Long, hard road to disbelief

Sent in by Melenie

I realized at an early age that something was very wrong with the Baptist church I went to. It was pretty bad when a eight year old child can tell a place is corrupt.

My first of many churches was in north Alabama, a very horrid and dim place where half the population cannot read or write. At the early age of four I was taught that homosexuality was wrong, and if you were you would go straight to hell. In fact, you would go straight to hell for lots of things it seemed.

If you read anything by Darwin, you were doomed.

If you talked back to your husband, then I hope you enjoy fire.

If you think about sex you are a dirty whore and you will go to hell.


The place was really more like a cult then anything. The people were brainwashed into believing that everything they did was evil.

Luckily we moved from there, not long after we found out that a small religious faction that had developed in the town was over throwing the pastor because his daughter was a lesbian.

We moved to Montgomery when I was ten, which was when the big topic of the 10 commandments being in the capitol building was being disputed, and I think that was the real start of my fall from faith. Not from the big deal that society was making out of religion, but from the new church that I had become a part of making such a huge deal.. I remember my preacher saying loudly at the top of his lungs one sunday morning as I sat in the pew hanging on his every word, that the only reason that the people were protesting was because they were dirty,filthy atheist homosexuals. I thought to myself "Why would they care though? It's not hurting anyone if it is or is not in there."

As I grew older I began to learn new things about myself that worried me: I liked girls. I had always grown up learning that if I did like girls, I would go to hell and god wouldn't love me anymore because I was an abomination. I struggled with the issue for a year before coming out to my best friend. She said she did not agree, but swore to never tell anyone. I felt better finally letting someone know that I am a lesbian. That Wednesday I went to church like I always had since I was eleven, and I walked over to the preacher who was a friend of mine and said "Hello." and he would not speak to me. He looked through me like I was not even there.

I walked over to my best friend and sat down beside her, still hurt. To my surprise she got up, and everyone in my youth group followed her. I left, and went home crying. The next sunday the preacher told us about the evils of homosexuality, and how no matter what you did you were no longer a child of god, but of Satan. My mother, being sympathetic looked over to me and offered to take me home. I shook my head refusing and stayed through the whole service. At the end I was close to tears, but I was filled with a new understanding. Something that I had never knew was in me before. Something that the people of the church could not see because they were blinded by their stupid convictions.

God failed. Not God himself, because he does not exist; he was just an idea started by some people who needed hope for something. But the idea of God failed. In the start God was made to give people hope and a reason to live a good life of humility and purity. But soon, those same people changed it. They turned it into something ugly and hateful, damning whatever they did not like, or fixing the words to make whatever they wanted it to say.

I went home and cried for three hours that day, and my mother thought I was sad because of what had happened at church. But I wasn't. I was crying tears of joy, For the first time in my life I felt free. I felt like I was my own person, I felt free of burden or depression.

It has been for years since that day, and I can happily say that I have not stepped foot in a church since.

This is my fall from god I suppose, there is nothing remarkable about it. And there is nothing heart breaking about it. But it feels good to get it out in the open.

Comments

Nina said…
Melenie
I also am a lesbien and I was shunned by the church. Luckily I had lost faith before I came out, so it was not much of a loss. It was quite freeing actually. Much like you describe your experience.
I feel so badly for anyone who is made to feel guilty about their sexual orientation. It is such a personal thing and a direct judgement of our persons.
My partner is still Catholic and she still thinks she is sinning every day. She does not believe that it is OK and she feels like their is something always wrong with her....why would she continue sinning? It feels like a smoker trying to guilt himself into quitting. That does not work. Obviously.
I hope someday my partner has enough of this crap like you did. I also hope she accepts herself as she is.
The world is full of all kinds of people. Can't the judgemental just look at themselves?
Good testimonial.
Nina
Anonymous said…
Melenie,

Congratulations on being yourself. Clearly you are a remarkably bright and thoughtful person who was intelligent and lucky enough to escape from the lie that we have to change who we are in order to deserve acceptance and love.

Just remember that we need no God to tell us how to live our lives, just a standard of respect and decency and fairness by which we treat ourselves and others.

This is by far one of the most touching posts I've read on this site, and I'm glad I got a chance to read it.
Huey said…
Hi Melenie! I agree with The Walruss, very touching. Makes me feel very fortunate that my deconversion, if it could be called that, was painless. Welcome! Post often as every opinion and view point here count!
Astreja said…
This must've been a hard story to write, Melenie. Thank you for sharing it with us, and may your life always be your own.
freethinker05 said…
Its always a pleasure to hear from someone as honest as yourself Melenie. Enjoy your freedom kid. Peace, Roger...A/A
Brian said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian said…
I am truly sorry for the pain you've experienced at the hands of the fundamentalist freaks in this state. Alabama is largely a superstitious nineteenth-century backwater.

I am very happy that you have found your way, and hope you have a long and happy life.

March 22, 2008
Munk said…
This was so touching to read. Reading about how horrible they treated you and how your "best friend" betrayed your trust tore me up.

As you know now as a strong, intelligent, thinking individual, homosexuality is not wrong or evil or dirty. It is no one's place to tell you who you can and can't love, as if you have any control over it anyway. I can't help it that I am attracted guys, and you can't help it that you are attracted to girls. You just are.

You're free now and the future is yours. Run fast, far, and let those judgmental fundie bastards eat your dust.
hi! i really cant put it into words how unreal the bible account is! trust me!! i was born into it! i live in a fossil hot bed of the u.s. i lost my faith wandering around the badlands my friends...my dad is a preacher here in the black hills of south dakota...i love my dad but know that he is really wrong about the holy babble...facts are facts..belief is belief and if you believe the babble is true ...good for you ...but facts are facts...and thats a fact!
Melenie,
This is a really touching story. It's awful that your best friend betrayed you like that... and how your whole church reacted. Unbelievable. It sounds like your mom was sympathetic and didn't believe everything your church said- does she still go there?
Raul said…
Perhaps jewdo-christian god is an abomination,and so are those lame-ass pompous hypocrites,who call themselfes "christians".
Also,the idea of God,who watches,how people fuck is quite funny to think about. :)

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