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Author Topic:   Spiritual Diversity
Miz Scarlet
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From: Minneapolis
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posted 12-08-2000 09:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One of the fantastic things about the net, and a venue like this, is that we see so much personal and cultural diversity.

That given, I thought it'd be nice to provide an area -- especially since it keeps coming up in conversation lately -- for people to talk about their own spiritual or religious traditions. It provides an especially nice display of how diverse spiritual beliefs (or the absence of them) really are around the world, which is always a good reminder.

--
I'll start so no one has to be a sitting duck.

My family is atheist and unitarian universalist. Through aspects of my paternal grandmothers and great-grandmothers traditions in Italy, I began practicing and studying pagan and neo-pagan traditions in my early teens (almost twenty years ago - gah!), and about a decade ago, integrated those with Zen Buddhism.

The best I've ever heard my personal melange of tradition put was when someone called me a "wickibu."

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Confused boy
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From: England
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posted 12-08-2000 11:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Confused boy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well that combination of beliefs is certainly unconventional. I am interested in Zen Buddhism and all aspects of Oriental culture. Saw this play just yesterday about some Buddhist monks in fact. They managed to perform magnificent stunts on stage.

Neway me. Born Jewish. Both sides of my family come from Russia from about 100 years back. My family have tended not to take Judaism too seriously, only going to synagogue on special occasions. I intend to do a little more in terms of my faith. While my family eat ne pork products or shellfish, I do not. Its a bit silly really as i dont do the really important things often like going to synagogue on the Sabbath but ts my way of reminding myself ho i am. I am a bit agnostic sometimes but it doesnt effect my faith too much as more than nething else i view Judaism as a guide to living a moral life with fairly basic concepts (dont kill, dont steal etc.)

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Gumdrop Girl
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From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10
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posted 12-08-2000 01:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gumdrop Girl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm a practicing Theravada Buddhist, as is everybody else in my family. Been that way for many generations. Theravada Buddhism is the original sect of Buddhism, and it's fairly small. Mostly practiced in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka.

Basic tenets include:
karma -- you do good, you get good. you do evil, you get evil.
reincarnation -- your karma determines how you'll come back
there was one Buddha and he died 2547 years ago; this sets us apart from the other branches of Buddhism who believe in Bodhisattvas
5 Precepts: don't kill, steal, lie, pollute the body, or use sex maliciously.

Lately, the way I practice my religion has differed slightly from the way my parents practice. they do it 'cause that's how it's been done in the past. that's how they know it. i practice in a way that is more Dharma-centric; much less emphasis on the animist beliefs/superstition/mythos.

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keoki_14
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From: Columbia, MD, USA
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posted 12-08-2000 02:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for keoki_14     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm a Lutheran; my whole family is. I'm not too religious. I'm been confirmed, but I just haven't gone to church lately. I still pray though. I feel that I am faithful to God, and that's what matters most. When I'm ready to go back to church, I will. (My pastors left and lots of thigns changed. I needed to take a break.) We're learning about Lutheranism in school and it's really interesting to compare it to Catholics, and such.

Gumdrop Girl, I learned about Buddhism in school. Do you pray 5 times a day? And the 5 Precepts are kind of like the 5 Pillars of Faith, right? (Or is that Hinduism?)

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"No day is so bad it can't be fixed with a nap."
--Carrie Snow

"A mistake is simply another way of doing things."
--Katharine Graham

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pink
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From: I'd be better off in New York
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posted 12-08-2000 02:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for pink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was just learning of Hinduism, Buddhism, and other religions in school. I think the 5 Pillars are Islam. Not totally sure though....

