Before I start this post let me say I don't mean to offend any one's faith, these are just my thoughts and feelings and while I respect what you believe I ask you to do the same of me. If you have really strong beliefs and think you might take issue with me being honest about how I see God, then please don't read this post. If you do choose to read it and take offence that is your choice not my intent.
Do I believe there is a God? Yes.
Do I believe that this God is all caring and loving? Yes.
Do I believe that we as humans are a random act of the universe eg big bang theory? No
Do I follow the doctrine of a religion? Not any more. Why? Well here's why.
My Grandma Win went to Church and sometimes took me - she went to a Church of Christ and for a short time I went to Sunday School and Youth Group there. My mother was christened into the Church of England. But essentially I was brought up in a non-religious household. When I started high school I was sent to a Catholic college for girls as my Mum thought I would get a better education there - and I did. However going to a Catholic school as a non-Catholic I had to do catechism classes. I excelled at these classes because I had an inquisitive mind and I used to push the boundaries (and the limits) of the Nun that taught us. I asked the hard questions - and to me there are a lot of inconsistencies in what the Catholic Church teaches. However, I gained a respect for the strong beliefs of the Nuns - I never became Catholic but it is a religion full of beautiful traditions (and unfortunately as time has shown some bad people). When my children were young we got involved in Girls Brigade as I wanted them to have strong morale principles that were reinforced not just by my husband and my ethos of life but by understanding the concepts of God. It was also a way of my girls becoming friends with other girls and having fun. I could have chosen Brownies but didn't get a lot out of that when I was a child. During this time I developed some very strong friendships with some beautiful Christian women who I admired greatly. There were however things that happened within the Church that eventually drove me away. These things were man's doing not Gods. However none of this changed my belief in a power greater than us.
So the God I believe in loves us all. I don't know if my God is a male or female, I think that people believe in a male God because traditionally the male of the family is the provider and protector. All I know is that I asked this God to be part of my life and he/she/it now lives in my heart and soul.
My God is forgiving of the humanness within all of us, after all that is what makes us human and a child of God. This doesn't mean that my God condones murder, rape, beating your wife or husband or child or any of the other horrible things that we humans are capable of doing. But it does mean that he loves us with a pure heart and expects us to do the same.
Now here is where my thoughts really stray from that of the conservative Church. They would have us believe that being gay is a sin, that to love someone of the same sex breaks all of God's rules. So that if you are gay you either have to pretend you are not (hence living a lie and isn't lying a sin?) or deny yourself love because God doesn't love you enough to understand who you are, that He only sees you as a perversion to His plan. So if you follow that train of thought two of my children are not children of God because they are gay. So the Church would have me abandon those I love, those that I gave birth to and love more than my life is worth because we are not supposed to associate with those that don't walk in the path of the Church. I don't believe that God feels that way at all, in my heart, where my God resides he/she/it tells me another story.
It doesn't matter whether you as a woman love a man or a woman or if you as a man love a man or a woman. If you love that person with a pure heart then you are doing exactly what my God does - that is loving us with a pure heart.
It doesn't matter what your religion is - if you believe that God loves with a pure heart how could that same God not love you just because you happen to love someone of the same sex with that same pure heart? I don't believe It is about who you have sex with - it comes down to how you love.
If you ask that question of most people who follow the teachings of a Church (and I have asked quite a few) - no matter what their religion is - they will tell you that is what it says in the Bible (I use that term to represent the Koran and whatever the Jewish word for Bible is) - Men should only love woman (I don't think it actually mentions woman loving woman being a sin). But isn't the Bible man's translation of what God said, and hasn't man has gotten it wrong before. And doesn't man use the Bible's teachings to do exactly what God doesn't want us to do - hate others. It is man who starts wars and uses the Bible to justify them - not God. Would this loving God condone us killing others for him? I don't think so. Would this God ask us to live a lie? I don't think so.
So my God lives in my heart - I know because I can feel that power there - and loves me, loves those I love, gives me comfort when I need it, gives me strength when I have none and whether you call your God by another name doesn't your God not do the same for you. And should we not try and walk in the path of righteousness and not use religion as an excuse for our greed, intolerance (Iraq war to name one) and prejudices.
Would not the world be a better place if we all loved with a pure heart?
Call me naive, call me blasphemous, call me whatever you like - but this is what I believe, it is the truth that is in my heart, it is the religion I live by. May the world as a whole find a God who loves them with a pure heart and may that love shine forth from each of us. Maybe then and only then will we truly have peace in this world.
And if I am wrong and on my judgement day a different God judges me as not being of pure heart and soul because I dared to love my children for who they are, then I will accept that judgement. No God would ask a mother to abandon her children because of who they love.