Do you have a religious alignment? Can you articulate why?

Dec 2006
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#1
For myself, I wouldn't call it an alignment, exactly. Nor can I articulate it very well, but I'll try. I don't know what to call it. I've never felt particularly drawn to organized religion of any flavor. But philosophically speaking, there are only two traditions that appeal to me at all, and they're in a dead heat with each other. Judaism and Buddhism. As far as I can tell (as an outsider to both), the differences between them are slight.

I practically fell in love with my World Religions teacher in college, a Reform Rabbi. OK, I think I did fall in love with him a little bit, lol. I tried to take every class he offered, including Hebrew over the summer. It's the only A+ I have ever gotten in college. I'm a language nerd, and Hebrew is chock full o' quirks from a native English speaker's perspective. But I haven't used it in a long time, so I've forgotten most of it. I got the highest scores in his other classes, because I just enjoyed the hell out of them. He was a really interesting guy, and it's really hard to explain how he was. I mean he was kind of a wildman, but gentle. Like one of the prophets of old, but completely adapted to the modern age. But he was far from perfect, and never really tried to pretend to be. Anyway, almost all of what I learned about Judaism I got from him, which is no doubt colored by his own biases and experience.

So with that, I will tell you why for me Judaism just barely edges out Buddhism in the struggle for my attentions, and it comes down to three words:

Wrestles with God. Holy shit, what a concept. It blew my mind. So different from the teachings of the Christian clergy I was exposed to in my youth. It's something I respect a hell of a lot, and have done my entire life without realizing it. And I'll keep on doing it. I'm not going to explain it here. It's best if you read the story for yourself and draw your own conclusions. Obviously it's highly metaphorical. Probably.

And on a practical level, my upbringing was culturally a lot closer to (reform) Judaism than Buddhism. Buddhism is sort of that exotic alien creature to me that if I were Captain Kirk I'd definitely be sleeping with. But Judaism is a crew member, definitely a bridge officer. Probably second in command (after me obviously).

Another thing to look up when you feel like it: The Silver Rule. That's where my comfort level lies. The Golden Rule just seems meddlesome somehow. I don't know why, but I guess 46+ years of Christians practicing their version of it has turned me off on it completely.
 
Feb 2015
16,371
8,174
sadness
#2
lol

so toss a coin and see who wins? Or you can choose by which one has the best food holidays and traditions.

Do you really have to have one religion? Cant you pick and choose what parts of each you like the best and go with that.
 
Likes: Isalexi
Jul 2011
77,186
42,998
Memphis, Tn.
#3
For myself, I wouldn't call it an alignment, exactly. Nor can I articulate it very well, but I'll try. I don't know what to call it. I've never felt particularly drawn to organized religion of any flavor. But philosophically speaking, there are only two traditions that appeal to me at all, and they're in a dead heat with each other. Judaism and Buddhism. As far as I can tell (as an outsider to both), the differences between them are slight.

I practically fell in love with my World Religions teacher in college, a Reform Rabbi. OK, I think I did fall in love with him a little bit, lol. I tried to take every class he offered, including Hebrew over the summer. It's the only A+ I have ever gotten in college. I'm a language nerd, and Hebrew is chock full o' quirks from a native English speaker's perspective. But I haven't used it in a long time, so I've forgotten most of it. I got the highest scores in his other classes, because I just enjoyed the hell out of them. He was a really interesting guy, and it's really hard to explain how he was. I mean he was kind of a wildman, but gentle. Like one of the prophets of old, but completely adapted to the modern age. But he was far from perfect, and never really tried to pretend to be. Anyway, almost all of what I learned about Judaism I got from him, which is no doubt colored by his own biases and experience.

So with that, I will tell you why for me Judaism just barely edges out Buddhism in the struggle for my attentions, and it comes down to three words:

Wrestles with God. Holy shit, what a concept. It blew my mind. So different from the teachings of the Christian clergy I was exposed to in my youth. It's something I respect a hell of a lot, and have done my entire life without realizing it. And I'll keep on doing it. I'm not going to explain it here. It's best if you read the story for yourself and draw your own conclusions. Obviously it's highly metaphorical. Probably.

And on a practical level, my upbringing was culturally a lot closer to (reform) Judaism than Buddhism. Buddhism is sort of that exotic alien creature to me that if I were Captain Kirk I'd definitely be sleeping with. But Judaism is a crew member, definitely a bridge officer. Probably second in command (after me obviously).

Another thing to look up when you feel like it: The Silver Rule. That's where my comfort level lies. The Golden Rule just seems meddlesome somehow. I don't know why, but I guess 46+ years of Christians practicing their version of it has turned me off on it completely.
Nope, no religious affiliation.
 
Likes: 3 people

Jets

Former Staff
Feb 2011
22,138
11,766
New York
#4
Catholic. Go to church every Sunday and receive communion. Daily Bible readings and prayer. I have a belief in God and do my best to keep a relationship with him. My faith in him is my guide.
 
