No God, Please – We’re British

The original title for this post was ‘Why I don’t tell people I’m a C******n.’  Well , why don’t I?

Here’s why: as soon as you mention the C-word, someone out there is bound to react strongly.  Most people react in one of two ways: the most common way, until recently that is, has been fear and embarrassment: the fear that I might suddenly grab their hand, look lovingly into their eyes and say, ‘God bless you’ with one of those nauseatingly beatific smiles; the embarrassment that would ensue.  I know it happens, but believe me, I ain’t gonna go there cos I’ve had it done to me, and it’s not pretty.  So that’s one reaction and probably the most common.  We are British, after all.  No God here, thank you!  But then more recently, now that atheists, led by their prophet Richard Dawkins, have become more vociferous, it is more common for people to react in a hostile way – as though I might be about to shove my dogma down their throat in some kind of oral rape act.  So that as soon as you mention the C-word you immediately have to issue a series of disclaimers.  I feel like carrying a little list round with me: No, I’m not homophobic.  No, I’m not against other religions *.  No, I’m not anti-abortion.  Anti-yoga?  Hell, no – I used to teach yoga.  And so on – and on…  Frankly, I’d rather just not go there.  So I just don’t mention it.

Now I wouldn’t mind so much if, in person, I were some kind of evangelical pain in the arse; if I went on and on about my faith – if looked into people’s eyes with a beatific smile or evangelised at the drop of a biretta – but I don’t, because I know exactly how annoying that is.  It’s just that sometimes the mildest suggestion of some kind of faith can provoke the same reaction as an evangelistic rant; as though the merest suspicion of proselytising is suspect and must be immediately stamped on.  There’s a lot of hostility out there, and some people seem to think it’s but a step and a hop from vaguely religious sentiment to full-blown intolerant dogma.

Don’t get me wrong.  I understand where it’s coming from – and to some extent historically the churches have only themselves to blame for it.  Even nowadays it’s going on – every time I hear yet another insane comment from the Westboro Baptist Church:

or some intransigent policy statement from the Catholic establishment, I blench.  And I groan.  Because that’s not me.  But I’d rather not have to keep saying so: I’d rather not have to keep issuing disclaimers.  And that is why I don’t tell people that I’m a C******n.

Feel free to post embarrassed or hostile comments.  LOL.  And check out this vid from Mark in which he claims that Jesus is on the side of the atheists:

Today I shall be mostly… going for a walk and not having coffee with Helen.

Kirk out

*in fact I think they are all paths to God


10 thoughts on “No God, Please – We’re British

      1. I am also British.
        Also, now that you mention it, I suppose there are time where it would be appropriate for me to say “I don’t believe that” or “I’m not religious” and I don’t (expect when Jehovah’s Witnesses turn up).

      2. definitely appropriate with JW’s. I hadn’t thought of it being true the other way round but I can see it could be an issue


      3. I also meant to ask… how often are you in situation where it would be appropriate to say “I’m a Christian”. I’m an atheist, and in the real world I never have to tell people. I think it comes up more during drunken conversations about the expanse of the cosmos than at work or a quiet lunch… even in this festive season.

      4. It’s a good point I suppose and you wouldn’t normally say it when introducing yourself. But often when it would be relevant to mention it, I don’t


  1. It’s pretty much the same as mentioning you’re a vegetarian or a home educator, or my political persuasion which I’m not even going to mention as I don’t particularly want to get into some sort of argument or be bashed…and no it’s definitely NOT the BNP…never in a million years! I don’t mention much of my life at all any more as I need to actually get on with that life rather than spend the rest of it defending myself. Mentioning chronic illness and Bipolar disorder tend to make go quiet, which is embarassing and then I wonder what they’re thinking.

    1. I can see that, definitely with the bipolar. I guess with vegetarianism it depends who you’re with but I suppose you can often go through the ‘why are you vegetarian’ and ‘do you eat dairy’? debate with a lot of people. In Leicester people generally just seem to nod and get on with it, though ironically in our church we do sometimes have to remind people. Still they do try…


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