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Growing up Anglican

By Lola --

I was sent to an Anglican Boarding School in Kent, England, when I was 3 months shy of my 11th birthday. It's the English way - or was.

Liverpool Anglican's Lady ChapelImage by jimmedia via Flickr
I was lucky; middle class boys get sent away to Prep School at eight! My parents were separating, unbeknown to my older sister and I; my father ( a Navy vet) was going overseas again, and my mother was going to live with her mother. My sister and I were inconveniences, so we got sent to Boarding School.

WE had not been raised as strict Christians, my mother had a muddled upbringing between her Catholic Aunt who raised her, and her birth mother, an Atheist by choice. We were nominally Anglican, and my father attended church when he was home, mainly I suspect so that he could sing in the choir (he had a remarkable baritone).

I am not sure if they knew how "holy" the boarding school was when they sent us, but we soon found out! Assembly first thing in the morning, with prayers and hymns, prayers every evening at 7:00 p.m. before a snack and bed at 7:30. Mandatory Morning service every Sunday (including the infamous "crocodile" parade through the small town so that the locals could gawk at us); and tea with the vicar once a month after service.

It got worse after confirmation (which in High CofE happens at 13). Woken up at 7:00 every Sunday to forcibly attend Communion, morning service at 11, and Evensong at 6:00 p.m.! We also had Religious instruction as part of our curriculum, so I was WELL educated by the age of 16.

Between 14 and 16 I "had a personal relationship with Jesus", I had been "born-again" at confirmation and it stuck for 2 years.

Then I took a comparative religion class (amazing that they permitted it on the curriculum!) and it opened my eyes to Judaism, Muslim, Confucianism, Shinto, Hinduism and others. I learned the similarities between them all, and began to question why the differentiation?

I became a deist, still believing in God, but not organised religion. I have rarely been in a Church, except for weddings and funerals, since.

With all this religious information in my head I seriously question the right of most fundamentalists to call themselves Christians. So much of what Christ (putatively) taught is about acceptance of others, forgiveness and rejection of the blind faith which he grew up with: but these Fundamentalists are practicing Old Testament, not New Testament values! I question the New Testament too. Surely the whole Bible is a collection of works by many, most of whom are reporting after the fact. The Bible is not the book of Judaism, the Talmud is, the New Testament is a collection which was chosen by men, (many similar gospels were rejected.)

I am glad to have found this website, since now I not only question organised religion, but the very existence of a god who allows atrocities to happen. If He ever existed He has forgotten about his creation, much like most of us forgot about our Terrariums, or Lego creations. "Oh yeah, where is that thing I created?" More likely we are a result of some cosmic intelligence too huge for our minimal intelligence to comprehend, that may be god, but it is definitely not an old white haired grandfather sitting on a throne!

My current belief is that God was created by Man, because we need to have a purpose in being! I am still open to suggestions however - any offers?