I read with interest the article from the Los Angeles Times reporting on a Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life survey that was released last week. Many people have no doubt identified me with Unity, but I am also a member of the Unitarian church here in Lincoln, NE. There is a distinct commonality between the churches in that they both are founded on the principle of a search for truth and meaning. The difference is that there are many agnostics and atheists in the Unitarian church, whereas Unity believes in God, the Universal Source.
After reading the article, I was struck with the following statements: “American atheists and agnostics tend to be people who grew up in a religious tradition and consciously gave it up, often after a great deal of reflection and study. .. These are people who thought a lot about religion. They are not indifferent. They care about it. They also tend to be relatively well-educated, and atheists and agnostics outperformed believers (in their knowledge of religious beliefs and history) who had a similar level of education. “
For me, it is about the willingness to live in the question. Never pre-supposing that I know the answer, but looking for the truth from all angles, not just my own. Because of that, I am deeply interested in all religions, both modern and ancient, and what they have in common. I believe when I get to the core of these religious studies I will be closer to the truth than I ever have been before. And, as I study, I develop a deep sense of respect for those who believe, but are open to other thoughts and ideas.
I agree with Rev. Adam Hamilton, a Methodist minister from Leawood, Kan., who said in the article“the survey may reflect a reluctance by many people to dig deeply into their own beliefs, and especially into those of others… for many Christians, they accept their particular faith and stop examining it. And, because it is their truth, they don’t examine other people’s faiths… That is not healthy for a person of any faith.” This practice leads to intolerance and ignorance, and if carried far enough, war. While I believe in God, the Universal Source, I will not, and do not, discount other people’s belief systems, for they have their own names for their inner power. Their Source.
So, I guess I’ll continue to hang out with the people I am comfortable with – those who are willing to look beyond the covers of a book, a news reporter, or the minister in the pulpit, and really seek understanding and truth. These values and intentions are guiding lights – even for agnostics and atheists (some of whom I count as dear friends)!
Georgia Feiste, owner of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and transitions coach, writer, and workshop facilitator. She is also a Usui Reiki Master. Georgia specializes in career, business and personal life transitions for people seeking change in their life. Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life. You can also find her on her websites http://www.collaborativetransitions.com and http://www.rainbowbridgecoach.com. Georgia can be reached at (402) 304-1902 or you can schedule a 30 minute consultation via Automated Appointment.