By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
When it comes to religion, you've probably spent years coasting by, like most of us, on shoddy objections and cheap rationalization. You know, the stuff that allows you to sleep in on Sunday.
"I don't believe in organized religion," he said as he tugged on his Ultra and waited for the ecstasy to kick in.
"I am not religious, but I am very spiritual," she said, hoping no one would ask her to spell either.
In this post-September 11 world, more and more people are searching for answers to the age-old questions, and fortunately, Dallas has resources. Following are some places to help you "get your God on" in 2004.
Maria Kannon Zen Center (email@example.com, www.mkzc.org) More than 2,500 years ago, the Buddha said, "All of life is suffering." In this age of Bennifer, that's never been more relevant. Maria Kannon Zen Center is a great place for people of all faiths to practice the art of Zen meditation known as Zazen. Busy execs and earth mamas alike come here to sit on a pillow and commune with the Great One. They'll even serve you tea afterward.
Christ the King Catholic Church (214-365-1200, www.cks.org/church.html) Haven't been to church since you were christened but still proud to proclaim your denomination? You must be a Catholic! Why not make 2004 the year you get back to your roots? Christ the King is a beautiful church, the kind that makes you feel part of something eternal. Only St. Thomas Aquinas in Lakewood competes with the interior of Christ the King for that "way-a-church-oughta-look" look. Stop waiting for Vatican III and get yourself back home.
Cathedral of Hope (214-351-1901, www.cathedralofhope.com) Did your sexual orientation force you out of church? Well, you no longer have an excuse. The Cathedral of Hope is a nationally respected congregation that welcomes all people, especially those with alternate lifestyles. The Anglicans only wish Gene Robinson had heard of the place.
Unitarian Universalist Church (214-528-3990, www.dallasuu.org) No matter what you believe, you'll fit in here. In a typical service, you might find a Presbyterian and a Wiccan side by side, with linked arms, singing "Rock of Ages." You'll even hear God referred to as "she," and in this church, them's not fightin' words. The only rule? No smiting.
Islamic Association of North Texas, Dallas Central Mosque (972-231-5698, www.iant.com) Islam has taken it in the eye in America, which is unfortunate for those dedicated to this growing religion.
Religions of America by Leo Rosten Get on Amazon and order this book. It's an easy read that will correct some common misconceptions about religion, such as Baptists can't dance, Catholics pray to the pope and all Episcopalians are gay as a parade. If you are seriously interested in "getting religion" but don't know where to start, this is the book for you.
And if none of these options works for you, you can always spend another year feigning depth and buying time. Repeat after me: "I'm not religious, just spiritual."