I’ve never been religious. Despite singing hymns and reciting the Lord’s Prayer in school assemblies back in my kiddie years, the whole God thing pretty much washed over me without leaving a mark. Sure, I liked the Jesus fables – still do. I even once played one of the three wise men in the school nativity. And who wouldn’t agree with the whole ‘peace and goodwill’ Christmas message?
I think my lack of faith has much to do with my upbringing. My parents were little troubled by the vicar. The only trips to church were for weddings, funerals and christenings, which was more to do with social convention than piety. I have four siblings. The first two were baptised in swaddling clothes but my eldest sister had to wait four whole years before she got her dip in the font, accompanying me in a kinda two-for-one offer. And my youngest sister is still a heathen. I guess as time went by, my folks just got a bit bored with the charade.
It seems quite a few of my fellow citizens agree with my strictly secular world-view. According to latest census data for England and Wales published by the Office for National Statistics, the proportion of people describing themselves as Christian has dropped below 50 per cent for the first time since the Dark Ages.
So as a confirmed atheist, imagine my surprise when this popped up in my in-basket.
I opened the email when these two sinners were boozing in a Soho gay bar. Oh, the irony. I really don’t care what people believe in – gods, prophets, angels or the tooth fairy – it’s ok with me. If someone wants to think the world is flat and the moon is made of cheese, that’s fine too. But whoever bought my personal data should get a refund.
Season’s greetings and wishing you all goodwill. God knows we could do with some peace on earth right now.