In her comment below, Diane makes an excellent point.
I agree with your views of taking what you need from each religion but that leaves you so alone, doesn’t it? We are social creatures – we need interaction. So I need a church to be my ‘family’ and if I can’t find one that fits all of my beliefs (which I never will) then I need to compromise a little.
So true. The syncretist approach that I’ve described is a lonely one, and perhaps an unreasonable one. I think that’s why I got so excited about the Quakers. Their silence and avoidance of creed (up to a point) makes them a good candidate for a spiritual home for me, and that’s why I plan to go back. So check it out! I may have found my spiritual home, and you were all right here to see it!
In many ways, my desire for the social and my intellectual/spiritual disagreement with most faiths is at the crux of my agnosticism. It’s hard to join a faith community, even if you really want one, when you can’t get down with some major part of their core beliefs. But it’s hard to be without one.
In a way, it’s like choosing who you’ll marry. You can’t just make it work. You have to find the person you can love all your life, and who you can change with, but you can’t expect them to be perfect or you’ll be in Breakupville. But you also can’t settle. You can’t let go of your beliefs because you’re tired of being alone. But there are times when it’s hard to tell whether you’re compromising – in the knowledge that you can’t have the exact image of your ideal – or settling, because you’ve decided to stop working at it.
Unfortunately, I expressed this much better in a brilliant post last night. But I also accidentally deleted said post because I was too tired to manage technology appropriately. Sigh.