I found myself in church tonight – ramblings of a bad atheist

I found myself in church tonight. I don’t know why I was there. I do, but it’s embarrassing. I clicked on the footage of the Syrian people struggling to breathe after the chemical attack yesterday. All I wanted to do was pray.

Who do I write to? My local member? Wayne Swan? What can he do? What would he do? Where do we gather to march? To protest? Send a fucking tweet? What’s the point of that?

No wonder people believe. Real life is too messed up.

I’m powerless. There is nothing I can do. Maybe there’s never been much we can do about things that happen far away. In all of human history we’ve been powerless. But globalisation – and global media coverage – has meant we think our world is small and that we have power and a say.  I don’t think we do have any power over anything. We never did.

….

I’m a bad atheist. I want to be a good one. But my childhood comes back to haunt me. I sat in the church tonight. The smells are familiar. The seats are the same. The stations of the cross. The awful singing. The routine. Only no hymn books just screens and a powerpoint. It was familiar and meditative. I don’t know if I believe. I don’t want to believe. I hate the Church and yet am drawn to it. I want to sit in my grandmother’s lounge room like we used to and say the Rosary. It’s absurd. I feel absurd as I type these words.

I went to Church hoping Father would say something meaningful. He’s read the philosophies – it’s his job – tell me why humans are so fucked to each other. But all he fucking talks about was euthanasia and abortion. Can he hear himself? Of all weeks in the world that’s what he talks about? Jesus.

No wonder I stopped going.

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