A trip to the Vatican did nothing to convert me back
They say there are two topics you shouldn't discuss over dinner: politics and religion. To my mind, the two topics should be toilets and sex, but each to their own.
Today I want to talk about religion (it's unlikely you'll hear me talk about politics here).
I was raised a Catholic. Baptised as a baby, attended Catholic schools, went to church regularly with my family; the whole thing.
But, as soon as I left school, that was that. No more churches (except for weddings, funerals and beautiful old churches when travelling), no pretending to believe in something that never quite sat right with me.
All those years of attending church and school masses, all that chanting of the same prayers over and over - none of it was me. Even in early primary school, I remember sitting in church (and standing, then sitting, then kneeling, then standing...) wondering why.
Why was everyone chanting along? Did it mean anything to any of them? Or were they just saying memorised words like I was?
I learnt a lot about religion along the way - thirteen years of a Catholic education will do that - and I know that millions of people around the world believe in some form of religion. I know that some take great comfort in it, some live and breathe it, and others like being part of something bigger than themselves.
But me? No. It just isn't me.
We haven't baptised Abbey, because I don't believe in making someone part of a religion without then following through on it - teaching them about it and raising them as part of that community. I couldn't make that commitment; it would have been hypocritical. Instead, I want her to learn about all religions from an outside perspective, to know what it all means. Knowledge is understanding.
And if, one day, she decides to join a religion, all I will ask is that she does so with a full understanding of what it involves.
It's my choice not to practice my religion, and it's an educated decision. That's all I want for my daughter too: to make informed decisions.