How Can You Belong to a Religion and Not Agree with Their Teachings Completely?

Updated on February 06, 2013
J.M. asks from Doylestown, PA
29 answers

The last question about homosexuality made M. think of this

I see a lot of people who say I am catholic BUT;
-I don't believe being gay is a sin or wrong
-I believe in birth control and don’t think it's a sin
-I don’t think abortions are wrong

I J. don’t get it. Why call yourself a catholic then? I am not talking about those who say they believe it is a sin but will love all people and not judge. If you actually follow the catholic teachings that's how it should be love and acceptance even if you believe they are sinning. I am more so talking of those who actually don’t agree with the teachings but call themselves catholic. I went to catholic school from K through college and decided that particular religion wasn’t for M. and I am more non denominational if anything. I don't agree with what the catholic church preaches on a few major issues, mostly the ones above, and therefore am not catholic. I J. don’t understand how people can still call themselves catholic but then not agree on some of the very big issues the catholic church is very strong on! Especially if you whole heartedly disagree on a particular issue above

Why not say you believe in some catholic teachings but aren’t a practicing catholic?

I don’t get it. maybe someone else can explain?

this isn’t meant to be taken as M. undermining peoples religious beliefs. I’m fine with people feeling different J. my head doesn’t get how you can identify with a religion but not believe in the main issues in that religion?

Also this goes for any religion or organization...i can only think of catholic examples since thats what i know

I'm still confused! Majorly=) doesnt take much
Everyone keeps saying because they believe in the older teaching even though they dont believe the man made rules that go with it today, but thats the catholic church. If not you're J. believing what the bible and judiasm was based on and the main teaching from long ago, but the church has evolved. If the pope decided that racism was good again today and blacks shouldnt be allowed on the same side of the chuch would you still identify with being catholic because thats J. a man made rule? thats what its like for M. i cant identify with being catholic if i only believe in someof their core beliefs

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So What Happened?

Gidget I cant update above and fix what i typod or typed to fast. my computers being a jerk=) no i definitely dont think people should walk away when they dont believe in a few smaller things but simply how much is too much diference before your not a practicing catholic and another kind of catholic?
Baptism is huge in the catholic church. I remember when my dad was going to get baptized and they told him if he died before the ceremony he would never reach heaven (for him there is a zillino other reasons who that shouldve been true at the time), he J. walked out because he couldnt believe in a religion that could condemn someone so his case his mom died when he was a kid. he had no chance to be baptized yet they believed he wouldnt reach heaven if he wasnt baptized and he died as a child?
for M. publicly rejecting gay people, even if certain parishes dont is enough for M. to say i dont identify with being in that religion. i identify with being a catholic in that is how i was raised and i cherish the years i was active in the church and volunteering but i choose to continue to have my beliefs and follow my heart and conscience without being catholic since i see too many issues in the parishes around M..

Gosh so many people have awesome points I wish we could comment on peoples posts without doing a SWH
JB I completely see where you are coming from that its not main issues (being gay,m birth contro.) I guess for M. even the creed where it states you need to be baptized for forgivenessof sin bothers M.. If you ask a priest they will tell you if a baby is buried without being baptized they will not enter heaven. So for M. I cant get past even the main teachings.

Cheryl I completely agree you can belong to something you dont 100% believe in but if you disgree with the main teaching why identify yourself as a catholic (not you J. you as in the metaphorical person we're speaking of)? Like someone below said there are relgions that allow for difference of opinion but catholics rulings are handed down and not to be disagreed with. So if this said person didnt believe a lot of the main teaching were wrong why not identify with a relgion simimlar to being catholic but not catholic.

To M. it's like saying i"m catholic but I dont believe Jesus was god's son. Then I would think well then you arent catholiuc, maybe look into Judaism.. questioning things is healthy in whatever you believe in BUT if you whole heartedly disagree with what your religion is preaching, isnt there a point where you no longer are a member?
yea but being catholic isnt a heritage you're not born into it you have to be baptized and then once you are you arent a practicing catholic unless youve had all sarcements and then go to mass weekly.

i dont get it. some say you;'r catholic forever if you're baptized but that doesnt make sense to M.. How can you be catholic if you decided that you dont believe in their practices?

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answers from Seattle on


Be the change you want to see in the world.

Some people vote with their feet.
Other people work from within.

