It's not often a television show makes you think about the big questions in life. But I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes over an episode of Glee. Yes, Glee, that frothy song and dance show, like a cheesy movie in weekly installments. Season 2 episode 2 to be precise. (I'm in the UK, we just got the second season). It centres on Kurt, the gay, fashion addict one. His dad has a heart attack, and he has to face questions about mortality, love and God. Yep, the Big Guy gets dragged into all the musical madness. The lighter hearted storyline has Finn, the not very bright football player, sees Jesus in his grilled cheese sandwich and leads to the various glee club members professing their religious affiliations and beliefs. Kurt declares he doesn't believe in God because His followers don't care for him, and that it's a cruel joke to make someone gay and then have other people attack them for it.
I was raised Church of England (Anglican), baptised, sent to church schools, confirmed and then I quit going. I spent a long time in Sunday School classes wondering whether what I was being told, and what was forced down my throat in RE, was remotely true.
A lot of my friends are gay, a lot of them went to the same church schools and spent their Sundays listening to a man in a frock tell them what was what too, there's a certain crossover. A lot of my friends are religious, of different faiths and I respect them for their beliefs.
I fell out with organised religion in my teens, the Church and my beliefs, opinions and politics don't agree.
It's a testy subject. One of the few that's hard to discuss. People get very angry if they feel they're under attack, even when they're not.
I support my friends right to be who they are, not who someone misquoting the Bible thinks they should be. I'm pro-choice, the life of the currently living, breathing woman matters more than a bundle of cells that isn't a baby yet, but I don't think it's something that should ever be a form of contraception, be responsible for your own bodies!
I don't think one religion is more or less valid than any other. All religions argue this point.
I believe in Love. It's the thing that's greater than we are. Interpret that as you will. For me, love for your fellow humans, for the furry (and not so furry) critters we share this planet with, for the planet itself is greater than any god you can imagine. For me that is God. Add an 'o' you get Good. And in the end, isn't that what really matters, that we lead good lives, that we love honestly and openly. That we are true to ourselves and treat others kindly. For me it is. Whatever you believe, whoever you are.