i live in Belfast, Northern Ireland. and have seen enough bombs, guns, death and terror to last anyone a lifetime, and when it comes to the point where you realise that religion has a big part in this, you kinda have to decide whether you believe enough to want to kill like these other people you hear about on the news or if your unlucky enough you have witnessed them first hand on the street. NOW, stuffs changed though, yeah, NOW they're fighting over LAND! lol. oh well, any excuse i guess... but my point is that Ireland is still widely viewed as a deeply religious country, but the majority of people i know are pretty secular. and tend to think for themselves. so i mean, if we can do it, surely everyone else can too? religion is a very silly thing to become entangled in. if your scared of death just SAY SO, there's really no need to talk to an invisible friend and ask him for forgiveness even though you have done nothing wrong. everybody has done something wrong obviously, but not to the point where it will have earned you eternal damnation! (right and wrong depends on your own morals and values, not others). but don't get me wrong, i tried being Christian once... I didn't work out obviously, i guess I just realised how stupid it makes people look. I'd rather be seen as a thinker before i die, not a hoper.

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we're in the minority me thinks. but NI is becoming more secular thank g... [ahem] goodness. :)
Just wanted to say hi; I'm an American but I fell in love with Ireland when I visited back in 2005. I studied Irish literature extensively while I was there (I majored in English) and while lots of it relates to religion in some way, there were plenty of freethinkers, even back in the early 20th Century.
"How stupid it makes people look."  Very good observation and it has been my exact position and opinion for a very long time, a very long time indeed.  I wonder if you share this; when I come to know someone whom I get to feel is clever and smart and then discover they are 'believers" I fell a large let-down and I tend to respect them just that much less.  I can be friends with anyone.

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