Robert Hampton

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16th April 2006

If I’m wrong I’ll repent on my death bed
Posted by at 6.06pm | No responses | It's My Life

My nephew had his first Holy Communion today, which meant me dragging myself out of bed and attending an Easter Sunday service at a Catholic church.

I can honestly say that I have never felt more out of place than I did there today. As the Psalms and Bible readings continued apace (inaudibly because the sound system wasn’t working properly), I was fidgeting and wondering just what the point of it all is. I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to feel the warmth and love of God smiling down upon you, but I felt nothing. I gave up after 45 minutes and went and stood outside with the other infidels.

It certainly didn’t help that along with the order of service sheet, they gave out a leaflet advertising a vigil to commemorate the millions who have been “murdered” since the Abortion Act came into force. Or that a couple of days earlier I’d read that the Pope condemned homosexuality as “satanic” (not just “wrong”, or “sinful”, but satanic, mind you).

I used to be quite the little churchgoer, albeit in the Church of England, Catholicism’s less scary little brother. I was there every Sunday, front row centre, even though it meant missing repeats of classic Grange Hill episodes on Children’s BBC2. But somewhere along the line, me and Jesus went our separate ways. I’m not entirely sure what happened; I think I actually started thinking for myself.

My view is that people use their religion as a kind of safety net (“I’m not a good person, but if I go to Church once a week that’ll cancel it all out”) — well, I try to be a good person and live my life as selflessly as possible, being kind and considerate to other people. Why do I need to go to Church once a week and be lectured on how lousy and imperfect I am?

Anyway, that’s my unsolicited and quite possibly grammatically-incorrect thoughts on the matter. Suffice to say I can happily tick the “Religion: None” box in any form I’m required to fill in.

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