I was raised a monotheist, but unlike most people who remain monotheists, at some point began questioning that belief. I understand that the majority of us believe what we do because of childhood indoctrination from an ancient society trying to comprehend everything that has since been scientifically proven as "not having occurred from magic." And if the one-hundred thousand things that we used to attribute to some great artisan clockmaker; gravity, for example, has since been proven through things like math, then it would certainly stand to reason the handful of things yet proven, are likely not also attributed to a creator. I don't want my sole mute deity to be this increasingly devalued representation of ignorance while generation after generation discovers she didn't actually create any of the things we previously thought she'd created by proving the science behind suddenly no longer sacrosanct superstitions; gravity, for example. Seems disingenuous.
So I tried polytheism for awhile, and discovered an entire new world. Developing a unique, personal relationship with numerous gods I found to be very fulfilling - I no longer had to rely upon one god who's sole claim to fame turned out to be moving in mysterious ways - who has time for that? I now had wisdom in a multitude of council, and discovered some gods were better at some things than other gods. Spending time with different gods meant challenging myself in different ways, and being completely opened up to new ideas by experiencing them together with different perspectives and personalities. I loved my gods and my gods loved me, because let's face it, mutually-supportive relationships are far more advantageous than a single jealous god who demands capitulation while making us guess what "her will be done" is, which more often than not results in randomly choosing one which simply aligns with whatever we wanted to do anyway. Again, seems disingenuous.
The founding fathers of this country were mostly deists, which while greatly removed from theism, doesn't prevent most people nonetheless believing otherwise. I do my best to uncover facts and truths and align evidence for my beliefs, but not everyone utilizes critical thinking skills as a basis for their own beliefs. That said, my polytheism was often viewed with much suspicion, but mostly because people never allowed themselves to question their own monotheism - they were not speaking to me from a platform of authority, rather from unverifiable cultural claims. As a thinker, it meant nothing to me, no matter how sincere they were. Sincerity never trumps evidence. Not ever. Basing belief upon sincerity would be disingenuous.
One day, however, I met a monotheist who had questioned her monotheism, and showed me the results of her findings by way of her attitude and behavior. It was unlike the scores of monotheists I've known who paid only lip service to their unquestioned beliefs which decidedly did not manifest itself through exemplary attitude and behavior. To say I was intrigued would be an understatement. But also cautious. I remember the last time I leaned toward monotheism and I would be lying if I didn't admit the thought frightened me. I suppose the difference in this case would be in colluding with the monotheist by choice rather than automatic assumption through indoctrination. I mean, isn't defending one's beliefs through informed consent far more sustainable than unquestioned allegiance? Yes. Yes it is. Only by contemplating, contrasting and comparing contrary ideologies are we truly able to believe in something with all our heart, and more importantly, all our mind. It is difficult to stand up for something we believe in when we don't know why we believe in it - it would be, quite simply, disingenuous.
So the familiar tug of monotheism stirs in me once again as I try to keep the lessons of polytheism close by. The question of whether monotheism can, by its very nature, promote deep levels of intimacy at a much greater rate of success than other deists, polytheists, or even atheists is something I have struggled with at every level, even as I attempt to prove the statement inaccurate. I trust that rather than wholly embracing monotheism once again, I get the opportunity to explore the precepts of polytheism with my new monotheist in whatever guise we may be offered. I still have some gods I'm communing with, because lets face it, intimacy is as multifaceted as we allow it to be, and authenticity reigns king.