Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

January 1st is The Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God

Blessed Virgin, please pray for the children
Religion is on my mind all of the time.  I consider myself a very religious and spiritual person on a journey toward...what?  Where will I end up?  I don't know.  I think sometime soon I'm going to reconsider where I stand religiously to see if it has changed any or if I can add or subtract anything from my previous list.

January 1st is the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God.  I am seriously considering going to Mass Sunday, January 1st.  Perhaps it will start the year off right, whether I stay (re-become?) Catholic or not.  I've thought about next week making an appointment with the Father here at St. Pat's and ask him questions that can perhaps help me sort through all of the information and feelings overloading my brain.  I have had good experiences in the Catholic Church, but I also have bad ones, mostly internal.  How could I ever be Catholic again when I am pro-choice, pro-birth control, pro-sex education, pro-gay rights, and pro-sex between consenting adults?  I am against the death penalty though, which goes along with Catholic beliefs.  Other than that my morality system is based on Catholicism.

I do think that if I dig down deep, being molested by my music teacher during Church camp between first and second grade has a lot to do with my strange hangups with Catholicism.  I think it has to do with the extra guilt I feel (where is my therapist when I need her?) because it happened at Church.  A lot of my religious problems I can't put into words, but I can remember Mr. D's face even though I rarely remember anyone's face.  I hate child molesters.  They fuck up people's lives.  You know what else I hate?  I hate that they would do it at a Church!  I hate that a predator would use that sacred space to violate a child in the worst way possible.  Now I feel so dirty.  I want to take a shower.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Islam - Things I Respect

I think the two things I respect most about Islam are the steadfast faith of Muslims and the muslimah's who wear hijab, which from my understanding is both the modest dress of a Muslim woman and the head covering she wears.  I have been reading a lot about hijab and am a regular reader of many Muslim blogs.  I feel that I was too harsh about Islam in the blog before last so in this entry I want to write about what I respect about Islam.  While I must admit I do not understand why men and women are to be separated I really like the idea of a head covering and modest dress.  According to Wikipedia hijabi's cover for modesty, morality, and privacy.  Wearing hijab also identifies one as a Muslim and protects a woman from unwanted attention.  Being identified as a Muslim means that a hijabi must act morally at all times, for she is the face of Islam.  I always thought, as so many Westerners do, that women who covered their head were forced to against their will.  It never occurred to me that many women choose to cover for Allah's sake.  That returns back to my first point, I am amazed at the steadfast faith of so many Muslims.

I want to list some of my favorite Muslim blogs:

Alabaster Muslim

American Woman's Journey into Polygyny

White Girl...Arab World

Muslim Wife Secrets

Muslim Revert and Proud

Diary of a Muslim Feminist

This is an awesome video.

The Catholic in Me

As much as I try to deny the Catholic left in me, it still remains.  I think it always will.  Do I believe in Jesus?  I don't know.  I really just don't know.  Do I believe in the Immaculate Conception?  Yes, of course I do.  Do I have devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints?  Yes, of course I do.  Do I still pray to them and ask for their intercession?  Yes, I do.  Does this make any sense?  I'm not sure how, but somehow it does in my mind.  For instance, you can pick on Facebook the people you admire most.  These are the people I admire most:
Four of the ten people who inspire me are Catholic figureheads: the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pope John Paul II, Saint Joan of Arc, and Saint Dymphna.  St. Joan of Arc is the patron saint of soldiers and France.  I have prayed for St. Joan of Arc's intercession since I was nine.  She is a soldier, a fighter, and helps give me the strength to keep fighting my struggles in life.  St. Dymphna is the patron saint of those suffering nervous and mental afflictions.  I have epilepsy, bipolar, and Complex-PTSD, so St. Dymphna means a lot to me.  I believe that Pope John Paul II is one of the greatest man who has lived in centuries.  I cried and cried the day I found out that he passed on.  My devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary runs deep.  I cannot remember a time when I didn't love her.  I remember being two years old and carrying around a picture of the Holy Family.  By three years old I played I was Mary about to give birth to Jesus.  By four years old I regularly recited the Hail Mary.

