Why I Am A .....
Whether you are a devout follower of a faith tradition, a seeker looking for the next phase of spiritual development or just an interested reader, we are compelled by the question of Why? Why do some stay with their faith choice from childhood? Why are some compelled to leave one religion for another? Why do we seek a like-minded community when it comes to faith? All these questions and more were addressed in a recent Patheos Series.
Patheos hosted a Blogger Challenge for our very talented writers to answer the question "Why I am a ......." in 200 words or less. Our diverse and faithful contributors responded with compelling summaries on why they follow their particular faith tradition. Enjoy the varying perspectives from this fascinating group.
James F. McGrath
Before I was a progressive Christian, I was a conservative Evangelical Christian, and before I was a conservative Evangelical Christian, I was a fairly nominal Catholic. So, my answer is multifaceted.
Dr. Peggy Price
I found this healing faith, philosophy, and way of life at a time in my life when my world as I knew it had fallen apart.
We’ve spoken before about what makes someone a Hindu. With Hinduism really being a name for a vast variety of practices and beliefs, it is almost defined by not being anything else! As many people will tell you, it is not so much a religion as a way of life. It is who you are.
The priest walked to the center and invoked the Goddess. She came. Her presence was the most beautiful, loving, and powerful experience I ever had. “Here’s a religion where they ask their God to come and She does,” I thought.
Tomorrow is Reformation Day, the day on which, 495 years ago Martin Luther posted his Facebook protest. Er, I mean, Wittenberg protest. I remember many years ago hearing a chapel talk that was supposed to be on the glories of the Reformation, but was instead a reflection in the tragedy of the Reformation. That speaker [...]
Patheos is hosting a challenge right now: answer the question “Why I am a...” in 200 words or less. I’ve decided to answer with a poem.
I was raised Muslim, but I had a faith crisis during my university years. I still chose Islam after that crisis abated. Why?
There has been a great deal of media buzz recently about the growing segment of the U.S. religious landscape called “unaffiliated”; people who are spiritual, sometimes deeply so, but not affiliated with any one religion. They are being cleverly branded as the ‘Nones” and are touted as part of a huge shift in our culture.
Actually, I was no kind of Christian at all growing up. My family did not go to church; Sunday mornings in Arizona were reserved for TV sports. My parents were Goldwater Republicans; no progressivism there.
This morning, I received a copy of an e-mail from Elizabeth Scalia, inviting all the writers of the Catholic Portal to explain why we’re Catholic. Here’s why I became Catholic in the first place: I’m a fuckup. After earning a degree and a half from a third-rate university, I figured I’d never lead a life [...]
The prompt from Patheos: Explain why you're an atheist in under 200 words. Challenge accepted!
I am a Pagan because I have experienced the old gods and goddesses for myself. I met them in story, in ritual, and in practice. I prayed and they answered. I quieted my mind and they spoke.
Fr. Dwight Longenecker
I am a Catholic because the Catholic faith stands the world on its head. It turns over the tables. It makes you expect the unexpected. Just when you thought you had it figured it out, the Catholic Church, like a mischievous and shrewd old woman, pulls a trick on you, calls you to step out [...]
I am a Christian because evil exists. I am a Christian because I have discovered that I have no power within myself to help myself. I am a Christian because beauty, truth and goodness are real things.
At college I found a small group of humanists who called themselves Unitarian Universalists. They were joyful people whose values of commitment and compassion I admired. I was not alone.
I tried to be a Buddhist, a Jew, a nature worshipper, an agnostic, and none of those things worked for me. At the end of the day, when my back was against the wall, I needed a story of grace and forgiveness, a story of life emerging out of certain death.
Dr. Gregory Popcak
If religion represents the human quest to draw closer to God, I want nothing less than a religion that makes the boldest, most audacious claims about the kind of relationship that’s possible to achieve.
Wicca is my tribe, my sangha, and my dharma. Even when other Wiccans drive me crazy, they are still the people of my heart.
I don’t believe that adherence to certain doctrine, dogma, baptism, communion, attendance at a church or giving a certain amount of money to charity makes you a Christian.
Spending time with atheists renews my faith in Jesus. My story raises doubts, but theirs raise more.
As a child, I once asked a Sunday school teacher where God is. She said, "Allah is in the sky; you can't see Him!" A silly, convenient answer. God isn't seen, but known.
I got a message from my contact at Patheos saying: For March/April, participate in the “Why I am a…” Blogger Challenge! We invite all of our contributors to respond to the challenge by contributing with a response on why they are committed to their faith group in 200 words or less. Well, here it goes: [...]
The beginning of my journey was not of my choosing. I was dragooned into being a witch by the Goddess herself, who found me at the Chalice Well in Glastonbury.
The only reliable road to truth is empirical evidence, repeatedly tested and rigorously vetted, relying on no one’s testimony or mental state for its reality. And that’s just what all the religions of the world fail to offer for their outlandish, supernatural claims.
