Q: What was T. H. White's religious affiliation? He seems to refer to religion in many of his books.
A: T. H. White, like many of his fellow writers, was an agnostic. Throughout his novels he usually portrayed the church and its clergy as a greedy, contemptable institution with silly outdated philosophies; the congregation merely ignorant sheep, being taken advantage of. He did at times attend church. He did once think about converting to Catholicism, but soon abandoned the idea.
T. H. White often spoke of himself as a "free thinker", which he intended to mean that he was free from religion's prejudices and rules. Unfortunately for religion, he was justified in his philosophy by history and his own experience with "the church". He felt that education and knowledge should replace ignorant beliefs. He did at times acknowledge the existence of God in his writings, but I don't think he really felt he knew who God was. Part of the problem was that no one could satisfy his earnest questions about religion from a logical standpoint. No one he came in contact with could explain why they believed what they did. It must have been the tradition which puzzled him most. If religion was all man-made, he wanted no part of it.
White was a very sincere man who loved people and nature for the good he found in them, but also felt contempt for the evils he perceived.
His book, The Elephant and the Kangaroo, really gives a good satirical illustration of White's feelings on the subject of religion and sincerity.
-JM, 28 July 1997