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Saturday, 20 July 2013

Beliefs

   This is likely to upset a few people, so I'm going to start this post by saying this: we all need to respect eachother. People without religion need to respect those with it, those with religion need to respect those with different religions, and people with religion need to respect those without it.
   It's common that, if you go into the city centre here in Bristol, you'll get stopped by someone asking you if you believe in God. I don't - I'm not athiest, I'm agnostic, but to be honest, I'm not looking for proof, I'm just not prepared to say that any religion is correct or wrong. But when I say that I don't, they won't let me leave, and try to convert me on the spot. They throw loads of questions at me such as why don't I believe, and then they pull quotes from the Bible that I can't help thinking are irrelevant. Eventually I manage to escape and I avoid that street until I come back after about 5 months.
   Now, I do believe it's very important to mention right now that not everyone with religion is like this. I'm going to continue now by telling you about Anne (No, that's not her real name).

   I've known her since I was 4. We went to the same primary school. She looked different, however, so I kept away from her. I was never taught this, it was just something I did, and I am still ashamed of it. We were partnered together on a project when we were 9, to build a small celtic house. We used paper, sticks, clay and paint, and to be honest, ours was the best house by far. This was the first time I had spoken to her before, and I actually found her to be a really nice person, and creative, too, which also appealed to me. We quickly became friends, and have been ever since. I don't get to see her much these days because of my mum's condition, so I'm always indoors, and she just got back from completing history in Uni, but she is one of my only two friends. Sure I'm friends with a couple of people online, and yes I've definitely got my boyfriend, but Anne is one of the only two childhood friends I have.
   Anne has always been religious. She's a good Christian. She honestly believes in God and that he protects her and helps her through the hard times. I often scoffed at that thought, but I never beat her down about it. Much. She didn't preach to me much either, only when she thought I needed it, like when I was having a hard time with my mum because her MS was suddenly becoming worse. I didn't believe anything she said, but I appreciated that she was trying to help.
   But then something happened in her family, something I had never expected, and she had a really hard time dealing with it. From that moment, though, I knew that without religion, she may never have been able to get over it the way she had. I began looking at her differently, and realised that religion had a huge part in creating who she was. Without religion, she may not have been the nice person she is - honest to god, you'll never find a nicer person than her. I've only ever heard her swear once, and it was only 'shit' and that was when she was going through the afore mentioned bad time. But I realised that religion was a huge part of her.

   I am not a believer, like, at all, so I don't think it's likely that I'll convert at any point (please, don't see this as a challenge). I don't appreciate being harrassed by people over it, but I have realised something about it all.
   I don't have religion. I have something else. I'm not going to say what it is just yet because it might offend a few too many religious people, eventhough I'm totally serious and not trying to mock them at all. But what I have has made me realise what people with religion might think looking at people without it. They think we're missing out, just the same as I view other people without my passion. When I realised this, I stopped going on about my passion, and while I still think people are missing out, I keep it to myself unless I know someone's interested.

   So please, let me tell you all: yes, some of us might need to hear about your religion, but most of us don't. Trust that people will find your church. There are enough people preaching these days for everyone to know about your religion, and they know exactly where to go. But if you do feel the need to continue to preach, don't get offended when people tell you they're not interested. Most of us are not interested by choice. We have other things to comfort us and make getting through life a little easier. It may not be quite the same as what you have, but we all have something, whether we realise it or not. Something that makes us who we are, something huge that we couldn't live without, a huge passion for something
   I say this because I'm fed up with people at my door, I'm fed up with emails, I'm fed up with people stopping me in the street, and then people getting offended when I tell them I'm not interested. I'm not trying to offend you, it's just that I don't need what you're offering. I have other things in life to keep me going, other things that make me happy, and are a huge part of who I am. I'm not beating down anyone's religion, I'm simply saying that I don't want, or need it.



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