Last edited:
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Nov 2013
10,535
10,004
NY
#5
For myself, I wouldn't call it an alignment, exactly. Nor can I articulate it very well, but I'll try. I don't know what to call it. I've never felt particularly drawn to organized religion of any flavor. But philosophically speaking, there are only two traditions that appeal to me at all, and they're in a dead heat with each other. Judaism and Buddhism. As far as I can tell (as an outsider to both), the differences between them are slight.

I practically fell in love with my World Religions teacher in college, a Reform Rabbi. OK, I think I did fall in love with him a little bit, lol. I tried to take every class he offered, including Hebrew over the summer. It's the only A+ I have ever gotten in college. I'm a language nerd, and Hebrew is chock full o' quirks from a native English speaker's perspective. But I haven't used it in a long time, so I've forgotten most of it. I got the highest scores in his other classes, because I just enjoyed the hell out of them. He was a really interesting guy, and it's really hard to explain how he was. I mean he was kind of a wildman, but gentle. Like one of the prophets of old, but completely adapted to the modern age. But he was far from perfect, and never really tried to pretend to be. Anyway, almost all of what I learned about Judaism I got from him, which is no doubt colored by his own biases and experience.

So with that, I will tell you why for me Judaism just barely edges out Buddhism in the struggle for my attentions, and it comes down to three words:

Wrestles with God. Holy shit, what a concept. It blew my mind. So different from the teachings of the Christian clergy I was exposed to in my youth. It's something I respect a hell of a lot, and have done my entire life without realizing it. And I'll keep on doing it. I'm not going to explain it here. It's best if you read the story for yourself and draw your own conclusions. Obviously it's highly metaphorical. Probably.

And on a practical level, my upbringing was culturally a lot closer to (reform) Judaism than Buddhism. Buddhism is sort of that exotic alien creature to me that if I were Captain Kirk I'd definitely be sleeping with. But Judaism is a crew member, definitely a bridge officer. Probably second in command (after me obviously).

Another thing to look up when you feel like it: The Silver Rule. That's where my comfort level lies. The Golden Rule just seems meddlesome somehow. I don't know why, but I guess 46+ years of Christians practicing their version of it has turned me off on it completely.
What's a "religious alignment" to begin with ? Either you do believe, or you don't ?
And apparently, as you put yourself "above" the religion you align yourself with, making YOUR choices before following a religious dogma.. you don't believe. So why the need / attempt / intent to align with any specific religion ?
 
Dec 2006
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10,692
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#6
lol

so toss a coin and see who wins? Or you can choose by which one has the best food holidays and traditions.

Do you really have to have one religion? Cant you pick and choose what parts of each you like the best and go with that.
That's more or less what I do. But it's difficult to feel a sense of shared community or culture that way.
 
Dec 2006
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#7
What's a "religious alignment" to begin with ? Either you do believe, or you don't ?
And apparently, as you put yourself "above" the religion you align yourself with, making YOUR choices before following a religious dogma.. you don't believe. So why the need / attempt / intent to align with any specific religion ?
See my response to syrenn. That's a small part of it. I told you it was difficult for me to articulate, lol
 
Nov 2013
10,535
10,004
NY
#8
Catholic. Go to church every Sunday and receive communion. Daily Bible readings and prayer. I have a belief in God and do my best to keep a relationship with him. My faith in him is my guide.
Does the latest scandal of catholic priests having misused altar boys again do have any impact on your belief ?

The fact that "your" church seems to be still involved in such abhorrent practices.. that the pope is not speaking out against it ? That your God is allowing this to happen continuously, where kids who are getting into the catholic church are rapes and misused by those who are supposed to teach God's words, principles, and ethics ? Yet he leaves them to their own destiny, by the hundreds ?
Is that all because they're born sinners ?
 
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Dec 2006
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10,692
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#9
What's a "religious alignment" to begin with ? Either you do believe, or you don't ?
And apparently, as you put yourself "above" the religion you align yourself with, making YOUR choices before following a religious dogma.. you don't believe. So why the need / attempt / intent to align with any specific religion ?
Also, I don't consider myself "above" religion, nor above God. But I'll throw down with him when it's appropriate. It's not the same thing as holding yourself above something, IMO. I put Judaism as second in command, because in my heart right and wrong don't depend on religion, and definitely the written word of humans is not something I'm interested in subordinating my own life to. I'm the captain of this ship (me) as much as anyone truly can be. No one else is qualified.
 
Likes: 1 person
Nov 2013
10,535
10,004
NY
#10
Also, I don't consider myself "above" religion, nor above God. But I'll throw down with him when it's appropriate. It's not the same thing as holding yourself above something, IMO. I put Judaism as second in command, because in my heart right and wrong don't depend on religion, and definitely the written word of humans is not something I'm interested in subordinating my own life to. I'm the captain of this ship (me). No one else is qualified.
See, that's what I mean.. you deem religious books, of whichever denomination, the words of humans, NOT the word of god. yet you still look for the "best" version of them, to align yourself with. While you would then still say " I know in my heart what's right or wrong anyways, and no such book, even not the one i choose to align with, trumps that inner knowledge.

I guess my main and first question is, do you actually believe in a God / higher being that provides intent and purpose to your existence, or not ?

or are you looking for that religion to align with simply for the sense of "shared community" ?