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For 16 years Christ walked with me everywhere I went. I believed wholeheartedly. There was not a shadow of doubt in my mind I had a personal relationship with the creator of the universe. I followed His Word and felt His love in my heart. Then I read a book called Why I'm Not a Christian by Bertrand Russell. Then I carried on going to church and pretended nothing had happened. Then I read it again. Then I realised that not only didn't I need to believe in the supernatural anymore I didn't understand why I ever did. Hearing logical arguments wasn't exactly a staple of my Christian upbringing. It was by no means a strict household, but I attended intense prayer meetings and spoke in tongues, and induced mass hypnosis with incantations and laying on of hands. As soon as I understood Russell's teapot analogy of classic agnosticism, I understood why I didn't believe in any other gods than Yahweh, and why other religions didn't believe in Him any more than I did Allah or Jehovah. As I gained reason I didn't lose my faith, but instead I placed my trust in other people—despite many very good reasons not to. This, to me, is true faith—not believing you are "saved" because you believe in things that aren't true, but because you know that despite all the wars and hatred, Church sponsored political campaigns against equal rights, pedophile priests and Vatican sanctioned Mafia money laundering, somewhere out there, there are legions of people who love and care for one another, not because they're frightened of what might happen when they die, but because they're just good people. I've never met an atheist who thinks it's moral to teach lies to children in science class, but I've never met a Christian, Hindu, Muslim or Jew I couldn't get along with either. Religion only divides people when you let it—and there is no greater justification for that, than fanatic adherence to the various allegedly holy scriptures people who don't understand Quantum Electrodynamics cling to. They don't worship the God of mystery and awe at the universe around us, they worship a book of myths. So you might not like it, but I was a full blown, no doubt about it evangelical Christian, and I wouldn't go back to sleep now for all the tea in China.
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Aug 10, 2010