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Shedding the Shackles

By Cordova ~

My journey from being a staunch bible thumping x-tian to finally being free of the religious shackles was a long and hard one.  I grew up in a highly religious community and being an illegitimate child born back in the 1940's somehow made me a 'bad' person. Oh, I was good enough to play with on the school-yard but not good enough to invite to anyone's birthday party.  Many times I was told: "You're nothing but a whore's daughter."  I remember being very confused and hurt because I couldn't understand why I was being punished for something my mother did.  When I was about 16 or 17 years old I caught myself daring to question this 'god' character: "Who are you to demand I worship you; What makes you better than me?"  I was immediately overcome with fear, shame and guilt - exactly what religion is DESIGNED to do!!!  I begged for forgiveness because I didn't want to burn in hell for an eternity.  I became an obedient religious sheeple for another 30 years before I dared to begin questioning again!!   By that time I realized if I was intelligent enough to ask legitimate questions, I deserved truthful answers.  Of course the "church" couldn't (or wouldn't) answer my questions.  Questions like:  "Why would a 'loving' god demand a woman who is pregnant before she is married to be stoned to death" and, "why are the innocent illegitimate children subjected to cruel, verbal abuse from other so called 'Christians?"  I found one of the answers in  the book often referred to as the "good" book.  

"A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD." Deut. 23:2

That explained why I, an innocent illegitimate child, was subjected to cruel, verbal abuse.  I also find Deut. 22: 20-21 especially upsetting.  If people were to obey that 'law' my mother and daughter would be stoned to death for daring to be pregnant before marriage.  For me, that was the straw that broke the camel's back so to speak.  In my mind there is nothing, absolutely nothing 'loving' about a god that demands unwed mothers to be put to death and let the prick that got her pregnant in the first place go unpunished.  Slowly but surely I let go of the fear, shame and guilt that had enslaved me for oh so many years.  Today I am filled with anger (justified anger, in my opinion).  It has been about 20 years now since I turned my back on organized religion and there is no turning back.  My anger does concern me though and I wish I could get rid of that too.  Maybe someday.  Thanks for listening.