Do you still practice the faith you were raised in?

For Christians, today is Good Friday. For Jews, tonight is the fifth night of Passover. Today’s Question: Do you still practice the faith you were raised in?

  • Dianne

    I remember a comment I read attributed to an elderly clergyperson. He said “The older I get, the more deeply I believe but the less beliefs I have.” That is what is happening in my life also. Although I was raised Lutheran, I now attend a Catholic church with my domestic partner. I am more interested in Biblical scholarship than I am in religious tenets. When asked, I still list my religion as “Lutheran,” but I consider myself a “person of faith.”

  • Gary F

    Raised Catholic, still Catholic. Sure, I faded in my 20’s but came back. With today’s moral relativism, my faith and my church are a large part of my life.

    I send my son to a Catholic grade school and he will attend a Catholic high school. There were times years ago we couldn’t afford it, but we made the tough decisions. Today, with a bad economy and less income, high school will be challange. Money well spent.

    I wish everyone a blessed Passover and Easter.

  • Amelia

    The catholic faith i was raised with does not accept me as a part of the church because i am a lesbian.

    Thus, i do not practice this ‘faith’. With Ratzingers views on homosexuality i can not participate in this catch 22 doublespeak of catholisism that also treats women as second class citizens. When a lesbian in a committed relationship (read married)has the choice to become a catholic priest i would respect this church.

  • M.

    Yes (Presbyterian), although the faith I practice today is a less rigid, more benevolent faith than the practice with which I was raised.

  • Linda

    Yes, I am still Catholic and find a true comfort in my faith. I had lapsed for awhile but couldn’t fill that part of my life without my church.

  • Loriann

    I was raised Roman Catholic and continue to draw on the faith and the richness of our Catholic traditions today. I am grateful for the gift of faith. I am active in the Church and I draw grace, strength, and community from the Church. The Church is imperfect, indeed, but the faith and the foundation are sound.

  • Adam

    I was raised Lutheran but stopped believing some time ago. I became interested in Buddhism about three years ago and am loosely involved with a local Therevada temple. My wife and I, however, attend her Catholic church nearly every Sunday.

  • Eric

    I was raised Lutheran, then I went to collage. Now I am a confirmed atheist. I think my story is the real truth behind why people of faith are truly afraid of a secular higher education. They teach you the truth, based on facts that have been observed in the world. This is something that religion flat out can not handle. The raise of prominent people coming out as non believers, and even writing best sellers about their reasons for non belief, has helped many who used to feel guilty about their doubts come out of the closet. People are starting to see what religion is all about, control, and they are getting mighty sick of it.

  • John O.

    I was raised a protestant and so was my spouse. We no longer attend on a regular basis, nor do we even belong to a congregation.

    Where I grew up, the church was the common gathering place for all in the community: business owners, farmers, retirees, doctors, lawyers and so on. Our faith was not based on “us versus them,” it was based on just “us” and who we were as individuals, families and as a community towards help our neighbors without qualification.

    Contrary to what may be offered up at some of these houses of worship, neither of us buy into the notion of God being a Republican or a Democrat.

    Churches are businesses–some of them very large businesses that appear to focus more on the congregation’s financial bottom line rather than the spiritual bottom line.

    We still have our faith and both of us have our beliefs. Yes, it is Good Friday and Sunday will be Easter and we observe these holidays like any other family does.

  • Sean

    No, I was raised catholic then stopped going to church when I became an adult.

    I think George Carlin said it best: “Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it, religion has actually convinced people that there’s an INVISIBLE MAN…LIVING IN THE SKY…who watches every thing you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten special things that he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish where he will send to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry for ever and ever ’til the end of time…but he loves you.”

    So no, I do not still practice the faith I was raised in.

  • Fred Green

    I was raised in a fairly religious family, but, as I grew up, I came to believe that science is what’s important – you can only believe what can be rigorously proven to be true. I think it’s likely that all religion is just a way to accept things that we don’t understand. It’s a crutch (as our governor once said).

  • bsimon

    Nope. I was raised Catholic, but after attending a variety of schools including parochial, evangelical Christian, Jesuit & non denominational, I learned that religion is used too often to divide us, rather than unite us. The challenge my wife and I now face is in determining what is the appropriate treatment of faith and higher powers for and with our children.

  • Erik

    In the early years of my childhood our family attended a Lutheran church and by my teens we had moved to a congregation that is a blend of United Methodist and United Church of Christ. As an adult I joined a Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregation and now consider myself to be Agnostic UU. I am also ordained in the Universal Church Triumphant of the Apathetic Agnostic (UCTAA).

  • Alison

    I was raised Catholic and once had a really deep faith. A number of things have caused me to reconsider everything I was taught. I still haven’t completely sorted out what I believe, but I am sure that what the Cathloic church is pedalling isn’t it. I was fed a line of historical lies and distortions of the teachings of Christ – some fabricated deliberately to control church memebrs, others put forth by well-meaning but misguided people. I’m the opposite of many people who consider themselves part of a faith tradition but don’t attend services. Due to family committments I attend services, but no longer consider myself a part of the church. Sometimes it is a struggle to stay in the pew.