There's also a difference in whole vs individual. What may be best for the whole, can be worst for the individual, and vice versa. Its one of the reasons Im glad to be a followr, rather than a leader. Leaders have to look at what is best for the whole. As a follower, I get to focus on what is best for myself & my family as individuals.

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answers from Columbia on

Catholicism is different. It's not J. about's a birthright for some.

Some folks call themselves Catholic in the same way that I call myself Scots-Irish. Their family is Catholic so they are too. They follow the basic traditions in baptisms, weddings, etc, but don't really practice in any other way. Around here, we call them "C and E Catholics." They show up to mass dressed to the nines on Christmas and Easter, and identify themselves as Catholic...that's about it. They don't practice, but still consider themselves to be Catholic.

This is J. my observation as a non-Catholic in a city of MANY Catholics.

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answers from San Francisco on

I don't really get it either, but if not following every teaching to the letter makes people more tolerant, then it's a good thing.

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answers from Albany on

Well to answer your title question as it applies to M., how can I call myself a Catholic, and "belong" to the Catholic Church (which I do and I am) without agreeing with/subscribing to all of its teachings is this:

I am a thinking person. I know what I can, then I think for myself.

I am VERY pleased to see I am not the only one. I am very pleased to see that my kids are thinkers as well.

Perhaps together they, and the thinking children of the other thinking moms (like you, for example) on this site, will be the generation that FINALLY finds the strength to move the Catholic Church into the 21st century.


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answers from St. Louis on

Because modern religions are nothing more than man's interpretation of their written word. Sorry but the bible does not say anything about birth control pills! It also says god forgives so I am not too fussed about my first marriage.

I remember in 2004? The homily was about voting for George Bush, damn sure I would have noticed the passage, thou shall vote for George Bush, at some point in my lessons!

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answers from Boston on

Because I AM a practcing Catholic. The Church is made up of people, and people make mistakes. No religion is perfect. I still believe with the fundamental teachings of the church, which are NOT the kinds of issues you list above. I can say the Creed at Mass each week and mean every word. The Creed doesn't say that I have to think that it's a sin to be gay or use birth control. Those are rules that PEOPLE made up. And it's OK to think they're wrong. The Catholic church has taught a lot of lousy things over the years. Like, for example, during the times leading up to the Civil War, that it was OK to discriminate against African Americans and that we should support slavery. Hardly an acceptable interpretation of Christ's teachings, right?

Change comes from within. I love my church, bad teachings and all. The core work of the Church is what is good and right to M.. I love being part of the largest social service organization in the world. I love being able to so easily connect with and participate in organizations who do so much to help those in need. I believe in social justice. I believe in being called to serve. I believe that love wins. A Catholic Church feels like home to M., no matter where I am in the world. I won't give that up because of what I believe are the imperfect interpretations of scripture and the obsession the leaders of this organization have with reproduction.

I guess at the end of the day, what you list as "the main issues" of a religion are not, to M., really the main issues. So that's why I don't let them stand in the way of my connection to my faith.

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answers from Atlanta on

I had a professor who was both a devout Catholic and an outspoken feminist who believes the Church is extremely backward on its views on women (in general and in the ministry). She had nearly become a nun when she was younger, because she so loved her Church, but in the end decided that was not the life for her. She has published multiple books about historical women in the Church, and the position of modern day women in the Church. She has been threatened with excommunication four different times for challenging the papacy.

Without fail, every semester, a student would ask her why she didn't J. leave the Church and join a more female-friendly religion. She stated that she couldn't change the Church if she left it. She wanted to fight against the perceived injustices from within, create a change, make a difference. She said if she was excommunicated, she would take it as a sign from God that it was time to move on, but since she had come so close multiple times, she rather thought it was a sign to keep up her hard work.

She identifies herself as a Catholic even though she violently disagrees with some of the Church's teachings because she believes those teachings are not actually true to the Church, they have been created by the modern men who run it. ^_^

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answers from New York on

Well, there are millions and millions of Jews who have a strong cultural connection with Judaism and love the holidays and traditions but are simultaneously agnostic or even atheists. Or who are active, practicing Jews but strongly disagree with X, Y, and Z practice/policy on the part of the State of Israel. Judaism has different movements within it, and aspects of it have always encouraged questioning and dissent.