So how much of a Catholic am I still?  I don't know.  I think I'm a Catholic Agnostic mixture with a yearning to learn more, to have a faith in something, to know.  That is what I yearn for.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Classes on Judaism and 'Why Islam is Not for Me' Part I

I have exciting news since last time.  I have been taking informal lessons in Judaism.  I'm really excited about this.    I have not really studied much about Judaism.  My first lesson was about Kosher.  I took notes during the lesson given by one of my best friends...who happens to teach about Judaism at her Temple!  I think that me asking her if she could help and then finding out she teaches is more than a coincidence.  Either way I am very excited to learn.

Most of this post will be delegated to Islam.  When I first started reading the Qur'an I thought that it was a beautiful Book.  I was amazed at the ease of understanding and intrigued by this Book.  Beyond that, the more I read the Book, the more I realized Islam is absolutely not the religion for me.  The more I read about Allah, the more I am convinced that he is an angry and vengeful God.  Instead of a book of prayer, devotion, and religious instruction, the Qur'an reads like a warning of what Hell will be like.  Shouldn't someone want to live a good, moral life because they want to, not because they are afraid not to?  For example,
Indeed, those who disbelieve in Our verses - We will drive them into a Fire. Every time their skins are roasted through We will replace them with other skins so they may taste the punishment. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted in Might and Wise. 4:56
But those who disbelieved and denied Our signs - they are the companions of Hellfire. 5:86
They impatiently urge you to bring about evil before good, while there has already occurred before them similar punishments [to what they demand]. And indeed, your Lord is full of forgiveness for the people despite their wrongdoing, and indeed, your Lord is severe in penalty. 13:6
And never think that Allah is unaware of what the wrongdoers do. He only delays them for a Day when eyes will stare [in horror]. 14:42 
Before him is Hell, and he will be given a drink of purulent water. He will gulp it but will hardly [be able to] swallow it.  And death will come to him from everywhere, but he is not to die. And before him is a massive punishment. 14:16-17
And say, "The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills - let him believe; and whoever wills - let him disbelieve." Indeed, We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls will surround them. And if they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like murky oil, which scalds [their] faces. Wretched is the drink, and evil is the resting place.  18:29 
Now tell me, does this sound like a god full of love or a god who sits around all day dreaming up ways to punish and new tortures for the Chastisement?  I feel that Allah does not exist, or if he does that he is a mean and spiteful deity, more like the Christian devil than a "good" deity.  I have more Qur'an quotes I've been writing down for future posts, hence this being a Part I.  The more I learn about Islam the less nice things I have to say about it.  Before I knew anything about it I respected the religion.  After learning about it I cannot understand why someone would willingly become Muslim.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thoughts on Protestantism, Catholicism, Islam, and being a bookworm

Wow, I know it's been awhile since I wrote on this blog.  First of all, my DH's two brothers and his brother's wife is staying with us, as well as this 20 year old guy who needed a place to go.  I get along pretty good with DH's brothers, but sometimes it is crazy here.  I anticipated a lot of arguing on religion.  I am Agnostic with a bit of Roman Catholicism thrown in there.  BIL#1 (brother-in-law #1) is Pentecostal, which I've always thought was a really strange denomination.  To be honest I've made fun of Pentecostals pretty much my whole life.  I've found them to be crazy, ultra-conservative, Bible thumpers, not too bright, and well, kinda stupid for believing in the whole talking in tongues thing.  I want to make clear that these are my impressions of Pentecostals, but I'm not saying that I'm right or wrong in what I perceive.  DH, believe it or not, used to be a Pentecostal minister.  That is so crazy for me, well, because of my impressions of the religion, especially when I come from a Roman Catholic background.

Anyway BIL#1 told me when he was first coming home with us that he would try to convert me.  I made it clear that if he tried the whole "convert me" thing it would lead to a big fight.  So far he hasn't tried to yet.  Don't get me wrong, BIL#1 is a good guy.  I just don't agree with his religious beliefs at all.

