I consider myself a very religious person and people who know me have
told me that they believe I am also. I may not have the same beliefs as
you, but you may find that we have some beliefs in common or that there
are some essentials that are relatively the same. As a Unitarian Universalist, I am encouraged to search for my own truth and meaning. My beliefs are modified
with age and the ways I've found to communicate them also will be refined,
so this page will change. Here are the topics of my writings on my beliefs
(these 6 links are all to topics on this page), though there are also reference links to other sites which will open in a new window.:
the Bible, Christianity, and God - includes the Ten Commandments
Beliefs Around the World
Essential principles and UUism
Describing my beliefs - includes an interview
Find Unitarian Universalists, Humanists, Atheists, & Agnostics in your area
ABOUT THE BIBLE AND GOD
This section also includes What I believe about the Ten Commandments
and Links to sites about Bible history and supportive
I believe in the Golden Rule. Some of my favorite Bible quotes are: "You
shall love your neighbor as yourself." Leviticus 19:18 "The truth will make
you free." John 8:32 "Blessed is he who considers the poor!" Psalm 41:1
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven..."
Ecclesiastes 3:1 "If your enemy is hungry, feed him." Romans 12:20 "You
are the light of the world...Let your light shine before men, that they
may see your good works." -Jesus - Matthew 5:14 I try to live by my beliefs.
You can read about my beliefs about social justice work here.
If "God" is the one who created us, "He" created us with the ability of
rational thought and with curiosity and I don't believe those things are
evil (and if you do, you shouldn't be reading this - if you think you might
be a fundamentalist Christian, you can take this
test), so I use them when thinking about the Bible. So I ask: "Why do
Samaritans have Bibles containing only five or six books, the Protestants
have sixty-six, and the Catholics have seventy-three? Why did ancient Bibles
contain even more books? Which interpretation is the 'right' one?"
Though I have friends and relatives who believe that the Bible is the word
of God, I believe that it causes too much confusion and can be interpretted
in too many different ways to be the work of an almighty being who loves
all of the beings "He" created. I know Christians who are loving and good,
but I know some who can be hateful to people who believe differently than
them (probably due to the fear of the Devil) and/or feel they have to convert
every "non-believer" and I know of others who will only associate with other
Christians. Is that loving? Is that what the Bible teaches to do? Is that
what Jesus did? Didn't Jesus say to Love thy neighbors? and when he was
asked who are the neighbors, didn't he tell the story of the good Samaritan?
In that story, we do not know the religion of the man who was robbed - he
was a traveler and stranger to the good Samaritan. He certainly wasn't a
Christian, because even Jesus wasn't a Christian - he was a Jew.
The Bible gives many people inspiration and helps give them guidance and
meaning in their lives, so it is a good thing for that reason. I believe
that people wrote the Bible - many people who have all been identified as
men. They are said to be men who were doing the work of God and I believe
that they probably believed they were. The Bible contains many contradictions
and inconsistencies, though, and has been affected by politics and history
as is evidenced in the many versions of it. It's not the Bible itself that
creates problems with religion, though, it's what people believe about the
Bible and/or other religious beliefs from whatever source AND it's about
how they behave from what they believe. (see "It Matters
What We Believe" by Sophia Lyon Fahs)
Further information about what I believe about Jesus and the Bible is in
the section, Describing my beliefs, following what
I believe about the 10 Commandments and the links about the Bible.
What I believe about the Ten Commandments (the usual
version taken from the New Revised Version, Exodus 20 - there are several
other versions, though):
Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore said, "This country's laws
are built upon the Ten Commandments." I wonder if he read them.
1) "Worship no other gods." - That's definately not a law. It's contrary
to the U.S. Constitution, which our judges are supposed to defend.
2) "Make no idols to worship." - Not only does this have nothing to do with
our laws, but it has little to do with the way many people practice their
religion since they have crucifixes and statues of Mary, etc.
3) "Do not take God's name in vain." - God damn, is that illegal?!
4) "Keep the Sabbath Day Holy" - So is it against the law to work on Sun.?
