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Thursday, March 24, 2016

What I Believe

My sister-in-law Marcia died. The priest at the burial mass in his homily used images that I felt demonstrated a very outmoded and even bad theology. It makes religion a superstitious fairy tale totally out of sorts with not only science and common sense, but also I think with religious, including Christian, faith. But in rejecting his belief system, I am challenged to articulate my own especially when considering my death and the death of those I love.

Here is what I believe without supernatural entities and places, detachable souls, bodies as shells, corporate male dominated churches, ignorance about human symbolic communication, and the arrogance of having more truth than others.

I believe that all persons and all things are relations to every thing and every person and to the universe as a whole.

I believe each of us is a moment in time which has no beginning and no end. And in that moment the universe becomes conscious of itself as time stretching to all that came before and all that is yet to come.

I believe that I am the culmination of all that has come before and, in specific, of everyone I have loved and who has loved me. And in this way I am in touch with universal transcending love as personal energy and relationship among us all.

I believe that I am the beginning of a new order of relationships that will extend through time unending.

I believe that I do not exist as an indidual automaton but as a relationship to all who ever were and will ever be.

I believe that I, in union with you and others, discover and create our world for good or for ill. I believe that we are responsible. Therefore I do not blame others, my ancestry, my genes, my culture, my upbringing, my nation, or any supernatural entities. For while I realize that these are influences on our behavior, I believe that I with you should take full responsibility for our behavior, for who we and our world become.

I believe that it is my vocation to be a relationship, to heal broken relationships, and thus to build a relational world. I believe that it is our common vocation to respect and transcend all cultures, religions, and beliefs by accepting our contingency while honestly seeking truth and understanding in all their limits and manifestations.

I believe in the higher power of solidarity in love and action.

Because of these beliefs, I abhor and reject violence, inequity, absolutes, arrogance, exclusion, and ignorance. I commit myself in solidarity with others to change all beliefs and institutions including my own that perpetuate violence, inequity, absolutes, arrogance, exclusion, and ignorance.

(This is my language developed in my interaction with many fellow students and mentors. I can accept other ways of proclaiming faith as long as I interpret them in the terms of my beliefs. Since I was raised Christian Catholic, I will attempt to demonstrate this next.)
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