I am the author of The Cage, and this is my blog.
I remember standing in the front lawn of our little New England starter home, when I was eleven or twelve, staring across the street at our neighbor’s house, shocked with my first real epiphany. I did not believe in God.
Not that I was no longer certain of the Catholic faith I had been raised in. I hadn’t much thought it about it. Not that I felt betrayed by anyone or anything, or that I was troubled I couldn’t prove God’s existence. None of these things. I simply admitted honestly that nothing of what I had ever been told about the divine was at all persuasive, and I strongly suspected it never would be.
I was slowly and haltingly putting my finger on something: What I had been taught were stories that people told each other, in order to tell themselves, because the stories were helpful in some way, comforting perhaps, reassuring, or maybe just convenient.
It was not a moral judgment. I was beginning a journey toward the realization that this is something people do for reasons that are buried in millions of years of evolution. Of course, the same can be said about homicide. I’m not justifying it. What I personally feel about religion, whether in the form of Catholicism or Communism or Conservatism, is hardly the point. The point is to be able to think about things.
Which may be a profoundly anti-religious sentiment. But there it is.