My faith and religious views have changed over time, and periodically I like to stop by the Beliefnet.com Belief-O-Matic to take the quiz. Even though it's lighthearted, I think it's a fun online religious resources. My results have varied over the years as I've explored religion and spirituality. Generally I subscribe to Buddhist beliefs, but I always find it interesting that Scientology and Quaker are usually pretty high on my list.
I've only attended a Christian church once in the last 12 years. A few times a year I attend the Drolma Center, which is a Kadampa Buddhist center in Ft. Lauderdale. I also attend the South Florida Hindu temple a few times a year with a Hindu friend of mine. Weekly I attend the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Second Life. Second Life is an interesting online religious resource. Just as I'm writing this, I notice that it's strange that I call myself a Buddhist and not a Unitarian Universalist, given that I attend Unitarian Universalist religious services more often than any other type of services.
My own religious practices are new agey and weird. I spent almost my entire childhood in a Christian church, and it was a wonderful experience. If I had never left that town, I'd probably still be attending that church today. Then I moved to Miami and became a "bleeding heart liberal", as my father says, and a Buddhist. I think the heart of the matter is that I believe in liberal religion. Buddhist beliefs and Unitarian Universalism both allow individuals the freedom to find their own religious paths without too much dogma.
Here are a few of my beliefs that probably influenced my Belief-O-Matic results:
- I believe that being a good person, showing compassion and helping others is more important than religious dogma.
- I believe in the equality of men and women and believe that gender does not affect a person's ability to be a spiritual leader. China would never go for it, but I think it would be great if the Dalai Lama names a woman as his successor!
- We should do our best to protect the environment.
- Our bodies are sacred, and we should take good care of them.
- Although I would not want to get an abortion, I think that it should be legal, at least in certain circumstances.
- I do not think that homosexuality is wrong.
- We bring much of our suffering upon ourselves and can only avoid this by changing our thinking and our actions.
- I firmly believe in the seven principles that form the basis of Unitarian Universalism.
- The simpler your life, the happier you are likely to be.
Here are my results. According to the instructions:
"The top score on the list below represents the faith that most closely matches your beliefs. Belief-O-Matic then lists another 26 faiths in order of how much they have in common with your professed beliefs. The higher a faith appears on this list, the more closely it aligns with your thinking."
|1.||Mahayana Buddhism (100%)|
|4.||Theravada Buddhism (90%)|
|6.||Unitarian Universalism (79%)|
|7.||New Age (74%)|
|9.||Liberal Quakers (63%)|
|11.||New Thought (57%)|
|13.||Orthodox Quaker (46%)|
|14.||Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (45%)|
|15.||Secular Humanism (44%)|
|16.||Reform Judaism (42%)|
|17.||Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (41%)|
|18.||Baha'i Faith (30%)|
|19.||Orthodox Judaism (26%)|
|20.||Seventh Day Adventist (26%)|
|21.||Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (21%)|
|23.||Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (15%)|
|24.||Eastern Orthodox (14%)|
|26.||Roman Catholic (14%)|
|27.||Jehovah's Witness (12%)|