Sent in by John
Where do I begin? I guess at the beginning...
My mother raised me in a Christian environment. We went to church, and I heard all the scare-stories of Satan and hell, and being so young and impressionable (this was around 3rd grade), I saw other children crying and scared at the altar, so I decided I needed to be 'saved' also. I think I was saved around 3 times, and even as so young a child I remember wondering what all the hoop-la was about, because although I was sincere, I felt absolutely nothing. I remember praying to God many times for hours and hours, and bawling my head off, because I didn't understand why God wasn't talking back to me. No 'Christian' can tell me my heart wasn't sincere or I wasn't praying hard enough, or the rest of the garbage they fed me over the years. I developed issues at a young age because I felt I was somehow unworthy of God and I didn't understand why. We lived our lives as Christians, where anything that was considered bad by the church was a sin, thus we had no television, none smoked, none cursed (or instead they used other words like 'dang', as if that wasn't cursing either)...etc etc. We lived with a female preacher who frequently called other women she didn't like (Christians or no) witches. One night this woman played a game where we kissed each other, but instead of normal kisses we used tongues. Being too young to feel sexual excitement, I just thought it was fun, and I really liked that lady, never realizing until much later in life that she was one of those complete fundie nut cases you hear about daily, and she had basically molested me.
As I grew older, I became more interested in the worlds religions and I studied everything voraciously, from one spectrum of the 'good' side to the other 'dark' side. When my mother got mixed up in spiritualism, we ended up at a place called Camp Chesterfield, a spiritualist camp in Chestfield, Indiana. Like everyone else there, I dabbled in the occult, reading tarot cards, numerology...etc. But once we were thick among these people, it became apparent that they were mostly composed of charlatans who only have one goal there... to make money off the gullible and naive. The tricks, such as billets (channeling spirits to read questions off pieces of paper), became obvious, and I swore off all those phonies and have never looked back.
In the back of my mind, however, I always wondered if I shouldn't have turned my back on Christianity. I had that guilt thing going on, that fear that if I was wrong I was going to fry for eternity, because those bastards drilled it in my head when I was so young. So as I got older, here and there I allowed a Christian friend or three into my heart and mind, and I tried here and there to become a Christian again. I never felt anything. I prayed and prayed and prayed, hours and hours and hours at times, and I felt nothing, except that glow you feel after you grieve, such as when a loved one dies. Thats it. I had Christian friends tell me I wasn't 'opening my heart', I wasn't 'trying hard enough', I wasn't praying 'long enough to develop a relationship with God' (ie: brainwashing yourself). There was a couple of times I prayed hard for miracles in my life, because I have suffered from depression most of my life. There was a couple of times something happened that would appear that my prayers would be answered, but it was always the worst possible things that couple happen, and catapulted me into worse depressions. My Christians friend convinced me that these things were meant to happen because God works in 'mysterious ways and sometimes the bad things are good'. Well, no good ever came out of it. My life and my depressions got worse and drove me to the brink of suicide.
In my 30's, after one Christian friend wouldn't be my friend anymore because I supposedly 'attacked him spiritually' and 'you are evil'. This guy was the joke among all our friends; they ridiculed him behind his back for being a fruitcake. But I supported him, even protected him from people who wanted to kick his ass, and in the end, because I play 'heavy metal' in bands, I was 'evil', although I have spent my whole life being the 'good guy' who always tried to do the 'right thing', and I am proud of that to this day and have no regrets about it; it was how I was raised. Because I was more and more opening my mind to a life beyond spiritual slavery, I was 'the enemy'. I told this guy I loved him and needed him in my life as a friend, with tears in my eyes, and he told me 'Jesus loves you' and walked out the door. I prayed to God, and I told him, 'if this is your way of helping me, I can't do it anymore'.
However, because of the guilt-trip laid on my years earlier, I didn't give up on God. I just kept praying and telling him and Jesus: 'my heart will always be open, my path is whatever you want my path to be. I don't understand why you won't help me or ease some of my pain, but I won't give up.' blah blah
Then, FINALLY, I began educating myself on the history of Christianity. I began reading the bible so no Christian could ever tell me I don't know what I'm talking about or I took something out of context. I studied the history of religions.
And I was appalled...
So many contradictions. So much bloodshed and torture and persecution. None of these Christians could answer my questions anymore. The answers became 'you just have to have faith'. What were some of my questions?
If God's love is unconditional, how could he order the Israelites to kill children or send the angel to kill children (innocents)?
Why does God never show a kind side in the bible... or better yet, how can anyone believe in a God of Love who never laughs, never shows a sense a humor?!? Instead, you have a God that would instantly kill people in the most hideous of ways for disobeying him in even the smallest ways. He would even torture his own subjects to prove their 'faith'. Nice guy, God, huh?
