Day 04 – Your views on religion.
Religion has been a major part of my life but I am not a religious person.
I went to Sunday School, I went to Church every Sunday as a child, I am a Confirmed Christian, I was in the Church Lad’s & Church Girl’s Brigade, my childhood was balanced by my Mother who was very Christian (with a majuscule C) and my Father who is very christian (with a minuscule c) . I was left some money when I first became a Father that enabled me to put a deposit down on my first home and support my young family, which came to me in the Will of an ex-Monk which included his deceased brother’s estate, who was also my local vicar when I was a child.
However – as soon as I was able/old enough to make a decision for myself I stopped going to Sunday School, I stopped going to Church and I left the Church Lad’s & Church Girls Brigade, which was not an easy decision to make or enforce as my Mum was the commanding officer and my Dad was a regular volunteer and both of them were very much involved in my local church, in fact it is only in the last few years that my Mum and Dad have stopped volunteering at their local church (they pretty much kept it running, organising events, acting as key holder, caretaker, hiring the hall out, cleaning etc.)
I turned away from organised religion because although I agree with and try to live my life by some of the parables and moral guidance that can be found in the bible, I was unhappy with the hypocrisy and narrow-minded bigotry that existed amongst some, many but probably not all of the people who I met that considered themselves to be religious.
I suppose if you are the member of one club by definition you find it difficult, possibly even impossible to be a member of an opposing club and that is where organised religion and I part ways. Knowledge and understanding, being open to the beliefs, lifestyles and personal choices of others and respecting those beliefs, lifestyle choices and what makes them different; is the only way to live as far as I am concerned and these honourable traits appear to be very difficult to comprehend or live up to by many who consider themselves to be ‘religious’.
I am a live and let live person, a humanist I suppose, there are however aspects of all the major and minor religions that I fully endorse and agree with but there also elements of them all that I fundamentally disagree with.
I am not going to list them here but for example ‘love thy neighbour’ does not come with any caveats, whether they be of a different creed, class, sex, religion, race, sexual orientation, able-bodied or disabled, ginger, brunette or blonde, rich or poor, short or tall, fat or thin, or even have one of those irritatingly annoying laughs – it should make no difference to how I treat them, only their actions and interactions should influence me.
Treat others as you wish to be treated yourself (which includes, flora, fauna, the planet and the people) and you can’t go far wrong.
“When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” ~ Stephen Roberts.