Having been raised within a religious environment, my early life was intertwined with the church, and belief.
Church and Sunday School were an integral part of my childhood. The bible played a prominent role not only in the home, but also as a part of elementary, and junior school life.
A bit of background about my thoughts on religion. I have always, or at least as far as I can remember questioned things I see as false, or which lack rhyme or reason. Religion is one of those things.
I was automatically a believer when young, because it was instilled in me from my environment. However, as I approached my teenage years, I had questions burning inside which never seemed to be satisfied with the ‘explanations’ which were all around, and also provided to me.
The turning point came when I was 14 years old and opted to take RE(Religious Education) as a part of my GCE’s( now GCSE’s).These exams form the basis of career/employment after education. The teacher we had was quite old, when compared to the majority of our teachers. Probably already well into his 60’s, He brought a refreshing new perspective to The New Testament, which was our syllabus.
He approach was simple. He brought logic to the pages in the book, whereas before the bias had always been towards the
‘miraculous’ powers of Jesus, and the acts that he performed. The ‘water into wine’, the ‘walking on the water’, the ‘5 loaves and 2 fishes’ were explained in such a way that everything made sense (at least to me it did). This fundamentally changed the way I thought, and I am eternally greatful to this teacher for this.
His personal beliefs seemed to sync with mine, as he described the ‘eye of the needle’ saying which talks about a part of many city walls in the region of Jerusalem, which were called ‘The eye of the needle’ due to the fact that they were very narrow slits in the city walls designed to stop animals straying/escaping. The saying ‘it is easier for a camel to go through the ‘eye of the needle’ than for a rich man to go to heaven’ had been taken literally before this, because it is impossible for a camel to go through the eye of a ‘real needle’. Before this was revealed to me, I, like so many of my peers had taken this line literally. In fact it was not so difficult for a camel to do do this, because some parts of the wals were in a state of disrepair and camels escaped frequently.
There were so many references he explained which made sense and told me that these things which have been foistered upon us were not ‘miracles’ but mere illusions (for want of a better word). It was not until several weeks into our 1st term that he told us students that he was, in fact, an aethiest, which made perfect sense to me. His logical approach really reasonated with me.
The main issue I faced at home was broaching the subject with my mother, who was deeply religious. I knew that this would be a bombshell to her, which would question everything she and others in my family based their lives on. I had all of the material we were given, which had been written by our teacher, at home. I used to read it meticulously and found it very refreshing. After all, if I could see through it, why couldn’t everyone else?
I used to put my points to my mother in a series of subtle questions. “Why did this happen, how was this possible?” to hide my own thoughts. The answers were invariably along the lines of “this is the power of god, or we should have faith and our reward will be in heaven”
These did not answer anything. For me they demonstrated an indoctrination into a system of control which is used throughout the world to subdue, enslave, and control billions of people worldwide.
I never had the desire to rock my mother’s or family’s faith, just to satisfy my own curiosity, or to prove a point to myself, but if we look objectively at religion, more notably the well established ones, we find:
A. They are several millenia old.
B. The recording of history has been vague (to non-existent) up to maybe the last century or 2.
C. It is easy to state things which are almost impossible to dispute scientifically, by hard documentation, or eye witness accounts.
D. The establishment of the endoctriation of people began so long ago, that it is virtually impossible to provide new facts which people would believe, and the majority would refuse to believe because it would be too monumental a shift for them to accept.
There is a lot more which I could share with you, but the main realization for me was that religion is a fallacy, made by men, for men.