I really enjoy jogging around the neighborhood. it’s a quirky area and I always discover odd but fun new things every time I run. Santa Clara is actually a pretty cool area.
Today I began my jog at 5 p.m. and ran about 2 miles out, until I hit the Rose Garden. It’s a beautiful place.
Whenever I encounter a pedestrian, either I run to the street to give a wide berth or the pedestrian keeps their distance. Most of them wave hello and give a smile.
As I was jogging I noticed a lot of cool churches from a diversity of denominations.
As I’m getting older I’m becoming much more of a Universalist. I am the opposite of an atheist. Atheists see no value in religion. I see value in almost all religions and Christian denominations.
I’ve seen too many church conflicts and harassment of individuals due to rigid adherence to dogma. And I’ve had too many personal conflicts with conservative Christians that have really shaken me. I don’t have a strong opinion if a person should be baptized as a baby or whether they should be baptized as an adult, as Catholics and Protestants have argued over the centuries.I believe the Bible is inspired by God but I don’t think it’s the literal word of God. I don’t think homosexuality is a sin. I don’t think women have to conform to traditional female roles. I don’t think atheists, agnostics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists or most other belief systems are any better or any worse than I am. I’m too aware of my own flaws to think that I am superior to anyone else.
I have strong beliefs that I am willing to defend but I don’t think I have all the answers. No person has all the answers. Sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m wrong. The only belief systems that I am unalterably opposed to are racism, white nationalism, authoritarianism, fascism, and religious extremism.
I have conservative friends, moderate friends, democratic socialist friends, libertarian friends, Marxist friends. So long as they respect my right to have my own independent thoughts and point of view, I’m willing to be someone’s friend. Learning from several bad experiences, I try to avoid individuals who have a hard time dealing with differences of opinion.
As you can tell, I’ve thought a lot about God and religion lately. I don’t have the answers. When I pass by a church, I have a lot of mixed feelings. I’ve had wonderful experiences in church and painful experiences in church. My feelings for God are very similar to the feelings I would have for an ex-girlfriend. There is a lot of fondness and grateful memories with God. But there is also a lot of pain and sadness and wariness mixed in too.