This week I wiped the iPod I keep in the car. 16 gigabytes of sacred music gone. No more credo and kyrie, no more agnus and hosanna. I’m done with it. Instead, opera, concerto and symphony fill the car when I’m driving.

The conception and birth of two of my granddaughters was as miraculous as that conception and birth celebrated during Christmas. Yet, at their recent christening ceremony, they were condemned as sinful, under the wrath of a God who sends his own son to be executed. A blood sacrifice is required to atone for the eternal guilt of these two beautiful and innocent little girls. I am done with a church that teaches substitutionary atonement.

I am done with searching in a book to find eternal life. I am done with the literal interpretation of symbols and metaphors that at most stammer of the ineffable. I am done with the barriers thrown up by the insiders to keep the outsiders resolutely out: marital law transgressors, Β women and gays.

I am done with believing the unbelievable, so that the unacceptable – I – may be acceptable. I am done with a worldview that considers self consciousness as a fall from a state of original goodness. I am done with the demand to abandon the pinnacle of evolution, the ability to say “I am”, in order to regress into the mindless prepersonal mentality of a sheep or to progress into a transpersonal cosmic soup where all individuation dissolves into a meaningless oneness.

Religion is the endeavour that deals with the coming of age of mankind, of becoming self conscious. The self is theΒ problem to religion. It represses the self, absolves from the guilt of being a self (but never the guilt resulting from sexual ‘sins’!), and offers dissolution of the self into the All. Alcohol does the same.

A telling post in my Facebook feed by a prominent Christian recently: “I look forward to getting rid of my I”.

I need no redemption. I need growth.

The rabbi from the Galilee understood this deeply, and frequently uttered the miracle: “I am”.

It cost him dearly.