In Good Faith
Describe a memory or encounter in which you considered your faith, religion, spirituality — or lack of — for the first time
For the first 12 years of my life, religion was there, but not front and centre.
For the five years following that, it was rammed down my throat with such unrelenting vigour (chapel every morning except Saturday and three times on Sundays, prayers every night except Sunday and twice on Saturdays) that breathing between religious force-feedings seemed more productive than pondering the nature of spiritualism. Although I did wonder from time to time what sort of God would see fit choose such an arrogant, self-satisfied pig as our Chaplain to advance His ministry. Mostly, though, I felt guilty, which seemed to be the No 1 prerequisite for salvation, and I was willing to try anything that might save me from killing myself.
It took me awhile to get over that, one way and another, but the final blow to any semblance of religious affiliation came when the Anglican Church decided to ‘modernise’ its services – for which read ‘reduce all language to the most clumsy and pedestrian available, replace well-loved hymns with pseudo-rock crap, remove comforting rituals in favour of colourless minimalism’. Oh, and ‘Teach Helen Meikle’s 5 y/o daughter that skinny-dipping in their (exceedingly private) pool is inviting The Devil to snap you up.’
I don’t think so.
Since then, I’ve developed something of a Hamlet philosophy: There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio…
But since I firmly believe that there is nothing less spiritual than demanding other people conform to your spiritual beliefs, I shall now go and read my very secular book.