In Sweden, many young people get confirmed. That is, they confirm their faith. Even I did this. A handful do it because of actual faith. Most kids do it for the presents. Very noble, I know. And I feel sorry for the priest, who unwittingly plays a role in a juvenile, materialistic plan to cash in. But that's not why I did it.
I've never told anyone, but I got confirmed because I had heard one partner must be confirmed to be wed in a church. I didn't wish to be wed in a dull courthouse. I've later come to realize that, a) a non-church wedding mustn't be boring; it can be beautiful, for example on a cliff overlooking the ocean, and b) church weddings are DREARY! Whenever I am at such a wedding (okay, it's happened once, but whenever I have been in a church, including obligatory visits during my confirmation), my propaganda alarm goes off—especially when the priest starts to speak. Besides, churches are somber. Nothing says "happily ever after" like a deceased guy on a cross, looking down with a condescending gaze, as if you were a dirty, evil sinner for having ancestors who ate some of God's precious fruit.
Fuck churches. Fuck Jesus, the condescending Jew! Oops, sorry. I am no anti-Semite. I actually rather like the Jewish people (okay, the sane ones, but some Jews are just as stupid as some—most—Christians), but it's a good interjection. Just like Jesus.
I'm not sure if all this unnecessary confirmation sort of... throws the statistics out of balance, because if one goes by confirmation in youth, Sweden may seem religious. But, truth be told, ninety-nine percent of people I know are atheists. At least I think so, but I shouldn't assume. You barely hear a peep of religious propaganda in Sweden. We have one political party that is Christian (we don't have a two-party system… sort of) and sometimes there's news about a Christian who is upset over homosexuality, because the world will end if men kiss. No, wait, that's happened and the world remains. Well, men having butt sex will surely mean the end. Oh, wait. That has happened, too. Well, then, surely two gay men defiling the sanctity of marriage will make God so mad he'll drown us all, even though he supposedly loves us. Oh! No! Wait! Gay marriage is already a thing? And the world didn't end? I'll have to reconsider my position.
Everyone's favorite sort of humor—sarcasm—aside... Okay, I apologize; that's another joke, because everyone is sarcastic, but nobody likes sarcasm. All bad comedy aside, Sweden is very progressive and heathen, though we have regressed a bit, as of late. So you do hear some bigoted, anti-women, anti-gay, anti-human-happiness bullshit, but most people lean toward the other side of the spectrum, which is the insanely-politically-correct-so-that-everyone-feels-accepted bullshit. But it's better than racism and sexism. My point is that I must set the record straight: I did get my faith confirmed, but I was crossing my fingers. Oops. I hereby confirm my unconfirmation from the Christian faith; I have never been a believer, because I've always found that whole concept boring and stupid. I instead confirm my faith in having no faith, because I have faith it is a winning concept. I have faith a world without faith is a better world. I have faith in humanity, but that candle is burning out.
The last thing I need is for some asshole Christian to read this and then pray for me. Do not get me wrong: a person isn't an asshole just for being Christian, but for the love of God, don't fucking pray for me. I'd lastly like to say statistics are a good tool with which to objectively view and measure the world. However, it could also be used for lies or merely misrepresent the truth, which is why I'd like to apologize for getting confirmed. It is like, did anyone ever wonder why four of five dentists always recommend the toothpaste being advertised? Out of the five dentists who are always mentioned, dozens make endorsements. Somewhere, the math did not pan out. But I have faith we'll be okay.