  • mickey

    I think the crux of the question is “…faith you were raised in?”, because none of us really choose our faith based on reason and evidence. We are indoctrinated in our faith at an early age when we are unable to reason for ourselves. If we had been born in Iraq there is an almost 100% chance that we would be Muslim.

    So for those people who are arrogant enough to think that they were born into the one true religion and over half of the world’s population will burn for eternity for being born in the wrong part of the world, I really have to ask; “where’s your evidence?”

    So, no. I no longer practice the faith I was indoctrinated in as a child.

  • Jamie

    I was raised Catholic, by a very devout and free thinking christian mother who taught me to always question what the Vatican and the Pope say. I no longer practice any faith, and believe that religion is one of the things that greatly divides people I will always be interested in theology and the history of religion, but only in the context of education. The scandal that plagues the Catholic church is not new, and is not going away, the pope needs to be firm on this and the priests who are responsible for the abuse and rape of children need severe punishment, the same as any other person, and the Pope needs to be responsible for his inaction through the years, he does not get a free pass.

  • Jason

    YES. I am and continue to be a loyal, practicing Catholic.

    HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!!!

  • Anna

    Kind of, sort of? I was raised in ELCA Sunday School, my family went to church on Christmas and Easter, I was confirmed in the Lutheran church and became born again in a Baptist youth group.

    I spent my high school years at with Pentecostal congregation, went to conservative Lutheran college, came back to the land of coffee and sweet wine and recently joined back up with my gay people-loving ELCA brethren.

    It’s been a trip, but ultimately, I am loved by my God. Have been for sometime and although its meant different things at different times and expressed itself differently, I am loved.

  • BBR

    Yes and no. I grew up Christian, and am still a Christian, but I’m not in the same denomination I grew up in. To be fair, I can’t really say I grew up in a specific denomination (my parents were Methodist and Baptist), but we didn’t attend non-denominational churches either. I married a Lutheran, so that’s what I am now. I feel like my background gives me a somewhat unique perspective on the Protestant church as a whole.

  • Tim

    No. I was raised Lutheran. By my 20’s I knew I did not fit in with that crowd. I questioned everything and it definitely annoyed the pastor. At some point in my mid 30’s I took an online test that asked questions about what I believe and how I feel about certain things. That test said the faith that most resembles my beliefs was neo-paganism. That led me to research first Taoism and then later Wicca. Wicca is a nature based religion that fits my beliefs and world views much closer.

  • Tyler
  • Jim B.

    Yes. I was raised Christian (Protestant, but no specific denomination) and continue to be so, but not simply because I was raised that way. I came to a point as a young adult where I knew I had to either come to a point where I believed in Christ because it was my own decision, or I would fade away. Thanks in part to the writings of C. S. Lewis I chose Christianity for myself – he taught me that to be a thinking human being is not mutually exclusive to being a Christian, and is in fact vital to it.

  • Lawrence

    Yes. I was raised Lutheran (ELCA) and still attend an ELCA Lutheran Church today. I went through a time in my late 20s to mid 30s when I visited other faiths, Baptist, non-denominational, Catholic, Missouri Synod Lutheran, and Islam, just to see what was out there. Nothing really replaced the memories I had from the church I attended while growing up. Moreover, I realized going to church was about my silent prayer with God instead of getting along with the congregation or believing every word my Pastor tells me. As long as I can reflect on my life, attempt to make a better one for me and others, and understand the big picture, my ELCA Lutheran Church was fine.

  • jessica Sundheim

    When I was a young child my parents and grandmother were not devout Christians. We moved every two years, I attended 10 schools and lived in 6 states by the time I graduated high school. I first found out about God through one of my many daycare providers. I knew that they were Christains. She always answered all of my curiosities. One day when I was sick and in her care I had a conversion experience – the moment when I first felt God’s presence. I was four years old. After that I begged my grandmother to take me to church, and she did.

    We began attending Westminster Presbyterian. I loved Westminster. Men preached, women preached, the choir sounded like angels and I could feel the pipe organ rise from my toes to my stomach. Guest speakers would come and it was there that I frist saw a woman in a Sari. It was there (not school) that I first learned about the many who suffer in the world and how we can help (“join us today in the Narthex to write letters for Amnesty International “) I’d hear during announcements. I was baptized by Pastor Roland in August right before my tenth birthday. My grandmother and my great-grandmother sponsored me.

    A couple of weeks later, my parents moved us to Suffolk, VA. 1500 miles from my beloved grandmother and my church. Fortunately down South there really is several churches on every corner. I had the chance to visit many – Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, etc. I was baptized a couple more times. : D Through my faith, God always provided a loving family, stability, and an example of love and forgiveness. Something that protected me from the racist and hateful attitudes held by some of my teachers, family and friends.

