As most people who know me know, I was raised in a fairly religious environment — Mormon in particular. I am no longer an active participant in the Mormon church, although I find I still believe a lot of the detailed dogma they teach. (It is hard to diffuse a lot of the fundamental teachings that you learn as a young child …). The thing I liked about the Mormon church is that they had answers to a lot of questions I had — and the answers they had seemed logical to me. Of course, that logic was built on a foundation of other Mormon beliefs.
With that being said, I don’t fancy myself a particularly religious person. I pray on occasion (in Portuguese), but I will go into my thoughts on prayer in a little while … I took this “quiz” to determine which religion best describes you. The results were interesting, and I’m sure would cause my father to shit enough bricks that he could build me a compound …

Your beliefs most closely resemble those of Satanism! Before you scream, do a bit of research on it. To be a Satanist, you don’t actually have to believe in Satan. Satanism generally focuses upon the spiritual advancement of the self, rather than upon submission to a deity or a set of moral codes. Do some research if you immediately think of the satanic cult stereotype. Your beliefs may also resemble those of earth-based religions such as paganism.
Satanism 75%
Islam 71%
Judaism 54%
agnosticism 54%
Buddhism 46%
Paganism 46%
Christianity 46%
atheism 46%
Hinduism 13%

Never saw that one coming — and before someone says anything — No — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not affiliated with Satanism or the worship of Satan in any way.
I see religion in two ways: One — a desparate attempt for people to find understanding in a world of chaos and contradicting information; and Two — a source of betterment for people who look to improve themselves from the inside. Spirituality and religious proclamations are two very different things. And people should learn to embrace religion, and not let the religion embrace them. I think a lot of “religious” people go in with a lazy attitude, thinking that attending a church service is enough to make them spiritual people. (And of course, I can’t say that it doesn’t … ) But they go in, sit, and let someone (a stranger with a title, no less) tell them what the Bible says. They don’t read it themselves — don’t think about stuff to enlighten and strengthen their beliefs. They assume that because they hear the story of Jonah and Whale that they are a better person.
And again, maybe they are. But it’s lazy. And if they were to read it themselves and think about what they read, they would probably be a lot more spiritually secure with themselves and gain more from the experience.
I respect people (of any religious affiliation) that can study their religious texts and feel enlightened by them, taking them to heart to be a better person. I have many friends who are like this. I do NOT respect Sally Joe who goes to church every Sunday, sits in the front row and praises Jesus on high with a jubuliant shout, and then walks out and tells me I’m sitting in the mouth of Satan because I’m gay, that I will burn in eternal damnation because I was raised Mormon, and will go on with her day unabashed.
But hypocrisy aside, people use religion to make themselves feel better than others. Like it’s some elite organization. Look at all the wars that are fought over religion. Look at the constant legal debates in the US over religious issues (10 Commandments, Pledge of Allegiance, “In God We Trust”). It is always because someone has to be right, and someone has to be wrong — when in most cases, everyone’s wrong.
People need to learn to respect the beliefs of others, but also need to learn not to shove those beliefs down everyone else’s throats. I have no problem if people want to pray in school. I don’t have a problem if someone sing O Holy Night in public. It is someone elses’ beliefs – and they have a right to expression just as much as I do.
No religious affiliation is going to save you. No religious affiliation can honestly 100% tell you what’s going to happen to you when you die. Someone may believe something, but they can’t prove that because you get dunked in a tub of water that you’re going to live forever in the presence of some eternal being. If you can be saved, it’s because of personal conviction, not because of affiliation.
I have more ranting, but i have to eat lunch, so I will be back.