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How has your Religion helped you?

I'm not practing, but found the religion thread fascinating, and consider myself a spiritual person. I'm curious, what are some of the ways in which your religion has helped you- on a practical level, on a spiritual level.

Wed. Feb 21, 9:27am

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I, too, separate religion and spirituality, finding that they often do not co-exist very well. But the bottom-line best moment for religion in my life was... When life became difficult, painful, and confusing, the Judeo-Christian ten commandments kept me from adding stupidity to my pain.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007, 12:12 PM

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being raised roman catholic presented me with many ideas within the religion's beliefs that i found to be contradictive. i then learned to not just blindly accept others' points of view and belief systems, but to question the validity and try to see the opposing point of view, too. i gained so much more by questioning my religious "beliefs" than i learned when i just followed the doctrine as it was presented to me. i also found a spirituality that i had not known when i practiced catholicism.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007, 12:20 PM

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I'm not religious, but I do believe in a Higher Power... I prefer the name "Universe" as I believe every living creature contains some of its energy.

Whatever you want to call "It", it is responsible for helping me get sober. I tried a million times on my own, but wasn't able to. (No, I'm not an AA fanatic, but it did help me).

Wednesday, February 21, 2007, 12:47 PM

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I'm not a big fan of religion or the concept of god except as a historical phenomenon, so I can't say it has enhanced my life in a spiritual way. However, when I need a reason to pick myself up out of the gutter because the self-love and self-respect are gone, the thought that gets me back on track is "my mom wants better for me, I can't do this to her". I don't worship her though. That would be creepy.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007, 1:28 PM

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My Opinion

I think being an Agnostic has allowed me accept responsibility for myself and the things that I encounter, instead of putting it on some type of God, I believe we are all presented with choices and the choices that we make determine our outcomes, not a God

Wednesday, February 21, 2007, 6:17 PM

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It's helped me to get through some very difficult times in my life (childhood sexual abuse, death of father and brother at an early age) with my sanity intact.

On a spiritual level, I feel comforted by the Almighty. I can't think of a better way (right now) to explain that.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007, 8:57 PM

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strange - as an "evangelical born-again Christian" i agree with the agnostic at 6:17pm. our actions are our own - we can choose to do what God asks us to do (or not do), or we can decide our own ideas are better. God just asks us to accept the consequences of our decisions. when i come to a point where i don't want what God wants, i either have to suck it up and change my behavior, or else rationalize why my idea is better. when i get faced with the consequences of my stupid decisions, my rationalization never sounds quite as good as it did.

how has religion helped me? it keeps me on track. when things are down, i take comfort in knowing someone (God) cares for me and knows what is right for me, even if i don't. if i ask, he will guide me down that path. it may be painful, but if it's worth having then the short-term pain is worth it too. i compare it, on a very simple level, to a child who doens't want to eat veggies because they taste bad. but mom knows it is good and puts him through the pain anyway, even if he doesn't understand why for a long time.

please don't confuse my faith in god with acceptance for many things that church-going people do and say. i do not have faith in people, just god. i go to church and get involved. but again, my faith isn't in people, the church, and the poor decisions they sometimes make. it is in god alone.

Thursday, February 22, 2007, 8:11 AM

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I'm a Christian, but not "religious."

Religion starts wars, divides, wounds and leads to arrogance.

My faith, however, has taught me humility, to love others, to give, to think beyond the physical.

It's semantics, but true.

Thursday, February 22, 2007, 10:22 AM

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it's strange - most religions have the same general principles. don't be a cheat, don't be a liar, don't be a pervert, don't be a drunkard, don't kill people for no reason. they just argue over the different definitions of what it means to be a cheat, a liar, a pervert, a drunkard, and a legitimate reason to kill.

Thursday, February 22, 2007, 6:00 PM

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