This blog post is a bit unusual as I thought about it for a few days before settling down to write it. Like most of my blog posts, this one is prompted by something I saw recently.
Someone posted a video clip on Facebook which saw Stephen Fry talking about God. The link is here. It really made me think about my own views on religion. if you have a strong faith, you may find it offensive as it talks about the questions Stephen Fry would ask God and thinks about God.
I was brought up as a Christian. I went to Sunday School every week with my mum. I think my dad went too but I can’t really remember. Then when I was 9 my mum died and things changed. I never went to church regularly again and instead associated Sunday with visiting my mum’s grave in the churchyard. I think my dad would have taken me to church if I had asked but I never did.
As I got older, I believed in God but never felt the pull to go to church. As time went on and I was exposed to death, war and pain, some of the things that Stephen Fry raise in his video clip are thoughts that I had. I couldn’t understand why God had taken my mum away so suddenly. No amount of people saying that the good ones always go first didn’t change the fact that I felt angry at God for taking someone away who meant such a lot to me. Over the next few years I lost a few more close relatives. I lost relations quickly and others slowly. I watched my strong auntie slowly weaken and whither because of cancer. I experienced one of my closest childhood friends dying at the age of 16 in a car crash.
I spoke a lot to my nan about faith during this time. I struggled because I started feeling the pull about going to church but still felt incredibly angry and confused about why things happened in the world like war, natural disasters wiping out entire communities and everythingnan had stopped going to church at the same time as my mum dying because, in her words, she couldn’t imagine how a God could have taken someone like my mum away so early in her lifetime .
I met my husband and discovered he had a very different view about religion. His faith is absolute, he is Mohamed but Islam is very much a part of him. He has tried to explain this to me on a number of occasions and on one level I began to envy his faith. On the other hand he doesn’t question his faith. I do understand that but it’s something that I personally have struggled with as there are so many questions I want to ask, many of which Stephen Fry asked. When we married I always thought I would feel upset about not getting married in a church but it didn’t bother me at all, my mind being mainly focused on those who couldn’t be with me at the wedding. I always wondered why people who didn’t go to church wanted to get married in a church.
I question my faith everyday. I believe in God and accept I’m a Christian and yet I continuously question. My view is that God gave free will to people and an inquisitive mind therefore it is acceptable. I know many devout Christians would view me as a non Christian because I do doubt. Didn’t the Bible have a Doubting Thomas though?
I question my faith when other people raise things that Christians shouldn’t follow or accept. I question my husband in similar ways. Someone once told me I was being disrespectful by raising questions about my husband’s faith. My argument was that if we have a family and my children choose not to follow Islam, I want to make sure that he will accept them. I have raised homosexuality and asking whether my husband would accept a child who is homosexual. Even though his religion talks about being against homosexuality, he says he would accept his children’s choices whatever because ultimately they are his children.
My husband has made me want to explore my faith again. It’s one of those things I am cautious about exploring as it might raise some questions that make me think about painful things. I would like to pull different parts of all religions, put them all together and follow that faith. I think I will do it as I believe that all religions can be traced back to each other at some point. I’ll carry on thinking, questioning and talking. Yes, I’m a Christian but I’m a work in progress.