    I feel so lucky to have found my God at age 4. I’m once again a Presbyterian after a very interesting journey. Yes, I continue in my imperfect church with my imperfect faith to try to love and forgive and to head on over to the Narthex, or wherever God may call me to help others.

  • Tammy

    Yes and no. I retain the label Catholic and attend a Catholic church and consider the spiritual dimension of my life very important. However, the faith and belief system I have an adult is very different from the rural, traditional, conservative Irish Catholic practice that I followed as a child. Interestingly enough, the elders in my life (parents, grandparents) have also moved away from that belief system, too.

  • Rachael

    I was raised Catholic. My brother and I went to a private Catholic school from kindergarden to eighth grade, my family went to mass every week. I completely believed that Catholocism was the one true path to God.

    Now that I’m an adult and have lived more, read more, and explored more faiths, I have moved far away from that notion. I now have a very difficult time believing in that kind of god. I don’t follow any faith, I consider myself agnostic, and I move closer to atheism every day.

    I do, however, have a very strong respect for organized religion, especially traditional Catholic ceremonies. I still go to mass occassionally because it reminds me so strongly of my childhood. And I believe the comfort and structure that organized religion brings to people’s lives has been integral to the development of civilization.

  • Pat S.

    I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic school for my first 8 years. I never believed, and still don’t. I always thought it was fantasy and fiction. I don’t know why. I watched everyone around me be moved by the services etc….but I never felt a thing. Today I worship nature and the beauty of our earth. I get something from that that I never got from prayers, communion, confession, confirmation etc. I am happy for those who get something from God, but if you don’t have faith, you can’t just “get it”.

  • Phil

    I went to Lutheran Sunday School until I was about 11. I then realized that God was no different from the Easter Bunny or Santa. Not real. Made up. In my 40’s now, I think that Christopher Hitchins and Richard Dawkins are soft on religion and the damage that it causes in this world.

  • Patrick

    I was raised Lutheran, but as soon as I had the ability to think for myself and start asking questions and looking for answers, I lost faith bit by bit. Today at age 34, I would consider myself agnostic and definately NOT a christian. In the last two years I’ve been dating a very traditional Catholic woman and we’ll be married in July. The more I’m around her Catholic familiy, the more I’m reminded why I’m not religious and more importantly, why Protestants and Catholics used to be so at odds with each other. (and still are) If christianity was the right way, there would be one church, not the hundreds of offshoots all competing for members, telling their followers their church is the only true path.

    I should go eat a half pound angus burger today just on principle and out of spite of how silly the christian rules are.

  • Diane Bjorklund

    I was raised as a Methodist, but my family wasn’t really very religious. I always felt that something was missing because my questions were never answered. I started searching for a religion that I could really believe in with my mind and heart. After many years of searching, I found The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon). I have been a member since 1985 and it is the best decision I have ever made. We have no paid clergy and all callings are filled by members who do the work because they love God and each other.

  • J. Wagner

    NO. I was baptized and confirmed Catholic however I no longer allow them any claim to my immortal soul. My faith began to fall apart when the Church provided illogical or obtuse answers to un-answerable questions. The ancient dogma and horrific (both past and present) behavior of the Church has left me forlorn and cynical of organized religion. I hope that someday those who wish to follow Christ’s example learn that organizing such institutions cause more harm than good. God is non-denominational.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Congratulation, MPR! You’ve succeded in finding a question that’s even more divisive and inflamatory than politics. Well done!

  • Jamie

    My parents felt guilted into sending their children to church and confirmation by their parents and for the social benefits. I went off to college and began experiencing a non homogenized urban life and realized all of the patriarchal ethnocentric lies I had been fed. The more I talked with others in my immediate family, the more I realized we were all atheist.

    I truthfully feel like many, if not all religions are cults. Any group that indoctrinates small children, teaches / reinforces its member to feel superior to others (therefore justifying oppression or marginalization), and treats it leaders as if they are above the law is acting as a cult and is harmful to the greater good!

    So, do I practice the same religion? NO! and I would never dream of forcing any future children to religion. I would prefer to teach that we as people ought to be kind to others because that in itself is rewarding, not that we must be kind to others in fear of possible paranormal retaliation!

  • Margaret

    I was raised Catholic including Catholic education. I never understood the disparity between the boys who got all the glory and the girls who got all the chores and no glory. I realized early that male based religions have nothing of value for women or children. The minute I moved from my parents house I made the conscious decision to not support religious systems that devalue women and children. I have been new age for over 30 years.

  • P. Nielsen

    Yup, I’m still a born and bred Lutheran, and becoming more traditional in the practice of that way of faith. I have no time for so-called contemporary worship services; they are nothing more than noise and entertainment. Having attending the funeral of a family member earlier this week, that service reinforced my belief in the resurrection of Jesus to be celebrated with great joy this coming Sunday, and provides the hope of reunion with family and friends who have gone home and have now taken their places at the banquet table of the Lord.

