Choose Your Own Religion

Choose Your Own Religion

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A Thing From the Founder Guy

Hey! I'm Joe. I grew up the son of a Presbyterian minister, but at some point stopped calling myself a Christian. After performing standup comedy in Los Angeles for years, I started this project to unload my religious baggage and figure out what I thought about spirituality, interviewing other comedians about their experiences with religion.

Feeling heard made me able to listen. I started asking artists, musicians, pastors, humanitarians, bloggers, vloggers, and everyone else for their stories too.

Eventually, this led to me producing live storytelling shows for anyone to tell their true, unfiltered experiences with religion and spirituality.

Eventually this led to realizing, “Shit. I am a Christian.” But I’m in an open relationship with Christ (we both see other people).

And now I attend Harvard Divinity School.

As I continue discerning my own spirituality, I want to keep listening to how other people came to understand the world through their own experiences and on their own terms. I want to explore spirituality in a way where I don’t have to lie about who or what I am, who or what I love, or what I do or don’t believe. I want to keep sharing, learning, and growing from other spiritual seekers.

I believe hearts, minds, and souls primarily grow through hearing each other’s stories. I believe “interfaith dialogue” should include not only the believers and spiritual seekers, but atheists, humanists, skeptics, agnostics, and all those who journey between these. I believe our increasingly polarized world and increasingly isolated bubbles block us off not just from understanding each other, but from understanding ourselves. The goal is not to make us all believe the same thing, but to facilitate a world that honors our differences and cross-pollinates our ideas.

I seek not to blend, but to harmonize. And I definitely don’t want to take it too seriously.

-Joe Welker, founder of Choose Your Own Religion

If you feel so moved, shoot me an email to joe@chooseyourownreligion.com.