I was brought up in an Irish Catholic family, went to a convent school, had first communion, confirmation, my grandmother is a member of an altar society and my uncle is a priest. I have always had my doubts about religion and when I was a teenager downright resented it, feeling that it made people weak and submissive. My mother told me that I had to continue going to chuch with her until I was 16 and then i could decide if I wanted to continue which I didn’t however I began to see some of the positive aspects of the Catholic religion as I felt it contributed a lot of positive things to my earl years including a sense of community and mellowed in my views in my mid to late twenties even insisting about attending midnight mass at christmas.
However my doubts about to started to appear when my husband and I were getting married. To please my parents and grandmother and also I’ll admit out of a sense of nostalgia I decided to have a catholic wedding in my hometown in Ireland. My husband who come sfrom a Methodist background, and didn’t have too many beliefs either way was happy about this. We both had to attend a pre-marriage course. It was run by a particularly unpleasant, abrupt and closed minded deacon and his wife. From the off we were viewed with wariness and we were the only “mixed” couple. I hated the whole idea of teh church prying into our personal lives especially with their views to sex and things like IVF. There was an older couple there who dared to challenge this man about IVF (clearly speaking about themselves) and he nastily dismissed them saying “If god wanted you to have a baby you would have had one!”. My husband and I were not afraid to challenge his views and consequently were shunned by the rest of the group who avoided us like we were contagious. I realised I have never been in a room with so many people for whom have no respect for as I deemed them all to be hypocrites.
The second ephiany which led me to lose any faith I had was when my husband and I got pregnant in Sept 2012. We were so happy and I admit I did go to church and ask the priest for a blessing. When we had our 12 week scan they found a problem with our baby which by the time we had our 16 week sca had not improved. Our baby had an irregular heart, limps and a chin that hadn’t been formed and would most likely not survive to birth and if she did would be in enormous pain and need invasive, painful surgeries. We decided to have a termination which happened 6 days before christmas. I had been praying and lighting candles for weeks naively thinking that god would help and I was a good person and this would not happen to me. I now know that religion is nothing but false hope when held up against the cold wall of scientific fact. My catholic granny was told I had a missed miscarriage and she used the most hated words: “Maybe it was god’s will”. That was the moment I stopped believing there was a god. If it had been god’s will then I would have either lost her very late, possibly died myself or had a baby with a short life and endless suffering. It was science that saved my from further suffering not god. It was the early scans, the consultants, the genticists, the midwives and the surgeons who got me through it. Not god. That is how I know for a fact that there is no god, there couldn’t be. The idea of bringing up any future children with the delusion I have had for years is abhorrent.