As for me, I wasn't raised with religion. In fact, I didn't know Christmas was actually about Christ until I was about 8! So, consequently I formed my own beliefs, so I don't believe in Heaven, Hell, Satan, God, angels, demons, etc, etc. I really like this way of thinking, I feel it leaves me open to a lot of veiws that I might not otherwise see.
About a week ago, I found out my mother owns a bible, she's methodist, and so is her side of the family. But she hasn't been to church in years. My father believes in God, but I doubt he's ever opened a bible in his lifetime. I've been to church three times, twice with my grandparents (I was staying with them), and once to my friends Pentecostal church. My friends seem a little shocked when I tell them my beliefs, but they don't persecute or anything for it. Lately, I've been trying to get a grip on the basics of other religions. So far my favorite story is Exodus. I find it really interesting

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Hanne
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posted 12-08-2000 03:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hanne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm Jewish, identify myself with the Conservative movement, though my personal practice is more study-oriented than it is ritual-oriented. I do a lot of study of Jewish law and custom around sexuality and relationship issues, and I also study a lot of Jewish ethics treatises and the interpretive/analytical works that go along with them.

I'm also a comparative religions egghead to some degree, and have spent large amounts of time studying Catholicism, Islam, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Sufism (a mystical Islamic practice). By association with many friends of mine who are pagans of various stripes, I've also learned a lot about non-monotheistic Western traditions, but haven't made a consistent study of them.

As a former professional musician, I spent a lot of time singing in various churches, and have become very familiar with the services, liturgies, hymnals, and prayer structures of quite a number of different Christian religions, including several flavors of Catholic (Eastern, Melkite, Roman, Greek), Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, Anglican/Episcopal, Unitarian, Baptist, Seventh-Day Adventist, and others. About 5 years ago I decided to stop waking up early on Sundays to sing in other people's churches, though, so I no longer do that.

Spiritually speaking, I think of myself primarily as a Jew, secondarily as an ethical monotheist, though the two aren't really separable, for me.

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Hanne Blank
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Mophead
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posted 12-08-2000 04:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mophead     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, another person who knows SDAs exist!

I'm one. I don't know how much I slide with it, but so far, I'm one. It's just that they can tend to be so judgemental... my mother can't even let me go to church with blue nail polish because the hens would start clucking at me. If they knew I was bi, whoa.

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My menstrual diary
Updated as often as my uterus

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KittenGoddess
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posted 12-08-2000 04:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KittenGoddess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, I identify myself as a Christian. Although I don't identify with any one church (Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, or whatever else). I grew up in a Christian home, and we went to an "Independent Christian" church on and off for years. My parents always allowed my sister and I to be exposed to different religions so that when we were old enough to choose, we could be whatever we felt was right for us. During jr. high and high school, I attended a Christian school which was run by a Baptist church. That was quite an experience since I have formed my own views and some of them are not widely accepted by the people of that church. My favorite part was how frustrated my science teacher used to get sometimes when he was teaching creation and my personal belief can kinda be lumped into "theistic evolution". At any rate, it was an experience that I don't regret, because it caused me to re-affirm my own beliefs and become stronger than I'd been before simply because of the adversity I encountered in that enviornment. For anyone who says that it's easier to be a Christian in a Christian school, I'd tell you to try it for a while and then see whether you really think that's true or not. It's interesting to see that there you're persecuted not for having beliefs, but for not having the "right" beliefs. (disclaimer: I'm sure this doesn't apply to all Christian schools, but it certainly did apply to mine!) Anyway, I don't currently attend a church regularly, but I do read the Bible and pray regularly. My religion is something I strongly believe in and it's a big part of who I am.

~KittenGoddess

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"If it is your time, love will track you down like a cruise missile."
~Lynda Barry

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Hanne
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posted 12-08-2000 04:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hanne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mophead --

Not only do I know who the SDAs are, but I used to hang with some kewl queer SDA chicks when I lived out West (there *are* other non-hetero SDA people, honest!). My landlord apparently thought that I was SDA myself for a while, because I had really long hair back then and used to leave the house early on Saturdays to go to synagogue (he couldn't know I wasn't going to church!).

One of the groovy things for me about hanging with SDA folks is that we can compromise easily about food issues. Particularly when I was hanging with my SDA pals back West, that was important because I was a vegetarian -- as are most SDA people. With my other friends, we would always have to have that "oh god, what restaurants can we go to where Hanne can find something to eat" discussion, but not with my SDA friends. It was nice not to have to worry about it.