  • Mary

    I was raised Catholic but no longer consider myself Catholic. In fact, I will not affiliate myself with any religion even though I consider myself very spiritual.

    Just as others have commented, I have come to the conclusion that religions really divide people. Some divisions have caused and still do cause great pain and hardship in the world, while other divisions seem small, but they are divisions nonetheless. I am also very turned off by the money and power some churches have — it seems obsolutely contrary to what their message seems to be.

    I believe we should concentrate on the things we can agree on — a higher power, for those of us who do believe — and organize volunteer work to help those that need it instead of spending time and lots of money on traditional ceremonies. There is no greater fulfillment than helping others.

    My relationship with God is very personal and powerful. I don’t need a church to help me feel and pray to God; in fact, I feel closest to God when I’m out enjoying nature and Mother Earth.

  • Krista

    I was raised Catholic, and still attend Mass every week. My husband and I send our children to Catholic school. That said, the religion that I learned as a child was all rules and no spirituality. As an adult, the “brand” of Catholicism that I practice it more spiritual and less about the rules. The hardest part is finding a Catholic church that fits our spiritual needs. I don’t like the direction that the Church is heading but there are still a few good priests out there who are well-meaning and help my faith to grow.

    I fear right-wing religious nuts (Catholic, Lutheran, Muslim…it doesn’t matter) are giving spirituality a bad name. I believe in a God who loves everybody, regardless of your gender, religion, political party, or sexual orientation. Anybody who uses religion to persecute others has missed the boat. I know the Catholic church has ridiculous rules and ideas, so I’m not sure how much longer I will be able to continue practicing the faith in which I was raised.

  • Mary

    No. I am a recovering Catholic. I prefer to speak directly to God and not use a go-between. When I needed the church, they turned their back on me. They certainly didn’t practice what they preached.

  • Ed

    No, I realized that the evidence for any “god” was either insufficient or nonexistent.

  • Jake

    I, like so many others here, fall into the “raised Catholic but no longer practicing” category. I stopped really believing the teachings in about the 2nd grade but continued to “practice” out of respect for my parents and family until I moved away to college. I was driven away for a combination of more juvenile reasons (mass was incredibly boring for me and reduced the amount of time I had to do more fun things) as well as more mature concerns later (seeming incompatibility between stricter interpretations and basic science; refusal of the Vatican to endorse the use of contraception, and insistence Stateside on abstinence-only sex ed, among others). Organized religions may be important for many people due to the sense of hope, community, and moral compass that they provide, but I think I am doing fine without them. That and my Saturdays/Sundays are completely open.

  • Amy

    No, another raised Catholic, never practiced and I DO thank God (and the Easter Bunny) for that!

  • Jim G

    No.

    Born a Lutheran, baptized and confirmed.

    President of my Walther League youth group.

    Went to a Lutheran Bible College.

    Met my first wife there.

    Joined an evangelical christian church after getting married at 20.

    Left the same evangelical christian church after 20 years during my divorce.

    No one from that church called me during or after the divorce.

    Married to my current wife by a Universalist- Unitarian minister.

    Currently attending and considering joining First Universalist Church.

    Still consider myself a Christian, but don’t trust any religious authority that doesn’t let me think and make the decisions that make up my life.

    The Holy Spirit is still my guide.

    Peace to you and your loved ones.

    Greet each other with a kindness and respect.

  • suasn

    No, I too was raised catholic, I went to the church that was right across the street, I also attended the school attached to it. I was late more often than I was on time. I was in 2nd grade when I was asked by the principal (head nun) if I wouldn’t be happier in another school, I said YES. And my public education began.

    My parent decided they didn’t like the priest at the church, and decided to go to a church in downtown St. Paul, I said I wanted to continue to go the one across the street, so, instead of going there every Sunday like I was supposed to, I snuck up to the drugstore, which at the time had a soda fountain.

    Like a previous writer I too am a recovering catholic. My husband & I do not attend any church unless it is for a wedding or a funeral, and they are still the same old words that bored the crap out of me as a child.

  • Stephanie

    No, not at all. I refer to most of my friends who call themselves Christians as hypochristians because they talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. Jesus preached, Serve the poor. Serve the poor. Serve the poor.” Most people won’t do anything beyond writing a check to Salvation Army or dropping off their unwanted clothes at Goodwill. If people spent one hour a week serving the poor instead of going to church, we wouldn’t have homeless people, cronically unemployed, illiterate, people stuck in a cycle of poverty. Those mentally incapable of keeping a job would be cared for, not disgarded like last week’s trash. People with drug and alcohol problems would have the support groups they need to get their addictions to a manageable level. Most people who call themselves Christian just don’t get it.

  • Ren

    I no longer follow the faith I was raised in but have a more diverse and spirtual life now. I take what I want from religion and leave the rest. I will be attending a tenebrae service tonight and a sunrise service on Easter but my view of the holiday is allegorical, not a literal physical resurrection. To each his/her own.

  • Emily R

    No. Absolutely not. The story is long and under development, but I was raised pentecostal in the heartland of bigotry, misogyny, and corruption. What a nightmarish experience.

