I was in a church, yesterday, for the first time in, oohhh…4 years? longer? I felt very hypocritical, but was glad I went – it reminded me why it leaves such a strange taste in my mouth.
Now, don’t get me wrong (again…), I have amazing respect for anyone who can devote themselves to a religion, mainly because I could never do it myself. I still don’t understand how anyone could let their minds and souls be controlled in such a fashion.
The thing that struck me most, and something I had never really noticed before now, was how the picture of the world at large was divided easily into black and white. Church of Scotland is by no means a strict branch of christianity, and is often seen as ‘less religious’ than Catholicism, but both branches share similar doctrines. “This is the way we do things, you must do them our way, any other way is wrong.” Whilst this is never fully stated, it is thinly veiled in the ritual that is a Sunday morning service.
On the plus side, there is a definite community appeal to attending church. It is like an extended family, but then again, I could say the same about my circle of friends – except that we have a more interesting time as we don’t all believe or do the same things.
The Church of Scotland complains that people are turning away from God, and after experiencing the service on Sunday, I can see why. The exclusivity of common knowledge, when you are the one who is excluded, is a very lonely feeling. You feel out of place, nervous, uncomfortable.
My lack of faith doesn’t disturb me, or frighten me, it is a comfort. I am happy in the knowledge that I am not blinkered, that I can look around and see things for myself. I may not always like what I see, but I will never condemn anyone for their beliefs, I hope you don’t condemn me for mine.