Phil Davies, Converts, #(1977)

Aug 14, 2014

I’m not going to tell how I lost my faith. You ‘lose’ something of value, and I no more lost faith than I lost the bags I put out for the bin-men last week. I can date my discarding of religion to October 1966 when, as a 14-year-old, I delivered newspapers whose front pages were dominated by the Aberfan disaster. Somewhere in there I read that the staff and children had just returned from assembly when the slag-heap came down the hill, and that they had all sung “All Things Bright And Beautiful”. Now the religious will say (A) that was God’s will and (B) the children will have gone to Heaven. There’s no point arguing with that, because if that’s what you believe it makes everything all right … even for the grieving parents. But what of those parents who could not bring or force themselves to believe it? A lifetime during which, I am sure, they could not go to sleep at night without having to try to banish images of their child’s last agony and terror. And it would appear they would be further punished for their failure to believe, by a God so pathetically insecure that he demands our worship … or else. At that point it was clear to me that Man had indeed made God in his own image.

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