Or is that Sat.? (since this is in the Old Testament)
5) Honor thy father and mother. What law covers this? I would say the majority
of children today would go to jail if that were the case, especially if
"honor" means the behavior expected by Puritan parents.
6) Murder - OK we have laws about murder, but we also have a mandatory draft
registration, but apparently God thinks that killing in war is OK - actually
there's a lot of killing in the Bible, some in war and some not.
7) Committing adultery - Let me see, when was the last time someone was
arrested for that? OK, I could sue for divorce, but that's about all.
8) Steal - OK, I'll give you that one.
9) Bear false witness - Well, in a court of law that is true, but what about
the "Your mother..." put-downs and the many other ways people do it - no
one arrested there either and usually no law suits either.
10) Covet another's belongings - The Bible, depending on version, uses "covet",
"desire", "crave" - not "taking" or "destroying." Do you know of people
who have been arrested for their thoughts? Have you ever wanted something
that belongs to someone else?
What kind of country would this be if we actually had the Ten Commandments
as law? Is this what people really want? I don't think any of these things
should be punishable by burning in Hell forever, do you? Would a loving God?
Further information about what I believe about Jesus and the Bible is in
the section, Describing my beliefs.
These web sites help to explain some of the history
of the Bible that helps me to draw the above conclusions.:
Gospel Of Thomas - it's a book of the Bible with lots of quotes from
Jesus but it's probably not in your Bible
Jefferson Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth - this starts
with the table of contents; you can then click on "Editor's Preface" or
"Luke 2.1-7" to get started reading the entire book online or buy it at
Gateway - check out the many translations of the Bible
the stories in the Bible true? - written for children with background
Contradictions - a list of many, but not all of them and here's
Bible - contradictions, injustice, absurdities, family values, false
prophecies, and more chapter by chapter.
Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit (Carl Sagan was a well noted scientist
& a Unitarian Universalist)
I believe that most people have many of the same beliefs which come from
our human nature. The book, Oneness: Great Principles Shared by All Religions,
by Jeffrey Moses, which you can find at www.onenessonline.com,
has quotes from different religions which demonstrates their similarities
- there are also quotes from Mother Theresa and The Dalai Lama. I believe
that basic differences in beliefs have to do with a desire to be a part
of a group that has the "right" answer - see more about that below.
IS RELIGION GOOD?
Religion/spirituality deals with emotions, not facts. Emotions will exist
whether or not there is religion or science and through these emotions (esp.
fear, sorrow, and anger) people will seek answers to worries about the future
since we are aware of our mortality. They seek meaning and comfort. Facts
alone do not provide meaning and comfort. The purpose of religion is not
really to solve problems; it's to make people feel better.
When you talk in strict scientific terms, science focusses on the material,
which includes one's physical circumstances. Physical circumstances can
always be thought of in negative terminology no matter what the situation
- not having enough wealth, material possessions, health, other people who
care about us, etc. Spirituality is something everyone can embrace as a
purely feeling side of us, above the material part, which can be lifted
up no matter how little we have of those physical things. We can have faith
in our God or Future or Transcendance or Personal Power or whatever we want
to call it and have hope. There are many different ways to achieve Spirituality
and I believe that even Atheists, who have gone through a process of figuring
out what they believe and decided to call it that, have a religion since
those beliefs help give them comfort.
The problem with religion is that people who are drawn to them have not
yet found the answers - have not really found meaning and comfort, so they
sometimes manifest in hate and separation. Most people are in a constant
process of achieving or seeking their spirituality or inner meaning to transcend
that which causes pain, so most of the time the majority have not found
Simply: What good has religion done that couldn't have been done without
religion? Give people a feeling of comfort and give meaning to their lives.
What problems has it solved that it didn't create? It didn't create the
problem of emotions, insecurities and inevitable mortality; they'd be here
without religion, but science doesn't "solve" that either. Since people
feel better (or many do and that's the goal), they're more secure and have
less fear and their religion usually answers the question of what happens
after they die (even if it's just in their mind), so in a sense, it is a
ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLES AND UUISM
As a Unitarian Universalist (UU), I believe in these principles:
* The inherent dignity and worth of every person;
* Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
* Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our
* A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
* The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our
congregations and in society at large;
* The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
* Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a
Unitarian Universalists (UUs) are people of many different beliefs who worship
together: Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslems, pagans, atheists, agnostics,
and others. We share our ideas and feelings with each other. We accept (or
at least do our best to try to be accepting of) people of many differences.
