Which God, if any?

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

I am an atheist. I don’t mind what other people believe as long as they don’t try and force it on me, each to their own I say. My husband is also an atheist and as such we had a none religious wedding and are not planning a baptism for Rose. This does not always go down well with the more traditional members of our family (when I say “our” I mean “his” but whatever). Indeed we received a Bible verse wall hanging for a wedding gift, various Religious cards with “God Bless You” in, and Rose has been given a religious themed pillow. These don’t in any way offend me, but it does tickle me that they’re attempting to convert us and our baby; who has no concept of what her nose is yet let alone an All Powerful Being that made and controls various things depending on how religious you are and which God or Gods you’ve decided to believe in.

That said, just because we don’t believe in any religions doesn’t mean we don’t understand that they all, to varying extents, play a big role in how our world currently functions. Just because I believe there should be a complete separation of Church and State doesn’t mean there is. Just because I believe nobody should attack those who believe in a different God to them doesn’t mean they don’t. Religions in various incarnations are alive and active around us, control vast amounts of the world’s economy, have influence in media and government, and are important aspects in many people’s lives. For this reason we are going to educate Miss Rose about religion, not in the “This is what’s real everything else is bullshit” kind of way that religion is taught in specific denominations, but in a “These are what some people believe and they should be understood” way.

I was educated in a Church of England primary school and a Catholic secondary school. My father is an atheist while my mother was educated by Nuns and has always had a connection to religion for that reason. However, any religious beliefs I had picked up from these places growing up were rapidly quashed by my Catholic education. I think initially because I couldn’t understand what made “that” God specifically any more or less real than others. The Catholic God wasn’t around for thousands of years, it was Thor and Odin and Mars and Zeus and various others. Where did they go? It just confused me. If you’re religious and are reading this I mean no offence, I’m sure for you your specific God is very real, I just kind of feel bad for the Gods of old. It’s a bit like falling out with your friends and suddenly finding your social life has been destroyed and you’re not invited to the party anymore.

So how will I teach Rose about them? I don’t believe in forcing any beliefs on a child, I have always said I want to teach her how to think not what to think, and for that reason, just as I don’t want her indoctrinated into any religions, I don’t want to force her to believe in none of it like me. I want her to be able to decide, to read and learn and understand what and why people believe certain things and then from an educated stand point decide for herself. I will get a copy of religious texts and keep them on the book shelves, I will let her talk to our friends who are Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Pagan etc. Let her learn and ask questions, and should she decide she believes in whichever God she believes in, be it from current religion or older religion, then that is her choice and I will respect it just as I respect it from my religious friends.

I don’t know if any of my religious friends will offer their children the same freedom, but we each do for our children what we believe is best. I do believe it would be best if she decides for herself with reason and logic that none of the available religions are correct but I won’t force her, because I believe freedom is perhaps the biggest gift I can give her.

You can check out all my contact info an links on http://www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also http://www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and The Boy (Jonathan McKinney) and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to http://www.patreon.com/sirenstories.

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!

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10 responses to “Which God, if any?

  1. As a believer in the Roman Catholic Church and a teacher in a Catholic school, I’d love to hear more about how your experience with Catholic school led to your leaving the faith. If you want my thoughts on anything, just let me know, but either way I’d love to learn more about your experiences. Thanks.

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    • Hi,

      For me I found too many flaws, too much selecting bits of the bible to ignore and bits to follow but no explanation as to what makes one bit real and the other metaphorical, too many bits of the bible that directly oppose one another, and historically no reason why the Christian god should be any more real than any other god. I also strongly disagree with the catholic teachings on issues such as homosexuality and contraception, plus the way women are put down and devalued by the religion concerns and offends me.

      I have many close friends who are catholic and disagree with various bit but agree with others and I do not understand how you can follow a religion whilst cherry picking which bits you accept. I don’t mind that its what they believe and follow etc, it doesn’t hurt me, I just don’t understand it.

      But as I say, each to their own.

      Thanks for reading x

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      • Thanks for the response. I would love to give you some of my thoughts on those topics, but only if you’re open to hearing them. Either way, I appreciate the opportunity to come to understand you better. Thanks.

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      • Hi I’d be interested in your thoughts but only if you’re happy to share them in the knowledge I’m highly unlikely to covert. I always like hearing and discussing about different religions but from a strongly outside stand point.

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  2. Hi,
    First of all I have no idea how I got to ur blog. Well I started playing with twitter and *spoof* here I am!
    About the religion, I know people believe in different gods and different religion – for me, it is Islam. I know how ppl visualize Usama Bin Laden’s big beard or terrorists when they think abt Muslims, but I firmly believe that people never describe a religion – they just follow or fail to follow it. I was born as a Muslim , in a muslim family but when i reached 20th bday, I decided to research and come with a conclusion so that I can proudly say that I m a Muslim not becuz my parents were, but because it turned out to bw the one and only real religion with a real God. I believe in God – one God (Allah)…not 4-5 of them like the Greek/Roman mythologies (which even the greeks and Romans dont believe in any more), nor do I believe in Hinduism which believe a cow to be the godess – and some other gods they have appear to b in the world in the form of elephant, snake and monkey (yes, a monkey) !! What I fail to understand is that God is supposed to protect u with his blessings, how on earth can a cow ( who we feed and clean its excretions) be a God? Not even in Tarzan’s imaginary world. Islam believes in Jesus christ and Moses – both of them were Allah’s messengers, just like Adam and prophet Mohammad. No muslim is a muslim if he does not believe that Jesus, Moses, Adam, Mohammad and many others were God’s messengers, ie..they conveyed God’s msg to ppl. The Quran which is the oldest and the only book in the history of religions that was not modified “ever” – never. Thousands of years back it told us about man being born from a swimming sperm ( no medical science was advanced at that time), you can even check the Quran for reference. It told us about the free masons, fights, secterianism, mystery of finger prints and thousands of things that never happened at that time but now the sciene is proving them. If there is no God, what are the true things in Quran all abt? A classroom needs a teacher for decipline, traffic needs a traffic signal else there wud b accidents, etc…how can world work on its own with the sun and moon and stars all working perfectly? Do u still believe it’s mere luck? That is just my observation. Please feel free to google “miracles of quran’ if you are interested in this mega discovery that could change our perception – forever ! Good luck 🙂 xx

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    • Thanks for your comment and I’m pleased for you that you’re happy in your religion and have found it in your own path because it is what is right for you and what makes sense to you. Personally I do not need a divine being, any of them, to tell me how to live and how to follow a moral code, and I don’t believe any of the religious leaders, cows, monkeys, gods, are more or less plausible than any other, but that’s just me and obviously for you that’s not the case. Thanks for reading and for commenting I appreciate it.

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  3. I’m Pagan, hubby is agnostic. Neither of us were baptized, and Molly won’t be either. I agree with your views on teaching religion to children – I was allowed to make up my own mind (although my parents now call my religion “funny ideas”), and my children will be allowed to do the same.

    And whatever they choose to believe will be fine with us.

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    • I definitely think respecting people’s rights to choose for themselves is important. Religion is a funny business and it seems most people just get stuck in whatever religion they’re born into without actually considering what it is they are believing in versus alternatives.

      FYI I don’t think paganism is “funny ideas” of all the religions it’s the one I most feel myself aligned with though I don’t think I’d fully commit myself to it. I just find the beliefs to be the ones I mostly agree with.

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