The Belief Net Religion Quiz: What Do You Believe?
In a recent Religion class, I was asked to take a quiz on the site Belief.net. The idea was to compare and contrast one of the top five and one of the bottom five religions assigned to me by the quiz. To be quite honest, I was a bit surprised at the results. I wasn't expecting my religious beliefs to be packaged up in one perfect little box, however this site claims to do it with only 20 questions.
In accordance with the religious aspects of our personal lives, we tend to use simple reasoning and empirical thought to arrive at ideals that define us. However, the true nature of religion lies within its doctrines and how those fit within our personal creed. Every religion may share some similar values in which we can relate, however in most instances we choose a religion because of its differences.
In a surprising, yet educational turn, I was given the religions Unitarian Universalism and Liberal Christian Protestantism in the recent Belief.net quiz. Both of these religions share similar beliefs, although one might be defined as a straighter path to God. Oddly, Unitarian Universalism stresses a point that there is no doctrine or strict decree that binds you to this faith. There is no condemnation to hell for anyone and all religions are respected, including the so called non-religions like Humanism and Rationalism (Mendelsohn Foreword).For Universalists, Jesus was a teacher and a prophet, however he was not God.
In contrast, Liberal Christian Protestant followers believe that the Bible is more symbolic than literal. According to Belief.Net, God created and controls the processes that account for evolution, as continually revealed by modern science (Belief Net). Churches may teach that the act of abortion is wrong, however many believers support a women’s right to chose an alternative method. You will be rewarded after death if you had performed several acts of goodness. In contrast, if you performed evil acts, you will be punished after death.
There are clearly some beliefs within the Unitarian Universalism religion that I can relate to including that fact that Jesus was a great teacher and prophet, however I don’t accept that he was God. This, of course, fits into the niche of this religion, but I don’t agree that Universalism is without a strict doctrine. If a religion chooses to respect all religions, opens their faith up to all individuals, and encompasses the opposite of what every person seems to believe, than I should think that this simply stated is their doctrine.
Furthermore, Unitarian Universalists share a common religion with the Liberal Christian Protestants, that being Humanism. I appreciate the fact that Universalists support world views of religion and interrelationships, thereby promoting an understanding of all cultures. I believe this view can significantly aid in peace agreements and the justice system within the entire world. Furthermore, Universalism is a liberal form of religion which stresses that there is a certain social role that must be met. I completely agree with this fact, in that, we all have responsibilities to ourselves, as well as others, to make certain that all people are treated fairly.
My views on Liberal Christian Protestantism are a bit dissimilar. I do support their belief that the Bible should be seen as more of a symbol than a literal truth. After all, there are no supporting documents that prove who actually wrote the passages. In fact, up until now, people believed that Moses was responsible for writing the first five books in the Old Testament, however with further investigation, there is no proof that he actually authored them (Friedman 1). In my opinion, based on my views of history, the Catholic Church placed many of those passages in the Bible, and removed quite a few, to fit their strict doctrines.
When Protestant Christians speak of evolution, they deny any relationship between Mother Nature being the force that created all, and nature created by God himself.
My interpretation of modern science is that nature is clearly a phenomenon which was originally derived from the supernatural to the galactic universe. The name itself comes from the Latin word “Natura” or “the course of things”, relating to animals, plants, the sky above, the earth below, the soul of a human being and the aspects of the world (Axelrod 1). It does not seem that within my description of Nature, that God exists, nor does he have the power to change the course of things. It is clear to me, however, that people here on earth do have the power to change their own standing, and that in and of itself makes us all gods.
My interpretation of the quiz is simple. I think religion is much too broad to be summed up within twenty questions. Furthermore, for those that believe they have no religion, well there is a religion for them as well. We are all not free from conformity, as we all choose a set of values that make us part of a religious group that we never thought we were a part of in the beginning. I believe the quiz reflects several of our flaws and strengths, however too easily that mix of beliefs is placed within one religion that mysteriously keeps popping up for everyone that took the quiz. Is it possible that the site may be owned by the Unitarian Universalists? Or, do we all share more in common than we thought. It would be ironic I should think.