My biggest issue with the church I grew up in, and my parents' philosophy, is the extreme levels of guilt inflicted on the "believers". As a friend mentioned in a intense Twitter conversation last night, religion tends towards the stick, not the carrot. Not that I need a reward to do things, but I don't want the spectre of punishment hanging overhead for my entire life.
So, with all of this surfacing, again, I began to really think about what I believe. Or as Chris Rock said in Dogma, what I have "a good idea" about. I think that there is some kind of greater power out there, whether it be God, gods, or a completely unfathomable entity, I believe there is something out there that had a guiding hand in life. I also believe in modern science. Those beliefs are a bit difficult to reconcile. Also, I have a very difficult time reconciling it with a lot of what I know from history. So this leads me to my "idea".
I believe that there are two opposing forces in the universe that flow through everything and struggle to maintain a delicate balance. Not necessarily good and evil, more like the ancient Egyptian belief in the forces of order and chaos. In keeping with the idea of maintaining order, I believe people should be nice, follow the rules, and all of that. There's nothing about guilting people into following such a legalistic set of religious laws, just being nice and a good citizen. (Sounds like I'm in primary school again.)
As I started to reflect on all of this, which I'm pretty sure I've not expressed very clearly, I had to laugh. Because I came to the realization that basically, what I believe in, is the Force. Yes, as in the power that feeds and guides the Jedi and the Sith. And when you think about it, it's kinda like the whole order and chaos concept. Egyptians even represented chaos with the color red, the color of Set.
Peace, and may the force be with you.