Are you religious?

I used to be a fundamentalist Christian, and I’m not any more. I’ll explain why.

As I grew older, I discovered new things: rainbows exist because light is refracted; reindeer cannot run at the speed of light, and closing your eyes doesn’t make you invisible to adults. One of the ways I could track the fact I’d grown up was to look at things I believed when I was younger and compare them with what I discovered when I was older. The process of discovery, about myself and about our world, was an amazing process and is throughout our lives.

I couldn’t reconcile that with a belief underpinned by a selection of ancient texts written so long ago, before most of our major discoveries were made, dictating an unchanging, dogmatic and often demonstrably wrong and immoral truth. It was a juxtaposition that seemed to violate the very core of what it is to be human: to grow, to learn, to discover, to understand. I approached the bible as a historical document, and at that point I realised I needed to be wilfully ignorant to accept it. I wasn’t prepared to be so.

Also, I find our existence, our world and the universe we’re part of, absolutely beautiful. I’m awed and humbled by how tiny and insignificant we are, yet how we’re alive and able to comprehend what we’re existing within.

That’s amazing to me, but it doesn’t require total explanation.

There is beauty in mystery, and the questions are often more astounding then I think any answer might be. We all seek to understand and it’s comforting to have answers that help us make sense of it, but that’s not truth. Wisdom is acceptance of our ignorance. We can’t know some of our deepest longings, but that’s OK. The wonder isn’t contained in 66 old manuscripts that haven’t existed for centuries, it’s alive when you breathe in the ocean air; when you hold somebody close and two souls meet; when you become lost in a child’s laugh.

Yes, we all want to Know. But it’s ok to accept we don’t, because the beauty of life isn’t what’s at the end of our journey, it’s on the road we travel, and what we make of that.

We’re all yearning towards the shining lure of the bright impossible, but around us exists majesty made reality through the wonder of existence. I prefer to experience and enjoy that for what it is.

Having been on both sides of the religious fence, I’d recommend it to anybody.