After the Tram crash chapter 17.
As usual all the characters belong to ITV.
Author's note: I am sorry about the Elephantine gestation period of this chapter. I had exams last week for my MSc. In addition I found this chapter quite difficult to write. Like Tanya I am an atheist and have been since childhood. Consequently I really have found it quite difficult to get into the mind of a believer, it is an alien world to me, perhaps those of you who are believers could tell me why you believe in comments and I could incorporate those reasons into a future discussion.
Summary: Sophie and Sian have been fostered to a lesbian couple called Emma and Tanya following the death of Sophie's parents and granddad in the tram crash and the arrest of Sian's parents.
The Girls have a chat with Tanya
After tea they went with Tanya into her study.
”Tanya, could we chat about why you don't believe in God please?” asked Sophie.
”Yeah I'd like to talk to you about that too.” added Sian.
”OK we could do that. But for me it is for those who assert the existence of something to justify their assertion. So perhaps the way to start is for you two to tell me why you believe in God.” Tanya had tried to be gentle, something she didn't find easy with this subject.
”Well I suppose I think that the Universe must have been created somehow.” Sophie was trying to collect her thoughts. She'd never been challenged like this before. It was difficult.
”And you think God must have created it?” Tanya asked, Sophie nodded before Tanya continued “but that does rather beg the question 'who created God?' doesn't it?”
This floored both Sophie and Sian. They were going to find this more difficult than they had imagined. Sian's mother had taken her to church and she'd never questioned it. So this questioning was more disconcerting than she'd imagined any question could be. She'd thought it would be simple really. The Universe had to have a creator, an intelligence. No not quite, if she was honest, as some of the things she'd learned in biology challenged the idea that life needed a creator in the form of a God.
She'd done some research on the internet and found the late Dr Athur Peackocke's book of selected essays entitled “Evolution: Disguised Friend of Faith?” she'd read an extract on Google Books but hadn't really understood it. The arguments seemed convoluted in the extreme.
”Why does God need a creator, He's supernatural” even as Sophie said this it felt like a cop out.
”Umm not sure how to respond to that gently to be honest.” Tanya did not want to humiliate but that 'supernatural' argument invited humiliation.
”Yeah it sounded like a cop out to me too.” Sophie agreed.
”Well why don't you think about what we've said and maybe talk to other people about it. Also there is one personal story you might want to listen to. Julia Sweeney is an American comedian who was brought up Roman Catholic. She has been a devout Catholic for much of her life. However she lost her religion and is now an atheist. She wrote a comedy monologue about it, I thoroughly recommend it.1”
”I think I am going to have to do some thinking. Thanks Tanya!” said Sophie
”Me too, thanks!” said Sian.
Sophie and Sian walked up the stairs to their rooms. They sat down at the desktop computer and looked on the home server for Julia Sweeney's monologue. They listened to it and laughed a lot, but afterwards they were sad because they saw how challenging keeping hold of their faith would be.
”I think we need to talk to Emma.” said Sian, adding “She is a believer still and must have talked to Tanya about it.”
”Yeah and I think we should also do some more research ourselves. But it''s late, let's go to bed now.” said Sophie.
To be continued
1 Letting Go of God – available via iTunes and thoroughly worth the money!!