Who Am I?

In response to a DMN Religion Blog comment suggesting that Christians should call Jesus “Yehoshua,” I posted a comment with some polytheistic ideas. This led to a question from an uber-Catholic blog regular calling himself “RelicMM:”

JohnFranc: I mean no offense. Many times I have wondered where your loyalties actually lie with regard to religion. Will you appease my curiosity? I would never challenge your free will to believe whatever you choose.

And my answer:

Relic, I take no offense at the question, but I prefer blog readers to judge me based on the content of my comments and not on any labels that may carry emotional baggage.

But since you asked…

I am first and foremost a theist, because something inside me whispers that there’s more to life than the material world. I am a universalist, because I cannot reconcile the concept of a God wise enough and loving enough to create this wondrous universe with the concept of infinite punishment for finite sins. I am a skeptic, because I figure if God gave me a brain I should use it, and because so many religious claims strain credulity.

I have studied (to one degree or another) many religions, and I have found wisdom, truth, comfort, and inspiration in all of them. I’ve also found things in all of them I couldn’t accept. The last couple of years I’ve spent a fair amount of time studying indigenous religions and researching the origins of all religion (to the extent that an armchair academic can do so).

My personal practice is best described as Neopagan, because I see God as both female and male, I find God in Nature, and I feel a connection to the beliefs and practices of my ancestors.

I grew up Baptist but realized I didn’t fit at a very early age. I became a Methodist as a young adult, but that didn’t fit either. I’m currently a member of (and very active in) a Unitarian Universalist church, where we like to say “we don’t have to think alike to love alike”.

I freely admit I may be wrong. In the end, this is an area where we cannot know, we can only have faith. But this is what I believe – this is what my head and my heart tells me is true. If I tried to believe something else, it would be a lie.

And now you know.

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About John Beckett

I grew up in Tennessee with the woods right outside my back door. Wandering through them gave me a sense of connection to Nature and to a certain Forest God. I’m a Druid graduate of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, the Coordinating Officer of the Denton Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans and a former Vice President of CUUPS Continental. I’ve been writing, speaking, teaching, and leading public rituals for the past eleven years. I live in the Dallas – Fort Worth area and I earn my keep as an engineer.