Agnostic Parenting and Education

It’s an interesting new challenge.

While Christian you raise your child in absolutes. There is a God. These are His rules. You must do this to gain Salvation. God is the creator of everything. We exist because God say it fit to make us. Values, Ethics, Morals are all dictated by the Bible/Christian culture.

As an agnostic this is very much not the case. Oh there are a few absolutes. Don’t hurt another being, etc. I am going to have to go away and consider if there are any deep and abiding absolutes while being agnostic as I raise my child.

The biggest difference, I find, is encouraging a love affair between your child and critical thinking/free thought. Teaching them to question authority, even yours when appropriate. I understand that many Christians will resent my claim that being a believer means leaving out the critical thinking in child rearing, and in very few cases I have seen Christian parents instill this in their child. Very few. I have come across 2 in my whole Christian walk.

Back on point though. Ignoring the us and them mentality of Noner and Believer, even in everyday life where you wouldn’t expect to find religious divides it is very seldom that I come across parents who are fully onboard with raising their children as free thinkers or seek to instill critical thinking skills. Regardless of faith, many parents and their children are walking through life with an intensely apathetic attitude to most things around them. They’re drones. Cogs in a bigger machine. Religion may numb the mind and control the masses but to be quite frank humans are more than capable of being numb sheep all on their own. I find VERY little support as a parent who seeks to raise an aware and questioning child. Christianity, in my experience, (and probably most religions to be fair) uses this aspect of human nature to their benefit and seek to fill the void with their religious absolutes. If you’re not paying attention and involved, before you know it certain things are just accepted as fact and never questioned. And that’s a scary reality.

Growing up I was always an inquisitive child. I quickly found that many, many people considered me rude or abrupt or down right intimidating with my questions and curiosity. For years I felt like I was a walking offense to people. The few who loved this aspect of me were like an oasis for me. Sitting in class and questioning the information we were given to regurgitate onto a test to prove the information had seeped into our brains just wasn’t cutting it for me. Luckily I had the rare few teachers who embraced this in me and encouraged it. Again, an oasis.

One clear example where my questioning was not welcome, surprisingly, was a philosophy class. The teacher handed out an assignment where we were to write an essay that answered the question “Does Evil Exist?”. As someone who was raised going to church since day one, my instinctual answer was yes. Despite this the urge to play devils advocate took hold and I decided I would answer No. That was the best damn essay I ever wrote. I put the most time and research into it that one essay than anything else I had written. I argued that no, evil did not exist and that it was a construct of society to enable it to function. I got a 55%.  I thought maybe I had written it shittily. I asked the teacher and he looked up over his glasses with disdain and remarked “it’s offensive”. It was a huge blow to me and I quickly realized that I might as well stfu and regurgitate.

After leaving school and my home country and settling abroad, I realized how incredibly subjective my whole education had been. Stuff I had taken for granted as The Truth or The Way It Had Happened, was simply not true in either my country or other countries I visited. I was stunned. How could this be possible. Education was supposed to teach you who, what, where, when, why, how, etc. It was a stunning revelation to me. that it could be so deeply subjective. Lets not even touch on the fact that evolution and creation were taught as mutually valid. It caused some strange dissonances in my youth.

The realization about how miserably my education failed in terms of teaching me to be objective, to use critical thinking skills, to question, to dig deeper or to step back and try to grasp “the big picture” set me on a question to educate myself as an adult. It’s a quest that will never end, which is a GOOD thing. It was part of the process in me losing my faith as well.

Now that my daughter is in mainstream education I have been floored at how subjective education still is. It is worse in Ireland were almost all schools are either protestant or catholic. The prods seem to have a bigger chip on their shoulder and push religion more than the catholics schools do. I find that fascinating in and of itself. What REALLY makes me wonder is if they are teaching my child that God exists and created the world, how the hell are they going to explain evolution as part of a modern education? I’d love to sit in and watch that one. Maybe the kids won’t question any of it since they too are being taught to simply regurgitate rather than learn.

