Something that’s been bouncing around my head lately is the idea that religious beliefs can be separated from legislative matters. Simply put, you can believe in a law that may not agree with your religious beliefs.

Your religion is not everyone’s religion and just as you don’t want their beliefs to take away your rights. Your beliefs should not take away anyone else’s rights.

You can believe what you want but using that belief as the basis for keeping rights from other citizens is wrong in my eyes. Your religion is yours and your belief is yours and I respect your right to it. But I have to question when your beliefs prevent others from having a right you enjoy.

Why do your beliefs keep people from getting something you have?
What is the basis of that belief?
Why do you choose to keep it?

I have thought long and hard about my choice to join a church and to allow religion into my life. **I have long-lived my life by the teachings of loving my fellow-man and working for the common good. **I want to treat people as I want to be treated. I don’t want to be treated poorly by other people and I do my best to not treat others poorly.

I’ve had a couple of conversations recently with long-time friends who asked, somewhat out of surprised, why I had joined a church after being irreligious for so long. I called myself agnostic more than atheist as I’ve believed there is something up there bigger and smarter than us but I wasn’t sure it was “God” in the Christian sense.

Since joining a church, I have given a lot of thought to my beliefs and why I believe what I believe and what I believe.

I do not agree with everything in the religion and I never will. There is a lot I can’t agree with because it harms other people and any religion that harms other people I can’t agree with.

Jesus taught us to love thy brother. Jesus wanted us to be good to each other and that simple idea, which I have tried to live up to, has long been perverted.

I stayed away from churches for a long time because they were places of such negativity.

Do this or you’ll go to hell!
Let’s go protest this movie because we don’t agree with it!
Live like this or face the consequences!

If your beliefs are threatened by a movie you need to re-examine why you hold those beliefs. If your life is based on fear, what are you really living for?

That’s not how I want to live my life. I don’t want to live in a constant fear of a vengeful God looking to strike me down at the first misstep. I believe in a kind and loving God who made us in his image and wants the best for us. I believe we all have free will to mess up but I also believe we can be forgiven.

I believe we have the chance to do right and we have the chance to do wrong. At the end of our life here on Earth, our actions and our deeds, both good and bad, will be taken into account.

I believe we are only human and we are going to make mistakes. I believe the Bible was written in the time it was written but needs to be a living document because times and circumstances change.

To live strictly by the Biblical times would mean slavery would still be allowed. Women would be possessions of their men. These are no longer good ideas. But they were written in a time when these things were accepted.

A living doctrine needs to evolve and to grow in the world it is being practiced.

I believe religion can bring great peace and happiness in the lives of its practitioners. And I believe it can bring deep pain and sorrow in those same lives. I believe how people treat each other in the name of religion is shameful and directly opposes the teachings of Jesus Christ who the Christian religions are founded on.

We all have our own set of beliefs and morals we live by. Whether they are part of a religion or our own personal moral code. We all live our life with a set of rules that work for us. This code brings us happiness when we’re living by it and sadness when we do not.

I am not perfect. None of us are perfect. I believe perfection cannot exist on this earth because we are humans and we are fallible. But I do believe it is our place to treat each other as we’d like to be treated.

We each deserve love and respect and friendship.
We each deserve to be loved.
We each deserve to love.
We each deserve our own happiness.
And with happiness comes security.
And with security a stable home can be build and a family can flourish.

This is what I believe and this is why I believe it.
I am a member of a Christian religion.
I am a Christian.
I am a human.
I am a man.
I am a friend.
I am a husband.
I am a son.

I strive to treat people as I would like them to treat me.
It is how I have lived my life and while I am not perfect, I try everyday to remember this is how I should live and I try by best to live in this way.