A friendly study of the world’s religions is a sacred duty


“God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style. ” PABLO PICASSO

I found this quote accompanying a charming picture of a giraffe on Friday February 15, 2008 in The Times. I had no idea that it would lead to the phenomenon that is today’s blog post.

As an atheist I have always been fascinated by religion. I think that might be because I have an overwhelming desire to know what’s going on and to be included in everything. So when there’s large groups of people believing and doing something, maybe I feel excluded from it. From another point of view, there’s also a large group of people following the atheism route, so maybe I am part of that group instead.

Is it my right to be intrigued by religion? As a non-believe should I be cast to the sidelines, ready to declare that everybody is barking up the wrong tree? When the God-squad call round, I like it, not because I try to convince them that they are wrong but because I like listening to their opinions, so I can form my own and know that we are not all the same.

Is there any one particular religion that I am fond of? I suppose I have had the most encounters with Christianity, but I don’t think it’s my favourite. I think my favourite is probably Buddhism, because I think something that has a fat man as the central point that you can rub the belly of for good luck is a nice sentiment. Also, as I’ve decided I’m going to live forever, reincarnation is probably the only outlet through which this might be possible. Hang on what am I saying – I’m an atheist. I take it all back. I have no favourite religion, they are all equal.

It’s not everyday that I have such profound moments, where I sit at the kitchen table and write an essay about religion, but then again, it’s not every day that you would want to read my profundity, so perhaps that is the real reason. Most days I’m sure you just want to see pictures of Boris Johnson or listen to my musings on Smarties. But I think sometimes it’s good to think, but not too often or that might get dangerous.

So how to conclude today’s piece? Should I consider why it is that religion has touched me so deeply, when I don’t even believe in it. I don’t believe in fairies either but I don’t give them much thought. Maybe I should? Next time this blog goes off on a similar vein it should be about the fairy world, or maybe the pixie world, or the goblin world, or the elf or imp world. Maybe I could provide a once and for all definitive guide as to the differences between them all. Is it of any relevance that this blog post comes on a Sunday or is it all just coincidence? Is everything a coincidence – is there such a thing as coincidence? You decide, I’ve done too much thinking today.

And after all this, perhaps there is one thing that I haven’t considered.

Maybe I just liked the picture of the giraffe.

N.B. Today’s blog title comes from Ghandi, thanks pal.

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