  • Anna

    God, no!

    I was raised Catholic, never learned the hail-mary, and never went to confession. I spent more time smoking with the boys in the cemetary. I never liked it, and didn’t stick with it because it wasn’t something I could follow. Why be a part of a church that allows women very little rights; a terrible, gory history; and is lead by a really old guy in a funny hat?

    I’ve converted to pastafarian.

  • Nancy H

    I was raised Missouri Synod Lutheran. However, my family’s version of “religion” included shame, blame and fear. I attended Lutheran grade school – we prayed when school began, before lunch, before the end of school and participated in Chapel every Wednesday morning. Confirmation lasted two years; 7 & 8th grade. The teachers took Sunday church attendance on Monday mornings. When I became an adult, I no longer attended any church. However, I eventually discovered a much more loving version of spirituality with which I am completely satisfied. My family (husband and child) observe Holidays in the most joyful and non-religous ways posstible. I don’t equate Religion with spirituality. I believe Religion is man-made; my version of spirituality is energy and love-based.

  • Laura

    Not even close. I was raised in a Catholic home, attending church every Sunday. I was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic church but began questioning God during my confirmation process. I told my parents of my concerns/questions and they were open, but told me I needed to finish the confirmation process in case, as an adult, I would decide to be Catholic so I won’t have to go through the whole process again. By the actual confirmation ceremony I was an agnostic and a year later considered myself an atheist.

    I’m engaged to an atheist and we’re in the process of planning our non-religious wedding ceremony, which may be a bit of a shock to most of my Catholic relatives.

  • Tina

    I attended a Roman Catholic grade school and high school, but by the time I was in collage the fall after I graduated from high school, I had realized I was a non believer. I tried a few other religions, but I am now a true non believer…..however when my kids were little we celebrated the bunny part of Easter, but now my youngest is 15, and we celebrate no religious holidays.

    We do occasionally attend a “mass” with Grandma, because it is important to her, but we do not still practice the faith we were brought up on.

  • jennythechemist

    No. I was sort of raised Catholic (my father is Catholic, my mother could be described as spiritual but non-denominational) but now I’m an agnostic atheist. I don’t see this as a contradiction in terms; “agnostic” means to me that I don’t think there has ever been or ever will be evidence to prove or disprove the existence of a god or gods, while “atheist” means I am convinced that if there is a god, it/they certainly don’t care one bit about what we do in our day-to-day lives.

    My two siblings and I all went through Sunday School; we were all confirmed in the Catholic faith, even though I didn’t want to do it because it felt dishonest. It’s only in the past five years that I’ve become pretty sure that there exist no types of god anywhere. For little pinkish-brownish monkeys to spend a lot of time making silent requests of an idea that only exists in their minds, seems quite frankly like a huge waste of time.

  • John C

    Born into the “One Truth Faith”, Roman Catholicism.

    As an adult, I found Catholicism under John Paul II and Benedict XVI a returning to a totalitarian priestly cult opposed to open minded dialogue about important contemporary issues- i.e. birth control, priesthood for woman etc..

  • John C

    No. Born into the “One Truth Faith”, Roman Catholicism.

    As an adult, I found Catholicism under John Paul II and Benedict XVI a returning to a totalitarian priestly cult opposed to open minded dialogue about important contemporary issues- i.e. birth control, priesthood for woman etc..

  • Lynn Gifford

    No. I was baptized Methodist, grew up Episcopalian, am a graduate of a Catholic University, but I am a Jew.

    I chose Judaism over thirty years ago. Judaism is unfiltered – no middlemen between you and G-d. It requires me to think There was only one rabbi in the entire state of ND It was tough. I studied formally for over a year. .

    I am commanded to share what I have with others. to feed the hungry etc. but most of all to work for peace. I do this by being politically active and teaching comparative religion in our Temple’s religious school.

    B’Shalom,

    Lynn in Fargo

  • Alice Cowley

    I have always been a Methodist. As a poor child during the depression, my Sunday school and the friendly people of our church will always be wonderful memories.

    Throughout the years there have been times I’ve wondered about my religion and beliefs. I know my religion has helped give me strength through the trials and tribulations that have happened in my lifetime.

    I continue to count my blessings everyday.

    Alice

  • TomDooley

    For years I was Irish Catholic Democrat. Then an Irish Democrat. Now I’m just Irish and as I watch and listen to O’ Reilly, Hannity and the like, I’m not sure I want to be Irish.

  • Greg

    I refuse to answer a question that ends with a preposition!

  • TomDooley

    I was Irish Catholic Democrat for several decades, an Irish Democrat for many more and now just Irish and because of O’Reilly, Hannity and the like sometimes regret being Irish.

  • Julie Nelson

    I was raised Catholic. I went to Catholic elementary school all the way to getting a degree from the Catholic University, St. Kate’s. I currently live in Spain, a country that’s 97% Catholic.

