Born of a rather religious family, there came a time when I stopped and thought. The music was beautiful, it made me emotional, then I stepped back and rejected the idea of God. I was an immature fifteen year old, selfishly denying a world that cared, searching for pity while claiming victimisation. Since then, I grew up, rekindled a belief in God, though it falters now and then, but I never really managed the same with my religion. At fifteen I was writing letters to a Christian friend, asking question after question, choosing to reject a faith more than retrieve it; but, after the fourth letter, it must have got too much, for he politely asked me to stop: I was a “threat” to his faith. I don’t remember my questions too well, but I imagine they weren’t that harsh. I was fifteen, he was thirty something, and, if I recall my intelligence, my enquiries could hardly have been advanced.
Now, five years later, I’m a little more mature, but that same problem has still found no cure. It’s a little more complicated these days, but in essence it’s still the same. I search for the conviction to say, “I believe in so and so, because of this and that.” Conviction and sincerity: the pillars that stand in my way. And the biggest problem these days is that it consumes me. I’m supposed to be studying social sciences, but my time drains away on theology. Books and essays form buildings on my floor, but they’re all of religion, doctrine, thought and reason; political geography lies aside. Friends are bored of the new cliché: religion in every conversation. Every word I write: religion. Every thought I think: the same. My whole life these days is religion, because I lack the conviction of religion.
I see others passing by, their minds are narrow, but they’re convinced of their faith, and I wonder why. I ask them about the other religion, and they only reply, “I don’t know much about it”, and wander off to the praise the Lord. The fundamentalist lends me a chair, watches me sit and then thrusts a Bible into my hands. I question his conviction that the words are set in stone. I wonder how Moses managed to write an account of his own death: “Well, of course,” says the minister, “someone added that part afterwards.”
I learnt a lot about religion, but an open mind is a taboo. Still, I think, I’ll live with that, until I know what’s really true. I think about it often, and I wonder about that judgement day. Counting the cost of every crime, I imagine a final question uttered by the one who created all. “But why, exactly, did you believe in me?”