm in a tight spot
7(10.0%)
No, but I use some other spiritual practice
6(8.6%)
No, I think it's all a bunch of bullshit
21(30.0%)
No for some other reason
11(15.7%)
Something else (what?)
4(5.7%)

Which of these statements most closely describes your situation?

I was raised in a religious home and I practice the same religion
6(8.7%)
I was raised in a religious home and I practice a different religion
2(2.9%)
I was raised in a religious home and I have spiritual beliefs, but don't practice any religion
12(17.4%)
I was raised in a religious home, but have no spiritual beliefs and don't practice any religion
14(20.3%)
I was not raised in a religious home but I practice a particular religion
6(8.7%)
I was not raised in a religious home and I don't practice any religion, but I have spiritual beliefs
11(15.9%)
I was not raised in a religious home and I don't have any spiritual beliefs, nor do I practice any religion
12(17.4%)
Something else (what?)
6(8.7%)

If you do not practice any religion, which of these statements apply to you?

None of these, I practice a religion.
11(8.2%)
I reject religion because members of most religions don't follow their religion's teachings in their daily lives
14(10.4%)
I reject religions because I see the leaders of that religion living immoral lives
13(9.7%)
I reject religions because they support principles that I don't believe in such as homophobia, rejection of a woman's right to choose etc.
32(23.9%)
I reject religions because they're more about making money than about helping people
17(12.7%)
I just haven't found a religion that I feel comfortable with
15(11.2%)
I reject religion for some other reason (please tell us what if you feel comfortable doing so)
32(23.9%)
Comments 
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
1st-Feb-2012 07:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I posted (but not cross-posted) this same poll in my personal journal, so please forgive the duplication.
1st-Feb-2012 05:51 pm (UTC)
Full disclosure: I consider myself an agnostic atheist, more towards the atheist side of things.

Something else, #5: I was loosely raised Catholic but never really bought into it. My parents were not devout nor strict and service was always optional.

Some other reason, #6: I find this sums it up pretty well for me:



Edited at 2012-02-01 05:52 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
1st-Feb-2012 06:07 pm (UTC)
I reject religion because of homophobia and other things, but I couldn't check that option because it makes the assumption that I am against homophobia AND am pro-choice, which is not the case. I know it says "such as" but I just wasn't comfortable checking that option because I am pro-life.

I wasn't raised in a religious home, but my mom believes in the principles of Christianity and Buddhism. She's pretty homophobic, sadly.

I hope that there is an after life and that there is a higher power, but I'm not really sure.
1st-Feb-2012 06:07 pm (UTC) - This was a great poll :)
2. I am quite firmly a strong agnostic -- that is, I believe it is impossible for us to know for certain whether or not $deity exists. That being said, I personally lean towards a noninterventionist, nonanthropomorphic pantheism.

3. I believe one's own expectations strongly influence what happens to a spirit when the body dies. Personally I like to imagine a paradise that is a great library, where all the materials (books, music, movies, games, magazines, newspapers, etc.) that ever were and will be created are available for all to use freely, with an unlimited number of copies and everything in its right place always and any and all equipment necessary to enjoy said media available in pristine condition with no compatibility issues and free wireless of perfect strength that never sputters out and comfortable chairs and couches and good lighting and little spots where you can get drinks and snacks that always miraculously clean up after themselves and big beautiful picture windows offering a view of the gorgeous natural landscapes outside, of every sort you can possibly imagine, with verandahs you can sit on also and little barely-there trails into them.

4. Funny thing about this question is one of my go-to "prayer" songs just came on shuffle, heh. On occasion, when the weather permits or my mood just can't stand being cooped up indoors anymore, I'll put on a climate-appropriate playlist and go for a walk in an area where nature is relatively prominent. I'll just let my thoughts go and marvel at how magnificent and immense and carefully balanced the universe is, and what an insignificant role I play in that all... but even so I am still part of it.

6. I reject organized religion because, although I understand many people find great solace in that sense of community, I personally feel one must honestly grapple with those big theoretical questions on one's own before coming to something they accept. I see many people practicing religion who make a very pick-and-choose game of the single faith they profess to be, or whose religious leaders make proclamations that go against some of their faith's early core tenets and push an agenda at the expense of fostering peace and prosperity and goodwill among people.

