“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
“Even the most enlightened ones still judge. No one is without fault.”
I have been fighting a lost cause to explain why I should not be considered a heathen or amoral for not being a believer in Christ or any God. To use them to help lead my life.
I’ve never been able to count on anyone in my life except for myself. Only I can pull myself up by the bootstraps and get on with it. Until someone learns mind control or can reprogram the brain, you are not going to convince me that having “FAITH IN GOD” will change my life.
Let me put it this way, I was simply not born with or chosen to have the ability to “believe” or have “faith” in a deity. What I do have is faith in my fellow man. Darkness and light, ying and yang. For every good person there is someone equally as bad. I can’t change mankind. I can bitch about it just like everyone else, but in the end, we are only here for a short time and life is what you make of it. This is my take on it.
I am not angry that I wasn’t given a proper education into religion growing up. Nobody is born believing in anything. It is taught, just like language. There was never going to be anyone who would teach me how to believe as a child. There wasn’t any home that I lived in that practiced anything remotely resembling Christian like behavior. It was my step-grandparents, who were given the dubious task of introducing God into my life. What a bigger set of hypocrites I’ve never met. I was forced, quite literally, against my will to go to church on Sunday morning. What I called “big church”. Sitting in the big house on a hard pew, listening to a man preach his take on the word of GOD. I sat through endless classes of Sunday school in a Southern Baptist church being expected to learn all about the stories and character’s in a book called the “Bible”. I attended day care and my summers in the church sanctuary. I went to vacation bible school every summer as well. But I didn’t find any correlation as to how all this religious teaching was supposed to fit into my life. So I paid little mind and resented my time there.
I never saw my mother or father set foot anywhere near a church, not even once. The closest to religion I ever experienced with my mother, was a brief time when she would turn on the television so she could watch some crooked televangelist drone on endlessly. I think she was trying, in vain, to become born-again Christian. If she was ever truly one to begin with. I never saw anything positive come from it. My father was baptized as an Episcopalian as a child. I don’t know what his views or beliefs were or are to this day on the subject. He never once spoke to me about God. His religion was music and he made sure I was well indoctrinated in the church of music.
The only real belief I held in childhood was that I was deserving of pain and abuse. I wasn’t deserving of love. I didn’t believe in love. I was not properly loved as a child. It was beaten into me almost daily that I was a burden. Unwanted. Stupid. That was my religion.
I bear the emotional scars still, but they only flicker instead of burn anymore. The psychological scars are far more debilitating at times. They have a real hold on my life to this day. I do I what I must to make sure I don’t succumb to the lies I was taught. I compartmentalize my life to make it manageable.
I do not trust easily therefore I cannot believe what cannot be proven to me.
Over the course of growing into a relatively mature adult, I have openly allowed others around me, unsuccessfully, to try to influence the way I ought to perceive the world of Christianity. I went to Lenten services weekly in the Methodist church for years with a co-worker. It was a nice time, but I was there for fellowship not worship. I then attended Catholic Mass routinely with a friend for years but never partook in the communion. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t be comfortable with taking something believed as the consecration of Christ into my body and not feel disrespectful to the truly faithful. I always felt so ill at ease afterwards that I stopped going. I haven’t stepped foot into a church in over 9 years now. I have a great deal of curiosity into the theology and dogma available. At my own leisure I explore these things, try to learn what it all means, and see if or what I can apply to my own life.
I’ve never tried to influence my son in anyway against forming his own beliefs or ideas about organized religion. His father, stepmother and grandmother all go to church regularly. My son is agnostic, his words. He chooses not to attend church if given the option. He doesn’t want someone else telling him how he should believe. He makes informed decisions based on his own explorations into this realm.
In my own way, I constantly re-evaluate how I chose to live my life. I’ve applied the lessons of my past and studied how they’ve affected me.
Always as a child and into adulthood, I knew I never wanted to be a parent. Fate chose otherwise. I’ve been a proud parent for 17 years and counting to a wonderful son. His life was given to me to protect and nurture. Given to me so that he would help heal my bruised and battered soul. His very existence is my reward for surviving my childhood. I’ve been given the opportunity to be the role model I never had. To give someone my love unconditionally and wholly. To know that the love I receive in return is just as whole and unconditional. To experience childhood again. This time through his eyes. A childhood that isn’t riddled with emotional and physical scars.
When I knew I was going to become a parent, I didn’t pray for guidance or help. I just hoped against hope that I would know what to do. I had to fight my demons tooth and nail in those early years. I didn’t always get the best of the bastards either. Postpartum depression took its toll on my sanity and devastated my marriage. I didn’t know what I should be doing, but I tried to give it my best. When it became obvious that my best wasn’t damn near good enough, I had to call time on both. I couldn’t handle being a full-time mother and being a wife. I’m not proud of who I was back then or how I behaved. I took a road that garnered not only criticism and crippling rejection from my remaining family but also the scorn of friends and peers. I’ve done my atonement for what I did, as best as I know how.
I make no apologies to anyone for my values or beliefs. I do not belittle or mock you for your values and beliefs. I am able to live a moral life and co-exist peacefully with anyone who doesn’t pose a threat to me.
This is my current life and it is far from perfect, but I own it.