Twenty five years out of my twenty nine on earth, I was locked in indoctrination and appeasment within my religion. I wont lie, I was happy. My youth happily given over in worship and service. I had an ‘unforseen occurance’ as the bible so awkwardly and in such an empty manner states. A road traffic accident on the way to doing voluntary work for a church on a wet sunday morning. My life was changed for the worse. Spinal surgery and much treatment later I came through the other side. “Opportunity often comes in the disguise of misfortune or temporary defeat.” The treatment and many hours awake in pain gave me breathing room to question my life, my beliefs. I felt God had abandoned me, I feared no consequence for asking the questions most of will never dare ask themselves.
It took me nearly 6 years to climb out of the web. At 27 I went back to school, despite the religion I was in being very much against any kind of further education. I passed my course with 7 distinctions and I now write this from my 3rd year in Medical School at age 29. I have not long left behind my life, my beliefs, my family and my friends. It is hard, some days are darker than others. But I know something that I hold very dear. Iroincally it was made dear to me via christian tradition and ideas of men… the value of truth. The value of knowing, seeing and hearing the truth. It is like a cold fresh breath of air in my lungs. It stings as it has consequence, but non the less, it is truth. Oh how I love to now say “I dont know.” It leaves no sickly stain of deceit left over from rehersed circular replies or arguments set out by other more ‘wiser’ men. Answers to questions that are a waist of time and lives to ask and debate.
I owe so much to Professor Dawkins. I am a humble man from a humble background. I felt drowned in indoctrination, bound in restrictive chains of learning. To speak your name once, would cause silence in a room and anger in those listening. I would love to be angry at such people
but I was one of them not so many years ago, and I know I am not a bad person, or dim. Just human. Religion works because it plays on our inherited needs. Our psychological flaws and wants.
Thankfully I had help in finding a way out. A man that through fact, truth, hard work and endurance has brough new lives to many people via science. There is a reason science and religion clash on the battle field. One has truth as its spear head. The other seeks to hide it.
Thankyou Richard. I am forever indebted to you.