The Great Time Waster. How I Lost my Religion
I’m a pedantic knowledge fan. I like facts and figures whether important or trivial. I am slightly over-keen on the truth. So naturally the first thing that turned me off religion was the realisation that it was based on a set of lies. Having rejected the Santa deception, calculated that mum couldn’t really be 24 and realised that my face wasn’t “going to stay like that if the wind changed” in my first decade I was ready to debunk bigger myths in my second. Still, nobody else was openly rejecting it and it was just a bunch of harmless stories so it needed a change agent to snap me out of it. Enter Mrs Allen…
The God Squad
Mrs Allen was a puritan. She had a brutal face with lips so tightly pursed that she was liable to spit on you if her voice rose above a whisper. In actual fact her voice rarely dropped below a thundering bellow so most people peered at her with their eyes squinted half shut. She had a large wooden cross suspended between her ample bosoms and her sturdy lower section was dressed in a starchy grey pleated skirt. Her hair, also grey, was cropped short and wouldn’t have looked out of place on a monk. Her beady eyes burnt with religious fervour.
Moment of Truth
My other RE teachers had gone through the motions. I had sung a thousand hymns because that was what one did but in Miss Allen’s grotesque form I found a zealot, an indoctrinator and a bully. To see an adult talking with such violent conviction in these nonsensical stories snapped me out of any hint of belief and I rebelled accordingly. At that time my blasphemous classroom and exam hall answers were no more than rebellion but it was very soon clear that not only was Christianity nonsense but time was being wasted.
A Waste of Time & Energy
Religion is not just a fiction, full of thinly veiled nationalism, stolen imagery and hijacked festivals. It is a massive waste of time. How much better could we be at science, maths or the arts if the time spent on religious education and the half-hearted singing of hymns was spent on real education? How much more progress would be made on real issues if politicians spent less time on prayer in council and parliament sittings in the UK or on the campaign train in the US? How much more global cooperation could be achieved if the rhetoric of religion did not divide leaders like electrified razor wire? How many more people would be helped if religious devotees stopped their pointless prayers and pilgrimages and actually did something about the problems at hand?
A Waste of Money
It’s not just time that gets wasted. If God is everywhere and sees everything you do then a temple or church of any kind is a pompous waste of resources. Walk around the Sistine Chapel or Seville Cathedral and marvel on the money that is wasted on treasures and religious idolatry, graven images one could say. What is the 10% of your salary going to? How could that money change the world for the better? Snap out of it. Make a difference! If you really need religion (you’ll find you’re still morally sound without it) then save it for personal time when it doesn’t detract from anything useful.