I’m not religious. I’ll just put that out there. I do not, all considered, believe in a higher power, or any kind of god. I went to a Church of England primary school, and so when I was little, I did believe in God. When I grew older and started questioning it, I stopped. This wasn’t some traumatic breakdown of faith. I just realised I didn’t believe.
My life has never been made better by imagining that there is a plan, that everything happens for a reason, and actually, sometimes when this is suggested it makes me plain angry. When people die young and someone says ‘everything happens for a reason.’ Don’t give me that shit. Yes, everything happens for a reason: teenagers die in car crashes because they drank too much vodka and drove too fast. That is the reason. I refuse to accept that it is part of some almighty game plan. If it is, that game plan is morally corrupt.
I have no disrespect for religious people, in general. I have a lot of disrespect for anyone who uses their religion and their beliefs as a vehicle for hatred and selfishness.
I went to midnight mass a few years back. Most of the sermon was one specific idea, rephrased and repeated: 'even though you are a wretch, God loves you and can save you.' My problem with this is that I dislike the assumption that I am a wretch and that I need saving. I looked around the church, at the little old ladies who live in my village, and thought, are they wretches? Do they need saving? Because they seem like some of the loveliest people imaginable. I think I've adopted this view from my mother, who used to say she wasn't best pleased about us singing Amazing Grace at school, because of the 'saved a wretch like me' line, because she didn't believe her children were wretches. (Even though my primary school teachers probably thought I was.)
I don’t have a lot more to say on this unless I’m being asked for my specific views, so I won’t go on.