Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Quick Observation

I was sitting in church today wondering how many people actually believed. This is something that has plagued me over the years....when I was Catholic, agnostic, now presumably Episcopalian.....Do people TRULY believe? Or do they go every Sunday out of habit?

The great Richard Dawkins opened my eyes to the world of evolutionary biology, the selfish gene, and memetic theory. Was God truly a delusion? Who knows? I thought that for awhile, but now it seems like the empty void just keeps getting "emptier"....

There's got to be some middle ground for us who are not truly sold on the idea of virgin birth, resurrection, etc. I'm not saying I am an atheist or anything, just a 'questioner'. Atheism is fine for those who prescribe to it. So is Islam. So is Hinduism. So is the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I don't care what faith (or lack there of) anyone holds on to as long as they don't hurt anyone or forcefully convert people.

But anyway, back to my observation. I was literally staring at people today trying to figure out why they were sitting in the pews. I'm sure most were there for the right reasons. Maybe 'right' is not the right word to use. Maybe I'm being confusing, but religion is inherently confusing. Right?

So why are these people coming every week? Why am I? My story is a tad different than most, but I guess we all have the same motives down deep. We're just trying to figure it all out.....

Right? Maybe not?


Shannon Freeman said...

Hey, Michael -

Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.... love it! We were watching "Escape from Jonestown" the other night on CNN, and Doug and I started talking about how our deck could be a religion.... you know what I mean?

Religion is symbolism; spirituality is the stuff of substance one connects with on some level. Everyone worships someone/something. I would be willing to bet my house on this. Now, what those persons or things are..... who knows? They're typically as individual as one's fingerprints.

Religion is a sociological phenomenon. So, your thoughts on whether your pew pals were there for spiritual reasons or sociological reasons? A valid thought to entertain.....

Spirituality is a deeply personal journey..... religion is a public one. Right? ;)

How's the dissertation race going?

Michael said...


haha....good thoughts on the religion thing. I find myself wondering that for hours sometimes. I know, i know....I have more pressing things to worry about. But it's fascinating.

Shannon Freeman said...

Never chastise yourself for going deep, no matter what direction that takes you. Depth is where the sand (confusion, depression, restless searching..... any feeling that may be frustrating or troubling) makes the pearl.

It's all a journey.... embrace it. And continue to be brilliant with the dissertation racekt. :)