I know quite a bit about Catholicism.  For quite awhile I was a really good Catholic.  I read about Catholic theology a lot.  I don't know as much about Protestantism.  Still, I do know a lot about Christianity.  I read a lot of Muslim blogs, most all written by women.  I'm also still reading The Qur'an, as well.  I was quite surprised to read a blog recently by a Muslim woman who tries to "prove" that Jesus is not the Son of God with Bible verses.  It made me laugh.  Christianity's basic premise is that Jesus is the Son of God.  Someone unfamiliar with the Bible and Christianity who thinks they can use it to prove the whole religion is wrong is just laughable.

I haven't been working on my own spiritual journey lately.  It seems that things are going so crazy that I'm having a hard time finding the time to work on it.  I really need to.  I feel a strong desire to find where I belong religiously.  I think part of the reason, actually a large part of the reason, is being always sick.  I need a spiritual aspect to my life that I feel strongly about and that fits me.  I crave spirituality and my soul is looking for the right path.  I seem to be getting close to that in the Wiccan books I've read.  Again, Wiccans and witches are not devil worshipers, in fact they don't even believe in Hell and the Devil.  Hell and the Devil are both Christian concepts.  I feel I must remind my readers of this because they may be new to my blog and not know anything about real witches.  I want to read another book soon on either feminism or Wicca.  I usually read a few books at a time: a fiction book, a non-fiction book, a medical book, and sometimes an anthology. I'm always reading at the very least four books.  Right now I'm reading: Lucy Gets Her Life Back by Stef Ann Holm, The Qur'an, and Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez.  I finished a book on fibromyalgia today.  I think next I'm going to read a lesbian romance, a book on feminism or Wicca, a book on PCOS or thyroidism, and perhaps a lesbian vampire stories anthology.  I usually start figuring out what I want to read next shortly after staring a book.  Have I mentioned I love to read?  So, I guess I'll end this blog up.  Thanks for reading ya'll. :-)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Angry ex-Catholic

I try not to look at any one religion as less valid than another unless it hurts others.  I also try to be nonjudgmental.  Right now I'm failing miserably!  I'm an angry ex-Catholic.  The guilt from the Church is somewhat lesser but now I'm not only bitter but angry.

I realize that I need to control my words I use but to get rid of the anger inside I need to stop thinking angry things.  I'm still trying to figure out how to do that, though.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Exercises in breathing, visualization, & energy play

It's been awhile since I've blogged on The Disillusioned Agnostic. During that time I read the book Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham.  I have really enjoyed learning about Wicca.  I also want to learn about other Pagan beliefs, and I have a bunch of books on the topic of Paganism (including Wicca) on my Paperbackswap wish list.

There are a few exercises that were in the book.  I don't mean the sweaty gym type of exercises, either.  The exercises in the book have to deal with breathing, visualization, and energy play.  I have practiced breathing by paying attention to my breath and breathing deep when I notice I'm holding my breath.  I read somewhere else recently that when someone is in pain they tend to hold their breath a lot.  I didn't believe it when I read it, but it is very true.

The first exercise in energy play is to rub your hands together fast then hold them an inch apart.  You can feel the energy coming from your body.  I've learned that we expel personal energy through movement, exercise sex, and childbirth.  We absorb energy from the moon, sun, water and food.

I practiced visualization two days ago.  Jim was out late, it was past midnight, and I was really worried about him.  I visualized electric blue energy coming from my projective palm (right palm) traveling down the road and enveloping Jim's truck in a safe sphere of love and safety.

Is that Wicca magic?  I don't know.  It made me very calm and Jim got home half an hour lately safely.  That's all that matters-my Jim was safe.

I find it weird that Jim usually dated Pagans and used to be Pagan until he because Christian again.  Though he is partially Pagan he is mainly Christian now.  I was Catholic when Jim met me and now I've left Christianity.  It's just weird.

Anyway, I'm very excited to be learning.  Thanks guys for reading.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tonight I'm starting "Wicca" by Scott Cunningham


I'm still reading the Qur'an, it isn't the type of Book you finish in three days.

Tonight I'm going to be starting "Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner," by Scott Cunningham.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Where I got my Qur'an

I got my Qur'an from

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Reading the Qur'an: It's Amazing!