Edited at 2012-02-01 06:10 pm (UTC)
1st-Feb-2012 06:10 pm (UTC)
i am a Christian, and I have given this a ton of thought be fore i became one. I did practice paganism at one point. I'm not stateing this to get into a debate or draw comments about my belifes, you asked. if any of you want to know how I came to belive, ask me we can talk.
1st-Feb-2012 06:13 pm (UTC)
oh, I am not Homophobic, Christian and homophobic are not synomous.
1st-Feb-2012 06:39 pm (UTC)
Yes, precisely. As a former Christian myself, in a committed relationship with a gay Catholic, can I just say I hate when people make that assumption? Let's not have that thing where people conflate the loud lunatic fringe with the vastly more moderate whole, please.
1st-Feb-2012 07:56 pm (UTC)
I agree that the two terms are not synonamous nor compatible, yet it's amazing how many people who identify themselves as Christian that believe that they are. On the subject of homosexuality, some of these people say "hate the sin, love the sinner." I have read the four gospels and am unable to find anything that Christ said which would define homosexuality as a "sin".
1st-Feb-2012 06:48 pm (UTC)
I am Catholic, but not homophobic. I was taught that we do not judge others; that their life is between them and God. I have gay friends and gay family members and love everyone the same. I am teaching my daughter to be the same way.

1st-Feb-2012 07:59 pm (UTC)
I was raised Catholic and like you, I believe that Christianity does not condemn homosexuality, yet it's amazing how many people who identify themselves as Christian that believe otherwise, including some members of my very Catholic family. On the subject of homosexuality, some of these people say "hate the sin, love the sinner." I have read the four gospels and am unable to find anything that Christ said which would define homosexuality as a "sin".
1st-Feb-2012 07:10 pm (UTC)
This was a tough poll for me because I do not consider myself religious, nor was I really brought up in a religious manner, yet my religion is tied to my ethnicity, and this is something that I do consider party of my daily life. So, yes, I say prayers, but they are out of a tradition moreso than a belief. We celebrate holidays because it ties my children to their ancestors, but not because I think there is a God that is telling me to do so. Complicated issue. :)
1st-Feb-2012 07:48 pm (UTC)
In my family, belief in God ties in to amazement with the world around us -- the beauty of the forest, the kindness of human beings. My mother was the original proponent of religion, but nowadays my father has usurped her. Not because she's less religious, but he's become more religious, and is trying to force his daughters back into it with passive-aggressive tactics ("Aren't you going to go to church?" "Awfully quiet prayers at this table.") It makes me feel genuinely uncomfortable, especially because I've spent much of the last year realizing that I'm some kind of deist/agnostic mix.

I believe in something out there, because of that aforementioned "being amazed that existence exists" thing, but I don't believe that any belief system could ever possibly explain the nature of the universe. My god, such as it is, is more of the "clockwork universe" god, and that the way to practice any sort of faith is through caring for our fellow creatures, humans and animals alike, and caring for the Earth.
1st-Feb-2012 09:46 pm (UTC)
When it comes to spirituality and religion, how would you best describe yourself?
I am a Christian, in that I believe Jesus Christ died on the cross, I will go to heaven when I die, etc. I do not consider myself either spiritual or religious though. I don't pray, read my Bible or do much of the stuff you'd expect a Christian to do besides attend church. And when I'm there I'll typically be helping with child minding instead of listening to the sermon.
1st-Feb-2012 09:48 pm (UTC)
I identfy as agnostic, but I lean towards theism rather than atheism. I find it impossible to say whether there's a higher power or not, but I do tend to lean towards theism a bit if only because I want there to be an afterlife (so long as said afterlife is a big family reunion).

I was raised Catholic (my mom goes to mass weekly) but there are certain things I cannot agree with (homophobia, the role of women, women's rights, the use of animals...) and that started me down this path.

Edited at 2012-02-01 10:00 pm (UTC)
1st-Feb-2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
What a delightful poll! <3

I don't practice any form of prayer, but i just can't bring myself to call it a bunch of BS. My parents pray and it obviously does something for them. To me it's all confirmation bias and placebo effect, but it works for them! If i don't pray, it's just because it's not for me.

In my life i've been baptised Catholic and raised in an evangelical, fundamentalist Christian home, i've broken away from it and been a practicing Pagan, a practicing Satanist, and an outspoken atheist. I've studied Mormonism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto, and scientific philosophy. If it's all taught me anything, it's that it's a foolish endeavour to ascribe a person's immorality, hypocrisy, bigotry, or greed to his or her faith. People from all faiths do them: Frankly, those things come from being human. I don't reject religion for any of those reasons.

