9/14/2010 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Kerri ~
Jesus stole my girlfriend.
I grew up in a Catholic family, but luckily we weren't very religious. We went to church on Sundays, but if we had to miss for a basketball game we didn't really think twice about it. My father converted from Judaism to Catholicism when I was in 4th grade, and we started to attend church more frequently, but it quickly died out after he was baptized. As a child I took it on faith that God existed. I never spent much time thinking about it, and I even told my mother that I had seen God in my bedroom one day! Fortunately, the experience never really stuck with me, and the older I got the more I began to think about God. I attended a Catholic school from Kindergarten through high school. In 5th grade our nun was telling us about the church, and had mentioned that I would make a great nun. I was petrified - I didn't want to devote my life to prayer and I didn't think I'd live up to the standards. In 8th grade we used to have a priest come in to talk to us, and this is the first time I really remember thinking the Catholic church was a bunch of baloney. Our priest would come in and tell us about all these miracle stories, such as a batch of Eucharists that never went bad, or a Eucharist that turned into real live flesh during mass. They sounded like pretty convincing miracle stories to me, but that was exactly why I didn't believe them. If they were true, why weren't they all over the news? Why wasn't this real life flesh being tested in the lab, or sprawled all over the morning news? Clearly there was no evidence to back up these miracle stories, and even at the age of 13 I realized that.
Once I got to college, I sadly began to realize just how fundamental the rest of our country is. The college itself was pretty liberal, but I was introduced to a lot of different people from different places since I played on the basketball team. My best friend was very Catholic. She tried to say the rosary every morning, and she always went to church on the weekends. Our freshmen year she was adamantly against gay marriage, saying that only a man and a woman could get married (according to the Bible). After about a year, she began to change her opinion on the matter since a third of our friends were gay. Being around them made her realize the stupidity of the gay marriage debate, and by the end of our 4 years she really changed a lot. We always had debates about whether or not God existed, and deep down, I really believe that she agreed with everything I said. But to her, religion had only been a good thing, and because of that she never let it go. But that is completely fine with me. She accepts me for who I am and that's all that matters. She's no longer an opponent of gay marriage, and she has only used her Christianity for good. I used to be okay with that...no longer.
My senior year, everything changed. I fell in love. Unfortunately, it was with another young woman on my team, and to make matters worse, she was a bible thumping, tongue speaking Christian. Of course I did not know that when I first got involved, but as our relationship progressed, she would slowly let me see how religious she really was. Right from the beginning she would always tell me that eventually we would have to end things because she believed she was sinning by being in a same sex relationship. I naively thought this wouldn't be an issue, and thought that eventually things would fizzle out and we'd be able to remain good friends or that if it was real love, we'd stay together. Well, it's been almost 2 years since the first day she told me we had to stop seeing each other (all to no avail), and since then I've come to see how truly brainwashed she is, while at the same time falling for her even harder.
For me, not believing in God always seemed like such a rational conclusion that I had come to. However, my relationship with Cara has completely changed how I view Christianity (the fundamental type, not the 'Christmas and easter church go-ers'). Her beliefs are based strictly on pure faith and personal experience. Any evidence that I ever present to her is quickly dismissed by, what seems to me, to be a completely fabricated story. For example, she once said that human pain is a result of the "fall" (original sin) and that human pain was never intended in God's image. Pain is a result of sin and corruption. I then told her that some pain is good, and that we don't touch things that are hot because we do not want to hurt from the pain of touching it. She responded - "Well Adam and Eve would never have dropped anything hot because they weren't clumsy because they were perfect". I still do not know how to respond to that. How do you engage in conversation with someone who prohibits themselves to think rationally...in fact, takes pride in telling me they are close minded on the issue of God? Every time I bring up evidence, it is quickly dismissed by her. Fossils from more than 6,000 years ago - "must have been a previous earth before Adam and Eve". People who are blind, deaf, homosexual - "all a result of original sin because Adam and Eve were perfect". Or how about trying to show her the inconsistencies of the Bible - must have been a translational error. The list goes on. No matter what evidence I show her, it never matters. It's not about evidence. It's about God. And no matter what the evidence is, it HAS to be wrong in her eyes if it contradicts with her beliefs. The worst part about it, is that she takes pride in her faith, and often tells me that I am the pessimistic one and questions my intelligence because she cannot understand how I don't understand something so "simple"(according to her) as God and Jesus Christ.
Why do Christians not realize how demeaning they are sometimes? Cara's knowledge of evolution and science is far from admirable, yet I never would tell her I think she isn't intelligent because she doesn't get it. So why do they assume that I'm the dumb one for not understand how "easily" the Bible explains everything. How do they not see the cognitive dissonance that must occur in order for them to reconcile their faith with modern science and evidence. I have an extremely hard time relating to her because I never had to reconcile science with my faith. When new evidence was presented to me, I accepted it and made sure it fit into my view of the world. If that meant changing my view of God, I did so, or I would just keep the two separate. I would accept science, yet just keep God in some separate compartment (until I felt I could no longer do so, and then I was forced to let go of God). But Cara doesn't do that. She refuses to accept evidence. To her, science is a conspiracy from the devil. Often times I think she believes I've been compromised by the devil, and as a result, anything I say is just "Satan's influence on the world". I stay in the relationship because I love her, and partially because I feel bad for her. She beats herself up for drinking too much, thinking lustful things, being with me... the list goes on. One morning after staying at my place, she said she thought she should be killed. If Jesus makes Christians so happy - why are they so miserable??
I went to North Carolina with her last winter to visit her mom and step-dad. My mother is also gay, and he knows that. We ended up getting into a discussion about the Bible and my beliefs, and he proceeded to tell me that all homosexuals feel guilty for what they do, and that the gay community is morally bankrupt. I immediately started crying. Don't they see the hate that they preach? What if the sinner defines who they are by the sin. They how do you "love the sinner not the sin", when they are one in the same?
I am no longer naive to the pervasiveness of evangelical Christianity in our culture. I wish I could speak out and show people they are preaching hate, not love. But I can't let her go, and to speak out would ruin anything we have. However, deep down, I already know I've lost her. I never stood a chance against that "perfect" man in the sky. Unfortunately, he doesn't even realize how lucky he is.
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