I can't speak for Catholicism, of course, but I do know that there are any number of nations and cultures that have sort of grown up with the Church, be they Mexican, Irish, Italian, what have you. So maybe there can be cultural/secular Catholics J. like there are cultural/secular Jews. For example, people can venerate, say, the Virgen de Guadelupe as a cultural/national symbol without agreeing with all the teachings of the Church. Or people can draw inspiration from the stories of St. Francis or Joan of Arc but not agree with the Church's teachings on homosexuality, birth control, and the like.

I really can only speak for myself, but it seems like there are lots of approaches to religion beyond that of hook, line, and sinker.

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answers from Grand Forks on

Honestly I think many people J. pick a church because it has a really fun Sunday school or youth program, or great music, or lots of extra curricular activities. The great big evangelical churches in our area seem to have the largest congregations because they put on a big show and have Starbucks coffee etc. I know many people who attend J. for that reason and choose to ignore the fact that these aren't even really churches, but more like businesses, and that they teach hatred and intolerance, albeit heavily cleverly disguised.

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answers from Boston on

It depends on whether the religion in question is open to debate, and whether it has a senior hierarchy that makes decisions for all the followers. For example, Catholics have a strong hierarchy and official teachings handed down through the Pope, who is viewed as speaking for God. But Congregationalists do not have this structure at all. Orthodox Judaism follows the letter of the law (mostly) but Reform Judaism does not. Southern Baptists are very strict, and Methodists have bishops, but other denominations do not. There are very strict, literal Muslims, and there are Muslims who are much more modern in their thinking. Unitarians are sometimes considered Christian, but they have many non-Christians in their membership, and they have no cross at the front of the church. Yet they sing Christmas carols. So what's what?

There are many areas of the Bible, for example, where there is ambiguity. So whose interpretation are you going to follow? I know many Christian clergy, for example, who have learned Hebrew so they can read the Bible in the original language, rather than in the English which was translated from the Greek which was in turn translated from the Hebrew. And look at how many translations/versions there are of the Bible! Which one will you follow?

Some people believe the Bible is the word of God and therefore perfect and infallible. Others believe it is the written version of what was, for generations, an oral tradition and which is the expression of humans' experience with their God. They note it is full of questions, contradictions and unexplained reasons for things. Which version of the 10 commandments is correct, for example? There are 2. Which Creation story do you believe? (There are 2) And is either one reconcilable with science and the view that the universe is billions of years old? Which name for God is correct? (There is one Hebrew word in Genesis & Exodus, another one in Deuteronomy. Does it matter? If so, why? And why would there be 2 versions?)

So I don't think there's J. one way of experiencing God or of deciding what you have faith in. And many religions/denominations are very open to the diversity of opinion within their membership.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Hmmm, let M. try to put what I'm thinking into words that make sense.

I think that many people pick a church more on their ability to see/feel/worship God in that place, rather than the specific teachings. Belief in God doesn't necessarily mean belief in all aspects of a particular religion.

For many people, I think that being in a particular place (a specific church, or listening to a particular pastor, or the fellowship of a particular congregation) connects the person to their spirituality, and so they choose that religion because they feel close to God in that place. Even if the religious rules themselves don't necessarily resonate with that person.

So, I think a person can find spirituality within a particular place that follows a particular religion, without actually believing all the details of that religion.

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answers from Boca Raton on

I have wondered the same thing.

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answers from St. Louis on

I understand what you mean....for many religions, their followers consider the beliefs & dogma of the church to be somewhat of a smorgasboard... a sampling from which you choose your own beliefs & faith.

I, too, am guilty of this. (sigh) For M., it's the only way to survive within my world. (sigh) Does this make M. not of the faith I've chosen? I prefer not to think so, but for many these are black/white issues & I fail in their eyes. Does this bother M.? No. & that's all I can say.

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answers from Chicago on

I think religions evolve. A long time ago the Christians said the world was flat and to say differently was blasphemy!

I also don't have the exact same beliefs that I did 10 years ago.

Religions are man-made and therefore fallible, as man is prone to error. There isn't a perfect Catholic among us, not even the Pope.

I think you can belong to a religion that you feel comfortable with and then strive to be the best you can be. Your views may change as you walk the path of life.

We are all imperfect, right down to our beliefs.

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answers from El Paso on

J.B. summed up everything so well for M.!

I am a practicing Catholic.

I fully believe all of the DOGMATIC teachings of the Church. Those are the things that make Catholicism what it is. Things like the Transubstantiation of the Eucharist (the transformation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ). That's the example that always comes to mind for M. because it's the biggest distinction between Catholicism and most other Christian denominations.