I got my Qur'an in the mail a couple of days ago.  I've been reading it and the introduction booklets that came with it and it's hard to put down.  It is beautiful!  I am very excited about learning about Islam.  I didn't expect to be that impressed but I really am.  When I read it I feel peaceful and excited at the same time.  I wish that I could share this wonderful feeling with my DH, but he won't listen to it.  I wish DH would clear away the prejudices and negative expectations he has about Islam and look at it from a fresh start.  I don't think he ever will, though, which makes me very sad.

Islam isn't the only religion to get bad press because of a few extremists, but it probably has the worst press.  Christians who shoot abortion doctors or bomb clinics are extremists with ideas that most Christians do not share.  Islam means to submit to God.

I'm so excited.  I don't know where my journey will take me and I shouldn't make any more guesses.  I want to learn all I can and feel all I can.  After I have been reading the Qur'an for a bit longer I will start the book on Wicca.

This is such an exciting and important journey in my life.  For those of you reading my blog, thank you for coming along on this journey.  :-)

Oh, I did want to mention that I got my free copy of the Qur'an at

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Questions...nothing really new though

I have been mostly studying Islam lately.  I am enjoying learning about it though I am almost positive that I will not convert to Islam.  I have a lot of respect for the Muslim faith, though.

An unexpected thing has happened though.  I find myself thinking about God, the Virgin Mary, and all the Saints a lot lately.  I have been praying a little here and there.  I do think that either way it would be a good idea for me to talk with the local priest but I want to be careful how I do it so I don't set myself up to be guilted back into it rather than choosing to because of my beliefs.  If I go back to Catholicism again then   I want to make up a question list first, then I'll post the answers.  Here is the beginning of my list...

  • If God loves me, why did he let me be abused?  Why did he let me be sick?
  • If I say something about my pain am I not being a good Catholic?  I mean what about offering up your pain for God?  I just can't do that.  I can't suffer good.  What am I supposed to do?
  • Why does the Church insist that being gay is like some sort of evil cult people decide to join?  
  • How could the Church say it is wrong to use birth control when if the couple got pregnant the mother's medication could kill or seriously deform the baby?  Or if one person has AIDS or is getting chemo?

Then I have more questions for myself:

  • Is it true that the guilt of the Catholic Church never leaves you completely?
  • Am I suffering a flare of Catholic guilt or do I still have an interest in the Catholic Church?
  • Am I just scared of leaving Catholicism or do I actually still feel something pulling me to the Church?
I can answer some questions for myself:
  • Do I believe there is some great force or forces in the universe? Yes.  I believe that there are many, many great forces in the universe.
I'm not sure how much sense this blog makes.  I haven't come to any new conclusions about anything, but it still helps to write it down.


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Studying Islam and Paganism part 1

I have decided, at least for right now, that I am studying Islam and Paganism/Wicca.  Both of these religions have something that draws me to them.  The very personal relationship with Allah and sisterhood one Muslimah to another draws me to Islam.  The freedom of Paganism and the rituals involved draw me to it.  (Note: I'm in a lot of pain right now so I can't be positive I'm making sense, though I do know what I mean to say.)  I am learning a few vocabulary words, such as Muslimah (a Muslim woman who lives for Allah) and hijab (the covering an observant Muslim man or woman wears).  Oh, and if you realize that I say something wrong about Islam or any other religion, as in I define a word wrong, please tell me.

I got the book Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham from paperbackswap but I haven't started it yet.  The first book I read on Islam is Dr. Quanta Ahmed's In the Land of Invisible Women.  So many of my long held prejudices are breaking down as I learn more.  I'm gonna have to end this blog now, I'm in too much pain.  

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Personal Set of Beliefs

I've changed the name of my blog to "The Disillusioned Agnostic."  In my search for a religion right for me I've discovered some things about myself and what I believe, along with even more questions.  One thing I know; I am most certainly not Christian anymore.  I have very little respect for Christianity left.

I want to learn about different faiths and I think I'm getting somewhere.  I'm not getting far, but at least I can say for sure I'm not Christian.  I really don't think I'm going to become a convert to Judaism or Islam, but to be fair I'm not completely crossing them off the list before I explore them.  I do believe that there is a path out there for me, I just have to find it and nurture my faith.

I've decided the easiest way for me to figure this out is to sit down and make a list of what I DO believe in.

