Spiritual Orientation Series

Introduction to the concept

Just as people have different sexual orientations (they may be hetero, homo, or bisexual and also may be cis or transgender), so likewise they may have different spiritual orientations. This explains why two different people, even members of the same family, raised in their parents’ religion may end up following different religions, or none at all, as adults. They don’t really have a choice, they feel compelled to find a religion that fits their emotional and spiritual needs if the religion they were raised in doesn’t suit them. The problem is especially troubling if they are in a homophobic or transphobic religious community and they are not straight or cisgender. Even so, one can still identify as religious without being bigoted or ignorant.

Atheist/Agnostic/Humanist

Non-theists who reject all spiritual concepts may decide to be focused only on human values rather than anything outside nature. They are often called atheists or agnostics.

Christian

Some people find themselves attracted to the depicted personality and deeds of Jesus and identify with the rituals and holidays of Christianity.

Jewish

Judaism is a tribal religion that has little interest in gaining converts, but non-Jews may join if they are judged to be acceptable. People who can identify with the teachings and holidays of Judaism may come from any other background.

Muslim

Some people may identify with the Prophet Muhammad and the rituals and holy days assocated with Islam, expecially if they are Arab or admire Arab culture. Despite this, to this day some Arabs remain Christian.

Hindu

Like Judaism, Hinduism is a tribal religion, but it is also very diverse, allowing for polytheism, monotheism, and even atheism, depending on how one interprets the Hindu scriptures. Hindu converts strongly idenify with India, just as Jews do with Israel.

Buddhist

Non-theists who still consider themselves spiritual may join the religion founded by the Buddha, originally a Hindu who is to the east what Jesus was to the west in founding Christianity after being raised a Jew. Most Buddhists outside India have no connection to the religion’s original Hindu roots.

Pagan

People who identify strongly with environmental causes, seeing Earth as their “Mother” may worship one or more gods that have no connection with the Abrahamic religions. Their holidays are more reflective of the movements of the Earth rather than historical events.

Baha’i

These people reject older religions and seek the newest version of God’s teachings. They may end up in the Baha’i Faith, founded by Baha’u’llah, and identify with his imprisonment and exile as well as with their oppressed fellow Baha’is in Iran. They also have a strong attachment to Israel, because the Baha’i World Center is there.

Neutral

Most people do not feel compelled to follow a different religion than they one they were raised in and if they were raised in a controlling sect are highly driven to leave it. Their loyalty is to their family, not their religion.