    I would say that I’m what they call here “Catholic Light.” I was raised Catholic and I know all the traditions, and I even participate in them on occasion, but I don’t know that I believe in all of it. I definitely don’t agree with a lot of the church’s politics. I don’t know if this makes me a practicing Catholic or not.

  • Peter

    I consider myself a person of faith and a member of the Lutheran Church through-and-through (I currently work at a church and attend a Lutheran seminary). But, at the same time, I understand myself as a person of doubt and questioning, as well. My journey of faith has been, still is, and will continue to put the “quest” in “question,” as I constantly sake my thirst for hope, newness, and change with more challenges. With all of that said, my Christian faith looks like it did in my childhood insofar as I still look to doubts instead of certainty, mystery rather than a solution.

  • Owen Strand

    Certainly not! I doubt anyone else would either if it weren’t for the indoctrination that religions use.

  • Mike

    i was raised roman catholic and now attend a lutheran church with my wife and two children. that being said, i consider myself to be a humanist with a firm belief that there is a powerful source of life in this universe. i cannot define it and i doubt those who claim they can define “it”.

    peace to all.

  • Steven

    Still? or Again? Something like that. I’m an “Evangelical Catholic” (i.e., Lutheran). I’ve seen the seamy side of the Church and realize it has lots of flaws. It’s true that lots of Christians are misguided and fail to “get” what Jesus actually taught. But since Jesus “welcomed sinners” during his earthly ministry, why should it surprise us that we find sinners in his company today? If there were no room for sinners in the Church, there would be no room for me. In my young-adult years I tried to make up my own “spirituality,” picking and choosing from various schools of thought, but I found, scientific advances aside, I wasn’t any smarter than people who lived centuries ago. I realized I couldn’t really be a follower of Jesus without being part of a community of other followers of Jesus, so I stuck with the Church, warts and all.

  • Ann

    No. I was raised Roman Catholic, spent a couple years in the Christian evangelical movement (born a gainers or whatever you want to call them), then in my early twenties religion quickly became something I didn’t choose to partake in. On an intellectual level it no longer felt relevant and I haven’t felt a need to associate with any kind of religion, faith, or belief in a creator.

  • CJ

    “Hi, everybody, I’m a recovering Catholic…”

    “Hi, CJ…”

    Loved it as a kid in a small Iowa town with a priest who was the quintessential Friar Tuck kind of sweet man who made us kids feel special and nurtured. Went downhill after that when the family moved to a larger city and entered a “McChurch” megaparish where people stood in line outside the confessional during mass to get it all done in one shot.

    “You want fries with that Hail Mary?”

    After that, I was introduced to one of them mean nuns we’ve all heard about who screamed at me during a session of confirmation class, “How could you NOT want to be Catholic?!? We’re the only ones going to heaven!” i was so outta there.

    After denying the need for a spiritual life for many years, I discovered what fit me best and am now a happy little pagan, exploring the expression of same from my Irish background.

    The sweet thing is, a few years back, I met this set of wonderfully radical nuns who somehow manage to stay just below the radar and do amazing things for our rural community. They have insight, unconditional love, acceptance, and curiosity. They’ve healed my angry heart. I still don’t trust the church, but I don’t think all Catholics are evil. One can’t really grow spiritually carrying all that anger and hurt around. Making peace with it and letting it go was a great gift to myself.

    Me, I’m all with the bunny, eggs and other “Easter” rituals. Just remember where they came from, folks! Along with our shared symbols of yuletide and halloween, these ancient pagan symbols resonate deeply in all of us from a place that has no need for denominations or judgement.

  • Shawn T

    Same religion, different denomination. I was raised Baptist; but have since spent time in the evengelical covenant church and ELCA Lutheran church. I now am a United Methodist.

  • stu klipper

    Apart from trying th always cram as many mitzvot as I possibly can in any 24 hrour period, I am adamantly a non-compliant Jew.

  • Lois

    Nope, raised in a Lutheran vein, I turned from the church when at the age of 12, a priest told me all women are inherently evil. No thank you…I shopped around various churches and faiths of my friends, didn’t find anything that spoke to me. So I fell back on the believes of my Viking ancestors. I can say today that I am a Happy Heathen and have found a tribe of folk. I don’t mind folks that believe in anything, even nothing, as long as they are true to themselves, their word, and their work.

  • Jah

    Nope. I have faith without being told what it is and how to use it. Those big questions – like the meaning fo life – don’t frightent or confuue me. Oh… they occupy my thoughts some times …. but … I think of the wisdom found in the movie “Princess Bride” . The hero Wesley faces spanish swordsman Diego Montoya and tells him “Be prepared for disappointment” and Montoya responds by nodding his head and mumbling “Um” in acceptance of the statement.