Even now, when I am around SDA communities (there's an SDA college near here where a friend of mine teaches and I go out to hang with her sometimes) it is very relaxing for me to be able to eat in the cafeteria or whatever without having to worry if there is meat and dairy mixed in a dish I'm eating, or if there's pork or pork products in it that I don't know about. Makes life much simpler for me, and that's pleasant.

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Hanne Blank
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Aria51
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From: Mexico, Missouri
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posted 12-08-2000 04:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aria51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was an ELCA Lutheran (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America for those of you who don't know what that is.) until I was 16, at which point I realized that in my opinion, group prayer and ritual seemed to cheapen things a bit. Notice that I say *IN MY OPINION*. I'm not saying it is or should be that way for everyone. So I stopped going to church every sunday, stopped calling The Driving Force "God", stopped doing the nightly prayer thing, and stuff like that. Right now I'm not too sure what I believe in, I do believe in a higher power but I'm not going to give it a name or a gender, or even say that there's just one. I just make a conscious effort to respect my fellow living things, spread joy as much I can, and make the world around me a pleasant place.
Of course, my son is around baptizing age, and I have no idea how to handle it. Right now I think I'll baptize him into the Lutheran faith as I was when I was a baby, and leave his spiritual decisions up to him after that. But that could change the more I think about it.

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~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I need my conscience to keep watch over me
To protect me from myself
So I can wear honesty like a crown on my head
When I walk into the promised land

Aria of Mayhem

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StarryRedhead
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posted 12-08-2000 06:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for StarryRedhead     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm wiccan, I am a Celtic witch but also a hereditary witch, my grandmother who sadly passed away last year was a witch. To me being wiccan is more of a way of life than a religion. I worship Gods and Goddesses and celebrate our 8 sabbats. I have great respect for nature, the seasons, the moon, the earth, and all living things.

I have worked with many spells over the years, ONLY spells that help though, not harm. Most of my magick is done with things that are easy to come by, things outside, things around the house, etc. I have a daily ritual that I perform everyday, I just light a candle or do a tarot reading and if I'm having a hard time I sometimes will burn some incense before I go to bed. But my daily ritual is basically "my prayers" and a way to start the day fresh and full of hope.

What made me choose the wiccan religion is the openness to all types of people and living things, something I found was lacking in the religion I was born into (Roman Catholic). And I was not happy with the way that many churches viewed women, as well as didn't like organized religion in general, and that's when I discovered wicca. And most witches have their own way of practicing their beliefs, which is why it is so diverse and why I consider it more of a way of life than a religion.

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}{*Starry Ali*}{
"You flicker. And you're beautiful. You glow inside my head. You hold me hypnotized, I'm mesmerized..."
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Ella
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posted 12-08-2000 06:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ella     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I grew up with parents who believe in God but don't have a religion. I used to think what I was was Agnostic, but i've recently been informed that that means being unsure about the existence of a higher being. I do believe in a higher being, but just as my parents and actually my grandparents (on my mum's side) don't have a religion. I'm slowly and with much thought evolving my own belief system. We do celebrate the Christian holidays but more as a celebration of family and friends than as a religious event. To me that's what Christmas is all about. We also for a while used to celebrate a lot of the Jewish holidays because a good friend of mine was Jewish and I loved going to his house for them. I think it's great that so many different people come together on these boards in harmony!

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DarkChild717
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From: The Evergreen State
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posted 12-08-2000 11:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DarkChild717     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am a melting pot of beliefs. I have incorporated different aspects of "set" religions into my own beliefs. The aspect of buddism, for my belief in reincarnation. My respect of all living things comes from my Native American heritage (go Sacagewea!). I agree with most of the Ten Commandments, and the golden rule. I am a Jobs Daughter, which is an organization based on the Story of Job, or rather Job 42:15-"In all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job, and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren."

Study religion has been interesting. I have been reading on wiccan, witchcraft and other pagan religion. Since I was 5, I have educated myself on Egyptian and Native American beliefs. In history, we just finished learning about the Roman Catholic Church, Martin Luther (Founder of Lutheranism), the anabaptists, the Huganots, Protestantism, the Edict of Nantes, and Queen Elizabeth I's decree--this allowed English citizens to practice whatever religion they so chose, as long as they looked Protestant. This was later revoked by Henry XIII. Great guy. All I have to say about that is that Catholicism has a very bloody history.

