I find it hard not to think that there is some sort of all encompassing power tying us all together. Just from a molecular standpoint, an atom that was once part of me could now be part of you, and there is an energy that ties all atoms together (or pushes them apart).

Now whether that energy takes the form a a singular, intelligent being … who knows?

I just find it very difficult to say one person’s god is “true” and another person’s god is “false”. To me, the Great Spirit of the Native Americans is just as valid as the Christian and Jewish God, as Allah, as Vishnu (or whatever the Hindu god is), etc.

Even the “Force” in Star Wars has religious overtones if you think about it; after all, it is an all-encompassing power that guides and protects those that use it properly, and twists those who would misuse it … much like religion.

When people ask me about my religious beliefs or if I believe in God, I tell them I don’t reject God; but that I do reject religion. For me, it’s what a person carries inside themselves, and how they treat other people that counts. A person should have a moral and ethical code that they follow, and if that code is inspired by one particular religious sect or another, then so be it.

The problem is when one person attempts to impose their religious beliefs on another, either by argument, legislation or force.

I think really, it’s that I believe in the Golden Rule, and not much else. As a cyclist, I will continue to wear my Madonna del Ghisallo medallion, for while it may not have any true power to protect me, I feel safer when I wear it because it reminds me that the roads are dangerous and keeps me more aware.

I will continue to carry my turtle totem, given to me by woman I dated for a couple months immediately after my divorce, because it reminds me to focus on my thoughts and actions, to remain grounded and to try to maintain a harmonious flow to my existence.

I will keep the yin/yang background image on my laptop as a reminder that there is no way but the way (and that way may differ from one person to the next), and that everything is comprised of light and dark, masculine and feminine, good and evil.

And I will do all that I can to be the best person that I can be … not the best athlete, not the smartest person in school or at work; but inside at my core, my very soul. I will do this not with a belief in God or Jesus or this church or that temple, but with the knowledge that my actions (and inaction) affect those around me and that my effect on others affects me in return.