  • Benjamin

    Unlike many people who have commented so far, I was actually raised an agnostic/athiest. My mother had been hurt by the church, like many others, and did not want her children to suffer the same hurts. I was raised to constantly question and discover my own truths. I was taught in the ways of science and evolution. But I guess my teenage rebellion was discovering that faith and religion are two different things with Christianity. A religious Christian could be defined as tied to the “things we MUST do to go to heaven” while a faithful Christian is “changed from the heart out because they understand that Jesus died for us so there is NOTHING a human can do to get to heaven. But because of this awesome understanding and love for God’s grace, we then WANT to do good deeds.” Faith in Christ is never about “doing” to get to heaven, but by trusting in Christ’s saving blood on the Cross. Doing the deeds to try and please God and thinking that doing more good than bad gets you into heaven is religion. When that is the thought process and basis, then yes, people do awful things because they believe THEY are better than everyone else and think its ok to do bad to lesser people. But if people understand that only Christ is the one who can save and that we’re all needing Christ’s love, then we want to help others, not harm them. I still love science, I still love logic but I believe that God and science are reconcilable.

  • Al

    I was raised Catholic, but church leaders feel the need to shame and demonize people like me in the name of the Prince of Peace. I practice my faith with acts of kindness and service. I try to love my neighbor as myself, but apparently I will rot in hell because the gender of my soul doesn’t match that of my body. I still attend mass with my family but my heart is no longer there.

  • Lois

    No, I was born into a Catholic home, but I have considered myself an atheist for close to thirty years. The thought of eternal life always confused and agitated me, as did the injustice and brutality in the world that was allowed to exist by a supposedly all-loving god. Once I realized that no “one” was directing all of this and that all life and living was simply a matter of chance, I was much comforted. I have gained more serenity since I acknowledged the great probability that there is no god than I ever got from religion. I have more tolerance and respect for all my fellow creatures on this journey through our brief life. I am comforted by the thought that after my death, my bodily components will once again rejoin the greater universe from where they came.

  • Marc

    I was raised a Quaker, as were my wife and our children. As a faith that places no one between the individual and God, it wears well. Our grandchildren are being raised Quaker.

  • Rosemary Schwedes

    I was raised Catholic but I am not practicing the faith now. I miss the rituals, the ebb and flow of the church year, the idea that we should do the right thing, the sense of belonging to a world-wide institution in which so many work hard to do the right thing and to improve people’s lives.

    But the church’s hierarchy has been atrocious for so much of its history, failing to devote itself to doing the right thing because of its devotion to the politically expedient, making deals with Nazi and Fascist governments in the last century, teaching misogyny as doctrine for many centuries, and now condoning, even fostering, sexual abuse of children. The church needs a new reformation, this time one that gets the hierarchy out of politics all together.

  • Janet

    Yes, I do. I was raised Catholic but did not practice the faith for about 15 years, from age 20 to age 35. I came back to the faith and today enjoyed Good Friday service with my children. Raising children in a faith tradition is one of the best gifts a parent can give. I did not always agree with my parents’ religious beliefs, but I always knew where they stood. I have had colleagues who suffered terrible losses, such as the loss of a child, and then went out and found the support of a faith tradition. How blessed I am to have had such a faith to come back to, to have had a faith as a base. The increasing role for laity in the Catholic Church makes it a more welcoming church than it perhaps was when I was a child. The church’s work for social justice and human dignity is very important to me. While I was lapsed, I went to a few other churches, and they had lovely services, but it just did not feel right to me. I think there are many ways to God; for me, practicing the faith that started at infancy is powerful and meaningful.

  • pt63

    I was raised a Muslim in a secular but Muslim majority country. As I grew older, first went out of my hometown to study, then came to the US for graduate studies, met many people, and found myself in many situations, I have realized that the life is very complex.

    As many people wrote, there are many injustices done every moment that any decent person would have difficulty accepting. At the same time, there are many blessings that we take for granted. Neither the blessings nor the suffering are equally distributed.

    Many people see that simple inequality and turn away from God. But God is not simple. I realized that this life is not meant to be equal by our measures; this life is meant for us to learn to be thankful.

    I think I am a more conscious Muslim now than before. God could have created all of us very similar to each other, but He did not. That would have been equal but very boring.

    I am a Muslim and thankful for all the blessings that I am given.

  • Sue

    Yes I do. I was raised in the UCC (United Church of Christ) and I have now been a UCC pastor for 19 years. It’s a great denomination because we aren’t told what to believe and we’re encouraged to question and think for ourselves and to love others as Christ has loved us.

  • Reuben Koutal

    Yes

  • cosmas

    No. I was raised a Muslim in the middleeast, but it was Xian fundies in the US who got me to question all faiths. When “right” thinking ppl can fervently adhere to opposing absolutes and absolutely illogical tenets with the same fervor, it highlightts the subjective nature of faith. This led me to atheism. I can’t believe in systems or entities that are only demostrably real for irrational ppl. And once I realized religions’ monopoly on morality is just another scheme to lend a patina of credibility to empty vessels, I felt liberated. Morality is to religion what guns were to religious fanatics, guns are good or evil in context, but religion is corrupt to the core

  • Jonathan

    I don’t. I was raised Lutheran, but as far back as I can remember I had been searching for something, ANYthing solid to root my beliefs in. I couldn’t put words to what I was searching for until age 17. That’s when I faced what I had known all along. There is no axiom or basis underneath it all. It’s a circular system that relies on itself to prove itself, a nightmare for logic. Even after I saw that, another part of my upbringing held me back. It was the familiar Christian defense against the uncomfortable obstacle of logic and reason: That one must simply doublespeak and take it all on “faith.” At age 18, I was able to face that idea for what it was, as well. “Faith” is nothing more than an excuse to stop thinking.

