03 December 2005


Stumbled across this website, which offers a quiz to place your religious affiliation. My Belief-O-Matic results are:

1. Neo-Pagan (100%)
2. Unitarian Universalism (94%)
3. Mahayana Buddhism (93%)
4. New Age (90%)
5. Liberal Quakers (86%)
6. Jainism (85%)
7. Sikhism (80%)
8. Hinduism (75%)
9. Theravada Buddhism (75%)
10. Reform Judaism (73%)
11. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (66%)
12. New Thought (64%)
13. Scientology (62%)
14. Taoism (62%)
15. Secular Humanism (60%)
16. Baha'i Faith (56%)
17. Orthodox Judaism (54%)
18. Islam (42%)
19. Orthodox Quaker (42%)
20. Nontheist (38%)
21. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (37%)
22. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (20%)
23. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons)(19%)
24. Eastern Orthodox (17%)
25. Roman Catholic (17%)
26. Seventh Day Adventist (17%)
27. Jehovah's Witness (9%)

Somewhat surprising, I had always considered myself basically Christian with Buddhist tendencies. The only religion I've had any real contact with is the big RC, which only comes in at 17%. Scientology at 62%? Any higher I might have a chance with Katie Holmes. But seriously, I have to say I am absolutely through with Katie.

They have links which explain more about your results, which clears up some things. Neo-pagan is an umbrella term, capturing most of the religious nonconformists who have worked things out for themselves, but can still support a religion of choice or heritage. Put in those terms, my results make more sense, as I have just as much contempt for some pagans as I do for fundamentalist Christians. It just might be that I am so insistently nonconformist that I could not join a group of like-minded nonconformists. This has pretty much been my experience with liberal politics as well.

My parents were mostly non-religious, so I can't really claim any heritage. My mother's side of the family was German-Catholic, with a few Lutherans further back. As I mentioned above, this appears to have had little impact on my current beliefs. My father's side is even more vague. His Air Force dog-tags read Presbyterian, but he always used to joke that he could not go into a church for fear the roof would cave in, a joke that I myself have come to adopt. It was recently discovered that his father's people were French-Catholic, but my grandfather's disappearance ensured that would have no bearing. My grandmother, who later became a Jehovah's Witness, was descended from pioneers of Plymouth, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine, and included the whole spectrum of New England religions. Mostly Congregationalist, but more than a few Quakers, the group I would be more likely to identify with. There was one rebellion in West Newbury, in which the parish decided to become Church of England, and there were even a few Baptists back in the 1680's. Rev. Stephen Batchelder was deposed from his parish, supposedly for being too liberal for the Massachusetts establishment. There were many nuances to Puritanism at that time, so it is not known what his supposed failings were.

A few like John Roberts and Hatevil Nutter were responsible for whipping the Quakers out of Dover. Most, I am glad to say were more likely to harbor Quakers if not joining themselves. Two ancestors were convicted in the Salem witch trials. One was executed and the other was broken out of her jail cell. For those who agree with the Fundamentalist Republicans who say we need more Church in Government, I would like to remind of them of what happened under the Massachusetts Theocracy.

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