Actress, singer and Patron of Humanists UK
“I do not wish to prevent anyone from practising their religion, no matter how bizarre or ludicrous I may find it, so long as it does not impinge on my right not to do so, nor to have to embrace any aspect of it. ‘Live and let live’ is my motto. I only wish that all ‘believers’ would adhere to that, too.”
Adele Anderson specializes in cabaret and musical theatre and is best known as a member of the internationally acclaimed cabaret group Fascinating Aida, founded in 1983. She has also appeared on TV, film and radio, writes lyrics, and has directed shows.
She writes about her beliefs:
”I was brought up as a High Anglican, regularly attending services in a cathedral. If I believed in God (or a god) then, and I’m not sure I ever really did, it was because it was expected of me. However, as a teenager, I questioned my faith and found it totally bogus – for me, that is. The idea of an all-powerful being who knew, at any given moment, what I was doing, or what I was thinking and who would be calling me to account at sometime in the future seemed ludicrous and still does. The fact that the more people suffered the more they felt they were being tested by their god and that they would receive their reward later in heaven was repugnant to me. It seemed a way of getting unfortunate people to just accept their lot without complaint. The ridiculous rules and regulations attached to every religion, rules written by man centuries ago, also carried no weight with me. The violent disagreement between religions as to which was the true one and the wars waged in the name of religion also convinced me that religion was not for me.
However, if one doesn’t believe in god or religion, what is to stop one doing whatever one wants in this life, becoming a mass murderer, sure in the knowledge that there will not be a heavenly court to judge one after death? Here, I took inspiration from my stepmother. She did believe in the Christian god, but she was also a follower of the Indian guru Sai Baba and attended meetings of the White Eagle Lodge in Glastonbury, who supposedly are guided by a Native American spirit. You could say she was covering all her bases but, in reality, she took what she needed from each religion and made her own. In the words of a Fascinating Aida song, she had a ‘Pick ‘n’ Mix religion’. But what she had most of all was a belief, which is espoused in most religions although often overlooked, that we should try and live a good life and love one another. That is what I try to do. Rather like the Hippocratic Oath, I try to do no harm, but not because I think I will get something in return. I don’t believe in karma. Bad things happen to good people and bad people often get away with it and don’t lose any sleep over it either. But I would, so I suppose I must have a conscience of some sort and that is what I answer to.
I do not wish to prevent anyone from practising their religion, no matter how bizarre or ludicrous I may find it, so long as it does not impinge on my right not to do so, nor to have to embrace any aspect of it. ‘Live and let live’ is my motto. I only wish that all ‘believers’ would adhere to that, too.”