Tell us about the role that faith plays in your life — or doesn’t.
I am part of the ‘unfaithful’ – I cannot comprehend the belief in the existence of a god or gods.
However I am aware that my values and principles have been shaped by the work done by religion over the last couple of millenia (in the case of Christianity). Whether we like it or not religion is all around us – down to the calendar, the law and most of the rules we live by.
My parents were not religious but one of their mottos when I was growing up, was “Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you“. It was never connected with the bible or religion in our family but that obviously is where it came from. This is one of the values I hold dear in my life. There were other examples like this which is why I say that although faith does not directly play a role in my life it does so indirectly.
Faith also played what I believe was a very important role in shaping the person I am today but in an upside down kind of way. When I was 5 my parents moved to a small village where everyone went to church and all kids went to Sunday school. So that we wouldn’t stand out they sent me, the eldest child, to Sunday school too.
One day, soon after, I came home from class and told my mother I was being taught about sinning and asked her what it meant to be a drunk. My mother, being the type that protected us from anything ugly until we were old enough to be told, was appalled by this and promptly removed me from Sunday school. Protecting her chicks was much more important than being accepted!
How did this affect me? I was never intimidated by the ‘consequences’ of not following religion and I understood that I had to think about the world for myself and make my own choices. I also have always understood through my upbringing that you can be a good and caring person, without worshiping or going to church.