It seems fitting, given that it's Christmas, to talk about religious views. There was an incredible article (that unfortunately turned out to not be real) that said that Pope Francis declared that all religions are true. I flailed my arms like a fangirl, excited that the Pope's ideas were the same as mine. My heart sunk when I realized it was a huge phony, but my feelings that there is more than one path to salvation still remain.
To be honest, I'm so bleeding heart liberal when it comes to religion that I don't even like the term "salvation", because that implies a path away from hell -- something I do not think exists (and Pope Francis is with me on this one, too). The same way I don't think God is the type of god to take attendance at church, I don't think God would create this complex system of death and birth, survival and killing, and then say, "Yeah, but unless you do this, this, and this, you are going to suffer forever."
I believe in original sin, but not the biblical kind. I believe in a type of evolutionary original sin, where everyone in the present day has that potential for evil already built into their DNA, thanks to years and years and years of natural selection. And I don't think that abiding by a specific set of rituals will magically abate that inner evil.
Here is how I see religion: I believe in God. I believe in an entity who created all this, who is omnipotent and omniscient. I believe that there is a lot more going on than we can even hope to understand -- the same way there is more going on in the universe than we could even hope to understand. After that: ideas. I got some ideas. Ideas that I think are good ideas, but ideas I'm willing to change if the mindset calls for it.
One of those ideas is in the contradictory idea of a million "right" religions -- including agnosticism and atheism. As I see it, if the Christian God can be God and the Trinity, if Jesus can be man and Son of God and God Himself -- then why not have an infinite set of paths towards salvation (or enlightenment, or not having a shitty life, etc), all of which proclaim, "THIS IS THE RIGHT AND ONLY WAY!" and all be correct at the exact same time?
Pope Francis also talks about how people are so obsessed with dogma that they are ignoring the most important facet of Christianity: love. FINALLY, someone in charge says it. Stop worrying about what every minute detail and action the Bible says is right and wrong and start loving thy neighbor.
(Sidenote, I find it very interesting that people like to point to the "gays are bad" part of the bible, decide it is not up for discussion ... but, oh, bring up the, "Call no man rabbi, call no man priest, for you have one rabbi, one priest and that is the Lord," and suddenly shit is up for interpretation.)
And on that very opinionated note: Merry Christmas everyone!