Not an overtly religious person, I do respect and acknowledge that religion holds a significant importance for those that have strong faith.  I personally don’t believe that to have strong faith in something necessarily requires you to also be religious or anchor yourself to one particular religion.  I grew up Methodist, which is a progressive faith that is often adaptable to modern society but is rooted to a strong background that goes back to the birth of Christianity.  As I got older though, my faith is now largely based on the fact that I believe there is something there after we pass.  It is not tied to any one religion.

So many religions, who's right?
So many religions, who’s right?

I’m not really sure how many religions there are in the world being practiced today, but based on the graphic above, you have a healthy choice.  I’m still amazed at the fact that a symbol used by two major religions was perverted by the Nazi party leading up to World War II.  A post for a different day 🙂  The common theme among most religions is the fact that not following the teachings of said religion is an indicator that you’re going to be doomed to the “hell” as defined by said religion.  If you logically think about that, we’re all doomed to the “hell” described by every religion that we don’t align with and follow.  I chose to follow my own faith based on my own observations and conversations with faith based friends and family.

Pope Francis in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

As the world already knows, Pope Francis was hanging out in a few cities in the United States this past weekend.  I watched some of the show on television this weekend, but wasn’t moved to the point where I absolutely had to watch.  I have strong opinions about the Catholic religion personally and don’t worry, I’m not going there with this post.  Opinion aside, I do respect Pope Francis quite a lot as he seems to be a very forward thinking and logical individual.  Both qualities I find endearing in other people.  His views on multiple topics have allowed me to respect the man and see past the fact he’s the leader of the Catholic Church.

What's up dude!
What’s up dude!

How can you condemn a man that is so fiercely about the people?  I know I can’t without good conscience.  What rubs me the wrong way with religion in general is how people pervert and rationalize their actions in the name of the God they follow.  It goes back to this post where it shows all it takes is one person to convince a few people before it becomes a mob mentality.  David Koresh is a perfect example of this.  Pope Francis, although progressive, is bound by a tradition set forth centuries ago and walks a tight line between two worlds very carefully.  It’s no wonder the man is so exhausted.

Religion vs. State

I’m sure most of you know about the woman who denied same sex marriage certificates based on her faith.  She’s a public servant meaning that religion (church) and state should not be mixed.  As an elected official, she is bound by the Constitution of the United States, that very clearly explains a separate of church and state.  We fled and ultimately declared independence from a country where religion was closely integrated with state affairs.  How is it that after more than 200 years, we’ve devolved back to what we originally fled from in the first place?

I’m incensed when I hear or see religion being touted by elected officials or candidates in the running for office.  There is no place for it, at least not openly.  Religion is a staple of our lives and I’m OK with that.  What I’m not okay with is the fact that religion has been used recently to justify actions.  Case in point, the woman denying certificates to same sex couples has herself been married and divorced several times.  Her faith is very clear on this and condemns these actions, yet, this same religion is what she uses to justify her actions as a civil servant.  Elected officials who lean on religion as a justification to not do their jobs should be removed.