[This message has been edited by DarkChild717 (edited 12-09-2000).]

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Gumdrop Girl
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posted 12-10-2000 01:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gumdrop Girl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Keoki: well, the 5 Precepts are more analogous to the 10 Commandments. I would most likely identify the 4 Noble Truths with the 5 Pillars of Islam.

I don't pray 5 times a day. Prayer times are pretty flexible, like there's no set time when a Buddhist should pray, they just trust that we'll get around to it eventually.

Personally, i like to go to the temple around exam time. like this week, I'll probably meditate a bit and pray for good scores or something

Hope that answers your queries

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Someday, I will have a sexy car...a very...sexy...car!

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unhappykoger
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From: dayton,ohio,u.s.a.
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posted 12-10-2000 01:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for unhappykoger     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
im not really sure what religion i am. i dont want to take the time to read up on everything. i need to be able to just get a brief definition of what all the religions believe before i can call myself anyting. i dont think i believe fully in one religion, although im not sure becasue i dont know many. im not really even sure what i believe in. i would like to find out though, i have been thinking about this for a couple of years now.

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PoetgirlNY
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posted 12-10-2000 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PoetgirlNY     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm wiccan. I'm also jewish. Not that I believe in judaism or anything. hehe. For real though, I've been wiccan for 4 years. It just makes the most sense to me. I've always been very nature oriented, so it's pretty cool that that can be part of my spirituality. I celebrate the 8 sabbats and the 13 esbats. Wicca has been such a positive influence on my life that it's like I'm a different person from who I was before I started studying it. I don't lie anymore(I used to lie a lot). I try to be nice to everyone and generally make the world better. Wicca helps me appreciate everything about the world that too many people take for granted, like the sky, rain, and air. I think that wicca is a thinking religion. I'm constantly questioning everything around me.
And onto the jewish part of me. I think of myself as culturally jewish as opposed to religiously or ethically jewish. I come from a jewish heritage. I have no patience for praying in a language that I don't speak(hebrew), but I do want to learn Yiddish, the language of the jews in europe before the holocaust. My father practices reform judiasm out of habit and tradition. My mother doesn't believe in it at all. I'm dragged to a reform synagogue twice a year on the high holy days for my father's benefit. My parents have no problem with my belief in wicca as long as I don't tell my grandparents-they might have a heart attack. They are very religious. Ok, i'm done. I really need to go study, grrr.

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Limes Are Sublime

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lilnerd
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posted 12-10-2000 03:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lilnerd     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
i'm jewish by birth, but now I'm just.......confused, lol. My family is still basically Jewish, but my father was raised catholic so he doesn't really know much about the religion. I don't go to temple & I don't really know much about it either so I don't exactly feel Jewish. Half my family celebrates one thing while the other half celebrates the other. I guess its kinda cool for the holidays Best of both worlds? This year I asked if we could get a Christmas tree just because I think they are so beautiful and my dad said he'd rather we didn't even though we are confused. I mean, my mother grew up Jewish, but she always had a Christmas tree and went to see Santa!

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duffydolittle
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posted 12-10-2000 04:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for duffydolittle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am a member of the roman catholic church,
nd surprisingly for a teen I am very active .
I do tons of communtiy work and helping others is led to my faith.
I go to a catholic school, yeah I love it ,kids there are different, I feel that everyone has a calling to do good. and people should belive whatever they want about god , and do everything that you have been sent to do.

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Ron
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From: San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico
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posted 12-10-2000 08:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These posts are all really interesting. I think it is incredible that such diverse backgrounds and beliefs can come together in this community. If you look over at the other thread on Why you are here, most are here to help others and to learn from each other. This is a very positive and amazing community.

Personally, after giving up on Christianity sometime in high school I became a pagan. At first vaguely then when I met my soulmate we started to practice a little more seriously. Since we moved to Mexico we have been pretty solitary and we decided not to teach our children a specific religion but, as was the case in my home, try to teach them about many religions and let them decide for themselves.

