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Jeremy Baillie: Auto-Interview

Jeremy Baillie

JB
Do you consider yourself to be a religious person?

Jeremy Baillie
Absolutely not, but I do consider myself to be a very spiritual person.

JB
I do not understand the distinction.

Jeremy Baillie
Well I don't believe in orthodox religion per say. But I do see myself as being a believer in God.

JB
You seem to qualify that saying you sort of believe in orthodox religion, correct?

Jeremy Baillie
Well, I am not a regular churchgoer by any means. But I pressed I would say this. I like the Lutheran interpretation of the Bible and I like the way Buddhists make their belief system a way of life.

JB
So you're both a Buddhist and a Lutheran?

Jeremy Baillie
You said that, not me. The only label I care to put to things is that I divide the religious people I know into two groups: religious people and Christian people.

JB
What is the difference between the two in your mind?

Jeremy Baillie
My experience says religious people are those who Monday through Saturday will go against every compassionate principle there and then think that its okay because they go to church on Sunday.

JB
And Christian people?

Jeremy Baillie
Christian people are those that make it a way of life every day.

JB
Are these Christian people from any particular orthodox religion?

Jeremy Baillie
No, I don't make that distinction either. The people in the Christian group come from all sorts of religions….Buddhists, Lutherans, Catholics, Baptists. There are even some agnostics and atheists in there too.

JB
Did you have a religious upbringing?

Jeremy Baillie
Actually no I didn't which is surprising since my father went to a Catholic boys school. My parents though were also very clear that religion was my decision. I have to be thankful for that.

JB
Have you always thought this way on Religion?

Jeremy Baillie
Actually, no. For a long time I claimed to be a non-believer though deep down I suppose I could never really convince myself of that.

JB
What changed your mind?

Jeremy Baillie
It's a bit of a long story. My experience with religion up until about 4 years ago had always been with people that I would put into the religious camp as opposed to the Christian people camp.

JB
And that soured you on Religion?

Jeremy Baillie
Their interpretation soured me on religion.

JB
So what changed the bitter taste in your mouth where religion was concerned?

Jeremy Baillie
Well, I made a good friend a couple of years ago. She is a Lutheran. It was after meeting her that I began to look at religious people as being in one of the two camps I described earlier. She was in the Christian camp. She was kind, compassionate and considerate each and every day. Even more so though, she did not judge those around her. She could be friends with people and set aside their beliefs or lack thereof.

JB
And this alone changed your view on religion?

Jeremy Baillie
Not quite. It got me thinking though. I actually went and saw the pastor of the friend I mentioned and asked him all those burning questions I had in my mind.

JB
What were these burning questions?

Jeremy Baillie
Well, the big one for me was is God asking for blind obedience or trust?

JB
Why is that so important to you?

Jeremy Baillie
Well, if God is asking for blind obedience then I can't give it. I've never been the type of person that can blindly follow another whether he/she is omnipresent or not. But if he/she is asking for trust meaning that I have trust that they know what they're doing then that I can give. It's a fine line between the two, I know, but it's a line I'm comfortable with.

JB
Where did you get the notion that God was asking for blind obedience?

Jeremy Baillie
From one experience I had growing up and ironically from one simple line in the Bible: have no gods before me, for I am a jealous God.

I had great difficulty reconciling the notion of a compassionate God to one who was asking merely that I trust him.

JB
What made you finally accept that line from the Bible?

Jeremy Baillie
I don't accept it, but after speaking with the Pastor that I did several years ago, he told me that that line can't be interrupted literally and that the meaning behind the word jealous meant something different when the Bible was written.

JB
You mentioned Buddhism earlier. How does a man from a town of 1100 people find himself interested in Buddhism?

Jeremy Baillie
Ironically, I was in a used bookstore one day and the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying caught my eye. So I bought it and read it every waking moment from then on until I finished it. I've been interested in Buddhism ever since. That was four years ago, and my interest is still just as great. Right now I'm reading The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama.

JB
What are you thoughts on Faith?

Jeremy Baillie
Well, I believe I have Faith perhaps not as strong as others.


Jeremy Baillie is a 1st Year Elementary Education major and an aspiring writer with the rejection slips to prove it.

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