Your views on religion.
This is a strangely timely question.
My relationship with my religion is complicated. And confusing.
I was raised a Catholic, the kind of legit Catholic that went to Mass every Sunday, not just Christmas an Easter. I went to Catholic school from 7th-12th grade, and was somewhat active in youth ministry-type activities as a teen/early 20s (retreat leader and speaker, etc). In college, I was once part of a team to chaperone 50+ 8th graders on a bus trip to Atlanta for 5 days.
I went to college, and was facisinated by a specific Religious Studies professor. That led to me taking every single one of the classes he taught (6) which led to a Religious Studies minor and a crush on a 70 year old (the professor).
(Not really relevant, but whatever).
During college, I was exposed - for the first time - to a variety of religions. The aforementioned professor was Jewish, as was a good sorority friend. I grew really close to some Lutheran relatives. I had classes with Muslims. My experiences with members of other religions widened.
Simultaneously, I began to be a more critical thinker. I learned that my own thoughts and opinions and feelings didn't jive with the Catholic Church's, in a whole lot of ways: women's roles within the church, the relationship between homosexuality and sin, the permissability of birth control, and probably a whole lot more.
Realizing this, I questioned whether or not I was actually a "Catholic". Yes, I was baptized. Yes, I went to Church with my family. Is that what makes a Catholic?
Or is there something more - a feeling, a way of life, a set of beliefs?
Does this make me a Catholic? If that answer is no, then what?
I like being a Catholic. I like being the same religion as my parents, my brothers, my fiance, my in-laws. I like being part of this tradition. I am excited to get married within the Church.
I guess I'll close this how I began: My relationship with my religion is complicated. And confusing. I don't have the answers, but I'll let you know if I find them.