First, if you believe in God (or whatever you may call Him/Her/Them/It), I'm happy for you. I believe in God, but maybe not the way other people do? I don't know. I haven't posted a poll to find out. I just know that my idea of what God is, is different than some other people who also believe.
I believe that God is loving and forgiving. Fire and brimstone are not in my view of it. In my view, God wants to forgive whatever it is that people do that is (according to religion as a whole) not so great. So my kids aren't taught about God punishing for being "bad". They're taught about love. Because to me, that's the main point. (They're little, and I think they only need the basics at this point.) If you choose to believe God is scary, that's just fine with me.
I believe that the Bible is a book of stories. It's been passed down through generations, and translated several times, and altered several times. I think it's a great way to learn the stories, but I'm not going to be stoning my kids for being "stubborn and unruly". It's what kids do, and stoning is somewhat frowned upon. If you believe the Bible is something written to be taken literally and it's in original form, I'm glad for you.
I believe that it's things like hating homosexuals that turn people against religion. I think that's ridiculous since these people slinging hate around like it's a lasso are also people breaking one of those rules about NOT JUDGING PEOPLE. Keep those stones in your pocket when you're living in a glass house. Basically, unless you are perfect...which I'm preeeeeeetty sure no one is, you don't get to go around hating on people for LOVING someone. Who GAF what their genitals look like. You don't get to stand in your sin and point the finger at someone you feel is sinning. Period. (BTW, MY God created us all...and I could go into a big rant, but I won't. I'm climbing down off my soap box. I'll just say that those rocks are heavy. Put them down.) If you hate someone for loving someone you don't think they should love...well...I say this; Don't believe in gay marriage? Don't get one.
I also believe that whether you believe in God, or pray to some Goddess, or practice Wicca, or whatever you do, as long as what you're doing is working for you, GIVE 'ER. Seriously. I almost never speak about my beliefs because they really aren't relevant. Really. Whether I believe in God, or don't, it doesn't make me a better or worse person. Because I choose my actions. I was given this very handy thing...I like to keep it inside my skull to keep my half-wit cat from licking it...it's called a brain. And I REALLY like using it. And because I own one, I don't get to claim that my actions are caused by my religion...even if they're influenced by religion, they are, in the end, mine alone to make. I have known many a good person who is Christian, I know (very!) good people who are Muslim, I know very good people who have no religious beliefs at all, and I know some very good people who are even beyond that...more than atheist...they fall into their own category, I think. More along the lines of anti-religion. And you know, respect for eachother goes way beyond religious beliefs (or the lack thereof).
I don't hate anyone for their religious beliefs (or, again, their lack thereof). Really. Like, the guy we bought our house from is some high guy with the Jehovah's witness. Awesome.
He told me lots about it, and I'm sure I'm going to hear lots more. Super. Really. I like hearing about other people's religions...I like to know what makes people tick. And he doesn't just believe it...he lives it. And really, whatever you believe, I like it when I see people living it happily. It's nice to see people happy with the choices they've made. Seeing happiness is good for my soul...no matter what form it comes in. Be happy!!
My ONLY problem is when someone uses their religion as an excuse to steal the rights from other people...as in circumcision. Your religious right ends where another person's body begins. Simple. Keep your hands on your own genitals, and we'll all get along just fine.
So yeah. Pray to whomever you love to pray to. Or don't. Either way. LOL Really, it doesn't matter to me in the least bit. Your religious choices affect me the same way it would affect me if I was on a diet, and you ate a cookie. Not one bit. And mine...same thing. I believe in respecting each other's right to religion, beliefs, lifestyle, etc. That's what matters in the end, right?
*In conclusion, if I offended you by saying "lack thereof", or whatever...I'm sorry. My intention was not to offend, only to explain. If you don't agree with being tolerant to other religions, that's great for YOU. I choose to treat other people the way I'd want to be treated...not because it's in the Bible, but because I live in the real world and expect to be treated well.
And, if you feel the need to go all crazy and freak out because of anything I wrote here, JUST DO IT. You might make yourself look like a nut, but you'll feel better for a minute...LOL...and that's what matters.
THE END. ; )