After our kids were gone we found a teacher and began practicing Tibetan buddhism. This is the opposite of Gumdrop's buddhism, we have many deities, buddhas and boddhisattva's of all colors and much magic and ritual. We see it as kind of an natural extension of paganism so we are pagan buddhists (wiccibus, was that it, Mz S?).

The meditation is much more developed than in Wicca, though, and there is an unbroken spiritual tradition of over 2000 years (1000 in Tibet) in which the teachings have been passed orally and in writing from teacher to student. This continuity of lineage has been lost in Western paganism.

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Ron
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From: San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico
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posted 12-10-2000 08:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These posts are all really interesting. I think it is incredible that such diverse backgrounds and beliefs can come together in this community. If you look over at the other thread on Why you are here, most are here to help others and to learn from each other. This is a very positive and amazing community.

Personally, after giving up on Christianity sometime in high school I became a pagan. At first vaguely then when I met my soulmate we started to practice a little more seriously. Since we moved to Mexico we have been pretty solitary and we decided not to teach our children a specific religion but, as was the case in my home, try to teach them about many religions and let them decide for themselves.

After our kids were gone we found a teacher and began practicing Tibetan buddhism. This is the opposite of Gumdrop's buddhism, we have many deities, buddhas and boddhisattva's of all colors and much magic and ritual. We see it as kind of an natural extension of paganism so we are pagan buddhists (wiccibus, was that it, Mz S?).

The meditation is much more developed than in Wicca, though, and there is an unbroken spiritual tradition of over 2000 years (1000 in Tibet) in which the teachings have been passed orally and in writing from teacher to student. This continuity of lineage has been lost in Western paganism.

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Flowerpunk
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posted 12-11-2000 07:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Flowerpunk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great topic, and very interesting to find out about the spiritual diversity of this online community. Thanks to Miz S. for giving a name to what is a more widely practiced belief system than it gets credit for.

I was raised in a protestant/roman catholic home, although neither religion was stressed heavily. Generally, faith in some sort of higher power was looked upon as a Good Thing. This spiritual flexibility led me on a search for something more substantial than a once-a-week-and-a-couple-of-holidays sort of thing.

I am a Zen Buddhist. For some reason, upon learning this fact about me, people often ask if I believe in God. My two most common answers believe God and the entire universe are one, for there is no remainder in the mathematics of infinity; and if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent God.

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Gumdrop Girl
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posted 12-11-2000 07:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gumdrop Girl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In light of our diversity, anyone ever clash with other people?

I'm dating a devout Lutheran. Our dogmas conflict. But it's not like we really fight over it. We like to discuss and debate, though.

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Someday, I will have a sexy car...a very...sexy...car!

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AshleyInABottle
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posted 12-14-2000 02:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AshleyInABottle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm a Catholic, and I go to a Catholic school (Which is what I've done all my life). I don't go to church on Sundays..which might make me seem like a hypocrite or whatever, and I do feel bad that I don't go..but I do firmly have faith in the Catholic beliefs (maybe not ALL of them), so I accept that I'm not doing what I'm supposed to. Anyways, I accept people of all religions and I don't preach to anyone..people who are different rock!

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"I do what my rice krispies tell me to do"

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negative*nancy
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From: toronto, ontario, canada
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posted 12-15-2000 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for negative*nancy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My Father was Lutheran and my Mother was Catholic... Never attended church with my family, unless it was for a wedding or funeral.

I went with my friends to church, though. Just to see what it was all about.

I'm pretty much Agnostic, which for those who don't know -- is the belief that there can be no proof of the existence of God but can not deny the possibility that God exists.

I'm very open-minded when it comes to religion, and I accept all forms of faith. Just because -I- don't believe in God, doesn't mean that there isn't one.

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where is fancy bred? In the heart, or in the head?

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LilBlueSmurf
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From: Belleville, Ontario, Canada
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posted 12-15-2000 02:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LilBlueSmurf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At this moment, i don't consider myself to be much of anything ...