Margaret Rose Realy
It's Easter and I've been asked why I am Catholic. For me, there is no other religion that allows such intimacy with the Creator -- whichever person as God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit I choose to draw near -- or more liberating. At any time I can go to the Adoration chapel and sit, face to face, with Our Lord physically present.
1. I am a Catholic because Christ in the Eucharist called me for years and a good priest opened the doors and let me in. 2. I am a Christian – which happened before I became a Catholic — because Christ in the Holy Spirit called me. He called me throughout my anti-religion years. 3. [...]
Before the beginning, there was only desire. Desire moved the sacred into form. I don't know if it was one form or two or if it exploded at once into many gorgeous facets of life; when God Herself whispers this story into my ear, She doesn't always tell it the same way.
I believe in a universe where magnificent stars come from clouds of gas, where planets come from chunks of rock and where living systems come from chemical reactions.
To be a follower of Jesus opens me to truth, wisdom, and healing everywhere, and wherever I find truth and healing, it is shaped by the life and teaching of Jesus the Christ.
I am a Muslim least of all because I was born into a Muslim family. Most of all, it elevates my existence.
As a former "person of faith" who no longer has a "faith tradition," I am sensitive to the divisiveness of labels -- they don't stick to me very well any more. Usually when people ask if I'm an Atheist I reply that I'm a freethinker. I am not anti-faith or anti-god. I'm pro-good.
Because the Catholic Church is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. Ten years ago I belonged to an Episcopal congregation that called itself “Biblically Orthodox”, in contradistinction to more theologically liberal groups within that denomination, and made the mistake of asking what “Biblically Orthodox” really meant. To find out I went to the Fathers of the [...]
I have always loved being in nature. When I was 6-years-old, I would sneak out of my home at night and visit my sanctuary -- a sacred pond in the woods.
Patheos is asking its writers and bloggers to finish the sentence: Why I Am A … in about 200 words. This is my response. He sits in the bathtub as the water fills up. I add some bubble bath and when the tub fills, I turn off the tap. He’s at peace, humming, gathering suds [...]
Jen Fitz here, answering the call from Patheos to explain ourselves! Here’s my story: 1. I’m Catholic because my parents had me baptized as a baby. We went to church sporadically. I knew very little about my faith, but always knew I was Catholic. 2. I’m Catholic because I know what it’s like not to [...]
Ellen Painter Dollar
A friend recently watched, helpless and aggrieved, as her husband—a philosophy professor at a conservative Christian university—was pummeled online for co-writing an essay with a fellow professor on why they will not vote for Mitt Romney. Many readers claimed to be disgraced, disgusted, and just plain flummoxed as to how professing Christians could argue against [...]
Susan Naomi Bernstein
In early evening after a cold spring rain in Zuccotti Park in New York City, I meditate with others and find deep peace. Yet my discoveries of spirituality in nature began years before, perhaps during my childhood spent in Illinois' suburban prairies.
I am Pagan because no other way makes sense. The living world speaks to me in every moment. My Paganism teaches me how to listen to that world, and also how to respond.
I came across an old home movie recently, of a picnic with my siblings and cousins when we were all on the cusp of adulthood. My sister and her fiance were manifesting their first timid acts of public affection, the rest of us were clowning around. It boggles my mind when I think about it: Who were we back then?
Why am I Muslim? There's a number of reasons I can think of. I will say, it is rooted in an innate desire for success. Growing up in urban Compton, California, desires for success are high. It has nothing to do with the narrative of gangs or crime.
All efforts to put words to what we feel seem woefully inadequate when we are confronted with the overwhelmingly sacred spirit of the universe. Since the beginning of recorded history, humans have attempted with symbols, dances, and words to share their experiences. We have used meditation and hallucination to recreate and share those freeing feelings.
When I was a child, I wondered why God had stopped talking to people in the cool of the evening, as we walked together through lovely gardens. Years later, in a guided meditation, I found myself in a beautiful garden. A glowing female form approached and embraced me. Who was She?
People have asked me, "What is an urban priestess?" She is awake and awakening more deeply each day. She understands that life is a journey and that we all have our own way. She knows that healing and releasing stories and worn-out beliefs is imperative so that she may feel free and live the life she was born to live.
Creation IS religion; creation IS chaos. Creation is magic; creation is exaltation AND abomination. Even though I'm making up phrases and quotes as I go, you cannot have pleasure without pain. You cannot have light without the dark.
Fr. Michael F. Duffy
I'm a Catholic first because God calls me to be. I stay a Catholic because of the Eucharist, because of the priesthood.
Margaret Placentra Johnston
The bigger picture story is that humans seem to share a universal need to connect with something larger than themselves. It seems each individual religion was created by one group of people as their way to explain the universal human need for connection.