“… very well, where do I begin?”
I was born, as my mother put it
“on a cold steel table”.
We lived with my Grandparents, who moved us all to Yorkshire when I was around 1½ years old without me being christened nor baptised.
I attended a nursery then a primary school, neither of which religious.
My mother and I moved out from the shelter of the house my grandparents had generously provided, into a small “cottage” in a neighbouring village.
It was here, in my new primary school in our village, at the age of around 6, that I was introduced to the idea of religion.
We had assemblies in the morning which, being a “voluntary controlled” school meant they could teach us about a biblical perspective. Never mentioning the bible directly but making assertive statements about a “god” I hadn’t heard referenced previously, had me dubious even at that age. There seemed no basis for the things they were saying, nothing to validate the “the Lord God made them aallll” type songs they would sing.
I didn’t know the words, I was new.
I was told by a fellow student quite memorably that I would “be told off” for not joining in with the songs and prayers, but I didn’t understand why they would tell me off for not doing something which seemed quite absurd even at that young age.
I irreverently parodied the songs quite merrily as they held no power over me.
(“while shepherds wank
their cocks by night
all spurting on the ground.
The angel of the Lord
came down and slipped
and broke his crown.”
..was a favourite)
My secondary school was relatively secular. Being in an isolated town meant there wasn’t much multiculturalism, but also no church held sway too strongly and aside from a rather enthusiastic vicar every so often opening up assembly with amusing anecdotes and messages of community and helping people, we were left theologically to ourselves.
Religious Education classes taught about different religions within the context of geography more than validity. We learned that all religions had different aspects to them but never given an indication that any might be true. I immersed myself in computers and dabbled in a liking for quantum mechanics and the stranger parts of science.
Religion wasn’t important in daily life in our valley. Nothing much happened that would make people need a god or gods.
When I went to college it was also markedly absent and aside from 9/11 and Iraq wars etc (things which happened to other people) I could pretty much ignore the whole thing. I wasn’t into politics, my mum got
suckered into homeopathy briefly but it turned out to be a pyramid scheme and was dropped readily. My grandad told me recently that my nanna and himself were not religious purely because nothing had ever “grabbed” them.
The only time in my youth that I came close to despising religion was when my mum’s partner at the time, a spiritualist numpty with a mind so empty that superstition fell in like sand on a beach, told me that he’d picked up my Slipknot CD (with the pentagram on the Back) and it span forcibly on his open palm as if by dark forces..
When I had kids I started looking at the world around me, the place I’d have to some day leave them in. It struck me rather hard; the world was broken.
I loved science and all it was giving us, but at every stage it seemed there was ignorance trying to hold it back.
Misinformation and superstition, rife and boldly asserting itself.
Stem cell research?
The large hadron collider?
..What was the problem?
I can only find one source for wilful ignorance all around us. Simultaneously holding us back in peaceful nations, and perpetuating hate in war torn regions of the world.
When I looked closer I saw the same problems on different scales within different societies.
Blame education or whatever.
But it all boiled down to religion keeping it’s financiers with their fingers in their ears, spewing hate speech or fear or doubt.
I can only view the religious as victims.
I pity the mind fooled by the perpetuation of superstitious drivel in this age of enlightenment.
Now I want to fight it.
Now I want to free the world.
I want to see people being educated on facts not faith.
I want a world that my children can be safer in, a world with a future.