Controlling the discussion in a Diary is, I should know by now, an impossible task. Participants will take it where they want. Even trying to set some parameters will be viewed by some as a violation of free speech, undemocratic and an affront to the intelligence of commenters.
But let me make the attempt anyway.
There are plenty of Diaries written here and across wwwLand that discuss whether this religion or that one constitutes Truth. Places where believers of a particular religion, or any religion, or no religion at all can be excoriated for their obvious ignorance or praised for their perspicacity. Places to debate the proper way in which politics and religion should intersect or what Democratic politicians should say about religion, if anything at all. There is the excellent Blog Against Theocracy series. I’ve got nothing against those discussions. On the contrary, I've participated in literally hundreds of them.
However, that’s not what I have in mind at the moment. I want to explore, I don't know, call it the ...uh... "demographics" of religious belief/unbelief, focusing on three questions - none of which seeks to learn why you think somebody else’s beliefs are completely ridiculous or absolutely right on. I want to know about your beliefs.
The questions: When it comes to religion/spirituality, what do you believe, if anything? How did you come to believe it? Do your parents (or did they when alive) believe the same?
I’m a secular animist. I believe that all living things are embued with a spirit. Not something demonic or angelic. Just some form of "spirit." Maybe it comprises dark matter or dark energy. Or something even less known. More ephemeral. I don’t know. This "religion" of mine is deeply personal and private. There’s no scripture, no rituals, no preachers, no slaughtering of the infidels, no seeking of tax breaks, no blasphemy and no schisms since, so far as I know, I’m the sole adherent, although my wife leans in the same direction. Sort of.
No revelation or epiphany brought me to this belief. I started out as a true-believing Catholic. Spent a few years as a Lutheran, which pleased my stepfather’s extended family. Then read a bunch of theology and became an across-the-board unbeliever, which displeased my extended family and a lot of my friends. Then, years later, in exploring my American Indian roots, I arrived at my current views, although these do not mesh with any particular tribal belief, including my own tribe.
My parents? Mother raised Catholic, converted to Missouri Synod Lutheran, died an agnostic. Stepfather Missouri Synod Lutheran from the day he was born until the day he died.
So, what about you?
Take the poll. As usual, the template limits the choices. So the poll isn’t as comprehensive as we all would like, and some groups with a lot of differences have been glomped together. Sorry. Nuance is where the comments come in.