This website lists 16 Dogmatic teachings of the Catholic Church:

Everything else is considered doctrine. It's a teaching of the Church, but is not the basis of our faith. I know it's not right to "pick and choose," but I'd rather do that and believe that God will judge M. in the end than to believe that I have to believe that someone else will be judged J. because they are a certain way that doesn't harm anyone else. All of my gay friends are such wonderful people that I cannot (in my heart) believe that God would condemn them J. because they are gay. They are good people who do wonderful, charitable things. I would rather put myself in a slightly bad position with non-essential teachings of the Church than believe they don't have the same chance for Heaven that I do.

ETA: J. noticed your concern regarding the Catholic teaching on Baptism. The Catholic Church actually recognizes three distinct types of baptisms. This website summarizes what I was taught pretty well regarding the three types.

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answers from St. Louis on

This is one of the many issues my husband sees with organized religion.

You walk into a catholic church, chances are, most women are on birth control, had sex before they were married, know someone who has had an abortion who is catholic or had one themselves....the list goes on.

And this goes back to my post about "is there a God" when I said, you cannot J. pick and choose what you want to believe and follow, and then simply say "oh, well your other teachings don't work for M., so I will J. keep taking my birth control".

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answers from Washington DC on

I've come to the conclusion that people are imperfect and religions are imperfect as well. Most religions started long ago and have morphed over time. Honestly, many people who attend church don't even know what those religions actually believe. Church tends to fill many needs among people. They join for the social support and comfort it provides.

Let it go...J. know that churches are a nice addition to the community. You will never get all the people in them to believe the exact same thing.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I agree with you.
At the end of the day, if SHOULD be about your personal relationship with God, but I disgress.
Going to church every Sunday does not a Christian/Catholic make. You have to believe and try to live out the pricipals every single day. If you disagree with some of your religions big concepts (ie birth control), why not find one that fits with your personal choices more accurately?
M, you obviously grew up in the church and made an informed decision to change your religion based on your views. Good for you. Religion is not a birthright. Being baptised does not make you a Catholic/Christian for life with a free pass to heaven nor does going through the motions of going to church but not living it.

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answers from Seattle on

Because most people understand that many of the rules of religion are man made. All those things you mention - you act as if there is no dispute about them among religious scholars. That it simply untrue. Even among catholic priests and bishops there are active discussions going on about homosexuality, birth control and abortion.
I grew up catholic (I am an atheist now, though) and I know many people who are active Catholics, even some priests who are trying to make a change in their church.
I do think that the Catholic Church is a pretty good example of how religions change over time, because it is so old and so well documented. I bet if you looked at the history of catholic teaching you'd be surprised how much has changed in the last 2000 years and change is still happening.
I am not a particular fan of organized religion, but I do have to say that every religion has and should have dissenters in its own rows.... religions without differences in opinions are simply cults.
Good luck.

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answers from Madison on

I'm going to answer this in terms of the Catholic church, since that is what was mainly broached with this question. We could substitute any religion and find for or against; this is J. one religion.

The Catholic religion states that you are a Catholic if you're born AND BAPTISED into the faith. That was what I always grew up knowing; I'm Lutheran, not Catholic. (The two faiths are linked together only in that the Protestant faith (Lutheranism, among many others) broke with the Catholic Church during the Protestant Reformation.)

However, if you don't get all of the Catholic sacraments, or attend Mass regularly, or get married in a Catholic church, or make sure you pay your yearly tithe, then you're not a good "practicing" Catholic, or a Catholic in good standing.

It seems to M. that with the Catholic faith, what you do--or don't do--very heavily weighs on if you're perceived as being a good or faithful or practicing Catholic or not. I studied Catholicism in college and was always struck by all of the contradictions that the Catholic religion has when it comes to whether or not you're a "good" Catholic believer. And don't forget you need to give the church money! (Giving money seems to be a rallying cry for all Catholic churches. You're a very good Catholic if you make sure you give the church what you're supposed to give them in terms of money).

Remember, the Pope has set himself up as being the intermedicary between man and God. Which I always thought was rubbish, as any man or woman or child has direct access to God and doesn't need to go through another person in order to have a relationship with God. Or talk with him. Or plead their case. Or whatever.

