8/28/2011 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Anonymous ~
My soul cannot handle any more religion. It offends me and breaks me down. Immediately religion brings me to a place of unfounded fear, guilt and neurosis. As a child my life was dictated by the Bible. My parents spanked me because the Bible says, "spare the rod, spoil the child." I have learned that many children have been abused, many beaten to death, in christian/catholic households because of this verse. The impression I get from the stories in the Bible are that God will punish anyone at anytime for crimes that other people committed, whether you were good (just to test you), whether you were bad, or whether you simply misunderstood something that God was supposedly trying to say. I always "knew" (because I was told) that someday God was going to return on a "glorious day" when horrible plagues would be sent to earth, people would be tormented, satan was let loose, and pregnant women would experience the worst pain anyone has ever endured. 50% of all human beings would be sent to eternal torment and 50% to eternal bliss, based off of what religion you chose while on earth. Knowing this world was going to end, I was afraid of having children because of end times but at the same time, that thought would bring me immense guilt when I would envision the life my child could have had if maybe the Bible was wrong, and the end times were not going to actually happen. All of this fear and terror that deeply affected my life over one book called "Revelations," that doesn't make sense anyway. I was later to discover that there were actually many stories about end times predictions circulating in that time period, each as crazy and baseless as the one that made it into the Bible. For my whole life, my life has been dictated by baseless assertions. Now I have a deep appreciation for things that I know are real, that I can see, feel or touch; things that can be verified. I have a growing disdain for baseless assertions.
Jesus said very specifically, "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." Because of this verse in the Bible my mother was told that her schizophrenic/bipolar disorder was caused by her lack of faith (despite the fact that it was simply inherited from her mother). She was told it is a "sin" to take medicine because that shows a lack of faith in Jesus's promise. She was told only to pray, believe, and be healed. This led to a life for me and my brothers that consisted of multiple daily outbursts of her screaming and me and my brothers being yelled at for something innocent, random, or even nothing at all. Watching my mother take out a knife and try to kill my dad, as well as try to take her own life multiple times late at night throughout my childhood. On many occasions there would be groups of people coming over to "lay hands" on her, with no affect. They would perform exorcisms on her as well. She would tell us she hates us repeatedly, and slam a binder on my older brother's head. Many times she would lock us in the basement for hours. She showed severe, irrational favoritism to my youngest brother. One day she kidnapped my youngest brother and took him to Canada for about a week, leaving the rest of us at home alone until my dad came home from work. The day she left was my second youngest brother’s birthday, who at the time longed for my mother’s approval so desperately that he actually asked if she could take him instead. My mother said sharply, "no, I don't want you, I only want to bring Joey." The pain of experiencing rejection like that at such a young age is inconceivable to me.
The Bible has been an unhealthy, misguiding dictator in my family, and in my life. I don't care what type or "flavor" of christianity or catholicism it is, it comes from the same book, and the same principle of faith. Which demands belief without evidence and the acceptance of baseless assertions regardless of whether they make sense to your own mind, or personal sense of morality and justice.
Now, since I became a teenager, my family was finally able to break free from the verses spoken by Jesus in the New Testament, and my mom began to take mental illness medication. She is now very loving, dependable and happy. If it weren't for religion or the Bible, my mom could have been taking medicine all along. Proven scientific facts and years of dedicated research have saved my family. Logic has helped to repair the years of damage from the baseless claims of the Bible, religion, and pastors who pretended so confidently to know things they knew nothing about.
The Bible has been an unhealthy, misguiding dictator in my family, and in my life. I remember when I was about 6 years old, I was sitting on the swingset in our backyard with my oldest brother who was 8 years old. We sat there swinging silently, taking in the sounds coming from inside the house of our mother screaming at the top of her lungs (she would scream for hours at a time, everyday so it was nothing new), and throwing things at my two younger brothers who were still inside the house. My older brother turned and looked at me and said something that neither of us had mentioned until that point, it brought a painfully stunning realization that caused a rush of adrenaline to flow through my body, he said, "this is child abuse, you know?" The words hit me like a dart, bringing both pain and healing at the same time. For the first time, I realized this wasn't normal, most families weren't like this. The only way my body would allow me to react was to protect myself, become defensive, and say, "duh, of course I knew that," with an attitude that implied "don't mention it again.”
A paralleled situation occurred later in adulthood when my older brother told me, "This religion stuff isn't true, none of it is." At the time, I only knew how to react with defensiveness and denial. But still the thought hit me like a dart, bringing both pain and healing at the same time. I am still feeling the impact of those words. After months of agonizing research, examining both sides of the arguments and comparing it to what I feel and know about reality, it had finally sunk in, he was right yet again.
So when someone says to me, “We love Jesus, why don’t you? You should be passionate for Jesus!” It instantly disseminates any joy, hope, love or peace that I’ve worked very hard to build up. Christians are quick to tell me that I’m overreacting, and over thinking the problems of religion. But I can’t help to think that it is they who aren’t thinking about it enough. But it never fails, my disbelief of religion only serves to reignite their own personal passion, and they instantly have a “revival for Jesus” which only serves to distance me further from anyone around me. I know that at that moment, that person is capable of looking at me, and believing that I deserve the eternal torment they believe is coming to me, from what they believe is a just God.
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