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5/22/08                                                                                       View Comments

How can I deal with having to go to church?

sent in by Meranda

The yelling, screaming. The illiterate leaders and pastors. Sexism, elitism, arrogance and pushing people to accept something while saying "it’s a choice". It’s a lie.

I don’t know how much longer I can last. I don’t have a license, no job, so I cant begin to forge a way to independence and I’m 21. I’m going to college, however. I want to invest so much and want to have about 10,000 dollars in the bank by the time I'm ready to graduate (in two years). Anyone know how to do that?

Anyway...

With my mom I can often say no and she doesn’t force me. But my dad is one of those, unapologetically loud, no nonsense Caribbean guys who believe church is the best place you can be. He scares me. Since I was a child, I was always scared of him. As the only child of Caribbean immigrant Pentecostals, what choice did I have?

I said no to my mom on going to church, and then dad came home as my mom was getting ready to leave. He sees her and asks why Im not with her, then practicallly yells " you must always bring that child with you when your going to church". I cant tell you how disrespected I felt. Im 21. But Im a coward. I got scared. Instead of standing up for myself, I punched afew walls in my room and hurredly got ready to leave at 6pm.

I did the childish thing. As I was getting into the car, I threw my purse in and practically slammed the door. I was pissed. I just wanted to stay home. Later, when we arrived in the church parking lot, I walked out of the car while my mom was trying to park and slammed the door. I practically busted down the church door when I opened it. I’m sure anger must have been rife on my face. Yes, this is how much I loathe church. Being an atheist/non-theist in a house of worship makes one nuts.

Later, when I returned home ( 10:30 pm!!!!), my dad and I had a talk. He is a firm believer in God and was shocked that I reacted that way in his words “to go to church, eh?". He says I’m an adult then and that I can do as I want ( however, he still expects my mom to carry "that child to church with her"!?) He also believes that God is supreme, and that bad things happen when we disobey him, so that’s why he encouraged me to go to church because of some recent trauma in my life. He also believes that the Devil punishes people for wrong doing, even if you repent, just like Jesus was tempted in the dessert. The only difference is for the Christian, God makes it a little easier (I guess this is how he explains suffering, he's been through a lot). I wanted to say so bad that it looks like God is doing his job of allowing people to suffer then expecting them to call him a "fair god" after they repent and drone of his goodness.


It gave me a different view. I’m still atheistic/non-theist. However, just to ease his mind, I go to church. I guess he believes I don’t want to go because he doesn’t go ( He still doesn’t seem to realize, or maybe can’t verbalize, that I am an adult with my own reasons independent of his actions for why I do things). I realized by acting the way I did, it only made it somewhat worse for me. Maybe if I had just said OK, got ready, and really fought my temper (which is hard, I tried so hard not to punch that wall), none of that shit would have happened. I will try to be better next time. But my temper is tough.

He's a poor, old man, immigrant who barely knows English and failed in business. He's been in the USA for over 20 years and it is not a successful immigrant story. He hates his marriage but stays because he is "not that kind of guy". He has an older son who never talks to him. The church has practically abandoned him and the world is changing in ways he can’t believe. He wants to leave so bad.

I just need some help. I already brings books, food, my Ipod, etc., in my overstuffed purse to keep me company.

I have anger issues. I don’t know how to solve them. Praying never helped. I wonder, what’s wrong?

I’m studying the “Tao Te Chin” and getting “The Art of War.”