All of my background is Christian. To what extent, varies greatly. My dad's side of the family is Presbyterian, however he never picked up the same enthusiasum that they have for their religion. My mom and her side of the family are Anglican. I was baptised in the Anglican church, so i guess that would make me somewhat Anglican ... I used to go to church w/ my mom and nanny (this was anglican) and then to my other grandparents church (which were Presbyterian) ... So i was a very confused little girl.

Once my mom stopped going, i decided that i didn't have to go either. I was too little to know any different, and as far i was was concerned, God could see me anywhere i was and as long as i was good, He wouldn't be mad and not send me to Hell or anything. I think i was just a very naive little girl ... This is just my opinion tho.

I haven't found any religion that fits my beliefs exactly. I believe in reincarnation and gods and goddesses ... so far i think most of my beliefs point to buddhism. I haven't looked far enough into it so i don't quite now yet. I guess right now i'm just atheist ...

~ Smurfy (one very confused lil chickie)

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niceguy16
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Registered: Oct 2000

posted 01-12-2001 09:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for niceguy16     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First off, what in the heck is SDA? Hanne spoke of it and Mophead. Something about being Bi's while going to church or something. That has me all confused. I like to learn about different religions. But I'm really confused at where I am. I believe in God as much as I can, but I'm kind of a passive christian. I go up and down with my faith. I looked up paganism a little on the net, it kind of scared me, with some of the stuff I saw. I was looking at the BIG book or whatever. : : well, I'm open to many different religions, I definately don't believe in reincarnation, unless your talking about being reincarnated in heaven (born again) as some put it. But not on Earth. Religion has scared me before, b/c I have mixed feelings, and sometimes I have been over-flowed with tons of energy and feeling, so much that it made me want to cry. I've stopped going to church for a while, I'm kind of at a stand-off with God. I love to debate, but sometimes, it stims my anger if someone is trying to push me into believing a certain way (which to them is the only right way) But it is VERY interesting learning about ancient cultures, and I love Greek Mythology! But I don't believe in it. I love books that mix real life today, with mythology, one such book is called God Slayer. It was SOO awesome. Well that's all I have to say about that.

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Beppie
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Posts: 2131
From: Australia
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 01-12-2001 06:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Beppie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
SDA= Seventh Day Adventist. It's a type of Christianity. I can't tell you much about it though, except that they go to church on Saturdays instead of Sundays and encourage home schooling.

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ThisGuy
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Posts: 910
From: Australia
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 01-12-2001 07:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ThisGuy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe in no God or Gods - Jewish, Christian, Norse, or whatever. I lean closer to believing in the existence of a Gaia figure, but I seriously doubt that, as well.

I don't know if I even believe in the soul - certainly not as something that lasts forever. I believe this life is all, and afterwards we're all just so much calcium rich compost.

Heaven/hell, no. Reincarnation, no. Walhall, no. I don't even believe in Karma or traditional Christian "morality".

Oddly enough, rather than being the next Khan of the Mongols ("I am the punishment of God!"), I'm a romantic and I try to lead a good life. I'm also engaged - traditionally a religious ceremony.

Why? Because I may not have my ethics or morality handed out to me by some bloke who came down from some mountain, but I can see that the only way a society can operate is if people act with some responsibility.

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You are what you eat?
But I don't even LIKE nuts!

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Baptist
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Posts: 232
From: Woodbridge, Virginia, USA
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 03-10-2001 04:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Baptist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My religion is of course, Baptist. I am glad to know that I have God to talk to and that He will never let me down. However, I find it a great injustice when people like Miz Scarlet criticize me as well as my religious beliefs because they aren't "politically correct."

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"The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution."

-Thomas Jefferson

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glitter695
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Posts: 1976
From: NY:)
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 03-10-2001 04:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for glitter695     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Baptist, thats not what she means. Dont you see that EVERYONE is different, and believes a different thing. Some people agree with you and disagree. Its hard to please everyone. You make accusations about people so quickly. If people DISAGREE with your views and opinions you cant get all huffy puffy. She trys to help people not hurt them.