If God gave us freewill, why is the consequence for using our freewill and not choosing God to be burned for eternity in a pit of fire? That isn't freedom. Thats being given a choice. Do what I say, or I will hurt you brutally in the most sadistic way possible!
If Jesus was about loving the enemy, why did he say he 'come to bring a sword and divide'? Because you can love your enemy and still burn them alive at the stake? Hogwash. Millions of people weren't staked out of love. They were staked because they were heretics and the 'enemy', plain and simple, and history shows how millions of innocents died in the 'cause'. I guess God forgave them because their hearts were in the right place, huh? Right.
There were races (such as native Americans here in the Americas) who had never heard of Jesus Christ after he 'died for our sins'. Where did they go when they died because they had no concept of Jesus? (My nut-case friend explained that all people had been made aware of Jesus by God, and thus were given a choice... complete fundie hogwash made up because they are running out of answers).
Who pays the price of our creation? God? No, WE DO! WE DO!
If we are too stupid to understand God's plan (which is believable if you picture this alien humanoid with a brain 10x larger than ours who created us genetically in 'his image' lol), why would he send a supernatural being who can apparently deceive us by messing with our thoughts and minds and tempts us? Why throw the wolves in with the sheep if they can't defend themselves against it? Ridiculous. Oh the answer is even worse, we can pray and be protected, but the devil is still free to tempt us more of course. A never-ending circle of bullshit that was originally designed to keep the people subjugated.
Could you throw your child into a lake a fire to roast for eternity? No! But there have been some religious nut cases who claim God ordered them to kill their children. Of course, nowadays even the Christians call those people nut cases, but why aren't they being taken seriously?! The bible has lots of stories just like this that are taken seriously as articles of faith, but if someone claims it nowadays they are 'evil'. Wake up, use your brains! Hello!!
Why are women treated with bias throughout the whole bible? This one is easy. Because God didn't come up with all that stuff about women! Man did! Any fool can read right into that and see right through it... unless your a fundie, of course! I never knew Eve! Stop holding women responsible for something some woman supposedly did ages ago. Fairy tales. Myths.
How can you love something that doesn't affect your life at all more than you can your mother, your father, your siblings, or your own children? You can if your a nut case, absolutely. My mother has always been there for me. God has yet to answer. I know where my love will lie!
'Surely goodness and mercy shall follow you all the rest of your life', yet there are many Christian children who are tortured and killed daily. Where is their mercy? Where are their miracles? Tell that to the early Christians who were tortured and thrown to the lions.
Why did the Israelites sin against God over and over after they had seen miracle after miracle? Why were those people so stupid? Answer, because there was no miracles. The priests had to keep them in line with FEAR and GUILT and superstitious nonsense. When you study other religions you see the exact same pattern, yet Christians are too blind to see it themselves.
If God is an unconditionally loving God, why is his love -conditional-?! My mother is more unconditionally loving that any God portrayed in the bible. She is much more forgiving, and she would help anyone... the kindest old woman you would ever meet in your life. And she is going to hell because she doesn't believe in Jesus? Right.
'Judge not lest ye be judged', yet Christians have been judging and persecuting people since the dawn of their religion.
Again, who pays the price in this battle that makes no sense whatsoever between supernatural beings that can destroy us with a thought? The little peons who aren't smart enough to understand his plan, the humans, thats who! Without us, God and Satan would have nothing to fight over. We live through the pain of this world, they don't. We are the pawns in the great chess match, they aren't. It is time to wake up, and end these fairy tales that have caused more human suffering in the world than anything else. Religion is a crutch for weak-minded, superstitious people that have never been able to think for themselves. They are brainwashed to believe if they use their minds whatsoever beyond looking for God, Satan is whispering in their ear and influencing them and they will burn. Wake up, people! World peace and religion will never happen because these fools are too busy trying to convert people. I'm right, you're wrong. No, I'm right, and you're wrong. You're all wrong! None of you can even agree with each other (look at all the Christan comments on this site and others.. it is always the same 'I think other Christians are lost, but I am a true Christian...' blah blah). You're all lost!
Since I educated myself, and I understand the origins of Christianity and the superstitious nonsense surrounding it, I feel liberated!! There is no Satan whispering in my ear, no guilt-trips... my gut, my instincts have honed in on the truth, and it feels right, baby! I feel self-empowered again, and my depressions are easing away finally after 30 years. Now I understand the power of belief! Trust me, Christians... pray to Odin every night for weeks, and you will believe Odin has saved you also. Brainwashing is a proven fact, and anyone can brainwash themselves into believing -anything-. You can heal yourself with the same power of the mind, or you can delude yourself with it also. Open your eyes! Christianity is one of the true causes of greed and evil in this world! Organized religion isn't helping anyone in this world, it is persecuting people, taking their money, and controlling people through GUILT and FEAR!
Educate yourself and if your gut tells you something is wrong with Christianity, listen to it! It isn't Satan, I assure you!
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)