I actually agree with you, js. I found my freedom from faith just this past year. But I’ve found in the past year, just mentioning a personal lack of beliefs, people react like you attacked them personally and are on a personal mission to destroy the USA. So I didn’t know exactly how to say “I don’t believe in Yahweh, and a belief in him and a fear of hell for the past 39 years of my life has seriously damaged me. Now that I’ve shed all what I’ve realized to be nonsense, I’ve noticed a dramatic improvement in my life. My anxiety levels are down and I don’t hold myself back. Most of all, I no longer wish and hope in my head for an imaginary being to please help me–it forces me to take action. And I no longer also demean myself for thanking this imaginary being for my rare accomplishments.”
And I wasn’t struck by lightening.
But I do need structure, and I like philosophical discussions (I hate preaching), so I’m highly interested in finding a UUC if there is one nearby me–and if I can make time for it occasionally.IvrinielParticipant
JS-cart: If Science is more popular than it has ever been, then Science is in real trouble.AnonymousInactive
If you mean what I think you mean, you have a good point, Irviniel. Being popular in modern western culture is a sure-fire way to doom something to obscurity soon afterward, as everyone tires of it. All it will take is a charismatic speaker to whip everyone back into fear about fire and hell, and science will be cast away.
But I think js was meaning science is more embraced and respected now, though. Which gives it better chances. I’m back in school getting a biology degree, and I’m encouraged by it all. But I didn’t shed faith in science class, as many will assume. I had a crisis of faith for many years which finally came to a head this summer. I did personal research, found huge pockets of great, awesome, smart people online who helped me connect some crucial common-sense dots I was not allowing myself to make previously.
It’s really ironic, since all my life I’ve been regarded as scattered brain and disorganized, but I’m actually a highly logical person on the inside. I value rational, organized thinking. I need it since I get myself into so many messes with my difficulty to organize on the outside or the difficulty in concentrating on assigned topics. So I was really hurting myself deep inside when I wasn’t allowing myself to see what I knew was there.AnonymousInactive
I believe you’ve got it!
I’m still searching for the answer to my million dollar question….
I know, I know, as soon as I quit searching, I’ll find it………..
I read through most of these, not all, sorry. But the thing most people should remember is that religion has probably killed ADD/ADHD kids in the past for having “possessed symptoms”. I really dont understand why there’s a debate about religion, EVER. Why does anyone NEED to have someone read a book to you and interepret HOW to read it?AnonymousInactive
LordRonin – because religion is important to people. There are probably as many reasons for people to practice religion as there are people who practice religion. It’s been around for as long as there have been people, and it’s not going away any time soon. But religion tends to be dogmatic at times, and therein lies some of the disputes that people have with religion.IvrinielParticipant
Xfiles: You misunderstood me entirely. My point is that science really isn’t that popular. Or at least very few seem really willing to use science to inform their opinions. Rick’s got a good rant on the topic over in the video section.AnonymousInactive
Oh, sorry, Irviniel. I’ll go check the rant out.AnonymousInactive
Ivriniel, maybe I say this because over here in the Montreal region, we are good with high tech and am going in an engineering school, so I see what research are going on.
In the province of Quebec we had in the 1960’s a “Revolution Tranquille” traduction : “Quiet Revolution”. We were pretty much directed by the catholic at that time, and the population raised up quietly and we let the church down for good. We changed our state policy, giving us a state no longer govern by the church but by a government who included a lot of social services (health, school, route, hydro-electricity,…).
Over here science, I can assure you, is way more popular than any kind of religion, in fact, the only religious people left are the oldest one, people who live in small villages or people coming from other country. As far as my generation go, it’s rare to see people believing in god. Maybe it’s different where you live.AnonymousInactive
i don’t know if its related to ADHD for me, but religion is one of many things that never made much logical sense, or had much appeal to me at all.
i was relatively fascinated with it in school religious studies- why people all over the world beleived whatever they did, the odd rituals they had and why they did them, who was chosen, why and what for…etc. i attended sunday school as a child as well, learned all the stories and whatnot, but none of it ever remotely stuck, and as i got older it only seemed a more and more bizarre construct -where a whole bunch of people were kept in line by another one of them who had apparently read more about whatever their invisible immortal sky-being had to say about things than the rest, and that they firmly felt that pretty much all the other groups of people were dreadfully misled by beleiving in what their invisible sky-beings opinion apparently was- and had the need to convince them otherwise (or in most cases, cut their heads off and bomb their cities down).
