My father is an atheist and my mother is a catholic. They wanted to get married where my mother’s parents got married but the priest refused because of my father’s lack of religion. My mother’s father then had words with the priest, to the effect that if they got married elsewhere and have children and what ever will happen to those poor un-Catholic children, growing up with no guidance from God? So, the priest made my father sign something to say that he would bring up his children as Catholics. Thanks Dad, you did a smashing job! We are all about as religious as that cardboard box over there in the corner.
Even Jesus came down off the cross
For as long as I can remember, I have not believed in God. I think I was about four. And even at four I had my reasons. I didn’t want to make my Holy Communion. Actually, I was so opposed to it, I refused to make my first confession, in which our teacher told us that if we couldn’t think of anything to confess, just make it up, like not bringing in the coal for your mother or being mean to your siblings. Even at seven I saw the flaw in that logic. I did not like the idea of going into a dark box and confessing stuff I had or had not done or had made up to a priest. So, naturally, as I’m the youngest, my mother wrote me a note to say I had confessed the week before. Sinful, I know but it worked. I can safely say I have never set foot in one of those boxes.
Now, this is my decision. I don’t believe I was influenced in any major way by either of my parents, I just remember having strong un-God like feelings when I was about four. I don’t try to prove religious people wrong, I don’t undermine their choices, fuck it, I could be wrong but each to their own, right? I go to mass when I need to (family masses, funerals, weddings, christenings) and I sit down the back, waiting to get struck by lightening and avoiding eye contact from the folk who are wondering ‘just why isn’t that girl going up to get her holy bread?’. Truthfully, the reason is I am never hungry enough.
This morning, my patience was tested. Again.
I’ve had several callers to the door recently. The first (and second, as it happened twice that day) were Jehovah Witnesses. I had T in the bath and they knocked with such urgency, I immediately thought that the horses had escaped and I ran downstairs only to have to copy of the Watchtower shoved in my hand. I said ‘thanks, I’m not interested’ but I took the booklet anyway, out of politeness.
They called again recently, a man in his late 30’s with a boy of about 12. They caught me on a bad day. I saw them through the window coming up the path. I opened the door before he even got to knock rending him with an ‘oh crap’ look on his face. I was angry, this was my Saturday morning after all. I very firmly and probably quite rudely said ‘I am not interested! How would you like it if I called around to your house and preached to you about how NOT believing in God is great? Don’t ever call here again!’. Needless to say he turned on his heel and ran. All I needed was a shotgun and some chewing tobacco for full effect (I have the rocking chair.) My heart went out to the poor 12 year old boy. Being dragged around by his father to strange people’s houses (and be yelled at by people still in their pajamas…I’m guessing!). He should be out playing football or loitering with his friends. Anyway, the man assured me nobody would ever call again.
I can only assume at this point that word is spreading about ‘the girl who needs saving’ because they came back again this morning, I think it was the Elders this time. Luckily for them, I was mid-bowl of Special K so my sister answered the door. I stood in the hall asking ‘who is it? Who is it?’ as all I could hear was ‘How long have you been living here for?’ and my sister repeatedly saying ‘we’re not interested’. I was already grumpy but this sent me over the edge but my sister wouldn’t let me at them. How is that any of their business? They crossed the line so now I’m writing about it.
I don’t define myself by not having a religion, if you have one, then that is your choice and I respect that. Just don’t go trying to shove your opinion or your views down my throat on MY doorstep. If I want to know something, I have Google.
So the question is, who wants to come with me to knock on strangers doors, interrupt their day and take up their time to spread the word of atheism or fairies or Iron Man, because, lets face it, it’s all REALLY important.
Now, I have to print off a rather unaesthetic sign saying ‘No Religious Callers’ and I shall leave you this tune from Bob Dylan.
All Along the Watchtower