I reject religion because i lack the faith. I simply do not believe.
1st-Feb-2012 11:18 pm (UTC)
I reject religion because I do not believe what they are preaching. All of the other reasons would put a weight on which religions I like more, but are not important for the whole believing bit.
1st-Feb-2012 11:50 pm (UTC)
For this one, "Which of these statements most closely describes your situation?" I picked "something else" because I was born into a home with a Muslim dad and former-Catholic mom who was searching for a new religion until I was around 4. I remember we used to visit the Hare Krishna house every Sunday, and other religious places of worship. Anyway, my mom ended up converting to Islam when she met a (very rare) person who truly practiced the religion correctly, not mixing it with culture or anything like that, the way many people do.
2nd-Feb-2012 12:09 am (UTC)
Joining the party!

I was raised & confirmed Catholic, attend Mass a couple of times a year, and enjoy it. If there's a religion I'm going to believe in, that's the only one that makes sense. Fear of being sent to hell was the largest deterrent to my suicidal thoughts, I pray when I'm in a jam, I love the idea of angels and I've always taken for granted heaven is endgame. I have no issues with any kind of religion unless it advocates physically harming animals or other humans. So I'm pretty sure I believe in God. I certainly like to complain at and blame him.

But I can't make myself capitalize "Him," because the arbitrary ridiculousness offends my brain, and I have never ACTUALLY felt, with 100% certainty, that God exists. How one believes in angels and heaven but not God, I dunno, but I don't have the same faith about God or Jesus as I do the other things, so I don't really feel spiritual. I also don't really feel religious since I don't pray or go to church regularly, even though I think you need religion to provide structure. Make of it what you will.

tl;dr: "Religion and I get along best when it leaves me alone and doesn't bother me."

Edited at 2012-02-02 12:10 am (UTC)
2nd-Feb-2012 01:57 am (UTC)
Aw damn! I should have been the one person to pick "I was raised in a religious home but practice a different religion." They just weren't THAT religious. That's how I ended up picking something else that fit my beliefs better.

I think we are partially reincarnated. It's hard to explain.
(Deleted comment)
2nd-Feb-2012 10:01 am (UTC)
My religion/spirituality is one I came up with for a series of novels and stories of mine, with a few Earth deities thrown into the mix on the side. I don't know whether it counts as a religion or not, even though it's a religion for the aliens who practice it in the stories (a religion that not only doesn't have a problem with science, but actually holds science in high regard; they even change their theology if something science finds contradicts something they believed. They also literally worship knowledge, wisdom, and ideas. They require all their believers to learn how to read. And the greatest blasphemy in their religion is destroying libraries, books, or art).

The deities in it... I don't know if they count as higher powers or not. Certainly some of the deities created the universes, but others just represent things and don't really have any power. And part of the theology is that all people and things are part of Kohraindehr (their highest Deity), and as such are gods in their own right, gods experiencing life as mortals.

As to an afterlife, people who die go to whatever afterlife they think they should go to, for as long as they think they should be there, and then possibly reincarnate if they so desire. There are other options as well.

As to growing up... Mom is a new-ager (and has been, as long as I've known her) and Dad is some kind of spiritual agnostic, last I knew. He believes *something* exists beyond this life, but doesn't have any beliefs about its nature.

For the last question, I didn't answer because I didn't know what to put. I don't reject religion, I just wish people would actually believe what their holy book actually says. It's amazing to me how many people don't realize Jesus was a hippy and a liberal who hated rich people and gave away free health care. It's also amazing that people who call themselves Christians believe in the Ten Commandments, when Jesus replaced ALL the old rules with the One Commandment: Love thy neighbor as thyself.
2nd-Feb-2012 10:22 am (UTC)
I used to be a LaVeyan Satanist. Still am a Satanist, just I might possibly be a theistic Satanist now. At least, I think Sutekh and Lucifer are real. Not entirely sure.
(Deleted comment)
5th-Feb-2012 01:36 pm (UTC)
I don't "reject" religion. It never came to me naturally in first place . Sure I did go to chruch at christmas as a kid, but only for family reasons(and I wouldnt class going to church with family as a religious family as it is only once a year)
Even as a kid (of 9 or whatever) I didn't see a point in believing in some all around all powerful creature.

(it just didn't seem logical to me) I also read a few chapters of the bible when I was about 6 years old and it totally didn't make sense to me either so I just gave up on it.

Luckily school is more talking about certain aspects and not from what I have heard religious indoctrination via school.(maybe different at toher schools too) but we learnt about other religions in the same matter of fact kind of thing.
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