R is for Religions

A to Z

Comparative religious studies? Theology? Yes those were my other options if I hadn’t done Drama. So I have continued in an amateur way throughout my life because I am absolutely fascinated by religions.

Given that you have been following this A – Z series and understand that I am an ex-Wiccan and shaman, you may find it bizarre that I go to Mass in Roman Catholic churches and am a member of the Rosary Team in my village. We meet once a month to pray together for problems in the world and in our small corner of it. Should I explain? I have absolutely no problem with honouring other people’s gods. For me, all deities are just a manifestation of the spirit of the Universe, male and female. So in whatever religious company I find myself, I just join in. I also find the rosary a wonderful aid to meditation, to the point where I collect them. At the last count I had seven but my favourite is a very old monastic one that measures three feet in length and would have been worn from the waist cord on a monk’s habit.

 rosary

I’ve been extremely lucky in my life that I’ve come into contact with just about every religion in the world and I’ve made friends, asked questions, been welcomed into their communities. I am blessed. I have very good friends who are Christian. One of them asked if it was okay to say “Bless you” to me and I beamed with pleasure. Of course it’s okay. Can never have enough blessings, say I.

We all get along famously because none of us is going to try and force their beliefs on anyone else. My friends respect my ways and I do theirs. What I don’t have much time for, is the “One True Way” people who think that they have the only correct answers. Even less time do I have for those who consider people not of their religion to be non-people. Sorry, mate, but what kind of god do you have who can deny the humanity of people based on a belief in something that may or may not even exist?

Amongst my circle are Quakers, Protestants, Roman Catholics, Jews, Muslims and Buddhists. None of us have any time for proselytising. So the people who come to the door wanting to change my ideas are ushered in, sat down and asked if they want to hear the good news about the Goddess. This usually surprises them. Well, fair exchange, you want me to listen to you about your religion, you can listen to me about mine. Strangely enough, they usually make their excuses and leave in a hurry.

Don't knock on this door if you are selling religion
Don’t knock on this door if you are selling religion


9 thoughts on “R is for Religions

  1. Most interesting, Ailsa!
    I feel I’m getting to know you better and better. But is that really your door? And can Religion be “sold”? No way can faith – that is a pure gift.
    Bless you again!

  2. I find I’m a bit miffed about this. I’m Mormon, and I converted because two very brave lads knocked on my door to tell me about their religion. At the time I was a vicar’s wife, but joining the LDS church was the best decision I made. You say you love coming into contact with religion and learning about it, but when people come to your door wanting to tell you about theirs, you get rid of them as quickly as possible. Why? They are not “selling” their religion, they just want to tell you about it and what it means to them so that you can make a choice. Only the spirit can convert; you have nothing to lose by stopping to listen, and a lot to gain. Believe me.

    1. That’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it but I do people the courtesy of not trying to convert them. If I want to know about a religion I go and find out. I don’t knock on other people’s doors wanting to ram my religion down their throats and I find myself a bit miffed when they do. Difference of opinion.

  3. You said R for Religion would be worth waiting for. Having got to know you over the months I expected much of what you said and you have a totally open mind to religions as a whole, treating them all as an aspect of each other, and of course of your own beliefs. No single relifion is “right”. How can any one of them be, unless it’s true that God is an old man with a long white beard sitting on a cloud! The hierarchy of most religions look to convert everyone who isn’t part of their schism making it the equivalent of war on other counries to gain more land. How can a God really want a difference between Catholicism, Protestantism, Mormonism and all the oth -isms? Nor can a God want blind adoration and worship. There’s more to it all than that!

  4. If I had to wear a label I’d say I am ex C of E. I had a thorough grounding in the King James OT and NT and also the New World Translations thereof (via my grandmother who was leaning towards the Jehovah’s Witnesses). Trying to reconcile all the various religious views with life events made me angry, so I am now pretty much atheist – which means I can do without religion, not that I have adopted it as “another”. I have friends of all denominations and my mother is still C of E. They have faith, but I no longer have faith, that’s all.

    Actually I didn’t see anything in Ailsa’s last paragraph that says when other religious advocates call she wants to “get rid of them as soon as possible”. She says when she offers to tell them about another religion THEY leave ASAP, and that’s quite another matter.

    1. Oh yes, I forgot all my friends who are atheist or agnostic too – thanks for reminding me (own husband for one!) and thank you, Sue, I didn’t say I wanted to get rid of them, I just want to tell them “my good news” – respect is a two way street.

  5. I find it a sign of basic maturity that people tolerate each other’s religions, be it Christianity or football. For the most part I enjoy the passions and rituals, and delve into faith with people. I like your approach and circulating with friends this way.

    John at The Bathroom Monologues

  6. I respect all Christian Religions. I am Extremely Catholic and the rosary is my prayer of choice. The rosary is the prayer and chain that shackles Satan. I also have a centacle(prayer group) in my home which meets each month for this reason.

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