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*~*~12/3/99*~*
*~*~*~I LOVE YOU BOB FOREVER AND ALWAYS*~*~*~

"Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer, but wish we didn't" -Erica Jong<~~~no thats not me :)

*~*Scarleteen Advocate*~*

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Miz Scarlet
Sexpert

Posts: 19846
From: Minneapolis
Registered: May 2000

posted 03-10-2001 10:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have not now, nor have I ever, criticized or condemned anyone's religion here. If you feel that I have done so, you are more than welcome to direct me to those instances via e-mail, as the registration guidelines every user agrees to states quite clearly that:

quote:
Posts which exist solely to complain, or potentially harm or insult our staff will be removed immediately, and those who post them may have their posting privledges suspended, or may be blocked from use of the board in the future, as may users who do not follow any of these stated board guidelines.

The board isn't the proper place for service complaints, but both Hanne and I are more than happy to address them via email for any of our users.

Please abide by the guidelines you agreed to. I think you'll find, baptist, that when you do, Scarleteen is a place in which anyone who is here for purposes akin to the site and in sincerity can discuss things freely. We have many users who are politically conservative or who have traditions based in Judeo-Christian traditions (inluding Hanne. our co-editor, and Gumdrop, one of our most active volunteers) who do just fine and are cherished members of our community.

But I do need to ask you to abide by the guidelines when you're here, and that includes directing complaints to me via email, via the contact at the bottom of every page. I would also ask that both per the guidelines and out of some simple respect for the fact that I own this site and host every user here for free that you treat me with some modicum of courtesy. just as you would someone you is hosting you in their home.


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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

"If you're a bird, be an early early bird --
But if you're a worm, sleep late." - Shel Silverstein

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Lucky1402
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Posts: 492
From: Michigan
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 03-11-2001 01:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lucky1402     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm Catholic. Actually my mom is Catholic, and my dad is Baptist, but I was baptized into a catholic church. I guess there isn't anything particularly exciting about the catholic religion. We celebrate lent and ash wednesday and all that other good stuff. I actually haven't been to church in awhile, so I should start soon. I've always wanted to practice judaism or paganism, but I guess my beliefs don't exactly intertwine with their beliefs. Judaism is out of the question, since I believe in Jesus as the son of god. I think all religions are pretty cool in their own way, but I'll just stick to Christianity.

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*^Lucky^*
Come check out what's goin on in Lucky's mind!
"Dream as if you'll live forever, live as though you'll die today."

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Mary
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Posts: 500
From: Ohio, U.S.A.
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 03-11-2001 05:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mary     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm actually not sure what I am. My parents are Methodist, but I don't believe in God. So I guess I'm an Atheist... But I just had kind of an epiphany while doing some meditation, and I think there may be a higher being, but I don't necissarily associate it with any particular religion's views on (a) God(s). I go to a Unitarian Universalist Church, and I believe in a lot of the things associated with Buddhism. I believe in reincarnation and karma. So I'm just a whole mixture! By the way, this is a great topic . It's been interesting to read everyone's personal beliefs.

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Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes, because then you're a mile away, and you've got their shoes!

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Baptist
Activist

Posts: 232
From: Woodbridge, Virginia, USA
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 03-11-2001 08:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Baptist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
glitter695--Who agrees with me? I haven't found anyone yet who has. I offer someone advice and all I get is PC flak.

MizScarlet--conservatives such as myself are in the minority. The very fact that I'm an NRA member as well as a hunter has often gotten me into hot water. Society always wants to fight my way of life.

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"The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution."

-Thomas Jefferson

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Hanne
Sexpert

Posts: 1538
From: boston, ma, USA
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 03-12-2001 08:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hanne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You know, my dad's an NRA member, and a hunter... and a liberal/progressive pro-choice agnostic who voted for Nader primarily because he thought Al Gore didn't have enough personality and Bush didn't have enough brains.

And then there's a friend of mine -- another NRA member, and a Mason -- who is also a Conservative Jewish rabbi who donates money to Earth First! and other radical ecological concerns.

And then there's me, quite well trained with handguns, thankyouverymuch, and an excellent markswoman, not an NRA member though I have held a concealed weapons permit, a reasonably observant Jew, a classically-trained musician and historian who is a registered Democrat, promotes sex-positive gender-inclusive sexuality-inclusive feminism in her work, and who has taught religious education classes as well as teaching hundreds of people (including many religious educators and clergy!) about sex of all kinds.

