Lifelong (ir)religion, loving father

It seems that there was a sign on the wall when I was born that I would be a lifelong Atheist. It started when my father went to the local administration to register me as the next offspring of the fast growing Veltman family, now increased by one. He arrived at the office, joined the queue and was called forward. There he gave up all the necessary information until they reached the then still relevant question of religion. The friendly civil servant asked what the religion of the newborn was and my father answered in all honesty “None yet”. The man responded a bit shocked and said: “But the baby needs to have a religion, what is your religion?”. My father smiled and replied that that was not relevant because he himself was not the baby and he allowed his son to decide for himself what kind of religion, if any, he would choose in later life. The civil servant quickly explained that because he was Catholic, all his children also were Catholic, he probably concluded that my father did not understand how life worked. So he asked again for my father’s religion. My father replied that he would not decide for the baby and that was it. So my religion on my birth certificate stated “Religion: None Yet” as written down by a then very frustrated civil servant. And it has stayed that way ever since, because my parents saved money over the years to buy me an encyclopedias, not bibles. They did actually not protest when I bought several bibles when I was about ten years old to see what the fuss was all about. Over the years we discussed the many possibilities that life could have, but it turned out that religion was not our thing.

I forever stayed a “none yet”… It made my life so much easier, and I am very happy with my life. I am grateful to have a father who loved his son so much that he allowed him to make his own choices in life over enforcing his own ideas.

Thanks dad.

Mike Veltman

This story was first published on ‘Ask An Atheist – SG’ Facebook page in 2016.