Today I wrapped my hair up in a purple turban and put on a floral maxi dress (those are the ones that go down to your ankles). Despite the reactions from people on the street, this was not a decision made out of religious conservativeness, but rather out of laziness. I didn’t feel like styling my hair and dresses are easy to throw on. Still, everyone expressed discomfort where I entered the room.

A woman walked past me in the same direction that I was walking and made it a point to turn around and say “hi,” with a smile. That’s very nice, I thought. I’m sure I’d really appreciate that if I were Muslim. Noticing the stares and the averted eyes, I thought about how strange a thing religion is. If someone came up to me today to talk about Islam I’d simply tell them I’m not Muslim. If they asked me what my faith was, I’m not sure what I would tell them. I was raised Christian, but while I admire Christian ideals, I’m not a Christian. I’m not really atheist either; who am I to say somebody else’s beliefs are false? Still, I’m not really agnostic. I don’t say that there may or may not be a God. Instead, my beliefs exist outside of a theory of a god. Is there a term for that? Can’t I hold a system of faith that has no concern for gods? I thought religion was a belief system. Turns out its a belief or disbelief in a god or set of gods.

I believe in string theory, and that time might be a holograph. I believe in a little bit of Aristotle, and Kant. I believe that if you knew everything about anyone, you would have to love them. God doesn’t dictate, or even enter my thoughts. Can’t my religion be Help Whenever Possible or Be Your Best Self? Can’t I say my religion is Never Stop Learning?

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