By Z.S. Roe
A year or so ago, CBC Radio One’s Tapestry aired an episode about losing your religion (that is, leaving the faith you grew up in), and I was surprised at how emotionally I responded to it. While I grew up in a devout Protestant family, I started questioning my beliefs from an early age, and fully left the church when I was around fifteen years old. My reasons for leaving were not purely academic, but deeply personal—the remnants of which are still felt today.
These days I self-identify as an agnostic, which is to say I believe that we don’t and (for now) cannot know if God or some other divine presence actually exists.
But is this my religion? Well, perhaps not … or at least not fully.
I recently found this interesting one minute video featuring popular novelist Orson Scott Card (of Ender’s Game fame) discussing his belief that everyone has a religion (incidentally, Card is a Mormon). He then goes on to explain how to determine what a person’s religion is. You can watch the video below:
Granted, Card’s using a rather liberal definition of the word “religion.” Even so, his argument is an interesting one, and one that bears further consideration. At the very least it offers a unique approach to self-exploration.
In case you’re curious, here are three of my beliefs that I think the world should live by:
1. There are very few right answers.
You don’t know everything and never will. Don’t be so stubborn and headstrong because there’s a good chance your opinion or belief will change over the course of your life. If there’s one certainty in life, it’s being wrong.
2. Values, beliefs, and traditions will and should change.
There’s a lot of caterwauling these days over the plight of “traditional family values.” To some, these values are being challenged by the media and society at large. But here’s the thing: just because a value is traditional (i.e. that marriage should be between a man and a woman) doesn’t mean it’s a value worth keeping. Change is okay; adaptability to new ideas will not bring about the apocalypse.
3. Life is not war.
So many people I know live their lives as if they’re in a cage match. It’s not you against the world; it’s just you in the world. Chill out, put your fists down. Even if you believe in some divine enemy (i.e. Satan), that doesn’t mean everybody who disagrees with you is the bad guy. I may not like you and you may not like me, but in a hundred years both of us will be dead and no different from one another. And you know why? Because we’re no different now.
So there you have it: this set of beliefs comprises a good chunk of what might be called my religion. But what about your religion? What set of beliefs do you believe the rest of the world should live by?
Opinion is a bi-monthly column of just that, my opinion. While opinions are like noses and everyone has one, mine are especially snotty. Please leave a comment or question—all opinions are welcome, and all contributions are greatly appreciated. If you like what you read here, please subscribe.
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