Believing in God Should be Like Falling in Love

I believe a god, a Catholic/Christian one. I’m not afraid to say that out loud. We have conversations, my god and me, granted they’re one handed and he never responds but we have our little chats. I usually start off by being grateful about what I have. I don’t like to ask God for favors right away, I have to ease into that. So I thank him for my health, my family, and the other happy occurrences in my life, then always, as a default, I remind God that I’m a sinner. I remind him that I will undoubtedly do something stupid before the end of the week and I imagine that this makes him smile.

I believe in a New Testament God, one that is caring and forgiving and has a sense of humor. Spiritually, me and God are good. We’re on the same page. On Earth though, the world has me in a fritz, especially my own Catholic/Christian community. It’s not that I don’t like my brothers and sisters, it’s just that they suck.

Whenever I go to church, when I walk in and see the cross at the very back of the room, I always feel like I’m surrounded by hypocrites. I feel like I can’t be honest; I feel like I have to pretend. I have to pretend to believe everything the pastor says. I have to pretend to be paying attention. I have to pretend that I wouldn’t rather be doing something else. There is too much pretending and acting at church. Everyone is too serious there. Even my mother, who usually gives off a bubbly personality, turns stoic, as if laughter and happiness weren’t allowed inside church walls. She becomes stern and reminds those around her that one shouldn’t talk in church.

I don’t believe in God because I’m scared of going to hell, I believe in him because I believe. This is why I don’t go to church, when it’s full any how, because I believe we should only go to church if we want to, not because we’re scared that we may go to hell if we don’t. This is my biggest complaint with religion in general. Fear.

Religion shouldn’t inspire fear, it should inspire love. I don’t “believe” or follow many of the mainstream Catholic and Christian ideals because they depend on fear and isolation. Believing in God should be like falling in love. When you fall in love you don’t fall in love because you’re scared or because you think falling in love will get you anything, you just fall in love. It happens. One moment you don’t feel anything then you’re in love. Believing in God, like love, should be innate and shouldn’t be inspired by fear.

Too many people are kept from religion and spirituality because there is an ingrained idea that there are rules when it comes to believing. That you have to follow what “the church” says or you have to do what every other Christian is doing. Yet, faith is about following and believing God (your own god) on your own terms. Anyone that tells you otherwise is committing a spiritual injustice.

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