Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(483)

Jan 30, 2013

I should not really be writing to Convert's Corner because I hardly qualify. I am a third generation atheist, my own father and my mother's father having gone before. My father was in a unique position to witness the very worst of religion in action. He had learned to play the organ in his youth and used to play on a relief basis for vacationing, or sick, church organists in the Yorkshire town where I grew up. He relieved regular organists at the various C of Es, Methodist, Congregationalist and Baptist establishments. I attended a High Anglican church in the town and I never understood why my parents never came near the place, but I was attracted to a girl who went to the same church, so I didn't really care too much. I had my 'Road To Damascus' experience when I was about 15 and I stopped going to church, because I had seen through the whole religion thing. I often wondered why my parents accepted my decision with such equanimity, but it all fell into place when I was 18 and my father told me the facts of life as a non-believer. I have five sons and six grandchildren, all atheists to the core, but have not exerted any influence on any of them. They have arrived at their own decisions. I am only seven weeks away from my 78th birthday and am enjoying life enormously. I retired to Nakusp, British Columbia several years ago from Calgary and have established an Atheist section in Nakusp Library by an initial donation of the books of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and Steve Jones with a committment to donate as many books on the topic as may appear during the rest of my life – I hope to live until I am at least 105 !

John Perkins

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