Anyone who has followed my website will know that I used to be deeply religious.
Now, I’m not.
Recently, I found myself back in Church.
I was there for work, taking one of the people I support to worship. The priest strode to the stage, everyone stood up.
I’d decided long before I got there that for me to stand up and pretend to mumble my way through the various hymns and bow my head in prayer would be somewhat hypocritical, given my scepticism about religion.
So I sat for the entire service.
It didn’t help that I was sat at the front, in full view of the entire congregation.
Who were glancing at me throughout.
But start as you mean to go on….
As the service went on, eventually we got to communion. The priest broke some wafers and passed around the cup of wine, which everyone came to drink from.
I couldn’t help thinking about the vast exchange of saliva between all those people….
The collection baskets came around, then ten minutes later, collection bags came around.
The Church always needs money – but twice?
At the end, the man next to me, turned to me and said,
“You were bored, weren’t you?”
I told him I wasn’t bored, I just wasn’t religious. Used to be, wasn’t any more.
At this point, he looked a little confused, and wanted to know why.
This is a conversation I’ve had with many people who go to Church. They seem to think that as I once used to be a Devout Christian, all I need is a little nudge to come back into the fold.
People seem to get very offended when I tell them that’s never going to happen.
My position is quite straightforward:
My life is going along very smoothly without religion. I haven’t killed anyone, robbed anyone, don’t engage in criminal acts, and haven’t stolen tiles off the Church roof.
And as much as they’d beg to differ, I don’t have an empty void where religion used to be.
I fully understand their persistence though.
That used to be me back in the day. I understand the faith is important for some, just not for me.
Free will, and all that.
I’m almost tempted to tell people that I’m not religious, without mentioning my Church background, which will probably shorten any subsequent discussion. We’ll see…..
Copyright © Mark A. McPherson 2017
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