Hi everyone. First of all can I just say to all the people who keep writing to tell me that I’m wrong when I say that Christians are born in debt to Jesus; don’t I realise that debt has already been repaid by Jesus? Well yes, of course, but only in the same way that a finance company will pay off all your current debts, but then you have to pay back the finance company, or there’s going to be trouble. Similarly, if you decide to welsh on the debt that you owe Jesus, the one that he paid with his precious blood, then you’re going to be in big trouble, my friend. In fact big is probably too small a word to describe the kind of trouble you’re going to find yourself in if you reject him as your saviour, because you’re going to fry for eternity. And eternity is not to be trifled with, because it’s forever. And we know this because they measured eternity and it came up exactly forever. And that’s what’s in store for you – eternal unimaginable suffering. And Jesus isn’t going to do a damn thing about it. Why? Because he doesn’t give a shit. That’s how much he loves you. I think after 2000 years if anything he owes us another crucifixion. You can’t live on past glories forever. Who does he think he is, Woody Allen? Come on. Anyway, because of this, today I’d like to say a few words about faith, which I think has the potential to enslave us all by stealth, because I think faith is a very dangerous and misleading word. It contains two completely separate entities which have got nothing at all to do with each other. One is good and one is evil. One is called spirituality, and the other is called religion. One is a private experience, and the other is a public nuisance. One leads to self-knowledge, the other to self-indulgence at everyone else’s expense. In one there is no compulsion, whereas the other depends on compulsion for its survival. One is grounded in innocence, the other in guilt. One embraces life, the other worships death. It’s hard to imagine how these two things could be any more different, yet for some reason they’re always sold to us together in a single package under the banner of faith. If you take one you’ve got to take the other. A bit like a pet shop giving away a free rattlesnake with every bunny rabbit. I’m not saying there isn’t more to this life than meets the eye, because there obviously is. Science has already shown us that. In the subatomic world it turns out that nothing is actually solid, if you can understand that, and some particles are so unpredictable we’re not even sure if they exist or not. They seem to be there and not be there at the same time, a bit like western democracy, or is that just me? But anyway it’s clear that we are part of a reality that we don’t fully understand. And if there’s a life force in this universe, and let’s face it, there must be, otherwise there wouldn’t be any life, it’s natural that we would want to make some connection with it, because everybody wants to feel more alive, right? But there’s no evidence that it requires worshipping, or any form of subservient behaviour, or that we are in any way central to its agenda, or even relevant to it, any more than any other organism on the planet, or in the universe – this universe or any other universe. So in that sense I think we really need to get over ourselves big time. Also, we need to stop pretending that all the manmade trappings of faith, the ornamental accessories if you like, are really anything more than just that. I’m talking about scripture, dogma, ritual, prophecy, religious law – all these things that have been put there to give religion some kind of structure, and to be fair that’s why they’re there, isn’t it It’s a bit like dressing the invisible man. Once he’s got some clothes on. you can see him. But of course you don’t see him; you see the clothes. And that’s the problem. Everyone has become so obsessed with the goddamned clothes we’ve forgotten if there was ever anyone there in the first place. If you’re a spiritual person, you don’t need religion, and you know it. And you’re certainly not interested in forcing your beliefs on to anybody else. If you’re not a spiritual person, then what the bloody hell are you doing on your knees praying like an idiot? Like some dog that’s been taught how to do something without understanding why. Get up and stop making a fool of yourself. Because your faith is not a virtue, it’s a vice. It’s a slave to dogma, to scriptural certainties which nevertheless are open to self-interested interpretation by men. Now, I’m sure even you can see the obvious flaw in that little arrangement. Also, faith in its Alice in Wonderland way, defines and measures itself according to lack of evidence. The less evidence there is, the more faith is required, and the more worthy it is of respect and deference, for some reason, not to mention large amounts of public money, generous tax breaks, and the freedom to fill the minds of innocent young children with violent superstitions and baseless fears. And this to me really is the curse of faith, and it’s something that shames us all from generation to generation, the cowardly way that we allow religion to be forced on to children in a clear violation of their human rights. Hypnotising them almost at birth, hijacking their lives, and turning them into little Christians, little Muslims, little Jews, before they have a chance to understand the first thing that’s involved. We live in such civilised times in the 21st century, don’t we? Human rights are everything to us. We fall over ourselves to give compensation to every cheap chancer, every lowlife criminal scumbag whose precious feelings have been hurt, but we don’t give a damn about the rights of children having their minds moulded and stunted by others before they’ve had a chance to fully form. Like dead-heading flowers before they’ve bloomed. It’s crime against humanity, is what it is, and one day it will be against the law. Tell that to Jesus, if you see him, and tell him from me to go and screw himself, to the nearest tree. Peace, and who knows, maybe one day civilisation.