i mean, i have no issue with anyone beleiving whatever they want, but yeah. always seemed weird to me -just like the dodgy old bloke who was supposed to shimmy down our chimmney unaccosted mid-winter, with a bundle of toys that’d been languishing in my mothers closet for the past few months held under his arm, and put them under a tree. like she couldn’t do that herself?
… but then i’m from the UK and we don’t have a lot of god floating about compared to the USA. maybe the weather over there puts him/her off from visiting so much.AnonymousInactive
Personally, I live my own spiritual reasoning. However, I will admit that my way is a bit of a lonely way, due to the fact that my spiritual reasoning doesn’t always live well in relation to other doctrines or other crystallized spiritual ideas . So be sure to examine what your true needs are before setting forth on whatever path you choose.AnonymousInactive
This is going to be a bit long, and in true ADD fashion, somewhat rambling. I promise to do my best. This may be more to do with Theology than you wanted, but I skimmed about half the responses before I started composing mine….ADD anyone?
I am an Orthodox Christian (OCA). I was raised Lutheran (LCC/Missouri Synod – Think stubborn Germans by the pew-full.) I sympathise with your church attendance and attention difficulties. My first pastor once commented, “You never once sat still in Church.”
Before I went to the OCA, I had not attended church in close to 3 years. I still insisted on having my Sundays off, and always considered myself a Christian. I was fed up with going to church to be entertained. I didn’t like what felt like a cookie-cutter answer. I ended up going to the OCA parish close to me for many reasons. The biggest one was the unapologetic, “We believe THIS” attitude with the kindness and understanding brought to the individual struggle.
Imagine if Christianity were an Eastern religion. You’d find the Eastern Orthodox, or simply Orthodox, Church. There is an understanding of mystery, individual discipline and more.
As an ADDer I know I thrive on routine. Less chance of getting lost, screwing up, or getting found out. The fact that the Liturgy is the same except for maybe 5 or 10 times a year means I know what to do when. (I also know when to look at the floor or hold one of the babies to avoid people hugging me during the Kiss of Peace.)
In my confessions (since you mentioned going to yours) I have stated that I am a bad steward of my things (impulsivity) and that I <i>hate, HATE,</i> school. My priest told me not to worry about hating school. If I didn’t like it, that’s ok. I hate confession. I never remember what I want to say and just blurt everything out in about 5 minutes or less. I have never been chastised for it. I don’t particularly like it but in any event I have found it minutely useful in terms of self reflection. But I still hate it and would rather be anywhere than standing there telling the priest why I feel badly about myself. (I think a lot of my confession is ADD related. But I was only recently diagnosed, so this may change.) Sometimes I feel relieved after confession, sometimes I feel like I just did the laundry – one less thing on the to-do list. I go because I want to approach the chalice without feeling like I’ve left things undone.
We have very similar beliefs to the Catholics and in many cases the Missouri Lutherans. I know that Catholic Guilt is famous. That is unfortunate.
Take what you will from the bullets below. <b>As some have suggested it may be worth looking at different churches whether Catholic or otherwise. </b>My only word of caution on this would be don’t let the building and the community define your spiritual life. If nothing else, church has also taught me to deal with the less than awesome parts of community life. My sponsor/Godmother has also been very helpful in keeping me on track.
I think the bullet points should cover the rest of it. (I love chatting about this kind of thing, so anyone, drop me a line if you are so inclined.)
• Mary is the great example, not the great exception (Roman)
• Original sin isn’t the same. An unbaptised infant or someone who has never heard the Gospels could go to heaven. We just leave it to God to decide, we all have our own salvation to work out.
• Mystery – there are no defined number of sacraments. We go to Liturgy, we marry (or not), baptise, do works, pray, partake of communion accepting these as divine mysteries and gifts from God.
