As a child I was christened, I dont remember it but I have been assured it happened. From that moment on I only stepped foot in a church for weddings until, inexplicably, my mother “got God” when I was aged around 13 and I was frogmarched every Sunday, and myriad other days too, to the Catholic church where they worshipped.
I didn’t worship, as for me, even at a tender age, I couldn’t see any proof of some superior being exisiting. I stood and sat at the appropriate moments, to avoid being beaten by my mother, but I certainly didn’t worship, as I couldn’t understand who it was I was supposed to be worshipping. Then, as now, I had never seen a million pounds, but I had seen a pound, I even remember having seen five pounds, so I could extrapolate and understand that a million pounds must exist. But I could see nothing that proved to me, or even hinted (as the pound hinted that there were further riches in the world) that there was some omnipotent being that I should prostrate myself before.
I will be blunt, the older I’ve become, the more the two following beliefs have become entrenched in my mind.
- There are thousands of Gods that have been and are currently worshipped, and yet only yours is the correct one?
- Religion is the ultimate bloodletting game of “who has the best imaginary friend.”
I have recently watched, repeatedly, a fascinating documentary about the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park. They had been absent for over 70 years and the ecosystem had changed totally in that time, for the worse. Within a very short space of time after they reappeared, as part of a government programme, the entire ecosystem changed again, this time for the better. It was as if a piece of some gigantic jigsaw puzzle had been taken away and then replaced. A Christian (other religions are available) could watch this documentary and tell me that here is proof that a superior being had fashioned the whole ecosystem and it had worked, man had messed around with it (the wolves were hunted to extinction in the area) and look what had happened. Watching this documentary it really was as if some “thing” had made the entire thing, had carefully thought about every facet of the system and had provided balances and counter balances to ensure nature worked. I, as a devout atheist, will accept that over countless millenia, the planet has evolved naturally, with nature itself providing the appropriate balances to ensure it worked, only we have arrived and ruined it.
The real point of this post though, wasn’t wolves, fascinating though I find them. I dont do religion but I do like to be aware of my surroundings. Recently I was walking through Guildford, in the south of England and happened upon this sign outside a church.
Stood eating my Cornish Pasty I read this a few times and realised that although I don’t do religion and am never likely to do religion, should I ever choose to investigate further, this would be the place I would start.