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Catholicism, Incest, an Emerging Journey

By Andie ~

I am no longer sure what the hell I am. I was raised in a household with a very devoted Catholic mother and a father who would go to Mass and piously beat his breast during Mass, as he was taught to do as a child. Then, at night, he came into my room and fucking molested me. He was a fucking sick asshole and still is. He refuses to die although he was born in 1937; if that sounds cold-hearted, let me tell you that my father regularly abused me in ALL ways (the least of it was physical, but it still happened), belittled me, and basically let me know that I was a worthless piece of shit. Sexual abuse in and of itself is very scarring. No more be said.

Fly away
Image by 55Laney69 via Flickr
I am 40 now, and left the church around the age of 26. I couldn't take it anymore and just left. I didn't attend another church until I moved to the Beltway and started attending Lutheran services at night. I attended their church service at least once in the morning and not a single fucking person said hi to me or anything. The pastor was an obviously closeted lesbian woman who seemed like she had just as many issues as me. I have always felt that many ministers are hiding from their sexuality; just look at the Catholic church, for the love of God. I myself am bisexual, something that the Catholic church does not condone, quite obviously. When I needed financial help at one point as my PTSD symptoms worsened due to my brother going missing for two years, she did give it to me. Of course I had to tell her my sob story first, and it almost felt like extortion, although that's obviously just my own bullshit. All I know was that I felt like I had to stand on my head and beg for the help and that I felt a definite shame that she neither picked up on nor seemed to care much about. Then again, being a pastor isn't easy, and she has to have a certain amount of detachment I suppose.

I didn't find much comfort with the Lutherans although I desperately wanted some. I ended up moving back to my home state and joining an Episcopalian church about five years ago.

I cannot tell you conclusively that I am an "ex-Christian". So maybe I have no right to write on your site. What I am is sickened by religion. Sickened by the hypocrisy, the outright lies, the closeted people who join a church that condemns them (which surely they must know, yet it is obvious that gay men see the church as a way to get power society may deny them), the sickness in so much of religion. I go to the Episcopal Mass now and feel no consolation, just prayers shoved down my throat and a sense that if I have to beg God for forgiveness one more time, I am going to scream.

I have a deep respect for the Native Americans who are the real Americans in this country (this is all, of course, my opinion). I read once a story about a man who said that he did not practice shame or guilt. Shame and guilt is built into the Catholic religion. Its excesses and abuses are now legion with the pedophile scandal, which has gone on for centuries, no doubt. Its hypocrisy seems clear, and I find it more like a cult now than anything else, although a part of me can still find comfort in its ritual. I grew up with it and it is still a part of me, but it has been tainted by my past.

I believe religion makes people feel that they are bad, that it fills them with terrors about going to an imaginary hell, that it is a tool to control. Nothing I say is new or revelatory. I am just sad that a Jesus I still believe in has been given the shaft. I do not believe that Christ needs my praise. I believe He is my friend. I believe that religion distorts the truth and hurts people. It certainly hurt me.

That's all. Thanks for reading.