I feel so relieved. Its been 30 years that I've questioned and not believed. I began in my teens wondering why we Catholics were so convinced we had the right religion. I always wondered why the others could not also be right. So I began a personal quest for truth and reason. In the military I did a peacekeeping tour in 1986 where I had the opportunity to visit Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth.
In the Holy Land the more I looked around the less I believed. There were locals selling trinkets to tourists like any other tourist place. We met with a former priest who told us that the whole thing is a sham and that the stations of the cross were simply concocted to please the questions from tourists hundreds of years ago begging to know where he walked, stood, fell as the "story" goes. So the locals made them up to encourage more tourism and the church eventually swallowed it all because it makes for good advertising or is it brainwashing.
I tried, I really tried to believe and explain away the questions and the doubt. I returned to church, I "prayed" and I even felt guilty for my feelings when I was selected to fly the Pope on his visit to our country. He just seemed like a kindly enough dottering old man to me but no supreme being. How crazy is it that I would have guilty. Well recently I saw the bus sign in Ottawa and that was it. It lead me to your website, then to YouTube where I discovered your videos and those of Christopher Hitchens. And the OUT campaign, suddenly I felt like prisoner being released.
I can't thank you enough for what you do and the abuse you put up with. I struggled alone for so long not knowing there were so many others thinking what I was thinking I was afraid to speak out. No more. Thank you Richard and to everyone who helps you.
PS: Listen to or at the very least read the lyrics of the band "RUSH". I think you would get a smile from their songs "Freewill", "Faithless" and "Roll the Bones" to name a few.