Friday, February 10, 2012

Advantages of denouncing religion

I was raised Catholic and studied in a Catholic school. I grew up believing that the only true faith was the one I had and everybody else will go to hell. Obviously, I did not have friends then from other religions. Well, it was hard to have non-Catholic friends because I was in Manila (the most powerful territory of the Catholic Church) and because of what I thought was the truth.

Long before I graduated from high school, I accepted myself as a gay man. I was tortured for not denying what I was so I completely detested this church.

Then I started going to the University of the Philippines in Quezon City and all of a sudden, I was surrounded by people from different faiths--Protestants, Jehovah's Witnesses, Wiccans, Muslims, atheists and agnostics! Some people thought that nothing of this religous brouhaha existed...I actually loved it and developed friendships with other non-Catholic Christians but I still kept my guard up for Muslims and Wiccans.
Being the adventurous me, I moved to Bangkok and made meaningful relationships with Buddhists and a lot of non-believers (they don't call it "Sin City" for nothing!).

Being the adventurous me AGAIN, I moved to Adelaide and was able to get to know the faces of multi-culturalism and pluralism. I began liking people for what they are and I am not really mindful anymore if they believe in Jesus, if they are Muslims, if they are former Muslims, if they are humanists, etc. I do not even mind it if they think that me subscribing to no organized religion is crazy.

I have neither been a Catholic nor a Christian for more than a decade and the longer I am this way, the more I accepting I become of other people despite their faith or religion. And I am happier.

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