Some people wonder where my stance is on religion.
I think of it this way:
I'm supposed to be Catholic. After some thought, I could never be part of a religion that condones the abuse of children in any form. I don't care what they say, they were condoning it because they are undergoing a shortage of priests, and didn't want to discharge the ones they currently have. I can see their position, it's just unconsiciable (sp?).
I believe in Jesus, like Christians, and I believe in having a close, personal relationship with God – which many christians seem to decry, mentioning that all salvation goes through Jesus. Jesus may have saved me, but God created me. I pay my respects to both, thank you.
I believe that most, if not all, forms of organized religion are hypocritical, and many engage in sacreligious behaviors, some even cause their followers to leave, and depart from the faith, because they teach from the very beginning (contrary to the bible, IMHO) that you can't have Faith without Religion. I think that's the biggest crock of crap that any church has said. It's so obviously self serving. Faith in God is different than participating in religious exercise. Some places even teach that as long as you go to church, you're going to heaven, and if you don't, you're going to hell. It doesn't matter how you live your life to them, as long as you tithe weekly. Screw that. That's nonsense. Even the Bible states that those who don't believe in God (that's right, you don't even have to believe in God) will be given the chance to decide if they believe in God, and go to heaven, or they will go wherever else. I personally don't believe in Hell. I don't know where bad people go, but they'll find something undesirable in the afterlife, that's all I know about that.
Nothing bothers me more than fundamentalists of any religion. Baptists in particular I find quite insulting to me, personally, proclaiming I will burn in hell if I'm not going to their church. Don't worry, God has a special way of dealing with those who mislead the flock. (This I bring up because a local baptist minister was going door to door yesterday, and I finally had to tell him to get the hell off my doorstep because he just wouldn't leave. I was busy, and the last thing I wanted to do after a 14 hour day was debate religion with a baptist minister).
Either way, I believe that anyone who does good deeds, and lives their life to help others, will be rewarded in the afterlife. Those who choose to life a life of sin, have the chance to ask for God's forgiveness, and join us up there, and those who choose to deny the obvious will be sent somewhere undesirable.
But enough about me. Does anyone else have beliefs in religion that diverge from those of an organized one? I'm not talking about "alternative religions" like paeganism, or anything like that, but where your beliefs diverge significantly from any organized religion of any sort, including athiesm.