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Hello From Another Member Of The Spong Forum


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Hello Everyone,


My name is Harry Hopkins. I was born into a Catholic family and community and raised as a Roman Catholic. I always had questions about God and the whole creation story as a child and accepted the things I was taught in early life to satisfy my parents and teachers in my Catholic community. I went to a seminary for a brief period hoping I could become a priest and learn how to understand the things I was taught to believe.


Throughout my life my belief in religious dogma had its ebb and flow; I would begin to think I saw the light only to have more doubts as my teachers lost credibility. I finally realized I had to figure things out for myself.


Twenty four years ago I was a devout Catholic who attended Mass daily and after Mass, carried communion to the sick and infirmed as a Eucharistic minister. I never stopped seeking the truth about God and life and my understanding has evolved over the years.


I’ve had enough exposure to nuns, priests, bishops and cardinals to know they are no different than anyone else, just doing another job in a different hierarchy. I imagine the same holds true for ministers, rabbis and mullahs.


The problem I saw was that they said one thing and did another. I know a priest who married the female half of a couple he was counseling to save their marriage. Then there were the Christian preachers in the mini & mega-churches on the Trinity Channel who I always sensed were in it for the money that were caught up in all kinds of activities like pedophilia, infidelity and homosexual activity, all the things they condemned.


It became apparent to me that organized religion is a business and many of the teachers and leaders were in it for power, money, self aggrandizement or some other selfish reason, sexual or otherwise. The teachers lost their credibility. They were not following their own teaching but yet, they would have us believe they were "God’s chosen". They are not all bad but as I said, no different than the rest of us.


I am now no longer a believer of any religion or creed. I have always had a scientific thirst for knowledge and have learned that we can learn and understand the natural laws that govern the universe and those things that mankind has historically attributed to a god or gods. It is just a matter of time as we continue to learn through science and philosophy.


Stephen Hawking wrote the following final thought in his book, “A brief History of Time – From the big bang to black holes”, regarding the grand unification theory.


"If we discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable by everyone, not just by a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we should know the mind of God."

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Thanks for sharing your story Harry. Your background is not unfamiliar to my own. As far as not having any religion or creed, in my view, speaking for myself only, that is a positive note. We have quite a few people here who it seems to me, share many of your stated feelings.



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Harry thanks for the introduction. The progress of science and technology seems to be able to enhance and clarify religion, if freed from institutional restraints. Too bad the religious restraints are so strong that we have to free ourselves from them first.

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