I grew up in a house that god never visited.
Whilst he was speaking to others, he never seemed to talk to me.
Some people, though none from my family, even went to church where they talked and sang to god.
They seemed happy enough, as I was happy godless.
Most of my friends had been christened at birth in a formal religious ceremony. I found out later in life that my mother, who had no religion either (not that she ever talked about it: I just kind of knew), decided to leave it to me to make my own mind up when I was old enough.
I later realised that things could have been very different.
There is no such thing as a muslim, sikh, jewish or Christian child. But there are the children of muslims, Sikh, jews and Christians who are then regarded, even branded, in their religion.
It seems daft to me.
We don’t have three year old Keynesians or anarcho-syndicalists because they’re just children and they wouldn’t understand. So why are children expected to understand religion? It’s obvious: the devout need to ensure there is another generation of god worshippers to take their place.
I wasn’t so much a full on atheist, as I am now. It just didn’t interest me. There were other more interesting things to do. And anyway, god wasn’t talking to me.
I didn’t research the subject too much, but it became blindingly obvious soon enough that religion was often at the heart of conflict.
Every item on the news seemed to be about the Middle East and Israel, Northern Ireland and the odd genocide here and there.
And it was true.
Plenty of mass murderers have been atheists but none, so far as I could tell, committed murder or even genocide in the name of atheism.
As I got older, I became more interested in god, or rather the lack of one in my life.
God still wasn’t there for me and, despite what the devout kept telling us, he didn’t seem to be a lot of help to those who did consider him real.
I suppose it was around the time of 9/11 when I really found atheism by way of what a group of Islamic fascists did in the name of allah.
And being a born again atheist, having found godlessness, I wanted to know more about it.
Why did so many people believe in a celestial dictator, despite there being little or no evidence that he ever existed? Had anyone found Noah’s Ark yet? After all, we have found fossils that go back hundreds of millions of years. The boat must have been massive.
Moreover, why did they want to worship him in the first place? After all, the god of the old testament was among the greatest mass murderers of all time. It seemed to me he was a nasty piece of work.
And now I read the papers and watch TV and see nothing but religion.
Half of my newspaper is filled with religious murder, rape, conflict, suppression and abuse of women. The list goes on forever.
People say that we should respect religion.
Well, when I was young I was taught you earn respect and I don’t think any religion has earned mine.
Yes, I think islam is the worst of a bad bunch right now – even if the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury (and Prince Charles) saw Sharia law in our country as a good thing – but it’s in very bad company.
To me, religion is still the big lie and but for the teaching (I’d call it brainwashing if I wasn’t so sensitive a topic) of the word of god to young children it would die a death.
A few weeks ago, I heard about the ‘miracle of Dhaka’ when a young girl was found beneath the debris of the clothes factory that collapsed when it had long been presumed everyone had died in the original accident.
My first thought was what the bloody hell god was doing by allowing it to collapse in the first place?