And then if you marry someone of a different faith and don't turn Catholic, you're excommunicated. Or if you get divorced, you're excommunicated. Or you have an abortion--I'm assuming you're also no longer a Catholic and are excommunicated? Or does that only happen if the priest knows you had one? I never did understand weekly or monthly confessions to the priest either. If everyone has the right to talk with God directly--why do you need a priest then to confess your sins? You can confess them directly to God yourself.

Remember, during the Middle Ages the Catholic Church was the ONLY church in Europe. The church was filthy rich, and so were the priests and bishops and the pope. Did you know that the Vatican is one of the richest kingdoms on earth? Who owns the Vatican? The Catholic church. The Catholic church also did the Crusades. Lots of plunder and wealth confiscated there from all the lands they invaded. There was even a period of time when heresy was widely condemned (and what was heresy was dependent on what the church said was right or wrong), people were murdered, and their wealth confiscated by the church.

But there is also a lot of good that's come out of Catholicism. I absolutely love and adore looking at the cathedrals in Europe. Yes, I know they were built on the backs of the peasants who gave the churches their money and the plunder the church did on the many Crusades. But they (the kings and lords and whoever else built the cathedrals) also employed hundreds and thousands of skilled laborers and artisans to build them, thus giving peasants and serfs jobs. Their different monastic communities did many great and wonderful things, and we have some great saints as well as great institutions they left behind (think Mother Theresa and all the good she and her foundation did in India, or the monks who copied and kept alive books and learning when the Middle Ages were a dark period in our history and the common people were illiterate).

Why do people stay with a religion if they don't 100% agree with it? I suppose some of it might be because the family has always been Catholic and to not be Catholic J. isn't acceptable. Perhaps they find that all the religions they investigate all have their own quirks and issues and problems so might as well remain Catholic. For many prominent Catholic families, no one would ever think of NOT being a Catholic. Some people like all the sacraments and the rituals of the Catholic church--even if they don't agree with everything that the Catholic church espouses.

Religion is a very tricky thing. Who knows why anyone likes or joins the religion they are with? The reasons to be a particular religion or to partake in a particular religion are unique and variable to each and every person. There is no overall answer as to why a person would stay with a religion if they 100% don't like everything about it.

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answers from San Francisco on

Remember...people did leave the Catholic church because they didn't believe in its' tenets. That is how we have soooo many churches today...and then more are popping up because people leave their Protestant church and start up their own.

There are many that sit back where they are comfortable and don't challenge what they are learning because they are not looking for a change in the establishment. Then there are many who do challenge the hierarchy and end up excommunicated...or simply asked to leave.

Soooo, there are different scenarios for many people.

I personally may have a conflict of opinion but what I tend to do is pray for guidance to understand the teaching or doctrine. Sometimes I am J. immature spiritually to understand at that time. I put the question out there in prayer and address it later after I have spent time in the scriptures, talking to church leaders or awaiting some guidance through spiritual prompting. But...I never come at it as it is my way or the highway...or it is my way so change the way the church is functioning.

I understand that my Heavenly Father is a loving Father. I also understand that He knows better than I do. He is not politically correct..nor looking to mankind to have their approval.

I am looking at my life's journey through mortal eyes...with passions, insecurities, wanting to make all things "fair and equal" and right at this very moment.

Our Heavenly Father knows best...He knows we will make mistakes. He is forgiving. BUT..He has laws/commandments that are necessary for us to follow...and He expects us to try our darndest to follow them. But He knows we are not perfect. We will fail which is why He provided us a Savior. But we should always be trying to follow Him in our thoughts,actions and deeds.

I personally belong to a church that has no paid is all service. And everyone serves in some capacity.

I would have a hard time belonging to a church that sustained itself by men or women that got paid to preach,teach or nag M. into heaven. I would always wonder what their motives were.

Good luck and best wishes. I am glad you asked this question..because I have been wondering the same thing.

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answers from Washington DC on

Personally? My church is a good fit for M., even if the overall denomination varies.

I don't believe in blind faith. I don't believe that you can't ever change. I don't believe that science and religion are mutually exclusive. I don't believe you have to go to church to have faith. I don't believe a church is defined by a building.

I do believe there are many paths through faith (think Life of Pi) that have merit. We are humans trying to define God. You can't even order a pizza in a group without someone not liking a topping. But does that mean the pizza is totally wrong for dinner? Okay, bad analogy but think about the things in your life that are not quite J. so. Do you throw out the good because of a little not so good? I define homosexuality as a side issue. It's beyond believing in God, the Holy Trinity, salvation, etc. You decide if you can tolerate a stance or not and if not, find a denomination or path of faith that sits well with your heart.

