LETTER: Why I opted out of religion

On April 7, the Your View section contributor in the Herald was Michael Harris of South Cliff and his subject matter was ‘More support is needed for inter-faith activities’.

While he touched on the events of war and conflict and the thousands who believe that bombs, chemical weapons, torture and deprivation of human rights is the route to satisfy their delusions, he makes no mention of the part that religion has played in wars.

I’m no historian but my understanding is that religion has been the base cause of so very many past and current conflicts.

He then goes on to lament the failure of churches in and around Eastbourne to embrace inter-faith activities and create a better understanding between those of different religions and colour.

Well, on December 9 2015 Sheik Abid Gulzar arranged a blessing of Eastbourne Pier by the Bishop of Lewes. The occasion was variously reported as a multi-faith ceremony with more than 500 people attending despite pouring rain and high winds. If Mr Harris didn’t attend, then he missed a golden (pun intended) opportunity to partake in exactly that which he is extolling.

A quote from his final paragraph, ‘All who are self-burdened with biased thoughts and negativity, cast them aside and advance with an open mind for the benefit of all’. Fascinating and worthy of note, Mr Harris.

When my initial training in HM Forces ended in 1962 and church parades became no longer compulsory I totally opted out of religion. I don’t get it and see it as a very controlling and divisive mechanism.

In essence I’m a Humanist and respect those from whatever background and whichever religion or not they have in their own life.

I’ve survived well and, now in my seventh decade, like to think that my many friends and acquaintances might describe me as a good egg. After all, last week was Easter!

PAUL WOOLMER

Wannock Drive, Polegate