Two days to Census

Tuesday night is Census Night!

And the list of recognised religions in Australia is huge – view the publicly available spreadsheet. No Pastafarian or Jedi, but there are cool names like ‘Holy Rollers’, ‘Wee Free’ and ‘Decide when older’. I like that being a wino is lumped in the same category as personal beliefs, and I like that that category contains the whole spectrum from loving idealism to ironic smartarsedness – it’s 0002, if you wanted to looksee.

Religious stuff makes me a bit sentimental. It would be nice to identify as a Christian, because my family as an amorphous unit identifies as Christian, but most churches I’ve heard of or encountered don’t represent my values. For a short period, I considered myself atheist because atheism aligned more closely with science – but I still use analogies and metaphors that involve gods and personified forces, so it’s not really an accurate description. Agnosticism sounds better, but doesn’t offer much guidance on life or perspective on the purpose of life.

Besides, why should we treat the non-material stuff like it should be concrete? When I’m surrounded by the beauty of nature, say at the beach or near a waterfall, I might half-believe there’s something other-worldly living in the air, the sand, the grass, the trees. Maybe I don’t believe it as much when I’m sitting in a crowded train car, and I’m not going to make offerings to the tree over the road, but it would be remiss of me as a thinking person to just take for granted there’s nothing there because my eyes don’t see it.

For a period, I thought of myself as a (casual) Stoic; it’s a fair explanation of how I go about life, but it’s not really religion or a matter of faith.

I’ve been re-assessing my beliefs lately. In my late teens, I rejected churchy stuff outright, but I’m okay now with not being Christian AS WELL AS not rejecting Christianity. More specifically, I don’t feel guilty for remembering the good lessons from my illustrated childrens’ book of Bible stories. That’s a start. :)

Anyway, I plan to say personal beliefs on my census form.

And now, I’m going to get something to eat. Bye bye!