Thursday, August 14, 2008

Name Calling

My daughter and I spent some time at lunch the other day going over her upcoming school schedule, catching her up on the situation with the mother-in-law and discussing religion and spirituality.

She asked me what religion I am and I told her that, even though I grew up Roman Catholic, I consider myself more spiritual and also reaching out and learning more about the life I can lead on a spiritual level. She told me that I earned her respect with that because if I said I was Christian, she would hold it against me. I thought that was an odd thing to say, but further explained that my understanding of the Universe is that there is one God, Great Spirit, Universe and that there have been great teachers that have had insight with which they shared with the world. I follow the teachings of Christ which, by definition, makes me Christian, but does not limit me there.

Her point was that I should consider myself a Deist, a person that believes in a supreme power, but does not intervene in it's normal function. And that's where we both agree and differ. I do believe God can intervene because God is also the Universe and the Universe is God. By utilizing the Law of Attraction, for example, we are calling upon the Universe to intervene on our behalf in big and small ways. But she is also right in that I believe that most holy books are written by people and contain man's flawed view and are not the works of God whispering the text into a writer's ear.

We talked about the Bible and how it is a book of stories to teach us how to behave, not literal interpretations of events. For example, Genesis says the world was created in 6 days. But in the relative time of God, what does that mean? How long is a day to God? Is a day enough time to evolve life on the planet to where it is now? Just because our perception is billions of years, what does that mean to the Supreme Being? And what is time, but a human construct anyway. Evolution and intelligent design can co-exist if you don't look at things so literally.

We've tabled our discussion the subject for now, but earning my daughter's respect on this subject gives me something to increase my feelings of gratitude. And that's a good thing.

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