We try to be a real caring community. Each congregation is different, depending
on the members and what those members make of the congregation. Social justice
and education are big parts of the UU tradition as is reflected in the principles.
The children say "the church of the open heart and open mind" that works
to "make the world a better place to live." You can read about my beliefs
about social justice work here.
You can learn more about Unitarian Universalism at 100
Questions That Non-Members Ask About Unitarian Universalism, the Unitarian
Universalist Association, and Famous
UUs. To find the nearest congregation go to this
DESCRIBING MY BELIEFS
I believe that human beings can learn a lot, but that we are limited and
we can never know it all. So I cannot really know about what happens after
I die or if "God" exists. This belief could be described as "agnostic."
I also believe that human beings are primarily good and do not need a religion
to be moral. This belief could be described as "humanist." Below is a copy
of an interview I had about my religious beliefs.
Also, articles about my beliefs appear on ICan
Online - The Leading Disability Community (they've since been removed
from their site and are now posted on mine): Coping
strategies and Spiritual thoughts on peace
- thoughts from a Unitarian Universalist. I also wrote about how I was "saved"
by my beliefs here.
Interview by college student
[I used "Man" in this interview since the interviewer used this terminology;
it is equivalent to "human beings/humans/humankind"]:
1. Is there a God?
Maybe. I believe there's something greater than myself, but I don't like
the concepts a lot of people put on it. I'm also OK with the idea that there
might not be - there is Nature & when I die, my body will disintigrate and
I will become part of Nature in a different way than I am now; also my works
and deeds on this earth will live in the minds of people and affect them
even when there is no real memory of me, as my foremothers and fathers and
even the childless people who used to own my house, have affected me.
2. How do you know there is/is not a God?
There is no way for us to really know - "God" (I will say "her"/"she" since
I'm female) is a feeling; the concept of "God" is not really "rational"
but the belief helps many people answer the big questions in life, giving
them great comfort and guidance to live a life that is beneficial to Mankind
(usually, though the hypocracy of many religions and religious people can
make people act in ways that are not beneficial to Mankind).
3. How will I know there is/is not a God?
If you become in tune to Nature and your own nature, you may find the answer
within yourself. If you believe that she is everywhere, even inside you,
then you will find her.
4. Who is God? What is God like?
God is not a person; she is greater than Man. So great that she cannot be
truly perceived, understood, and described by Man.
5. Was man created in God's image, or was God created in man's image? What
does "being created in God's image" mean? Who created God?
Most people create God in their image - largely she is a construct of Man.
I think the idea that God created Man in "his" image is very pompous and
egotistical, characteristics I don't believe she has. Of course, the God
in the Bible apparently does have these kind of characteristics & is male,
so that's why I'm not Christian or Jewish. How can a male God create a female
in its own image? [This question is rhetorical since it has been answered
by Christians before.]
6. Are God and Jesus the same person?
No, she is not a person. Jesus was a "prophet" or great teacher.
7. What does God expect of Man? What should Man expect of God?
If "God" exists, I believe she is something that ties us together and helps
us to be in tune to our true nature. Man should only expect that her presence
8. Is our fate predestined or does God allow us free will?
This is a tough one. The idea of predestination makes people think that
they cannot control their future and aren't responsible for their actions.
I do believe in fate, but in a general way, not a specific way and I believe
part of our fate is not to believe in predestination and that we should
believe in free will since we do have the power to think, decide, feel,
etc. If God is a creator, why would she create us with these characteristics
if she didn't expect us to use them? She does expect us to use them and
we do have some free will. [I love to listen to people's beliefs of reincarnation
and imagine it could be true.]
9. if there is a God, why does he allow so much suffering?
Are you suffering? Suffering is a state of mind. Many people who have been
starving or have other pain, especially those who are religious and believe
in some aspects of fate, have been able to live with their pain. We have
something to learn from it. It is a reminder of our mortality and that we
are not God herself.
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