DAVID James appears to have stirred up the religious with his claim that God does not exist.

I was brought up as a Christian, but I am no longer convinced that the religious path is the right one. There are many reasons why, but I would like to put forward a few of them.

Millie Quinton quite rightly states that there are millions of believers. Conversely, there are also millions of non-believers.

There are also millions of members of religious groups to whom that membership could be likened to membership to the AA or RAC, a membership which you only turn to when you in are in trouble. The rest of the time it is only a badge and nothing more than that. I believe that religion, in all its forms, started as soon as man realised that death loomed for everyone. Being unable to cope with that concept, man invented the concept of an afterlife to comfort him.

Thereafter, it was realised by some that the organisation of such a concept into a religion was a good money maker.

I can see members of all faiths now screaming in horror, but let’s look at some facts instead of quoting fairy stories.

The world’s major religious organisations are among the richest on the planet.

Yet, with all the wealth, in the form of priceless treasures, property , land and investments, the overwhelming majority of their followers are poor or starving to death.

The organisations themselves never use any of their wealth to help these people. They always make sure that the followers use their money and time and energy to help the needy.

All the major religions are responsible for the majority of all the killing, torture and general mayhem in the world throughout history and it is still going on today — one set of religious people set on wiping out another.

No one can dispute that both the religious and non-religious people do good work in their lives. Both are capable of giving to charity, saving lives and being kind to their fellow man. Yet, according to those “in the club”, only they can claim salvation and a place in Heaven.

Everyone can’t be right. Everyone claims to belong to the only true religion.

It is very easy to convince large groups of people that anything is true. Perhaps we should all be tolerant and understanding and stop killing each other in the name of whatever god or prophet you believe in.

And perhaps the vast wealth of the religious organisations could actually be used in the name of god and not a Swiss bank.

Peter McGeehan Markinson Avenue Horwich