Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(762)

Jan 30, 2013

Richard,

I've been an atheist for around twenty years now, the early years of high school education being the trigger for my conversion. One minute we were being taught about God, Jesus and the Bible – the next we're in a Physics lesson being taught about the Big Bang, forces and energy. Then it was on to Chemistry for a lesson on molecules, atoms and chemical reactions. I don't need to tell you which of these lessons made the most sense to me. As the years went by, the Religious Knowledge classes became more and more nonsensical and meant nothing to me whatsoever.

Up until this point I had been brought up as Church Of England. My parents had me christened then I was a baby, despite not being an overly religious family. They didn't attend church or use religion as a basis for their parenting. I think they assumed it was the “right thing to do” and I don't blame them in anyway. I only wish they'd left the decision to me. I now have a baby of my own and as we're not a religious couple we looked for an alternative ceremony where we could celebrate our daughter's birth, select some supporting adults (as opposed to godparents) and have a nice, family occasion. We had a lovely naming ceremony in the summer. A few of the guests remarked on how the ceremony was much nicer than christenings they'd attended. I couldn't agree more. Whereas a christening is centred around God and the church, our ceremony concentrated on family and friends without bestowing an unwarranted religion on my daughter. I recommend a naming ceremony to anyone as a lovely alternative to a christening or a baptism. We have left the decision or religion to my daughter, and when she's old enough to make that decision, we will support it one hundred percent, whatever it might be.

The God Delusion only strengthened my belief that there is no God. I found myself agreeing with every sentence and it's fantastic to have such material in black and white to recommend to agnostics who would like to make a decision either way.

I'll be looking for other books and materials in the future. Best wishes for everything you do.

Phil, Northamptonshire
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