Exploring faith traditions through exploring challenging questions
KATIE GARROW GREW up Lutheran, and has always considered herself Lutheran.
But as she continues her spiritual journey, she has found herself supporting issues that sometimes run contrary to what she grew up believing. She supports gay, lesbian and transgender rights, and women’s rights, including the right to choose an abortion. She is very involved in social justice issues.
Theologically, she’s not convinced there is an afterlife – and such uncertainty doesn’t bother her.
Garrow might now consider herself a humanist-agnostic.
She thinks about her best friend since high school, an evangelical Christian, with whom she remains close. It is a testament to tolerance on both sides.
“For her, there’s a clear right and wrong,” Garrow said. “For me, I’m not so sure that we can always decide that – we live in a morally ambiguous world. That’s not to say she’s always wrong and I’m always right, but that we see the issue of morality very differently.”
Garrow likes to ask questions that many people might not consider, or already feel are settled, such as: Who is God? Why has God been used as a tactic to oppress people? How can more than one religious tradition claim to have truth when others claim the same thing? Who’s right?
Asking question like these led her to become the Religious Relations Director for ASPLU. “I appreciate and am interested in people’s spirituality,” Garrow said. “I want to explore various faith traditions with other students and support and explore with them on their own spiritual journeys.”
In the end, Garrow believes that the path to spiritual wholeness can operate on different levels – it might be the path she’s taken, or that of her best friend from high school.
The key, of course, is the exploration.