January 30, 2005

What I Want to Want

The lovely Cecily directed me to these interesting quizzes at beliefnet.com. I was raised a devout Roman Catholic, and for a long time, I really believed. I worked in a convent for several years and as a teenager, I seriously considered becoming a nun for quite a while. During that time, I felt like I had a deep, personal relationship with God and felt a sort of warm, enfolding response when I prayed. It was a wonderful feeling. I left the Church when a nun broke a promise to me and told my mother I had lost my virginity and we didn’t speak for a year. I try not to blame the Church for one woman’s poor judgment, although it’s hard. I also lost that warm feeling, and I’ve been wanting to get it back ever since.

After that, I spent some years not really thinking about faith or believing in God. This last year, however, I’ve been experimenting with Wiccanism. I love the idea of communing with nature as a way of worship. I love the tactility of candles and incense and water and wine, and kneeling in the dark while someone mutters an incantation. Ironically, all of these are important both in Wiccan rituals and Catholic ones.

My quiz results showed me to be 100% liberal Protestant—I guess I haven’t gotten as far away from the beliefs I was raised on as I thought. I’m also 98% Unitarian Universalist—I’ve always been drawn to UU, but there’s never been a church in my town. I’m only 17% Roman Catholic, which surprised me; I figured that would still rank pretty high on my list. I was a little disappointed to only be 73% Neo-Pagan. I guess that’s because all the non-nature stuff lots of Wiccans use, like crystals and Tarot cards, just make me want to laugh. I admit, I’m not a very good Wiccan. Much as I want to worship nature, I’m actually not a very nature-y person. I hate camping. I’m not fond of bugs or dirt, and I love room service.

I turned out 34% Jainist, whatever that is. Apparently Jainists believe that after you reach enlightenment, you become a god. Cool.

You would think that my mother’s Alzheimer’s would have pushed me back toward some kind of religion, so that I could believe in some afterlife where we will get to be together again someday, but it hasn’t. I wonder about that sometimes—maybe it means I really am an atheist, although I hope not. I want to believe in God, I just can’t seem to. And the rules of every religion I’ve tried just make me laugh—I always want to ask, “Do you really think God’s that petty?” I want to want to be a part of a nice, cozy congregation, but I just can’t. I guess I’ll go light a candle and try to meditate on the snow.


DeadBug said...

Really interesting quiz--100% Secular Humanist for me!


MsPrufrock said...

I'm 100% UU and 90% Liberal Quaker, which I didn't even know existed. I'm 52% Christian Scientist, which is worrying..


stephanie said...

I've taken the quiz- don't remember my score offhand. I believe in God, but organized relions scare me. I've settled for being spiritual rather than religious- and found the god within is a pretty good guide! Better than some of the churches I've attended ;-)