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Nothing There and No One Listening

By James Wilhelm ~

I came from a Catholic family and grew up in the 50's, 60's and early 70's. I'm the second oldest – now 65 – and have a sister two years older. We went to Catholic schools, catechism classes, mass every week, confessed our "sins" to a priest every month and all the usual nonsense connected with this brand of Christianity.

My parents held strict Catholic beliefs. We had aunts and uncles that were priests, nuns and other holy people. We were deeply entrenched. We believed that priests were one step lower than God. They were prefect – we were lowly ignorant children. The expectation was that we children shut-up, and if there were any blame to go around it was always us kids that took the hit. My father would say over and over and over, "Children should be seen and not heard," and he abusively meant it.

My older sister revealed to me just recently that while attending Catholic school as a child she was abused by a priest. She held this in for over 50 years. The irony here is that while this was happening she was forced – by my parents – to go to "confession" every month to confess her "sins" to the very priest abusing her. In addition, she wouldn't disclose this to my parents as she knew they would not believe her and would blame her instead of the priest. There was no doubt about this in her mind – no doubt.

Once you get past the warm fussy feelings that belief in religion, the "Holy Spirit" and "Jesus" gives you, there is nothing there. The reality here is, once you get past the warm fussy feelings that belief in religion the "Holy Spirit" and "Jesus" gives you, there is nothing there. Nothing. And you are left to pick up the pieces of your life, forced to move on – alone – knowing deep inside there is nothing there. And you instinctively and painfully understand that most shallow Christians who insist they "love" Jesus  have probably never experienced any real adversity in their miserable religious lives, but will nonetheless enthusiastically criticize you for your unbelief.

This is one of the many, many painfully true events in my life concerning Christianity.

Thank you for reading.