The Girl in Black

Se necesita una poca de gracia.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

A Brief History Of All Things Miss Rose - Chapter One

Well, not so brief. A conversation with a friend of mine has caused me to actually break down and analyze the path that has led me to my current way of processing reality, and my choice in spiritual thinking. What follows is the first installment, which outlines some of my background. There will be more to follow...

I'd like to make mention of my earliest days, because it is a part of my background after all. It's so far removed from me now, but I suppose at one point you could have called me a Christian. I don't consider myself "raised Christian" so much as immersed in an environment where it was constantly around me. I don't remember where I first heard of God and Jesus, it was always something I knew of. I wasn't exposed to anything else for a long time. My parents never took me to church unless I wanted to go. I had no denomination, and didn't even understand the differences between churches until I was a teenager. The only "evil" I learned from Christianity was a sense of being self-effacingly humble. How could I know better than God? How could I do better than him? How could I be so audacious to tout myself as a good person when I should be asking God constantly how I can be better? These thoughts fit in well with my personality, and exacerbated an already flailing sense of self-esteem and self-confidence.

Ironically, it was this same lack of self-esteem that caused me to stop attending the church that I had been. Due to a bad experience with some of the kids my own age at the church's summer camp (who actually weren't a part of the regular youth group), I became paranoid and thought that everyone in the youth group hated me. So why bother going? Since sin wasn't so much a part of my world, there was little sin in not attending church. But I still considered myself "Christian." There was still God and Jesus. What else could there be? I didn't ever really think anyone was wrong for having different beliefs, and I didn't think much on it at all. It's entirely illogical to think that someone born into a different culture who would have no possible way of knowing what the "right" religion is should be punished.

Another amusing aside is that the idea of reincarnation made sense to me ever since I heard of it in childhood. Eternity just didn't make sense. There's no balance to living a mortal life for eighty-odd years and then living in heaven or hell forever after.

So for the record I suppose I can state that I have always been open to some sort of spiritual thinking, and have always had an open mind to different concepts. I just didn't know the history or culture of anything but the small swatch that I had been exposed to until high school. Education opened my world even further. And beacuse of this, I know well the tragedy of people trapped in a narrow-minded culture. When you aren't exposed to anything but what those around you "know," it can be difficult to break out of the frame of reference you have developed.

This is why I believe in good education for all, and am absolutely horrified by fundamentalists who insist that their way of thinking be taught in schools. Schools should teach us how to think, not necessarily what to think. The exposure to as many different ideas as possible is paramount. In all facets of life, not just religion. Science, math, history, english, music, art, etc. When we are taught how to form our own opinions, rather than rely on dogmatic thought, we have so much more of an ability to get along in the world. And I suspect there would be a significant decrease in the amount of fundamentalist thought running rampant these days.


  • At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Michael Adams said…

    "It is better to light a candle, than to curse the darkness." -Unknown

    There is an irony in freethought: does excluding fundamentalism no longer make us truly open-minded, or does it mean that fundamentalism is simply the opposition of real truth in favor of constructed truth?


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