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From day one, many people are brought up with a certain religion.
I was not one of these people. My parents gave me the freedom to choose
my own religion. They were sort of Buddhists...but not really. As expected,
everyone around me, in my neighborhood, at school, etc. were Christian.
My sister was even baptized, but she never became a Christian.

The United States is influenced, whether we like it or not, by Christian
values and beliefs. When I was younger, I thought of Christianity as a
sort of cult that I should avoid. It was hard for me to even go inside a
church without feeling violated or strange. I didn't find much comfort
in the religion and I lashed out at people who tried to convert me.

However, as I grew older, I started to realize the error of my ways. I began
to listen to these people. I began to attend Bible studies and such. Many of
the tales I heard were interesting. Some were far-fetched as I expected, but
they had a good foundation. And so, I began to raise questions to some Christians
about their faith and some of their tenets of belief. I began to make them question
their faith...which in my mind is a good thing. And yet, at the same time, I questioned
my own fear and hatred of Chrisitianity.

That's when I realized that an open mind is much better than a provincial one. A simple
concept...but it took me a while to truly follow it. Now, I think of Religion as a quilt. I take
bits and pieces from different religions and make my own faith. I believe that religion
is something very individual and personal. You can take what you want from many
religions. Just because you don't believe in "Genesis" doesn't make you not a Christian.
It just make you ...you. And even further, I don't believe we are all that different.
Each religion is very similar in many ways if you stand back and look at them.

Furthermore, my only complaint with Chrisitanity is the often "blindness" of the faith.
Sometimes I will ask a question that will stump even a pastor. And he will respond,
"I do not question these things. I leave that up to God to decide". I do not agree
with this convenient way of thinking. "Well...I don't know. But I'm not going to think
about it. I'm just going to say....leave it to God" I believe we should always question
our faith. Always be changing and learning more. Don't stay stuck in one way of
thinking.....you'll never grow that way. Question....ask your pastors things. Learn
more about the religion you so devotely follow.

And so, my quilt grows larger. And like the universe has many suns....my quilt will
contain many Gods...many beliefs....and it will be all my own. Perhaps you can
take a little patch from My quilt. That is...if you have an open mind. Thanks for


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