ETA: good analogy to Judiasim. Our neighbor never really considered himself a "religious Jew" (especially not after the loss of his parents during the Holocaust) but he did attend Passover seders, and was buried with all the typical Jewish rites. We have friends who won't even turn on a light bulb or turn off their car alarm on a weekend. But we have others that keep kosher while not adhering to the lightbulb thing and routinely drive cars on Saturdays. Similarly, I'd say especially for Catholics it's as much a culture as a religion, in my limited experience.

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answers from New York on

Because words are much easier than deeds. It's much easier to say you are a certain religion than it is to actually follow all the rules and guidelines as set down by that religion. Also it's easier to make your own rules and disregard the ones you don't care for.

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answers from Boston on

This is why I most often J. say that I am Christian. I don't often say that I am a Methodist, or Catholic, etc. I was raised Methodist, but I don't identify myself that way.

Also, God gives you free will and a choice to beliefs, values, and respect what you wish.

Religions and faith practice how they belief or view the Bible. As you know , their are varying degrees and interpretations. It J. what you chose to do with it that makes it your own. For some, they live their life in their religious practice, and what they are taught. For others, they simply use their religion as a sort of guideline to follow.

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answers from Washington DC on

I think the definition of "religion" has been softened.

If I believed that my time on earth was one long test for everlasting happiness and an afterlife, I probably would cling to my beliefs with every ounce of strength I had.

But people don't treat religion that way (apologies to the Amish, who can't even read this they are believing so hard).

People use religion to bolster their own prejudice, but comveniently ignore the stonings, sexist laws or simple things they disagree with.

Christian - don't eat shellfish. Says so in the Bible.

It also says don't lay with other men. So I guess lesbians are okay? But it doesn't say to be prejudiced - it actually models tolerance and embracing the sinner.

But unless that's printed in my Sunday bulletin, I probably didn't read it. I don't want to get TOO deep and actually read or study about my everlasting soul's survival. Got lots of time to ask for forgiveness from my death bed.

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answers from Portland on

Not all of us do. I think that there is a fair number of people who do not claim to be one religion over another. I know that I am one of them. I was forced into religion when I was a teen and I resented it. But, I was also curious so I did a lot of research and reading, and I now I cannot claim to be any one religion.

If I can see the good and the reasons for joining all these other religions, then how can I say they are wrong? and how can I say this one is right? I can't. So, I can't honestly say that I am a Christian, let alone a Catholic. I also can't say I am a Hindi, or Buhdist, or Mormon, or Muslim. but, I can see the reason's why people would join these religions. I guess those of us who are like M. really are the New Age "freaks" as my Baptist preacher father would say.

I think that the answer to your question is whether a person decides to pick and chose the things they like and go from there, or whether they person says there is J. too much that I can't handle, and so I am not gong to identify with this religion. Good thought provoking question!

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answers from Columbus on

I have not read the other responses, but my simple answer to you is simply that if you believe in God at all, then you know that God gave humans free will and that we have eaten from the tree of knowledge. Consequently, it is up to us to understand the world. I do not believe in blindly following the word of man and that never to question that which we are taught is wrong. So we attend a United Methodist Church, but it is not their job to tell M. what to believe -- it is their job to guide M., challenge M. to think, and help M. understand. I left the Lutheran church because I did not agree with everything they offered M., and I know I could never be Catholic. But I do not believe anyone can or should believe 100% of what a church tells you to believe because it is our job to question and learn.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Without reading everyone's responses this is my take...

Go back to the Nicene Creed.. (forgive M. if I slip back into the old verbage!)

"...I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins..."

No where in there do they discuss gays, birth control, abortions...

My final thought is that "the church" is made up of humans who are not without sin therefore while the church is fallible, the teachings of Christ are not.

Clear as mud?

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answers from Lancaster on

Haven't read your answers, but I think we agree. I was a "cafeteria Catholic for the first 40 years of my life". I could never call myself a good Catholic. I went to church faithfully but never believed in the "man made" rules that seemed endless and IMO, somewhat silly.

We left the Catholic church about 7 years ago and never looked back. We are very active in a non-denominational Christian church that is based on the bible - end of story. We believe the bible is the word of God. In other words, if it's in the bible, we believe it and live it. If it's not, it's a man made rule and we don't live by it. Much simpler.

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