September 1997

My topic this month deals with something that I bet every single person reading this has dealt with it. I would also bet that you've probably heard as much as you want to hear on the subject. Another safe guess is that you still don't know what to think about it. I'm still pondering. And one final thing that I can assume is that you think about it quite a bit, either because people keep asking you about it, or the subject just seems to recur constantly. If you haven't figured it out by now, maybe my assumptions were wrong. I am, of course, talking about religion.

It's not a scary word in and of itself. It hides just as well as any other word in the good old Websters. Maybe even better, because I doubt many people have to look up the meaning.

One of my best friends, Jeff, is always urging me to go to his church with him. Another of my friends, Christine, also keeps asking me to go to church and bible study groups with her. And now I've got friends on campus who are asking the same thing. Most recently, I met up with a girl I met at the state fair choir in 1995, who is also extremely religious. Oh boy, was that interesting. "The Lord wanted me to do this, the Lord didn't think it was right." Okay then. I had to bite my tongue so hard when the subject of gay people came up. Ouch.

What really bothers me is the simple fact that there are many different types of people. For example, the Jeff was not born into a religious family. He only in the past year and a half discovered the church and what it meant to him. Christine was born into a very religious Italian family. But she doesn't go to their church: she found one of her own... nondenominational... more fitting to her personality. And what I can't understand it why these people feel that their church, or their specific beliefs in God are right for me?! I have to come into my own understanding with the Lord. Everyone thinks they are right in what they believe... but I don't buy that. I don't believe it.

I'll discover how religion fits into my life when I do . . . no sooner. There are too many other things that I'm trying to figure out at the same time. God has let me down before as well as helped me through some tough times . . . and I know, that's just the way things go sometimes, but everyone's got to understand that I need to make my own decisions about my life. About everything. Does that make sense? I don't even know.

Another point that makes me smile every time I think about it is just the nature of religion itself. It is my understanding that most of the population that feels any religious duty whatsoever has been raised that way; it's been there from day one. Because of this, people are normally very stubborn about what they believe.

There are people preaching to us every day about what the true nature of God is. HA! It's ludicrous! No one will ever, and read me clearly here, E V E R, be able to change the religious views of approximately 90-95% of the world's population. The other 5-10% that can be persuaded to believe something different than they do currently are either unsure about what they believe, or complete, totally and utter airheads! It's a fact.

The point! Yes, there is a point! Don't listen to anyone else but yourself. Only *you* know what is right for you. Only *you* know what to believe in. If you don't now, don't worry, it'll come. I have faith... you should too.

Unfortunately, I have no more words of wisdom to spew forth. However, I *certainly* can give some shameless self-promotion, can't I? You can contact me at my Oasis email address: brgreiger@hotmail.com or visit my webpage at: http://www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/8936/

So until next time, good luck in all you do. Remember, you're never fully dressed without a smile!

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