Sent in by Carol
My upbringing occurred in the 1950's and sixties and I was schooled in the mainstream religion of the Catholic Church.
My mother was an extremely abusive person. However, the nuns often said that if a person was a Catholic who participated in communion and confession, who went to Church on Sundays and did not eat meat on Fridays, they would be saved.
However the nuns also insinuated that my father, who was one of the best people on the planet, would not be able to enter heaven, as he was an agnostic.
Even at the age of seven this made no sense to me. I could not accept that my father would be left in limbo or purgatory because he looked at the world from a more scientific point of view than the Catholics that I knew.
By the time that I was in my teens, my life had become very problematic. A great deal of what happened to me involved my mother's methods of discipline. It has taken me decades to realize that just because the things she did to me were labeled "discipline" does not mean that they were not abuse. But at the time that the physical and emotional attacks against me occurred, I thought of them as discipline.
All through the long period of my mother's abuse of me, I wished for an adult to confide in. But I could not think of anyone who would believe my word over my mother's. The priests always seemed preoccupied. The nuns liked my mother too much to believe me over her.
And so I endured the weekly discipline sessions which were triggered by the slightest thing. Often if the bus bringing me back from my high school was ten or twenty minutes late, the abuse would begin. thrown against a wall, dragged back and forth the length of a hallway by the hair on the back of my neck, told again and again that I was "boy crazy" and that I should realize that being as "boy The scariest
part of it was when Mom would scream at me that she could have me committed to a mental institution before my dad would be home from work. If I hollered back trying to defend myself, then her anger would accelerate.
At one point, I did confide in a parish priest, but his comment was that it was good my mother was watching out for my soul and taking matters in her hands to see to it that I was not so sexually pre-occupied. In a way this is almost funny - I didn't even know what sex was about until I was fourteen. And this abuse strted at the age of twelve. At my all girl high school, meeting boys was rather difficult!!
I now realize that far too much of the Catholic Church is about the institutionalizing of the abuse patterns of adults. It is now public knowledge why I and many others saw the priests as being pre-occupied. They had their minds on the young boys in their parishes!!
Spend a few weeks or months looking into the Inquisition - that whole concept was about relegating women to a lower status than they had held under the "pagan" religions that preceded Christianity's spread throughout Europe. Whereas under paganism, young women were free to consort with several young men as lovers, under Christianity, the women were expected to be virgins until married, and then they were to remain faithful forever to that man. Except that the Inquisition also allowed for the local nobility to be awarded the wedding night with any young woman who married in their domain. Just one other example of the Catholic Church's hypocrisy!!
I am now involved in simply living a life free of the intrusiveness of any organized religion.
I am also fond of the Seth Teachings, written out in many books by Jane Roberts and now encapsulated in the writings of Mark Allen Frost.
Buddhism and druidism are also things that interest me.
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)