Mike and Diane Wilson -
Free Spirit Writers
|Doubting Thomas - the one who dared to question|
Life, Death and The Thing
OK, we can forget about The Thing. I'm cured.
But my problems with The Almighty continue.
We were in Bridlington Priory recently and I was astonished to see a large notice pinned to one of the columns near the font. It read like this - or in similar words - This congregation believes that a child is born sinful and needs to be cleansed.
That is the most awful thing anyone can say about a child. No child is born sinful. It's a pure being, fresh from the womb. It has not been contaminated with anything as yet. But sure enough it will soon be captured by the church-loving people and dealt with as though it was the most terrible thing on the planet. It will have to be washed and cleansed to make it fit for life.
It is utterly amazing that the church-goers are unable to accept that the child will live - and possibly prosper - without the intervention of an Almighty Being.
There are millions - nay billions - of humans on the planet who do not worship the Christian god.
I was amazed to read in the national Daily Mail a letter from a lady who said that prayer works. She'd heard that the passengers on the jet had prayed when a double bird strike forced the aircraft down into the Hudson river in the US. They prayed: God saved. Fantastic!
However, the pilot was an American, who knew what he was about. He skilfully landed the plane and all were saved.
Unlike the aircraft full of praying passengers which plunged into the Twin Towers. On that occasion the pilot was of a different persuasion. Everyone died.
Where was God then? If God loved the Hudson passengers, didn't he give a toss for those in the Twin Towers incident?
Of course the swift answer to that question is likely to be: God works in mysterious ways. He certainly does. No-one, ever, has proof that any prayer has been answered.
I take pleasure in watching Chris Hitchens on Google Video. He is an intelligent man and he makes sense. Another is Bill Maher. He is funny - well, he is a comedian - and he, like me, was raised a Catholic. What is it about being a Catholic that makes us so angry when we discover it is all an illusion and that we were deluded.
All those years struggling with the guilt, all those years knowing that every transgression was being entered into His little black book to be read out to me when I meet Him beyond the pearly gates.
I tell you, my friends, accepting that there may not be a god is a heck of a lot more comforting than accepting that there may be. If there is, I'm stuffed, ready to be roasted on the eternal fires of hell. And don't try and tell me otherwise, because I've read the Catechism. Love? Where was the love when I was at the Convent for religious instruction? All we had was that sin would condemn us to eternal damnation. And when you've had that drummed into you, there's no escape, none.
But know I'm trying to leave that behind. I feel free, I feel great. I know that I and I alone will determine the type of life - and death - I will have. I do not fear death. I will know nothing afterwards. I will not even be aware that I once was. I will not regret anything, nor be pleased about anything. I will not know. I will be dead. There'll be no pain to remember, no broken heart for losing relatives, friends and loved ones before me, no illnesses to be sorry for. Nothing.
There may not be a god. Get on with your life. It's the only one you have.
For a follow-up to this, go to Life and Death More 6