The Question of Faith

I keep thinking that I should write a blog post about my beliefs. My faith, I suppose you could call it.

Do you know why I still haven’t, why I keep hesitating? It’s not due to some inner uncertainty, I know perfectly well where I stand in these matters. It’s not because it’s hard to explain either – for while it certainly is hard to explain I find the process of putting words to my thoughts an interesting one, it helps me sort things out.

No, I hesitate because I am afraid. It’s that simple. I am afraid of being judged by people I love and respect, afraid of having my faith tolerated and accepted but secretly looked down on. Most of the people around me are atheists. Some are Christian. A rare few are something else. I’m something else too.

When I consider publically acknowledging my beliefs a little warning bell goes off at the back of my mind. I know that a lot of atheists believe that people of faith – any faith really – can’t be objective scientists, and that their research is bound to be coloured by religious ideas. And how many of those that pride themselves in being tolerant and accepting of different cultures and religions are at the same time openly mocking those whose perception of the world falls outside of the norm? How many believe that a religious person, a person of faith, automatically must reject science and logic?

I hesitate because I don’t want to be judged as inferior. As unintelligent. As crazy. As misguided and at best a little quirky. Because I know, that even with the tolerant and accepting nature of most of my friends and acquaintances, the best and brightest tend to dismiss faith as a construct of an uneducated or misguided mind.

At least, when a person finds faith in a traditional religion, there is some degree of acceptance.Those who find faith outside of the traditional religons are mostly just… weird, no?

To be honest, I don’t even like to use the term faith here. It doesn’t quite suit me. Because I am not religious. Religion implies organized faith, a structured system of beliefs shared by a community. That’s not for me. But alright, I suppose we are stuck with the word ‘faith’. I have faith, not religion. I don’t adhere to any structured system of beliefs shared by a community. I don’t follow the teachings of any religious leader even if some may be inspirational.

If having to label myself I’d say that I’m a polytheist. That in itself doesn’t say much, I could add terms such as eclectic or animist there too but still it’s not by far close to describing my truth. Those close to me already know this, of course, it has been no secret even though I have never before dared announce it publically like this. But this is how it is and it’s time I dare speak it out loud without fear of ridicule.

I’ll be returning with more blog posts touching on this topic, there is so much I would like to say. But it’s no small topic to discuss and I’ll need take it on piece by piece. But there, I’ve said it, I’m a hard polytheist, not bound to any specific religion but drawing on ideas and theories from many.

Still here? Marvellous, thank you for reading!

3 thoughts on “The Question of Faith

  1. It’s interesting that you worry how people will react. Because I have only received rather positive reactions when declaring that I actually believe in an old Norse Pantheon.

    It have taken me a long time and 30 years of living before I finally took the leap from being a Christian to believing in gods such as Thor, Frey, Odin, Tyr, Freya, Frigg, just to name a few. It took me that long to be able to justify why I, something of a sceptic, could believe in it at all.

    I’ve always had Faith in something more. I also always opposed religion. And you are right to stick with faith. It is the right word here. Religion is a human construct, Faith is something we have inside of us.

    But now I know why I believe in the Norse Pantheon. I love that each of them are flawed and yet they all carry in them aspects of what it is to be human. Thor is our anger and strength, Tyr is willingness to sacrifice for the community and make compromises (and bravery), Freya is love and desire, lust. Frigg represent the love I have for my children and my wife. Odin is the desire for knowledge and wisdom. Loke is our selfish ego, our mischief.

    And when I explain to people, my peers, how I see it, why I choose this over a faceless vengeful God (the first edition) that doesn’t inspire me, and a Good Prince (second edition) who preach a message so far from my nature, people only approach me with interest.

    It also helps that my Faith is at best disorganised. We don’t know enough to piece together how we are supposed to do things, so everyone are very open to letting people express their Faith in these gods the way they find to work for them.

    Imagine that freedom.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is rather strange, isn’t it? That I do worry. It’s not that I think anyone would go BOOO and call me names, it’s more of a subtle more or less subconscious shift in how they view me that I’d be concerned of. More specifically in academic circles where science and objective logic is King and faith is like… well. Something modern logical minds shouldn’t bother with. Perhaps my worries are unfounded though, I don’t know. Might be me overthinking it!

    I’m glad to say I’ve only had positive reactions to this blog post anyway, so far no one has tried to burn me at the stake as a witch either. 😛

    Like

  3. *sigh* I’m assuming my wonky internet connection lost my last attempt…I use the word “faith” to differentiate from “religion”. Faith is what I believe. Religion is the name of the group. My faith is an odd set of thoughts that give me room for the validity of my Heretic Christian religion and the validity of your beliefs, too.
    Yes to the last bit please write more about your path.

    Liked by 1 person

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