I've written posts when I was a younger and naive, and angry in that youth and naivety, about religion, or Christianity specifically, that now I don't feel the same about. I've also written posts about how in many ways I am at peace with some aspects of religion, like places of worship, that I still agree with today.
But on this Christmas Eve when Christianity is very much thrown at me, I wonder if I will ever come to terms with these organised and limited ways of living.
I don't mind the culture that comes from it, or the solace people get from it, or the feeling of belonging I suppose a church (or a mosque or a synagogue etc) community might bring but I mind a very great number of things that go hand in hand with religion as well.
And this isn't a groundbreaking piece that's going to shatter the entire concept of religion, obviously, but there's always this niggling feeling I get when I really think about it.
I think often, in the rare occasions that I've ever attended church services, I am genuinely repulsed by the language of the bible. I'm repulsed by its obvious attempt to 'control' its followers. I'm repulsed by its encouragement of self-loathing because you are not God, you are weak, you are ultimately a bad thing. It creeps me out.
I worry about young children being taken to church groups and services because I see something sinister in convincing them of a way of life, a life which can be limiting and harmful, before they get the chance to work things out for themselves.
I despise the image of Christ on his cross with his bloody hands and feet and suffering on his face because how can so much negativity represent a religion so huge and all consuming and how can it be good?
I realise that I point a lot of what I'm saying at Christianity, because it's the religion I'm most familiar with, and so I have less standing ground with everything else. But I'm not asking for a standing ground, not right now, I'm just expressing a feeling. It's a feeling of unease. As much as there is a sense of calm in a church there is, for me, a feeling of unease.
You know, I can't quite put my finger on it, I just know that religion really isn't for me.