Though it’s been almost a decade since leaving religion, it’s hard to put it behind me. I don’t mean the church-going and Bible-reading. I mean the good stuff in religion is hard to shake off.
But I guess that’s the main point. The things I still utilize from my religious days turns out not to be religious at all.
No matter where you are from, whether you are introverted or extroverted, religious or not, you will desire one form of community or another.
They come in all shapes an sizes: churches, board meetings, pool tournaments, bar chatter, hiking groups, monthly dinners out with friends, recovery meetings, et al.
If one leaves the church, there should be some sort of community, even if it’s hanging out with the neighbors in the backyard for beer and burgers.
Morality / Ethics
Growing up in Christianity, we are taught to be mindful of our sin.
Prevention of getting in trouble should not be the motivation of our deeds.
Neither should be feel like we can do whatever we want in this life, believing we’ll be forgiven no matter what.
I believe that integrity is who we are when we behave in public similarly to how we would in private.
Our character should be consistent, both alone and with company.
Group or individual biases and bigotry has no place in an all-loving, secular life.
Social Justice / Human Rights
The previous takes me into this section (social justice and human rights).
When I was religious, this was a huge thing.
Soup kitchens, shelters, bake sales, visiting the hospitalized and imprisoned, and taking care of the widows and fatherless.
While these things are good, there was always an element of letting these people know why we were doing the things we did: to convert them.
In the secular realm, we don’t do these things to get people to choose a religion or god, but instead to show that no matter what, they’re people like us and deserve to be treated with dignity and love.
Peace / Tranquility
While we all will sometime die, we all want peace and tranquility.
We want to know that when we leave this life, we will leave loved ones with good thoughts about us, and hopefully not a lot of stress regarding the unfinished tasks.
And while we’re here, we want to keep the peace, trying to get along with our fellow human being.