Straight Jacket

Let me begin by saying that I have the best excuse ever for falling off the NaBloPoMo wagon. My computer died. I don’t mean it froze or had a momentary crash. I mean it died. Kaput.  Dead. Or at least it would on show me one screen regardless of what I did. So I’m writing on my boyfriend’s computer instead.

I’ve been in an agnostic funk for awhile, but I think I may be surfacing from it for reasons I will explain over a few days. But first, I have to explain something: the religious straight-jacket.


Religion (Photo credit: Rickydavid)

I’ve heard religion referred to as a straight-jacket many times, and it can be, primarily because it condenses an entire worldview into a list of prescribed actions, beliefs, and attitudes, often without provision for new evidence or personal experience contrary to the current cultural tide of the community. I’ve written before about how I believe everyone has their own religion. We may identify ourselves in the context of groups, but those groups can always be subdivided again and again until everyone stands alone.

I recently realized that I’ve been sucked into the myth of the straight-jacket. The straight-jacket says there are finite options, that I can only believe the things I am told to believe by one camp or another. It tells me that if one system has wholes that everything rlesembling it must be disregarded as inherently flawed. It tells you that if you leave your religion you must throw the baby out with the bathwater instead of cutting off the moldy bits and moving forward.

I’ve been caught in an agnostic funk because I felt as though if I wasn’t a Christian the way my community defines Christianity that I must be an atheist by default. And I don’t want to be an atheist. It doesn’t feel right to me. Not now. But I know better. I momentarily forgot, but I know that I can define my worldview beyond the parameters of the pre-packaged deals, and over the next few I days I want to explore in writing how I’m going to do that.


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