I admit that I don’t know why religion exists, and I am confused by the many different kinds of religions, each is the only real one in the minds and hearts of devotees. I correct myself – the heart is but a muscular pump, devoid of thought and feeling. Perhaps religion is somewhat the same, with thought and feeling artificially injected into followers’ lives. It can’t be just natural, because it’s so preposterous.

We have scientific proof that we evolved – along with everything else on earth – according to the laws of nature. The concept of a ‘god’ on high is, to me, unacceptable. He has been depicted as an elder man, bearded. Some prefer to think of ‘god’ as a woman, or a black person. To me, all the alternative suggestions are preposterous.

I’ve suffered through the teachings of the religion of my parents. I learned the strange language that flows from right to left, the opposite of English and most every other language save those of other Semitic tribes. The characters in each language are unlike anything in English, and I had to learn some of it at least, so I could read the holy scrolls, the ‘Torah’, on my bar mitzvah. A useless exercise, except for the rather fine and useful gifts I received from attendees at the celebration. Mainly, the event created an opportunity for my father to honour some business contacts with invitations to join in the feast. Because of this, half the people at the celebration were unknown to me, while the other half I knew well because they were aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

In the end, as an aged adult, I am a purely committed atheist, and have no fear of death because I believe it will simply be a timely end to a long, full, varied life. Although my parents’ religion forbids it, I hope my children and brother and best friend will let me be cremated. I’d rather be in a small jar on my daughter’s shelf than in an expensive box lined with satin buried deep in the earth. The parasites would make short work of me, and the idea is revolting to me.

The importance of religion is lost on me. In my lifetime I’ve seen only strife, violence and prejudice coming out of religion over the ages. Read Mark Twain’s “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” if you want to get some idea of how evil religion was in the time of King Arthur. I was born in the 1930s, before open ridicule of minorities was forbidden. In my grammar school days, I suffered much harassment from schoolmates who came from anti-Semitic families and learned hatred at their dinner tables.

Finally, I believe the fancy plumage worn by priests, cardinals, popes and the rest is just costuming for the show they perform. It’s a trick and they know it. The steeples, the grand edifices and all the interior grandeur of churches, synagogues, mosques and what have you, are just to help us accept the preposterous concept of god, or gods, or relatives of god. It’s unproven, unnecessary nonsense. Anyway, that’s how I see it.