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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.


Responses

Why I Am a Progressive Christian

Why I Am a Progressive Christian

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.

Why I am a … Religious Scientist

Why I am a … Religious Scientist

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.

Why I Am Catholic

Why I Am Catholic

Thomas L. McDonald

Patheos has asked bloggers to finish the sentence: Why I Am A … They’re giving us 200 words to answer. I don’t need 200 words to tell you why I am Catholic. I only need four: Because Catholicism is true. It’s that simple. It’s not a matter of “belief.” 

Why I Am a Hindu

Why I Am a Hindu

Ambaa

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.

Why I Am a Pagan

Why I Am a Pagan

Gus diZerega

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.

Why, Today, I Am Still a Protestant

Why, Today, I Am Still a Protestant

K. Mulhern

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 [...]

The Busy Witch: Why I Am A Witch

The Busy Witch: Why I Am A Witch

Jen McConnel

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.

Why I Am a Muslim

Why I Am a Muslim

Hesham Hassaballa

I was raised Muslim, but I had a faith crisis during my university years. I still chose Islam after that crisis abated. Why?

Why I am an…All.

Why I am an…All.

Kathe Schaaf

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. 

Why I Am a Progressive Christian

Why I Am a Progressive Christian

John Holbert

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. 

Why I’m Catholic, in 200 Words

Why I’m Catholic, in 200 Words

Max Lindenman

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 [...]

Why I Am An Atheist

Why I Am An Atheist

Hemant Mehta

The prompt from Patheos: Explain why you're an atheist in under 200 words. Challenge accepted!

Why I Am a Pagan

Why I Am a Pagan

John Beckett

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.

Why I Am a Catholic

Why I Am a Catholic

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 [...]

Why I Am a Christian

Why I Am a Christian

Rebecca Cusey

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.

Why I am a Unitarian Universalist

Why I am a Unitarian Universalist

David Breeden

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.

Why I Am a Christian

Why I Am a Christian

Greg Garrett

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.

Why I Am a Catholic

Why I Am a Catholic

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.

Why I Am a Wiccan

Why I Am a Wiccan

Yvonne Aburrow

Wicca is my tribe, my sangha, and my dharma. Even when other Wiccans drive me crazy, they are still the people of my heart.

Why Am I a Christian?

Why Am I a Christian?

Christian Piatt

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.

Why I (Still) Believe In Jesus

Why I (Still) Believe In Jesus

Tara Edelschick

Spending time with atheists renews my faith in Jesus. My story raises doubts, but theirs raise more.

I am a Muslim Because…

I am a Muslim Because…

Hind Makki

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.

Why I am an atheist: my response to a Patheos challenge

Why I am an atheist: my response to a Patheos challenge

Chris Hallquist

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: [...]

AskAngus: Why I am a Pagan (in EXACTLY 200 words)

AskAngus: Why I am a Pagan (in EXACTLY 200 words)

Angus McMahan

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.

Why Am I a Jesus Follower

Why Am I a Jesus Follower

Grace Biskie

Although at first I hated the Bible for being long, tedious, and confusing, I knew there was truth to be had.

Someone Asks, Why Am I Catholic…

Someone Asks, Why Am I Catholic…

The Crescat

Being Catholic is very unpopular right now, especially with the same-sex "marriage" stuff going on. Eh, I’ve never been that popular anyway.

Why I Am An Atheist (In 200 Words or Less)

Why I Am An Atheist (In 200 Words or Less)

Adam Lee

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.

Why Catholic?!

Why Catholic?!

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.

Why I am a Catholic in 200 Words or Less (Much Less)

Why I am a Catholic in 200 Words or Less (Much Less)

Rebecca Hamilton

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. [...]

Why I Am A Witch

Why I Am A Witch

Sarah Twichell

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.

A Bottom-Up Universe

A Bottom-Up Universe

vorjack

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.

Why I Am a Catholic…

Why I Am a Catholic…

Mark Shea

…is a very difficult question to answer, not because I don’t have a good answer, but because I have too many answers to fit in 200 words.  Chesterton sums up the quandary in his delightful book Orthodoxy: But a man is not really convinced of a philosophic theory when he finds that something proves it. [...]

Why I Am a Christian

Why I Am a Christian

Bruce Epperly

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.

Why I Am A Muslim

Why I Am A Muslim

Rabia Chaudry

I am a Muslim least of all because I was born into a Muslim family. Most of all, it elevates my existence.

Why I Am a Freethinker

Why I Am a Freethinker

Chris Highland

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.

Why I’m Catholic

Why I’m Catholic

willduquette

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 [...]

Why I am an…Episcopagan

Why I am an…Episcopagan

Ann Smith

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.

Dilshad Ali – Why I am a Muslim

Dilshad Ali – Why I am a Muslim

Dilshad Ali

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 [...]

Why I’m Catholic

Why I’m Catholic

Jennifer Fitz

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 [...]

Why I Am a Pagan

Why I Am a Pagan

Kira

Mary came to me one twilight as I sat in Her rose garden. She showed me the face of the Starry Mother.

Why I am a Christian Democrat

Why I am a Christian Democrat

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 [...]

Why I am…discovering spirituality in nature

Why I am…discovering spirituality in nature

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.

Why I Am a Pagan

Why I Am a Pagan

Christine Kraemer

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.

Why I am Catholic, because… Life!… in Abundance!

Why I am Catholic, because… Life!… in Abundance!

Elizabeth Duffy

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?

Wisdom Wednesday… Why am I a Muslim

Wisdom Wednesday… Why am I a Muslim

Umar Hakim

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.

Why I am a…Seeker of The Sacred Spirit

Why I am a…Seeker of The Sacred Spirit

Yvette Warren

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.

Gateway Goddess: Seeking God, Found by Goddess (Why I Am Pagan)

Gateway Goddess: Seeking God, Found by Goddess (Why I Am Pagan)

Kathy Nance

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?

I Think, Therefore I Am ... Catholic

I Think, Therefore I Am ... Catholic

Kathy Schiffer

The feisty writers over at Patheos' Catholic Portal are a diverse lot: a rough and tumble mix of converts, reverts, and cradle Catholics. I am all of the above. I am a cradle Catholic because my parents herded me to church on Sunday mornings, scrimping and saving to provide twelve years of Catholic education.

Why I Am an Urban Priestess

Why I Am an Urban Priestess

Laura Paskell-Brown

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.

200 Words: Patheos Blogger Challenge by Porsha Williams

200 Words: Patheos Blogger Challenge by Porsha Williams

Guest Contributor

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.

Why I am a Catholic in less than 200 words: Holy Thursday

Why I am a Catholic in less than 200 words: Holy Thursday

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.

Why I am a Freelance Spiritual Seeker

Why I am a Freelance Spiritual Seeker

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.

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