Which Religion Has the Right Morals for Me?

Pastor Paul on the right action, recovery and recalcitrant pastors

Dear Pastor Paul,


I'm 15 and have been looking in to different religions for about a year now. The thing is, I love parts of all of them. You could call me a Zen Buddist, a Pagan, a Wiccan, a Open-Minded Seeker, or many other things. I really don't feel I belong in Christanity, but I love the people. It's really hard on me. I'm not sure

what

I should base my morals on. Can you help me? I would greatly appreciate it.



--Jenn

Dear Jenn,
I admire your strong spiritual curiosity and positive outlook on different religious expressions. I wonder if you've found a common thread in your spiritual journey, and if that thread will eventually provide a foundation for your morality.

Certainly, the Golden Rule--"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"--can be found in most religions. (a href=http://www.teachingvalues.com/goldenrule.html target="_new">Click here for a list of various Golden Rules.) All the major religions also require generosity towards the poor, respect for elders and parents, and prayer and meditation.

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Your next step might be to go deep into one faith to find out the richness that lies in the sustained exploration of a single faith tradition.

The goal is to find a spiritual community, a home you feel comfortable in, with people you like and who nurture your blossoming religious life. If you are looking for open-minded communities, you may want to visit the Unitarian Universalists, a Bahai community, or a Quaker meeting.

Dear Pastor Paul,
I feel like a freak asking you my question because I'm Jewish, but the answers you've given others sound solid, and I have respect for all clergy and devout people.

I am 18 years old, a smoker and drug addict with an eating disorder. I've been this way for about 6 years. I love my religion, find comfort in spirituality, and aspire to the rabbinate.

The things I believe are good and true. They are not reflected in the way I treat myself, and I hate myself for it-which makes me treat myself worse. I need to stop but don't know how. I've been through treatment, and I don't want to give up, but I don't feel like I know how to be good and healthy and true.

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Paul Raushenbush
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