I am a graduate from the Cleveland Institute of Art and am planning on going to grad school... I have to decide about one really soon (in a week). Most of my work is animation or sculpture and can be seen at: www.ashleygerst.com
Why are you here?
I am agnostic with Buddhist leanings (interest in the teaching and practice of Buddhism - but without the belief in God, but with the belief in myself). I am very interested in learning about religious histories and criticisms, especially criticisms of the Bible and of Christian religion more than of others - which is possibly because I was raished as a Catholic.
The religion you left
Why you left your religion.
I no longer consider myself a Christian/Catholic because I believe that all organized religions are inheritantly corrupt. I believe in the possibility of Jesus' existence, but not in the common idea that he was the son of 'God'. Also, I don't believe in Saints.
I think that a lot of the reason why I reject Catholisism is beucase I attended Catholic grade school and high school. I started identifying myself as an athiest in 8th grade but was still forced into making my Confirmation.
High school, although a Catholic all girls high school, actually helped me come to terms with thinking of religions critically. I can't even count how many times I read the Bible, or some condensed version thereof for younger students... but in my freshman year we had to read it and take it literally as well as read it as literature. In our Sophmore year, we had to read it again, but take it figurtively. The story of Noah's Ark for example: there was a flood in that general area around the time that story takes place in history, so someone could have built a boat for it. Or, when Moses sees the Burning Bush, it could have been a bush with an abnormal amount of red berries on it and backlit by the desert sun. These kinds of critical thinking paved the way for me to start researching other religions, which is something else that we had to do in Theology class my Senior year. We learned mroe about Eastern religions and philosophies which helped me pave the way to my current understanding.
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