Ahh, this is a tricky one. Remember how its my top pet peeve? I don't want to start any hard feelings here. I'm going to figure this is a safe place and say whats on my mind though. Please do not take offense. I never judge anyone based on their religion. I don't choose my friends based on it, either FOR or AGAINST. I think everyone should have their own beliefs. These are MY beliefs. I don't expect you to believe the same as I do. I just hope you can respect that I deserve my beliefs the same way I respect yours. And I will be sharing my experiences. They are mine. I'm not trying to put anyone or any organization down. Just sharing.
I do not believe in religion.
I grew up in a very Mormon neighborhood. I was the not Mormon kid. I heard a lot growing up 'my parents wont let me play with you, they say you are a bad kid' That is hurtful to hear as a kid. And I let it get to me way more then it ever should have. It still hurts me today. And truthfully, I was a dang good kid. They would have been lucky for me to be an influence on their kids.
My best friend was one of these Mormon kids, occasionally her parents would decide she couldn't play with me anymore unless I went to church. So I went often enough to have my friend. But I never fit in. There were some people who would try to help me fit in but I was the odd kid out. When we got a bit older I would go to church and she and I would slip out the door as soon as no one was looking. We would just walk around the neighborhood until it was time to go home.
I went with this friend to a big multi-ward youth event one time. I cant remember how old I was but teenage-ish. The event was a giant plane crash, all of us there died. We then went 1 by 1 into a room where we were judged. Any one not familiar, the Mormon religion has 3 levels of heaven and then outer darkness. Outer darkness is reserved for those who turned their back on Jesus and there are very few inhabitants. In our Judgement we were told which level of heaven we were fit for. I answered their questions honestly. They were along the lines of do you go to church regularly? Do you pay tithing? After answering them I was told that I would be going to the lowest level of heaven. I would be spending eternity alongside murders and rapist (exact words, I remember clearly). Because I didn't give the church 50 cents out of my birthday money from my gramma, I was to spend my eternity paying for it.
That was the last Mormon event I attended. I felt bullied in this religion. I refuse to believe in any organization that treats people that way.
When Zach was a baby I went kinda crazy about religion. I decided we NEED a religion or Zach will be pushed to be Mormon the way I was. I researched a ton of churches trying to find one that fit our beliefs. Some came close but when it came down to it, I wasn't comfortable signing up with any church. I was letting a church I didn't agree with make me choose a belief out of fear. That isn't a good reason. Church goes against my spiritual beliefs. I don't think God is going to judge us based on where we spend our Sundays. I like to think that he will judge us as the people we are.
So my views on religions go like this, I believe there is a need for it. I believe that for some people it does make a difference in who they are. But like all things in life I don't think its for everyone. And I absolutely don't think God has a favorite religious team. I think that if I am able to judge someone on who they are, sans religion, that God is also able to make his choices that way.