Losing my organised religion

On her 11th birthday, my baby girl put on a sparkly dress, her sister’s makeup and a floppy hat, and went to see her first concert. Her ticket was paid for by her best friend. He wanted to make her happy. She was cross with me as she sauntered off because I told her that 11-year-olds don’t need to wear foundation. She told me I didn’t understand how much she needed to look lovely at the show. She was busting to scream, sing and be carried away with her friends by the music of Taylor Swift.

Whatever adults think of Tay-Tay or One Direction or Take That or Bay City Rollers or the Spice Girls or Metallica is not the point. At your first concert, you get to feel the live magic of your hero, your crush, your superstar; the artist whose tunes helped you through your heartache, with other people who feel the same devotion. For 90 minutes we forget that life can be shitty, that people disappoint, that friends let us down. We sway and dance in the dark and hear our music. Sinead O’Connor is my woman, I spent my grocery money on buying a ticket to her show two years ago, because I knew I had to hear that voice live once in my life.

This week young adults and kids in Manchester said goodbye to their mums and dads to head off for the night of their young lives, seeing their girl Ariana Grande sing songs for them. Some of them were just old enough to leave their parents at home. Those innocent kids won’t be coming back to tell their families how happy Ariana made them on the last night of their brief lives.

22 white Westerners die and the world is outraged, but more than 55,000 children have died in Syria, 7% of Catholic priests in Australia have been accused of child abuse and 200,000 aboriginal people massacred by ‘Christian’ settlers. This week I’ve had enough, I’m blaming righteous god botherers for the world’s problems, and the hypocritical males who run these archaic institutions. I can’t see what is attractive about your religion, what you believe in is bullshit if your beliefs dictate that you hide people who bomb babies, cover for men who sexually abuse children then deny it, and steal land from indigenous peoples in the name of an imaginary god. Your books preach love and your actions show that you hate your fellow humans, particularly the smaller ones. No wonder people are losing faith.