By KATELIN WILLIAMS
Staff Writer and Business Manager
There are two things my parents always told me to never talk about at the dinner table, religion and politics, but in today’s society where my religious or political affiliations are always under question, and as the religious face stress with these series of domestic attacks against different denominations I feel that it is important for us to use our voices to make change. Although my beliefs stem beyond a term, if I was asked to check or box or generalize my beliefs I would define myself as an agnostic, or someone whose belief originates from the idea that we will truly never know the answer to our existence or the legitimacy of God. On a deeper level, I place my faith and spirituality into the hands of people and the dependency of human connection, because, to me, there is nothing more valuable than the strength of togetherness and connection in the face of such drastic separation.
At this point in my life, I don’t feel that I have the knowledge to determine or place my faith into something intangible, but I also cannot associate with the religious culture that exists, because I let human connections define my spirituality while other denominations use their spirituality to define their humanity. I understand that there is a population of the religious community that use their religious beliefs to make sense of this crazy and raw existence and to breed good habits and kindness within the community, but as an individual growing up in this era, I am left to watch and observe as human beings use their religion as a justification to disrespect the existence of other human beings and enact judgment day themselves. When did the Bible suddenly become the guide to a human morality and define our compassion with other people? When did the words of God get so twisted into becoming words of blasphemous persecution, where we now find ourselves in a vehement culture that draws the boundary against good people, because they love the same sex or speak Hebrew or praise a different god or came to this country in different manners? Not to rain on anyone’s religious parade, but this country was built on the backs of Enlightened thinkers, revolutionaries, journalists, and immigrants, not in the image of a Holy Spirit that we cannot define as true or not.
2,000 years ago, this world may have been subjected to some Holy Grail that would change the world and our culture forever, but what we are left with right now is a society that places spiritual connection over those with the human beings right in front of us, and that is where my agnostic based beliefs draw the line. In this day and age, where people are torn apart by religious verses and intolerance is justified by excuses because of your God, all that I ask is that we embrace our neighbors, our friends, and our opposers in human connection and the sharing of genuine kindness. I may not sit in the pews or raise my hands in prayers, but I raise my heart to people of all walks of life, and I ask you to do the same to create a better future on the horizon for the generations to come. We all have our beliefs or our agnosticism.