I wrote this about a year ago which was long after my Love for Black women was known but before I joined my Black travel group in tribe. I wanted to update/make it known to my current friends my stance on religion. However, there is not much editing that needs to be done here as I still agree with these beliefs. The three edits are that the scapular is now gone (I had forgotten about it until I read this post), the notion of prayer and religious centers, and how auras reflect spirituality.
In light of a recent discussion and a trip to a Muslim country during Ramadan, I have decided to write a blog post about thoughts on religion where I stand and how that is for me to relate everyone. Furthermore, I came up with some brand new conclusions as I had discourse and inner thought processes to drive the religious arguments.
I have researched several religions throughout my life in order to learn about them. Most recently, I've been able to teach Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and a bit of Taoism to students. As such, this was also a learning component for me. I've also learned about Mormons (San Diego has a pretty large group), Atheism, and while I still wish to know more Hinduism (I should know more considering who I have dated, but I digress). Based on my research, I have over and over thought I was Agnostic, but I'm not entirely sure on that end.
Further discussion, has led me to believe I have more spirituality than I think and I lean a bit more towards Christianity probably more than anything. Why do I say that? Well:
1. I have a St. Christopher medal for travel, yes he's not exactly the saint of travel, but I feel better about it. While last time I complained about plane travel, after doing it frequently in Southeast Asia I'm feeling much better about it overall.
2. I believe in a God or more a Goddess and that's where it stops. However, I think my beliefs lean more on higher power. Since I'm a big humanist, science supporter (NOT scientology), and a staunch believer in free will over fate or destiny.
3. I believe in the afterlife, not exactly heaven or hell, but more of an Egyptian thought process where people all are at peace watching over us. Even the negative people are there, though they've reformed in some ways or at least a way from the rest of us. The Lovely Bones has a good analysis of what I think the afterlife is like.
4. I don't pray nor send prayers for people. I send them well wishes and give myself hope that all will be well in my life. Not sure if I'm praying or simply hoping that a higher power can make changes.
5. I think centers of religion (Church, Mosque, Temple) are beautifully created. I don't think about the religious processes unless it's the first time and I'm showing respect - Islam during Ramadan, Buddhism on my visits to SE Asia, Shintoism on my visit to Japan. I do this to see how the process feels to me and out of respect.
6. I have some belief in auras as I think the natural attraction or feelings you get around people aren't always prescribed to pheromones. When you have those vibes that are hard to explain as to why you're drawn or not drawn to someone that's where I think some spirituality comes in.
7. Spirituality for me is in the form of travel as it can be awe-inspiring and as of recently life-changing. You can have a spiritual journey, but mine comes about in walks through nature that is unfamiliar to me or, as I am a humanist, through my interactions with people and culture.
8. I think the only time I may want to be in a church is for a wedding or a funeral. I have zero issues having mine outside or non-traditionally, but that's up to the wife for the location. Note, these are the only times I'll be in the church, the wife can go but I refuse.
And that's where it stops. While I think a good deal of my spirituality is out of fear, I still have some beliefs. Each of the other religions don't have much appeal to me minus Buddhism and Taoism since they're nature based religions and neither mono or polytheistic. However, I'm not here to bash religions as I respect all of them, I'm here to give my thoughts on religion and one other aspect that has probably defined my interactions more than any other.
This aspect can be defined as the true reason I was most likely at odds with many of my black peers until Atlanta. That would be my lack of faith. While I've had wild times, more recently and overall with my profession I would say I'm someone of more morals than people of several religions I have encountered. However, that's me being on my high horse as none of that matters in the Deep South or attending black events where a pastor is present. I've seen plenty of black churches throughout the country, but I didn't grow up with the black church. I had a Baptist black dad and a Roman Catholic mom sure but they were both so Americanized they pushed no religions on me whatsoever.
As such, this would lead to a myriad of questions and statements: "Do you go to church?" "You can find a nice lady at church" "You need Jesus" "But the good lord says so" "Do you read the bible?" and so on. All I can think is wow, look how much European colonization has brainwashed our ancestry. Most of our ancestors were not Christian, some were Muslim yes, but many more worshipped deities and gods that represented nature e.g. Ancient Egyptian values. If anything practicing religions from Africa would be more black than being Baptist. Still, that is a moot point because while of course it's a factor in my dating world (what isn't?) it's also a factor in how I've always interacted with blacks. There was always a separate link between me and them because I wasn't Baptist/Christian, Muslim or an Ancient African religion and I never will be.
This revelation made me realize why the disconnect had always been there. It wasn't clothing, sports or music; it was religion. Most blacks never fully could relate because operated outside of the church. The sad part about this is that people were never willing to learn from a non-religious black man. Women were never wanting to be a part of a man with good morals, but no faith. For me religion is such an unfortunate block for people who would otherwise get along great. Yes, this doesn't block everyone (my parents, one of my friends and her husband agreed to multiple inputs of religion and most likely no religious centers), but people still think this is the 10th century. It's the 21st and the internet, travels to space and more are more grounded than people ideologies than people they can't be with in real life. As such, they should be willing to give their children a more well-rounded view in the modern world. Furthermore, it's a shame that there are even schisms between people who at their base have the same practices.
Overall, I try to stay out of it minus those beliefs I do have. I have a strong spirit and believe in the power of people. It's a shame that this was the barrier all along for me to connect with blacks. To change it would be false on my part, but at least I acknowledge. It of course makes the dating (About 80% of black women I meet are Christian or Baptist) and friendship pool smaller. However, to be false based on my beliefs would not only be wrong to me, but wrong for whoever I was with.