i'm agnostic - i don't subscribe to any particular faith, but i believe in "something", unlike your garden variety athiest (is there such a thing?) who doesn't believe in any sort of diety/dieties at all. i hadn't met anyone who professed to be an athiest that i remember talking to at all regularly about it until i moved to Seattle. it took me a long time to wrap my head around it at all ("you mean, you really believe in nothing... at all... that there's nothing there?" *joyce's brain going POW*) even now, i have a hard time wrapping my head around it - not to knock the views of the athiests i know, i just can't grock it. the idea that there might not be anything "up there" makes me very, very scared, to be honest.
that being said, i'm still working on what i believe. i was raised Christian, specifically Lutheran. if i was going to be raised Christian, i was pleased to be raised Lutheran. Lutheranism is very ritualistic, much more so than many other Protestant branches. it doesn't have some of the social issues that seems to get pushed to the front of the news about the Catholic church. i spent awhile going to a Southern Baptist church in high school, because my friends were in the youth group, but eventually stopped because i got sick of the youth minister telling me on a weekly basis that i was going to hell. (that is NOT how you convert people. well. scare tactics work on some people. not me.) that experience pretty much killed any joy i'd found in organized religion, and somewhere along the way i ended up rejecting Christianity on both an intellectual and emotional basis, as well.
i've been to Mass a couple of times since (blame the kind of Catholic ex) and Lutheran services a couple of times, and visited a UU congregation once, and i've been to the Orthodox church here a couple of times. the Orthodox church is the only time i've felt like anyone around me was finding any joy at all in what was going on. i've thought about Orthodoxy, but i would not be a good Orthodox person, and there the fundamental issues that i have with Christianity in general. so. i'm at a bit of a crossroads, and starting to think about other options, but a lack of motivation in general and a specific wariness against organized religion of any flavor means that i haven't done much with those other options lately. i do believe in something, which i generally mentally refer to as God, since that's how i was raised. i do pray. i'm just not going to worship services.
however, Religious Studies only has a bit to do with all that. if i wanted my schoolwork to be about a search for the Holy, i'd go get a Divinity degree. this itch... religion has played so much into who we were, where we've come from, where we've gone. what we were. what laws we have. the roles of men and women. what we eat. who we wage war on. it's utterly fascinating, and something i want to study. why do i have this particular itch, instead of another? who knows? i think that discussion prolly has more to do with the first part of this little ramble. :)
i've more to say, but i think i've run out of words for the moment.