I grew up without religion.
No, that’s not right.
I grew up with church as part of my life.
It is a place my brother and I would get drug off to early Sunday mornings. We would sit and listen to tales of horrible things done to people thousands of years ago.
We would be warned of the fire and brimstone raining down upon us if we were not good people.
We were subjected to the small town evangelism and politics of church-going. Church didn’t mean anything to me growing up.
It was something to do. It was a place to go. It was something that was expected and required but seemed to hold little value to my life.
It was a history class for events from thousands of years ago.
Ever since having joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints [^1] and being baptized (again) I have thought about my relationship to God and Religion and people of religious faith.
These are three very different things.
Religion is something you grow into.
It is not something you’re born with. It is something you’re either raised with or not. You may be raised in it and reject it later on or raised without it and find your way to it later in life.
However, I think it’s something everyone needs to come to terms with for themselves. Everyone has a belief system. Everyone has faith in something.
Coming to terms with what my beliefs were was the first step to finding a path either closer to or further from religion.
There are thousands of people who will tell you what to think and what to believe and how to act. But it’s all nonsense. It means nothing if it’s not your own belief.
Religion and faith is personal. It’s a one-on-one relationship. There is no room for a third party. There is no room for anyone else.
[^1]: (Totally going for the longest named Christian faith I could find.)