However, the memory of what once was occasionally draws me back to the site, and I sometimes find little gems of conversation that spark more thoughts in me about my spiritual journey.
Today I happened to catch a tweet (@beliefnet) that led me to the site, where a user posed the question "What role does religion play in your life?", followed by a series of illustrative questions to elicit responses. Most folks answered the questions individually, and so that's what I did. Here is my response, with questions included:
What role does religion play in your life?
Religion is pretty central to my life, and everything I am and do is an expression of that.
Do you believe in the absolute historical accuracy and authority of your religious text(s)?
I believe that all religious texts are representations of a people’s attempt to understand themselves and the universe they inhabit. They are true inasmuch as any story illustrates its truth, and need not be literal in order to have meaning. In this sense, the text has only as much authority as is given it by the reader, who must find some resonance with it. The question of “absolute historical accuracy” is therefore moot.
Is it just a cultural thing for you, something you were raised with and identify yourself as, but otherwise don't care much about?
No. I actually “converted” in my late teens/early twenties, and my religious identity is very important to me.
Do you participate in your religion because it gives you comfort and strength? Or maybe a sense of community and belonging?
Both. It also provides me with opportunities to fulfill my own human potential, a challenge to help others fulfill their potential, and a safe framework within which to struggle with “the big questions”.
Do you feel like you're fulfilling a destiny of some kind by carrying out the teachings of your religion?
I feel like am doing the best I can to comprehend existence and to improve our experience of it. If that moving toward wholeness and holiness is “destiny”, then I must answer yes. If by destiny you mean something like “the inevitability of fate”, then I would say no.
I welcome you to state your religion when answering, if you feel comfortable doing so.
I am a Unitarian Universalist.
More questions? Feel free to ask me anything cultural - especially about language, music, sexuality, religion and faith - by clicking here. Account not required; anonymous questions allowed.