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#1 Jun 03, 2021 12:03 am

New Historian
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Me and god

I suppose our father felt obligated to look after his sons’ religious upbringing – which is probably why he did such a godawful job of it. Or rather he let others do the godawful job for him. Apart from sending us to Catholic schools and church on Sundays, Dad never once said a word to us on the subject of god. I can only guess that he himself had given up on god some time before, and therefore felt no need to burden his sons with more than a passing acquaintance.

Sunday mornings were special for our father, when he could relax with his cup of Nescafe, the Observer and Times Educational Supplement, and perhaps a telephone conversation with a lady friend. For which he didn’t need us pesky kids around. So church was a double coincident of wants: our religious upbringing, matching perfectly with his need for some respite from us! He would make sure we were all scrubbed up and send us to Mass, sit back, put a record on the gramophone and open the papers, for an hour of peace on earth.

We attended All Saints’ Catholic Church on Kingsbury Road, where Father Brunning once threw Tom out for eating an ice cream. We hated church, and would go walking around Kenton for an hour instead of attending Mass. Then we’d ask the departing worshippers what the sermon was all about so we could report to Dad. One Sunday as we were supposed to be in Church, Dad drives past us walking along the street. When we got home all he said was: ‘I tried!’ And glory be, no church the following Sunday, or any other!

I never felt as holy as I did on my First Communion. I wished I could die right then, ascend to Heaven and sitteth in the lap of Gawd Almighty. After that it was pretty much downhill all the way. It wasn’t that you couldn’t get answers, you couldn’t even ask questions. Religious Knowledge at school consisted of memorizing hundreds of Catholic prayers and rituals, culminating in the never-ending Apostles’ Creed:

I believe in God,
The Father almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth
Maker of all things visible and invisible …

One day at St. Thomas’ RC School Headmistress Mother Bon Secours alias Bongo enters the classroom.

“Which one a yous is having a vocation?”

Nobody spoke, nobody moved, nobody breathed. A vocation was every nun’s wet dream and every boy’s worst nightmare: ‘The Calling’ to study for the priesthood. Each Catholic school had its quota, and Bongo was on a quota-filling mission.

She repeats, louder: “I said: which one a yous is having a vocation?”

This wasn’t good enough. She went walking down the aisle.

“Right then. You, you … and you Blackie. Come with me!”

Oh god, so now I had a vocation, officially. The three of us unhappy vocationists had to suffer through extra Catechism and Latin classes, which ate into our playtime. No surprises then that for me and my brothers, religion has been a non-factor all our lives.

Last edited by New Historian (Jun 03, 2021 12:03 am)

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#2 Jun 03, 2021 9:53 am

Dancer
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Re: Me and god

' Man , New Historian , that is a good one ,  on all fronts '
...even the attention getting title , who says we can't be better. lo.

  , you  touched on  many things .   
3 -   wild boys .. . a island term .... when you knock around  ...lol.

Gotta speak  live  of you  descriptive     life  accounts

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#3 Jun 03, 2021 11:28 pm

New Historian
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Re: Me and god

Thanks. I'd love some discussion on what is it that makes religion 'stick'? We all had similar brainwashing as kids, why do some people remain religious, while others dont?

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#4 Jun 04, 2021 8:28 am

Real Distwalker
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Re: Me and god

I was raised Catholic.  By the time I was 16, I was an atheist. That didn't last long.  You can't know for certain that God doesn't exist so atheism is based on faith.  Faith in the non-existence of God is stupid.

So by 20 or 21 I was an agnostic.  I was still an agnostic 20 years later when I started posting on Talkshop.  Then one day I had a moment of clarity. To use an overused phrase, I saw the light.  An epiphany.  I understood the sophisticated nature of creation and my place in it.  I felt the presence of God.

At that point I could have gone Islam, Judaism, Hinduism or, I don't know, Zoroastrianism.  I chose to become a Christian because that is the obvious choice in my time and space.  I am not, however, a Catholic.

The sophisticated nature of my faith bears no resemblance to the brainwashing we received as youth.  It is very different.  I don't feel the presence of God often.  Almost never, really.  That said, when I did feel it, I found the light to be so strong I can't forget it.

I guess what I am saying is that I didn't "remain religious".

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#5 Jun 04, 2021 10:00 pm

New Historian
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Re: Me and god

Hmm, interesting! The presence of god eh? On more than one occasion I actively sought the presence of god, really asked for his help, sign, comfort, anything. Nothing came. Then the more I thought about it, read about it, debunked the myths about it, I saw my truth: all religions share the same kernels of truth, all of them have positives and negatives (more of the latter in my book), and all of them were invented by man.

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#6 Jun 05, 2021 8:45 am

Real Distwalker
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Re: Me and god

All religions were invented by man, but God wasn't.

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#7 Jun 05, 2021 4:59 pm

houston
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Re: Me and god

Religion is a very personal topic for people of all creeds. It is a matter of choice for each individual to decide upon what they believe in. Those types of choices are no laughing matter.

https://youtu.be/GoYyiNRtMEE

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#8 Jun 06, 2021 12:36 am

New Historian
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Re: Me and god

Real Distwalker wrote:

All religions were invented by man, but God wasn't.

Well if that isn't the most perfect oxymoron I've ever heard, but each to his own lol!

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#9 Jun 06, 2021 9:58 am

Real Distwalker
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Re: Me and god

Well, consider that 20 million years ago there were no humans and, thus, there was no religion.  Yet a believer has faith that God existed then even in the absence of religion.  If humanity becomes extinct, I would argue, God - but not religion - will endure.

If you believe that God is a fiction created by religion, then I suppose it is an oxymoron to say that God exists in the absence of religion.

If you believe, however, that the universe was sparked into existence more than 13 billion years ago by a great architect of the cosmos (an unmoved mover) then claiming that God exists without or without religion makes perfect sense.

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#10 Jun 06, 2021 11:31 am

New Historian
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Re: Me and god

It's all above my philosophical pay grade mate! I'm pretty sure there's something out there, just what is the big question.

One thing is sure: humanity will disappear up it's collective backside, the way this current lot are NOT breeding! Between me and my 2 brothers we have 9 kids, youngest 27. Grandkids? One. With no more on the horizon. Useless bunch. Developed country birth rates are plummeting, a trend that is now spreading to the developed world.

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