12 Jan

MAUSOLEUM photo: Mausoleum IMG_0221_zps5345da28.jpg  It worries me sometimes that important messages can be lost in over-emphasis and repetition, and that I’m as guilty as the next man of both over-emphasising and repeating, but sometimes there are aspects of serious matters that need to be looked at separately.

Take vicars, priests and even the Pope, for instance.

I have been known to write that the best route to salvation on this planet of ours is to face up to the realities of life, the environment and so on and not depend on the mistaken belief in an impossible deity to solve things for us as long as we offer a bit of armed help. And I sincerely believe that all the evidence available to me screams this loud and clear and that those men and women (mostly men) in the employ of religions – all religions – should find themselves unemployed sooner rather than later.

The fact is, either there is something in the major religions, the god-based ones, or there isn’t. And they have all emerged from ancient texts, composed in part as histories and in part as legal guidance chipped into stone tablets, from an age so long lost that the only real relevance to us today is that the writers and thinkers back then were an early part of the human race. Yet their world and understanding of it was vastly different to ours. It had to be. They had barely discovered the usefulness of metals. Their understanding of the heavens was of a “primum mobile” as medieval philosophers called it, a solid set of concentric rings surrounding the Earth, which itself was the centre of everything that had ever been created. And from this mistaken science they worked out a beginning for the world they lived on. It had to have a beginning because that’s what everything has. A beginning or creation, quite rationally, needed a creator. The concept of natural laws from which creation can emerge was beyond their wildest dreams. And they wrote their poems and stories, their verses and rhymes, with that misunderstanding in mind.

In fact, they created God because their concept of reality demanded it.

But that was so long ago we’ve no idea just how much things have changed. We might think we have, but we haven’t.

And it’s against this lack of understanding of the realities of life at the start of the human race that many of us have asked why the old theories, disproved as they have been as a better understanding of reality has emerged, persist to try and ensnare us. We, who no longer need gods, have to live with their shadows because there are always people who proclaim their right to believe in them. Yet you can demand the right to believe in anything or even everything, but that right doesn’t make your beliefs real, it merely makes you partially insane.

Yet there are vicars and priests everywhere. Many of them are kindly elderly men who know that what they are doing is good and by doing it they will earn them a place in Heaven, which they can’t see doesn’t exist. Of course, there are others who are less than perfect and know, with a corner of their minds, that if they’re going anywhere at life’s ending it’s bound to by hell.

In my student days I met a young curate who wanted to show an ancient and deserted mausoleum to a friend and myself. We’d been discussing ghosts and spirits over a pint of good ale, and he took us some miles off the beaten track and into the mausoleum. True, it was eerie and you could fool yourself into thinking that the dead interred within it were spiritually hanging around, ready to reclaim life at the end of time, and yet all it really was was an old pile of stones and bricks with a damp interior and a bit of an atmosphere. But it represented more than that to the young curate. It represented the reason he wore a dog-collar. And back in those days, before cynicism bit into my psyche, I almost understood. His faith was based on atmosphere, on a deep reverence for the past and the wisdom that he believed had evaporated away since then. I wonder if he’s still contemplating the magic of the dead? Whatever he’s doing he’s probably still reading the same old texts.

Because vicars and priests and imams have always existed doesn’t make them untouchable or specially privileged so that they can step aside from rules that govern the rest of us. Their ilk has grown fat on forced donations from even the poorest for long enough, and even if the kindly old vicar in the church down the road no longer twists arms for his percentage, his time must be surely up. He can become a social worker, a benevolent guide through the realities of life and kick his god into touch, along with all other gods. There are some words that are too dangerous if spread, because they are lies. Then his peculiar warped faith will have a chance to die a decent death.

© Peter Rogerson 12.01.13



  1. georgiakevin April 6, 2015 at 1:50 am #

    This was clearly and well written. Your post is well done indeed!

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