Daily prompt: To believe or not…

Daily Prompt
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.


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13 Responses to Daily prompt: To believe or not…

  1. Organized religion caused me to take a near life-long sabbatical from matters of faith. A turning point for me was standing in a Buddhist temple in China. Slowly I have regrouped and begun exploring spirituality through other venues. As you so aptly observe, there are more things in heaven and earth….

  2. Noah Weiss says:

    Very interesting take. Last night, my Rabbi rambled about the idea of religious fervor (judgment) versus religious extremism (coercion). Too often extremism, however, also includes politics, which is a dangerous cocktail.

  3. Martha Kennedy says:

    Yep! I can’t even bear the word “spirituality.” I endure it but… One of my favorite bits in the Bible is when God refused to give himself a name though Moses demanded it. Of course, Moses knew his audience lacked whatever would be necessary to accept as an authority behind even simple good sense rules for living with others.

    • Martha Kennedy says:

      OK, in my reply above, after the word “accept” there is supposed to be a long blank space. I left it blank instead of doing this _______________________ on purpose, but WP doesn’t seem to accept the great emptiness, either.

    • If only the rabbid God Squad realised that so much of the old testament was just that – a set of rules devised to bring order to the society of the day, and not The Word to be glorified in perpetuity regardless of technological advances (like contraception, for example) and the existence of other countries with other equally valid faiths. Equally valid because faith is just that – faith, impossible to prove or disprove.

  4. suzjones says:

    This is interesting reading Helen. Have you ever read “Conversations with God”? Although I reserve my judgement on whether I believe it is true or not, it is certainly a different take on the God of the Bible. 🙂

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