    Heaven, hell, and God might exist. I have nothing against those who choose to believe that they do. However, for myself and the way I live, I do not want to ignore the thing that makes me human and makes this life worth living: My reason. My reason tells me that when we die, our bodies, our minds, and our capacity for reason – what some define as our ephemeral soul, out of hope – all simply stop. This is such a frightening concept that it’s easy to see how religion came about, but it is the most likely outcome given the evidence. When I was younger, I would have done the worst thing you can do for your reason. I would have ignored what reality blared out and gone to search for different evidence, no matter how unfounded or minute, that supported the theory I was already comfortable with. But now, I have faced the strongest possibility by far, that there is no God and no afterlife. Surprisingly, it’s the most liberating feeling I’ve ever had. The only bitterness that remains now is that there’s no way for me to communicate it to my family. They can only realize it for themselves. Today, the word “faith” makes me quietly sad.

    I’m 20 now, and I’m agnostic, not because I’m angry at people or events, but because I think there’s more to life than wishing it wouldn’t have to end so soon. I’m not enlightened or supremely content. But I’m free.

  • Steve the Cynic

    I was 20 once. I remember how sure I was of what I knew and how clearly I saw everything. I’m not nearly so old and wise now as I was then.

  • Tom

    No I do not. I started out in the Catholic Church and later tried a protestant denomination. In late middle age I realized that it was all based on false ideas. I think there is no basis for belief in God. The Bible is not unique among the writings of humanity except to be over valued. Religious reasoning and pronouncements are simply without foundation. I am very angry about the exploitive beliefs which were foisted on me when I was young. I was taught to rely on religious faith, but when it became obvious that these beliefs are ridiculous my life was left with a big hole which will always be like a scar. I would, however, rather be a scarred former believer than an ignorant believer in something which is simply not true.

  • Joe

    I was raised Catholic. Quit going to church regularly for about 41 years. At a very low point in my life I quite by accident entered the Basilica of St Mary, Minneapolis, and found a community that makes all welcome in spite of being so large. At my age (67) many of my few relatives are gone, so this has become my ‘family.’ I don’t pay attention to the ridiculous babble that comes from Rome, but I like the rituals, the Gospel of Jesus, the preaching we hear, the work we do for/with the less fortunate, and the massive contributions we make to the culture of the Twin Cities. On top of all that, the liturgical music is incomparable. Of course, everyone has his/her way of being spiritual, but for me being Catholic is similar to liking our form of government, but disliking a particular president or governor who pushes bad policies and makes ridiculous statements.

  • sharleen

    No. I was raised Methodist but never understood why people accepted the teachings without proof. I studied the traditions diligently but still failed to understand, so I quit trying. I became a ‘jesus freak’ for a while, until I was told I was worth half of a man–while knowing I was smarter than the guys saying that, so I quit that ridiculousness.

    I found a Unitarian church at age 31 and have raised my kids in that church and really enjoy all I’ve learned. It’s a tradition founded on helping one to find what they believe instead of telling you what you must believe. It’s been 19 years and I’ve found peace, especially with my Buddhist studies.

  • elizabeth

    I was lucky, I was not raised with any faith. When I was about 11-12 yrs old, I got curious, so I started to attend various services around the city. I joined some church youth groups. I read what I could about many faiths. After about 3 yrs it became obvious to me that none of them made any logical sense whatsoever.

    I do have faith, though.

    I have faith in science, I have faith in reason, I even have faith in humanity (that we will eventually outgrow religion).

  • Michael

    Yes, I grew up Catholic and I am a more devout Catholic now than I was as a kid.

  • No.

    As with many others in this thread, I was raised Catholic, though of a fairly progressive variety. My natural curiosity and skepticism didn’t take long to help me realize it’s all a house of cards. I was asking the tough questions by age ten. There’s no evidence for the supernatural, and strong people simply don’t need religion. It does more harm than good.

    I’m 37 and an agnostic atheist, and not because I’m angry at God or was abused by clergy. In fact, my memory of the church is almost entirely positive (aside from the interminable services), and the two priests I got to know well are wise, compassionate men.

    Religion played a large role in the human story, but it’s coming to an end in civilized societies. We’re finally learning that we can be good solely for the sake of goodness. I believe that most Americans are, whether they realize it or not.

  • Sue de Nim

    Yes, but at an age-appropriate level. I know longer understand it in the simplistic way I did in Sunday School.