Image via WikipediaStandard story: Born into a Christian family, raised a Christian.
Evidently, it didn't occur to my parents that my mind wasn't fully mature and I had no idea what the hell they were getting me into. It didn't occur to them to ask what I wanted -- they just presumed upon me that I naturally wanted to be a Christian too.
Oh, I knew my parents had good intentions. But that's just what's so sinister about it. When you're brainwashed into thinking that non-believers are headed for the great gas cooker down below, you'll certainly want to punch your son's ticket out A-bloody-SAP.
But, ironically, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. These "good intentions" are a significant part of how this virus/cancer spreads itself. Yes, you heard me. I used "virus" and "cancer," because Xtianity is a vile pestilence bent on propagating itself while destroying all forms of unbelief, peaceful or not.
I tell myself that I don't blame my parents for what they did. Yet, I can't help but feel angry and disillusioned for all the bullshit that was hammered into me from childhood. But in church and school, any form of questioning, of skepticism, was ruthlessly jumped on. Strangely, while I learned to suppress my doubts in public, they always kept stirring within.
I don't know whether I should come out and tell my parents. My mother is relatively easygoing in her faith -- she encouraged or at least accepted my questioning. My father is more conservative, but still tolerates my doubts. However, I wonder whether all that will change if they discover that I no longer believe. I do not know whether their love is contingent on my faith or lack thereof. I do not want to find out.
For a brief period in my primary school days, I lapsed into funnymentalism. I thought the world was made in 6 days, that I was the only one in class who knew that and that everyone had to be saved or they'd cook. I shudder to think of my insufferable arrogance in those days. I wonder how my teachers and classmates lived with it. If I could go back to those times, I'd slap myself bloody silly.
I joined a Christian uniform group (the infamous Boys' Brigade), in part because my parents thought it'd be good for me. Turned out it wasn't. Yes, I made good friends. But I also saw how ugly Christians are on the inside. The sense of entitlement, the subtle and overt bullying, the presumptuous arrogance, the sexism and so much more, bothered me constantly. When all this authoritarianism combined with the BB's regimented atmosphere, it created ugly results. I still hated how they tried to "reach out to" (read: harrass) non-believers within the organisation. Especially since everyone in my school had been *forced into uniformed groups, and some of them came to the BB. I tried to counsel restraint, but the "true believers" shot me down for being "lukewarm". The doubts grew louder.
In addition to the ugliness of Christians, I also saw how horrible *Christianity is. Too many things didn't add up. The "loving" god increasingly looked to me like an abusive, sadistic, megalomaniacal, and above all, evil creature. His supposed omnipotence contrasted with a world that looked like it was created by either an incompetent, or a devil, or both. Either way, god didn't look terribly loving. I also had no idea why the hell god wouldn't ensure or at least do something more about our salvation. God would know full well how many decent folks would reject his unwelcome "gift" based on the evidence they faced- and with extremely good reason. I couldn't see how he could send them to the cooker. I could not see why he'd make us jump through all these bloody hoops instead of just pulling us out of the fire himself. I could not see why he put a price on his "unconditional" love. I tried to rationalise it as "His mysterious ways". However, the more i looked at it, the more it looked like a rationalisation- a bunch of crock cooked up to justify a bunch of crock.
My doubts approached boiling point when I enlisted for national service. I wrote in my blog:
"'One of the things that helped me greatly was reading non-theistic material. I got a look at how the "other side" thinks, and I must say it wasn't what I expected. I thought atheists had no morals, but I was wrong.'
When i was going through a rough patch in the army [I was *bullied -- and chief among those creeps was a true-blue born again from an Xtian school, no less], i thought my religion might have the answers.
Looking back, I think I was wrong.
The irony: it wasn't just Christian friends who were there for me.
I had a die-hard atheist in my bunk. He was there for me. There were 2 Muslims too. They were there for me -- quite a few Buddhists and "Pagans" too -- all there for me.
Where was my Bible? What was my God doing? Why were my human, "condemned" friends so much closer and more loving than my dogma?
I could not stomach it when someone told me that they were going to burn. I still can't.
Does God give leeway for extenuating circumstances? What of those who never heard the Word? Those who had the bad luck to grow up in non-Christian homes? Those persecuted by the church (it strikes me how the church plays martyr so well, telling us to pray for suffering brethren, even while Christian atrocities in the Balkans and elsewhere are conveniently ignored)? Did they really deserve what was in store for them? Or were they just going to roast too?
I'd always thought non-believers could be decent people too, despite hearing otherwise in AC. But knowing something and actually experiencing it are totally different things.
I couldn't help but wonder whether evangelicals' relationships with others were real. I wondered what it would be like to bond with people only to push your worldview at them like a drug pusher pushes drugs. I didn't like the thought at all. It was then that I figured I should just leave them to be the good people they were, and to share this world peaceably with them. I wish we could all just do that.
I saw four babies being "welcomed" into the church community. Much as I thought the parents' and vicar's intentions were good, i couldn't avoid wondering which of them could wind up angry and disillusioned too."
I must say that i had a few Xtian friends who helped me, and I appreciated it very much. But i get the feeling they'd have been good people without their religion anyway. They seemed to act on principles of decency. The "born-again" bully, however, was very much the self-righteous fundie making a big hooha over his faith while being a totally evil prick.
Things came to a head when i had a conflict with a Xtian friend over sexism. He told me that we can't be "pick and choose" Christians. We had to accept the whole faith, or throw it out entirely. He didn't realise just how much he helped me along to throwing off my blinders and yoke. I realised that i had to throw the whole damn thing out. And i did.
One of my fundie friends had cancer when we were in secondary school. He recovered and praised God endlessly about it. I played along for his sake. Now he's relapsed. He's convinced that he's "healed" and that he just needs faith (instead of *real medical treatment) to recover. Yet he continually asks the "Lord", "how long"? The thought of his pain breaks my heart. The sight of him- gaunt, pale, sickly, sunken eyes, bald head hidden beneath a flimsy cap, scars from invasive medical procedures- hardens that heart against this bogus "faith". It disgusts me that the church has so thoroughly brainwashed him, yet will not be there for him when he discovers that it's all just bullshit and his false hopes go out the window. My broken heart has been hardened towards this Christianity, this evil cancer that afflicts so many of us in mind, body, and soul.
[PS- there is so much more about Xtians and Xtianity that just makes me want to scream. But that's another story.
However, that doesn't change the fact that I want to grab them and shake them and scream at them- anything to get them all to wake up before the Xtian cancer destroys them all.]