* I believe that all human beings are worthy of love.
* I believe that in the possibility of a God/Goddess.
* I believe in science.
* I believe that there is something more to life than science, that life has a mystical element.
* I believe that nudity is not "immoral" but natural.
* I believe that sex isn't something to feel guilty over.
* I believe that if there is a God/Goddess then He/She doesn't care what gender I'm attracted to.
* I believe in a sort of karma.
* I hold dear my love of the Virgin Mary even though I do not worship God.
* I believe in a woman's right to choose.
* I believe that plants and animals share the Earth with us, I don't believe that "God gave us rule over them."
* I do not believe in a faith that requires you to feel guilt and shame all of the time.
* I believe men and women are different in ways but the same in other ways.
* I absolutely do not believe women should be subjugated by men.
* I believe in the power of feminism.
* I believe that there are many spiritual paths for many people.
* I believe life is a celebration.
* I believe that meditation, including spiritual meditation, has a place in my life.
* I believe spirituality has a place in my life.
* I believe in learning.  I do not believe in a faith that I am not supposed to know the answers OR questions to. If that makes sense to you then you were probably Catholic at some point in your life.
* I do not believe in Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory.
* I believe in the possibility of reincarnation.
* I believe in personal responsibility.
* I believe that spirituality can be practiced in a group and/or by one's self.
* I do not believe in a Higher Being that judges us and/or sends us to eternal damnation.
* I believe that we are all one people and many people.
* I believe that being on the top of the food chain does not make us rulers of the earth.
* I believe we all have something that makes us who we are that goes beyond biology.
* I believe in ghosts and spirits.
* I believe in extra-terrestrial life. I mention this because as a Christian many times I was told that the belief that we aren't the only ones in this world clashes with belief in God. That's pretty narcissistic, don't you think?  I never agreed but then go figure, I have a thinking brain.
* I am not sure how I feel on good vs. evil. I think it is something that I need to explore all by itself.
* I believe that ALL human beings have the right to not live in fear.
* I do not believe in the Bible. I am making this clear because the only proof people can show me of Christianity is the Bible. That means nothing to me. You are proving my point, not yours, when you do this.
* I believe that religion has possibly caused more problems than it ever solved.

Well it is almost midnight, so I'm going to leave off here.  I'll try to write more on this again soon.  It isn't something I can blog daily about because exploring my spirituality is a long, slow process.  It should be a long, slow process.  I do not want to rush that process to get out another blog.  This is very important to me.  I hope everyone has a great week.

Friday, May 28, 2010

On Being Disillusioned

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
~Mohandas Gandhi 

I call this blog "The Disillusioned Catholic" because that's where I am religiously right now.  I'm disillusioned.  My main problems with Christianity are the following: Christianity has created more war and persecution of others than any other major religion of the last few hundred years; more and more priests are unveiled as child molesters in the Catholic Church; lesbians, gays, and bisexuals are persecuted in Christianity; the Bible has been used to justify racism, the subjugation of women, murder of abortion doctors, and again, the persecution of gays and lesbians; the Catholic Church and many Protestant churches use guilt and shame to control parishioners into doing what the Church dictates, the majority of Christians ignore scientific data and accepted scientific theories and instead cling to ridiculous Bible stories meant as parables; Christianity leaves no room for compassion of all people though that is what Christians claim they do; my experiences with the Catholic Church and especially Protestant churches have been less than favorable; the history of Christianity is a violent one; of all the hypocrites I know the majority are Christians, etc.

How can I feel right about believing in a faith such as that?  The one thing I take away from the Catholic Church is the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  I do not believe in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and I see most of the Bible as in influential work of literature.  As I said before; I find myself more disillusioned than anything else.

I do not believe that only one path leads to salvation; rather I believe that all faiths lead to God(s) and/or Goddess(es).  But which faith is right for me?  I do not know.  I am going to be writing this blog and updating it while searching for the path that is right for me.  Some faiths I can cross out immediately: Buddhism (too many rules), Islam (way too many rules and many of the same problems of Christianity) and Judaism (also lot of the same problems of Christianity).  I am curious about Paganism and Wiccan.  I am also going to look into smaller religions outside the big four.

I invite you to go with me on my journey as I search for my own path.
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