That's me in the spotlight,
That's me in the corner,
losing my religion.
I have a feeling that part of the problem with Christmas this year, is that it's the first year in my life when I really, truly know that I don't believe.
It will be the first year that I do not go to church or a carol service of any sort, by choice.
You see, I have wrestled for years with my Christian faith. And have come to the conclusion that it is not OK with me. There are too many central tenets which are antithetical to my personal beliefs.
I do not believe in the Christian idea of heaven.
I do not believe that god is "our father"
I do not believe in a virgin birth
I do not believe in the creator god of the old testament
I positively abhor the god who smites and advocates death and destruction as judgement against his enemies. That is not what or who GOD is.
I despise what has been done in the name of god throughout the centuries
I do not believe that Jesus is the only son of God
I do not believe that god is male... or female
I do not agree with only men being allowed to minister.
I do not believe in the resurrection
Nor do I believe in the rite of eucharist.
It is pretty undeniable that I am NOT Christian.
To paraphrase Emerson, " I am ashamed to see what a shallow village tale our so-called religion is".
I have read and re-read the bible. Debated on the doorstep with Jehovah's Witnesses. I have read spiritual texts from many people and belief systems. At grad school in Cambridge I used to go to church twice on a Sunday - mainly for the beautiful music. As a mum of one I used to go to Quaker meeting most Sundays. I have had a lot of religion in my life.
But I now know that I cannot call myself Christian.
I am spiritual. Deeply so. And believe in a universal god energy.
But I know that my rejection of Christianity puts me at odds with so many - some who analyse their own faith deeply, and others who live inside it like a cosy old jumper which was handed down to them by their grandmother. A large part of me is sad that I cannot do that, be like that too. It would be much safer, easier, accepted, acceptable, straight forward.
And so here I am this Christmas - knowing that for the first time in my life it really isn't about the baby Jesus for me. It truly isn't. It is about the light and darkness. And celebration, feasting and family. And so tomorrow, we shall celebrate Solstice with friends, food and creativity. That is what feels most "true" for me. But the Pagan festivals are not settled in my soul either. They are new to me.
So here I stand. Between traditions. Knowing what is not true for me. Sensing what might be. Everything is shifting, it feels uncertain.