Which, I think, just goes to show that there are an awful lot of kinds of people in the world, many of whom may agree with you on some points but not on others. The world, and the people in it, are very rarely as simple or as easily pegged as one might think. The older I get, the more I realize that this is true, and the more I try to keep it in mind.

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Hanne Blank
Co-Editor, Scarleteen

Start a Revolution -- Stop Hating Your Body!

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~KandyKiss69~
Activist

Posts: 66
From: Canada
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 03-12-2001 06:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ~KandyKiss69~     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Christian.

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Shine, make em wonder whatcha got!-Newsboys
(((Kristine)))

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Gumdrop Girl
Sexpert

Posts: 11271
From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10
Registered: Jul 2000

posted 03-12-2001 06:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gumdrop Girl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My father and my elder sister are members of the NRA. And I'm a gun owner (not a bad shot, either).

I know what it's like to feel like singled out for political beliefs. Ideologically, I don't fit in at home (they're too conservative) and I don't fit in here in Berkeley (they're too liberal). But I know how to hold my own in a discussion without lashing out and feeling resentful. There's a fine line between discussion and inflammation, and it takes some time to learn how to walk that line effectively. If you can't walk the line, then you're stuck either on the side of never getting your opinions expressed or on the side of victimizing yourself, with the opposition as a scapegoat for your troubles.

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This space reserved for the free exchange of thoughts and ideas.

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Purple Lemonade
Activist

Posts: 54
From: Manila, Philippines
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 03-18-2001 11:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Purple Lemonade     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lemmeee seee....I'm a Christiany-Catholic.
But mostly an Assembly of God Christian.
The Phils are very religion-orientated....BTW...I turned 14 last Monday...cool huh??!!! Only 4 years until I can get my drivers license!!

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towel42
Activist

Posts: 256
From: Illinois
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 03-19-2001 11:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for towel42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ok, I know this reply is a bit late, but I just joined yesterday and would like to get a comment in before the boards go on spring break tomorrow.

I've kind of formulated my own version of a certain religion. I don't know what else to call myself besides a Wiccan, but I think that that may give a misleading impression. Wicca is referring to the pagan tradition created by Gerald Gardner. Now, while I hold in high regard the majority of Wicca, I find following any *set* religion too restricting. There are so many different Witchcraft traditions out there, and I try to take a little bit from each I feel comftorable with. Also, I have my own opinions on God. Its not so much that I'm a pagan, but that I believe that God is in everything, and everything is God, and that includes us. I don't think we as a race are quite ready to truly comprehend God. If we were, we wouldn't be having quite so many religious wars. I've taken it upon myself to decide that no, I don't know what God is. I don't like to put labels on God. I just know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a force behind creation. There is something out there, something so powerful it has to transcend energy, and I can't begin to comprehend it. And that's that.

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...an angel who didn't so much fall as saunter vaguely downward...

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Miz Scarlet
Sexpert

Posts: 19846
From: Minneapolis
Registered: May 2000

posted 03-20-2001 09:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually, Wicca was not created by Gardner nor his wife, who, as associates of Crowley, liked to claim that they did in the late sixties and early seventies. They simply popularized (kind of) one form of fairly generic coven-based witchcraft.

"Wicca" is a new term used by the Gardners and others to describe the most general sort of modernized witchcraft. However, there are NUMEROUS forms of earth-based rilgion and spirituality based all over the globe, and "Wicca" is not one set tradition with rules and tenets, but mainly an umbrella term, and what the gardners tried to coin in some respects is not recognized (nor respected) by many wiccans and practictioners of earth-based religious traditions.

If you're interested in Wicca, I highly suggest doing some reading outside that circle, especially works by more earnest scholars and practitioners like Merlin Stone's "When God Was a Woman," "The Spiral Dance" by Starhawk, or by reading books based in specific traditions like the Celtic, the upper Irish, the Norse, the Italian and so forth.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

"If you're a bird, be an early early bird --
But if you're a worm, sleep late." - Shel Silverstein

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