LOSS OF FAITH
A loss of faith comes in many forms but no matter how it occurs it usually but not always involves a traumatic event. My loss of faith came on gradually with a growing realization that it was all a pack of lies.
I was born, baptised, and raised a Roman Catholic as my Mother was and all her family before her. Both my biological Father and my step-Dad were non Catholics. My Father was Church of Scotland and my Dad was a very non-practicing Methodist. My religious upbringing was in the hands of my Mom and I can remember having to say the Rosary every night after supper. I made my first communion when I was seven or eight and then I became an altar boy at age nine. I also remember that because I went to the public school I had to attend Sunday School where the Nuns taught us our Cathecisim and I was about 10 or 11 when I became confirmed. All this time I attended Sunday school and Summer school run by both the Nuns and Brothers. I don’t know who were the hardest disciplnarians The Nuns or the Brothers both were pretty strict.
Just before my 14th birthday we moved to Jamaica where my Dad had a job and for the next 18 months we lived there. While there I got into some trouble at school so my parents sent me to a Catholic Boarding school run by the Jesuits. Three months later I was expelled. It was while I was there that I started to doubt what the Church was teaching. It just didn’t seem to be in tune with what I was seeing and reading about. In February of 1958 the job was over and we came back to Canada and I settled down in highschool which was public and had a trades course. The doubts though kept getting stronger and by the time I was 17 I turned my back on religion, all religion. I just couldn’t believe in the Biblical version of God. I didn’t really believe in anything at that time so I guess that put me into the Atheist group. My parents were overseas at the time and so I didn’t have to face my Mother for two more years. When I finally told her she accepted it but I could tell she wasn’t to pleased.
When I was 24 I joined the American Army and went off to fight in VietNam and during the rough times when I was scared I never once called on God to save me. When I was in the Army Hospital in Japan recovering from burns there was a young Catholic Army Chaplain who was leaving the priesthood because he hasd lost his faith. He never told anyone of us why he had lost faith but I think it was because he had served with an infantry unit in Nam and had just seen to much. At the age of 27 I got married and to keep everyone happy my fiance,who was also Catholic, and I were married in the Catholic church. Our two children were baptised in the Catholic faith mainly because my wife ,at the time, was still attending church. I never interfered in the religious upbringing of my daughter as they both attended school in the Catholic system. When they got older they also turned their backs on religion.
Myself, I couldn’t believe in this God sitting on a throne in some mythical place called Heaven but I knew there had to be something behind life and the world around me. My Mother died when I was 49 and when my Dad called to tell me that she had been diagnosed with terminal cancer I went up to their house in Shelburne to see my Mom. I remember walking into the living room and Mom was laying on the couch with her Rosary in her hand. I went over and knelt on the floor beside her and we talked. During our conversation I told her that I could not pray for her as I just didn’t believe, she gave a small sigh and said” that’s all right son, I understand”. That was in August and she died in November. My Mom believed so much in the Church and in God I made up my mind that I would never insult or denegrate anyone who had religious beliefs. If those who do believe find comfort in it then I am pleased for them.
For years I have not believed in God as portrayed in the Bible and it wasn’t until I read an article on Pantheism that I realized that I was one of them.I had finally found out what I believed in “The Universe is God and God Is the Universe”. This is what I believe in whole heartily and if to some that makes me an aethist or an infidel then, that to me puts them in the category of Bigots.