Answering Some Journal Prompts on Faith

I was looking for some interesting writing prompts, and one particular blog post delivered: A Dozen Nonthreatening Journal Prompts on Faith for the Post-Religious, from Someone with an M.A. in Religion | by Amy Hartsough. I thought it would be fun to answer a few of her questions here.

Where does my true power come from?

True power comes from learning – from past experiences and interactions with others. I move forward either confident in what I already know or with a desire to learn more. Each experience builds from the last. I go into each new adventure with a lifetime of pain, joy, sorrow, and hope. 

Do I have friends from different religious backgrounds? Do I want to?

This is a hard one. Most of the people I’m around are similar to me although my inner circle of loved ones is very small. Do I want friends from different religious backgrounds? Sure, as long as there’s some mutual respect regarding the topic. However, I don’t think they would be close friends. 

Do I have a “sacred space” in or near my home? What does this space mean to me?

I would say the library. I’m at the library all the time – by myself to write but also with my daughter. In our community, the library is crucial. Toledo’s poverty is overwhelming and the library does everything it can to help out – including serving meals. Here everyone is welcome at the library and I can’t think of a space more sacred. To me, the library is peaceful and I am more productive there than anywhere else. To others, it’s a lifeline. 

Do I have more faith or fear about the future?

Believe it or not, I actually have faith in the future. This might sound horrible, but I feel with the condition we are in now (politically, socially, etc.) we will eventually bottom out and as someone who works in mental health, I know rock bottom can bring drastic change. I feel we will soon hit a point where there’s nowhere to go but up. People talk about leaving the US and I don’t want to leave. This is my home and I want to make it a better place. I really do feel our situation will improve.


There are several more questions that I might take a stab at a later time. These were just the questions that jumped out at me first. I really enjoyed her prompts. I would love to read your answers to the questions! Do you agree or disagree with any of mine?


  1. John Morales says

    Sure, I’ll have a go.

    + Where does my true power come from?

    My physical body.

    + How do I connect with what’s bigger than me and why is this important?

    I live in society. Bigger than me, it is… and it’s not like I can disconnect.
    Since being connected is ineluctable, it’s importance is moot.

    + If I could design my own religion or group experience of shared meaning, what would it look like?

    Religion is for religious people; not for me.
    Shared meaning? Language and culture, is what it looks like.

    + Am I non-religious or post-religion? What’s the difference and why would I want to claim either one?

    Non-religious. Only religion I ever had is when I was a little child and believed adults.
    The difference is that post-religious means one was once religious but now is not, whereas non-religious only means one is not currently religious.
    A good reason to claim either one is when standing up to religious dogma and prejudice.

    + How do my political views shape my views of religion and vice versa?

    Separate spheres, so my political views are about politics and my religious views are about epistemology and logic.

    + Do I have friends from different religious backgrounds? Do I want to?

    Yes, and I don’t particularly care. Obviously I’m not going to befriend someone who is obnoxiously religious, but on the other hand, I’m married to a practicing Catholic.

    + Does the word “sacred” hold any significance for me? If so, what? If not, is there a better word?


    + Is there a text (any text) that I would call “sacred”? Why or why not?

    Is this supposed to be a new question? Already answered ‘no’.

    + Do I have a “sacred space” in or near my home? What does this space mean to me?

    Again, no. What’s with this obsession with sacredness?

    + Do I feel a sense of calling on my life? What do I feel called to do? How do I feel called to help my fellow creatures or the environment?


    + Do I have more faith or fear about the future?

    Um, faith and fear are the same thing: apprehensions about the future.

    + How do I see myself in relation to other people? Am I in competition with them? Are we cooperating? Co-creating?

    As one of them. I am one of many.
    I’m both in competition and in collaboration with them, depending.
    As I noted earlier, I live in society.

    +What questions would you add?

    “What is it that you understand as ‘faith’, really?”

    (Basically, it means ‘trust’)

  2. Katydid says

    There’s a whole lot of emphasis on faith in those questions. How many people are THAT focused on faith, day-to-day. As for myself, it’s not something I think about until some Christian thrusts it into the conversation.

    As a military brat (before the military was invaded by fundagelicals), I’d lived in four countries by the time I started first grade (I had been to kindergarten and preschool before that). First grade, in the south in the USA, was the first time I’d ever really thought about religion because that’s the first time someone tried to shove it down my throat–“If you don’t go to MY CHURCH, you’re damned to hell”. Before that, I was aware that different people had different beliefs but I had been under the impression that beliefs were like foods people liked in that some people from a certain place tended to like certain foods, and they might offer to share it with you, but you were under no obligation to like it yourself.

    In a coincidence, this morning I caught an advertisement for a politician hopeful where she very carefully said nothing. That led me to check out her campaign website and other Google-able things. She’s a Republican and a self-proclaimed “CHRISTIAN”. Once I learned that, I was not surprised by her other stated opinions.

    I think she would enjoy this survey, which (to repeat myself) seems to be tailored to those who hold a faith.

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