I value both science and faith. Heck, I place my faith in science because it deems itself “truthfully” factual. But my quickie isn’t about who’s right and wrong. As a matter of fact, it’s about my first experience with religious faith.
I was in grade 5 at the time. My family and I moved to a new community, within the same city, but I was enrolled in a Catholic school this time, instead of a public French immersion school. At the time, I didn’t know there was any difference. I figured school was school. And at that age, school sucked, with the exception for gym and recess. All I know was that I was bumped a level in French class which put me at a level I was accustomed to.
To be truthful, I was sort of happy, yet sad, that I didn’t have a half day of French. Anyways, due to the nature of this school, we did things like “pray” and “mass.” I had no idea what these were. I thought to myself, why are these people touching themselves and why do we have to sit through this boring presentation? Who’s the guy in the robes?
It’s funny to me because my parents were both baptized, yet it seems to me, now, that they we not raised in strict religious household. During this discovery, my dad’s mom took me to her church. I remember going because it was an adventure with grandma. While their, I recall partaking in sacrament. I just followed everyone else, and what do you know, I fit right in, regardless of true belief.
So all this time growing up, I knew nothing of religious faith. I mean, I had a run in at my 7th birthday. I had an Indian friend who couldn’t eat the pepperoni pizza my parents ordered, but at the time, I didn’t know it was do to religious beliefs. I was just happy we had something else for him to eat.
Back to religion at school, I ended up just following the rest and not actually believing. I guess you could call me a heathen, and still can, but at the time I had no idea what was going on – so to fit in I copied others. Over the years I realized my lack of understanding and knowledge was acceptable and common. I therefore partook in their customs out of respect.
Later, I attend a Catholic highschool and still partake in their customs. It wasn’t until the 11th grade that I’m introduced to a variety of religions. Wow, you mean people believe in all these different things? I think it was then that I slowly developed my interest in philosophy. As I see it, philosophy, aside from being a lover a wisdom, it is about a particular way of life, be it religious or secular.
For me, the exposure to new religions opened my mind up to the possibilities of self satisfaction and acceptance. Whether or not there was a definite category to house my interests, there were many places in which to satisfy my interests that I could partake in and feel natural.
I still wear a religious marked necklace that my grandma gave me. Why? It’s not because I believed but because she did and I loved her. So in showing her my love, I wear this necklace. I’m glad that I went to a Catholic school because I now garner a better understanding of a religion I don’t fully support.
I endorse religion for it’s positivity, but I feel that many have taken it’s ultimate purpose and utilized it as a way perpetuate negative manipulation. Loving thy neighbour doesn’t seem wrong to me, so why are wars being created in the name of God?
I may not be an absolute believer, but I do hold faith for those who believe. It seems to me that neither science nor religion can explain everything. Why not work together towards an understanding that satisfies one another conception? But whatever, let’s fight about it instead. It gives us something to do until we die.