Ask the Patriarch 102
The perfect religion
In this past year I have been looking for the perfect religion. I have taken many tests and most of them said I would make a good atheist, even thought I am not quite sure what I think about God, I know for a fact that I do not want to be an atheist. It is such a strong and negative word. I have looked into being a Buddhist and it is very interesting but I know I can’t be calm and serene like all Buddhists. The weird thing about be is that I do not believe in one God, but many Gods and Goddesses. I believe there are many spiritual beings helping us in all different ways. So, my question is this: How do I find the best religion that suites for me? So please help this troubled teen!!
The Patriarch replies:
Thank you for writing.
There really is no perfect religion. None answer all the questions. And most considered objectively raise more questions than they answer. And as soon as you attach a label to yourself, you find yourself including as part of the package, not only beliefs you agree with, but those you don't.
It's not necessary to write off Buddhism just because you cannot currently be calm and serene. Some forms of Buddhism (and other religions) provide a path to serenity - it is the end, not the starting point.
Given you believe in many gods and goddesses, you are a polytheist - if you need a label to apply to yourself. You could also consider yourself a pagan or a heathen as alternate labels. All three terms are generic enough that you are not necessarily tied to unwanted beliefs.
Related questions have been addressed previously at: What Religion am I?; What Religion Am I? (2); Meditation 233 - The Church of Popeye - The answer to the question "What Religion am I?" and the ensuing discussion.
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