I am the illegitimate child of a drug addict/prostitute. When people found out who and what my mother was, they were not very accepting, especially in a small, conservative community. When I lived with my mother, I was brutalized; I have had every rib broken, my skull fractured, my jaw broken at least 3 times, my eye sockets broken and my nose broken. I still have scars, nearly 30 years later, where she broke bottles over me, and if it wasn't her beating me, it was the men she brought home. And I also know what it's like to have to beg for money and rummage through dumpsters just to eat; at 9 years old, I weighed 36 pounds.
I was taken from her and brought to live with my grandparents. When I started school here in 4th grade, my grandmother met with the principal of the school and told him my history and asked that it remain confidential; although she was assured it would, a school secretary made sure the elders of her LDS Church knew, so that the children of the church would be protected from me and any influence I may have. I was ostracized, attacked and beaten up.
I began to attend a Baptist Church in a different town; I thought I was at home, but found out they were also merely tolerating me. I had attended this church for nearly 3 years when I decided to question the statement of a Sunday school teacher regarding his assertion that Mother Teresa was going to hell. He said she was, I said, "No way"; that night, I was informed I was not a member of the church when I was told I could not go to a revival meeting with the rest of the kids, and the next week, I was asked to leave and not return, because I was a blemish on their church. They wished me well and told me they hoped God had pity on me, but they were sure to point out Deuteronomy 23:2 to me, and behind my back, they stated they knew I would never be anything more than what my mother was.
For years, I could not step inside a church - any church - without becoming physically ill. I have tried, but I don't last very long, and I don't tolerate any church that tries to convice me about the evils of homosexuality, because when I was 15, I was adopted by a gay man, and he saved my life. He gave me love and a solid home, made sure I was educated, and cheered louder than anyone when I graduated from high school, something no one thought I would do. He made me realize I really was worth something.
I have never been able to let go of my faith, but letting go of religion is no longer posing a challenge. Christians so often pose as all accepting; yet, as I am finding out once again, are some of the harshest, most judgmental of individuals. And when you try to have a conversation with them regarding their "faith", then they resort to attacks, reminding you that you are not one of the chosen few.
I feel I have nothing in common with any Christian any longer, because I simply refuse to look at myself as being above anyone else, even in the name of Jesus.