• Pastoral Discretion (falls under economia) there are general rules of thumb for the usual, able bodied, ideally situated Faithful. As a general rule, we fast from certain things on Wednesday and Friday. As I’m not married to an Ortho man, my fasting rule is relaxed as per my priest’s directions.
• We stand a lot. A lot. The majority of the Liturgy I stand. This makes things easier. I sway, take small steps. When there is a procession I might make a bigger move to a slightly different spot so that it’s just somewhere other than I was before. I went to my grandma’s church about a year after I started attending the Orthodox Church and was dying they whole time. Up, down, up, down. I have to sit for how long?! And how does anyone know what’s going on?
• The Liturgy is the same 95% of the time. A good portion of it is participatory. I can sing most of the Liturgy. This means I’m involved, pair that with the fact that I’m standing and my fidgeting is less noticeable, add the constant crossing of oneself and I blend in fairly well.
• I too have an issue with the sermon. Our priest is exuberant, and his train of thought is meandering and expands far more that is necessary or helpful. The other clergy are not terribly gifted in rhetoric or oration. I sometimes just have to get up and leave, or chat with my neighbour. It isn’t the best solution but hey, I keep my hands to myself and show up. I think that’s pretty good!
• I understand the guilt and not getting around to going to church. I do like church, I adore the music and I am fortunate to have a wonderful community. It can be difficult to get up and face the world when you know there will be people around who will inevitably engage you. As someone previously said, God will understand. The Orthodox would generally say something along the lines of “On the day of Judgment” you’ll stand before Christ himself, a loving God! The Lord will not condemn a person for a disability.
– Side note: My husband was raised religious all his life, where as I from about 12yrs on. The closed religious community he grew up in was emotionally abusive and destructive. Understandably, he considers church a place of damnation and hate. One of our clergy-wives (Who is also a PK) and I are good friends and we were talking about my husband’s situation. I was getting irritated at all the questions about why my husband doesn’t just try to come to this church etc. “So-and-so,” I said, “I don’t get why these people are constantly going on about Hubby. God will not damn him because he can’t go to church. I go for the two of us, light my candles, sing the liturgy and say my prayers. When he gets to the last day, God will welcome him.”
“Of course He will!” It was such a relief to be able to understand God as a forgiving God but also as one who requires more from those who are capable – no one size fits all.
• Confession. We do it too. 4 times per year is considered to be the general minimum. We consider the priest as a guide and assistant rather than an intermediary.
• Saints are intercessors. We like them. We love the God who created them.
• The Orthodox consider themselves to the THE Church. While this seems pompous (it kept me away for several years in fact) it is feels less so when you realise that the Church would tell you they have the whole Truth, that is to say, the Truth in its entirety. That is not to say that other denominations or religions don’t have some truth in them (most tell you not to murder as an extreme example). Others have truth and value. God will decide who goes where. It seems silly that a man who is raised as an Anabaptist would be condemned because that is all he knew and was a Godly Anabaptist. Likewise for a woman in the middle east who knows nothing other than Islam. God will be her judge, not her peers, not the clergy. God Himself.
Time to end the rant . . .I’ve got the hyper-focus/can’t let go of things, thing going on.AnonymousInactive
I find comfort in religious rituals; I regard myself a “critical thinker” and will often debate and play “devils advocate” about things I don’t understand yet incongruously I also know there are things that can’t be explained; religious rituals helps me to channel my child like curriosity to seek balance within myself. to balance the “yin” and the “yang” if you will, unfortunately, all of our “inner child” have been brutalized over time.
I seek the healing of my “inner child” by allowing my intelect to be a nurturing parrent to my feelings and allow myself to look upon the world around me with awe. To me the ultimate sin is to not forgive the past and create a present that allows a future that propagates hope for a brighter future; misery is contagious but then… so is joy.
I seek to propagate hope within myself to overcome lifes obstacles; this helped me overcome homelessness, and over time helped me get back into school to pursue a worthwhile career, not to mention have lhe love of, as far as I’m concern;” the most beautiful girl in the world.” Life is gettling better and better all the time and whats more… I actually have fun living it because of its challenges.
Very well put and I must say, inspiring. I am trying to embrace and love my life challenges as I love my sewing/knitting challenges.
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