This I Believe

Robert - St. Louis, Missouri
Entered on August 28, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe

I was born into a Catholic family. Throughout my life I have gone to Catholic schools. My grandparents on both sides of my family attended mass every day. My grandfather died from a heart attack while getting dressed to go to mass. So naturally I would be raised to believe the in same doctrine as my elders. Unfortunately this is not true. I believe in personal choice. Nobody should be born into a religion. People should be able to form their own set of beliefs.

Growing up I was always afraid of God. I feared missing church on Sunday and I feared sin because I feared hell. For a while I thought my father was doomed because he only attended mass on Christmas and Easter. It was when my parents got a divorce that I no longer attended mass every Sunday. I wasn’t mad at God; I just couldn’t make it there. On one weekend I would stay with my mom, and the next weekend I would stay with my dad. Since my dad was not as devout of a Catholic as my mom, I missed mass every other weekend. This worried me. One day I asked my dad if he was really Catholic. He said “I’m sort of a Catholic but mainly (feel) Buddhist”.

I didn’t understand how you could be two religions. Then I thought logically. Catholics aren’t the only people to get into heaven. As a matter of fact heaven is not important. Whether or not heaven or hell exist, we need to be good people to each other. Heaven shouldn’t motivate us to be good to each other. We should be good people because it’s the right thing do. I no longer believe in a single religion. I don’t think there is one set of beliefs that is the exact way to live. Every religion in my mind has its good and bad ideas. I pick and choose my own set of beliefs to live by. My views are very personalized. I do whatever it takes and believe whatever helps me to be a better person. I call this personalism and in this I believe.