Are you religious? I get this question every now and again. What’s interesting is that it’s a loaded question. It’s loaded with hundreds of years of preconception. I struggle with how to answer it. If I say yes, I worry about pigeon holing myself into the preconceptions – many of which are bad. If I say no, I’d be lying. We’re all religious.
Yes. We are all religious. The definition of religion is believing in and worshiping a power greater than ourselves. For some, it’s God. For others, it’s drugs. Still others it might be mother nature, or humanism – where the prime focus is on human achievement. The spectrum is broad, but we all believe in something. Even disbelief is a belief. I was a devote atheist for several years.
If we extend the definition of religion it goes on to discuss the meaning of life and our purpose in it – or relationship to it. As you can see, the question is deep. It’s not a surface question like “do you like pistachio ice cream?” -I don’t, plus dairy bothers my stomach.
I try to gauge where the person is coming from with a “why do you ask?” However this can make them uncomfortable, or feel like they crossed a line – I don’t want that. Lately, I just say “am I religious, aren’t we all?” – and see where the conversation goes from there.
Thanks for stopping by,
~ Ted Olson