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Meditation 1351
A Choir Boy's Confession

by: Mike Newell

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I had a very Christian education, mostly Anglo-Catholic, in several awful British boarding schools, schools for emotionally disturbed teachers!  I spent far too much time in my childhood years, in churches, chapels and cathedrals as a choir boy... so I spent countless hours listening to dreary, lengthy sermons from pontificating, hypercritical priests! In addition, despite endless schoolroom ‘religious instruction’ classes, I gave little or no serious thought to religion… I just felt that so much of the Old and New Testaments, strained my credulity to breaking point.

I went on to become an actor in London and on Broadway, stage ,television radio and films. And then Evangelist Billy Graham brought his ‘Revival” to Wembley Stadium in London in 1955 and a friend persuaded me to go along to see this American Fundamentalist preacher (who the late Christopher Hitchens referred to as ‘that racist charlatan from Charlotte’.)

Anyway , somehow I got caught up in the fever of the moment and joined the crowds of ‘converts’... for all of two weeks!

After an intensive course in Bible study, I was told to “stop asking all these questions… just have faith”. I quit!

For the next 50 years or so, I gave very little thought to religion… I just felt that those who wanted to believe all that stuff, were welcome to it!

I knew that all those ancient fables and fairy stories, seemed pretty senseless to me.  

BUT… coming to live with daughter and grand kids for the last ten years or so, here in Virginia’s BIBLE BELT (for my sins!), I’ve been surrounded by Born Again Baptists with big bottoms and barely any brains.

I’ve virtually felt forced to research Christianity, and see if I could make any sound sense of it. And the fact of it is that the more I’ve studied the Bible in detail, the more Atheist I’ve become!  (and in the meantime, my daughter’s husband has become Born Again! What irony!)  

Of course the Bible contains some lovely verses and passages that are beautiful and inspiring!...but what about the REST?!

Seems to me that any reasonable, thinking person will find the remainder disgusting, disgraceful, shocking, unjust, uncivilized and evil… yes evil… and all too often, ludicrous and sometimes downright laughable! (Like David paying Saul for his second wife with 200 Philistine foreskins!

The really good bits of ‘The Good Book’ could be condensed into a very slim pamphlet!

Thankfully, I live in a land of free speech…and since I consider religion and politics and psychology the three most interesting topics… I don’t intend to stop thinking about them or talking and writing about them… ever! (No one need listen to what I say or read what I write!)

I’d just like to add… that it’s not that I’m convinced that there isn’t  a God… it’s just that in the last eighty five years, I haven’t seen anything to convince me that there IS!



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