Un/Faithful

Tell us about the role that faith plays in your life — or doesn’t.

I’m posting this while I wait for a water pump to move some of the water lapping at my door and dump it into the field at the other side of the house. My cousin came across to see how bad it was and said that the rain had been “of Biblical proportions”. I’m lucky that the house hasn’t been flooded and is probably unlikely to be and I’m gutted for the people who have been seriously affected by the amount of rain we’ve seen over the last few weeks, but I’m not sure at what point the rains become Biblical.

Religion is a difficult subject for me. They (that body of Universal Wisdom called “They”) say that one should not talk about politics and religion and this is because it means different things to different people. However, it’s not the difference that causes difficulty but the lack of acceptance of the difference.

I went to a school where we had assembly every day and I learnt Religious Studies from kindergarten all the way till I was 16.

A personal issue I have at the moment is being pigeon holed and pigeon holing; or, to phrase it another way, calling someone something based on their beliefs or actions whether that is fair or not and not accepting that they can question things and change. This is the case with mainstream politics or with movements such as feminism or the football team you support as well as religion. Are you Liberal or Labour or Conservative just because you back one of their policies? Does my belief in equality make me a feminist or just a decent human being? Did I become less of a Liverpool fan because I didn’t like our star player biting another player but still cheered when he next scored a goal?

And this is my “problem” with religion – I have a lot of questions about it! I consider myself a Christian. I believe that there was once a guy called Jesus who gave a lot of hope to a lot of people by his words and deeds. I think Christianity, like a lot of other religions, describes a wonderful set of ideals and rules by which one or a collective church can live together with others in a state of peace. But, for example, how did Noah get two polar bears to the Middle East to spend 40 days and 40 nights on his boat with their natural prey, and then take them all back again alive? And, more fundamentally, are sins actually forgiven by anyone’s higher being, or do the lessons of that religion give us hope that, while we all screw up occasionally, it doesn’t mean that we can’t still live a good life.

Google (possibly the the closest thing a few people see to omnipotence) defines faith as “strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof”. The lack of proof is the important part, but for me it’s the degree of strength in the belief that causes me to question whether others would allow me to be part of their religion. One of my abiding memories of school is a particular instance where a teacher of mine saw a teacher from another school that I knew from somewhere else and her first comment about him was “Yes, he’s a Christian”. Would my questions ever allow her to classify me as a such?

What my religion tells me, irrespective of how it is named, is that a good moral compass is something well worth having. My faith tells me that this good moral compass will take me to where I need to be.

I hope that makes sense without being too controversial.

You might lose your faith in science.
You might lose faith in wealth.
You might lose your faith in Jesus,
or lose faith in yourself.

But, when I let you down,
look past your doubt.
Just, please, please,
don’t lose your faith in me.

You could lose faith in music,
or lose faith in your friends.
You could lose your faith in breathing,
feel trapped in your own skin.

Oh, but I’ll be right there beside you,
when the walls are caving in.
Oh, I’m not going anywhere.
But, when I let you down,
look past your doubt.
Just please, please,
don’t lose your faith in me.
Please don’t lose your faith in me.

Oh,Oh,oh….
I’m not going anywhere.

But, when I let you down,
look past your doubt.
Just please, please,
don’t lose your faith in me.
Please don’t lose your faith in me.

I’m not going anywhere.

Faith (When I Let You Down) by Taking Back Sunday

Comments 1

  1. “However, it’s not the difference that causes difficulty but the lack of acceptance of the difference.” What a great line!

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