The wee one coming home and telling me “God made the whole world” and then arguing with me when I posited other theories of how the world came to be made me realize I have my work cut out for me. She became especially frustrated when I told her that her teacher did not, in fact, know EVERYTHING. I addressed that one with pulling out a world map and showing her the various countries were she would be taught different religious tenants as True. With that experience I’ve realized that to combat the whole drone/cog mentality they instill right from day one in mainstream education I am going to have to subvert at home and be just as involved, if not more so, in her education and instill in her the realization that she needs to question, think critically, analyze and dig deeper. I have already mourned and raged against the realization that education is not objective and that the mental skills I value most in life are not taught or valued in mainstream education and now it’s time to counteract that.

It’s a big big challenge and one that is not strictly that of the agnostic parent. Hive mind is not a pretty thing.

The Lovely Bones

I’m in the middle of it.

Stop reading if you don’t want a spoiler.

The scene before she dies, Susie is in the bunker he built specifically to murder her. He has lured her in based on the promise of something neat and original that she would be the first to see. While down there her instincts kick into over drive and she says she has to leave. He sternly tells her not to be impolite.

With that one simple sentence rage erupted within me. It reminds me of how docile women are trained to be. How to acquiesce and keep the peace even when we feel, innately, that we want out. It’s hard for me to put into words what I want to say, but! Luckily I came across a blog post awhile ago that sums up what I am talking about.

This is the part I thought of specifically when watching the movie:

“Women who are taught that certain established boundaries are frowned upon as too rigid and unnecessary are going to find themselves in situations that move further faster before they realize that their first impression was right, and they are in a dangerous room with a dangerous person.”

But women are constantly taught not to stand up for themselves, not to set boundaries, not to speak out.

This is the most pertinent part for me and something I am realizing more and more often is VERY true:

If women are raised being told by parents, teachers, media, peers, and all surrounding social strata that:

It is not okay to set solid and distinct boundaries and reinforce them immediately and dramatically when crossed (“mean bitch”)

It is not okay to appear distraught or emotional (“crazy bitch”)

It is not okay to make personal decisions that the adults or other peers in your life do not agree with, and it is not okay to refuse to explain those decisions to others (“stuck-up bitch”)

It is not okay to refuse to agree with somebody, over and over and over again (“angry bitch”)

It is not okay to have (or express) conflicted, fluid, or experimental feelings about yourself, your body, your sexuality, your desires, and your needs (“bitch got daddy issues”)

It is not okay to use your physical strength (if you have it) to set physical boundaries (“dyke bitch”)

It is not okay to raise your voice (“shrill bitch”)

It is not okay to completely and utterly shut down somebody who obviously likes you (“mean dyke/frigid bitch”)

If we teach women that there are only certain ways they may acceptably behave, we should not be surprised when they behave in those ways.”

Don’t be impolite? Fuck you. I’m going to teach my daughter to be impolite for the simple reason that we live in a rape culture and being polite or quiet might be the very thing that gets her abused or worse if she doesn’t know it’s ok to set boundaries and be “impolite” or firm or direct.

There is a woman at work who is incredibly direct. She can be as polite and gentle as she may but the mere fact that she firmly sets boundaries and doesn’t allow them be crossed as earned her the privilege of having many a person roll their eyes at her and give her the wonderful title of bitch. I admit, she shocked me when I first encountered her but not because she was a bitch but because she enforced her boundaries and I envied her, I wanted her strength. At the time I was too afraid of the stigma of Bitch. Now? Not so much. Surviving rape, abuse and various other forms of abuse and shutting up about them so as not to rock the boat got me no where.

Fuck politeness.

Edited to add: Movie ended. Loved the bitch at the end ~_^

Shock to the System

When writing about losing my faith I decided to break certain parts off and dedicate a post to give those areas more attention.

Bigger than the process of questioning and losing my faith is a realization that slammed into me while sitting, reading, in a carpark while I waited to collect my daughter.

I was reading The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and was getting more and more angry at the fundamentalist father, but even more so at the Belgium’s for their part in decimating the Congo. I could have that wrong – my memory of the specifics is a bit hazy. Anyway. I was getting more and more angry at how unjust it all is, how exploitative the west was and still is, how greedy and abusive, etc, etc.

My first thought was something about there is so much injustice in the world. Then, out of no where, so suddenly it sucked the breath from my chest – my faith imploded and died.

All the stuff I had been questioning and analyzing, all the different doctrines and perspectives and questions – none of them were enough to bring me to a conclusion one way or another. Looking at the state of the world, the abuses, the human rights violations, the sex trafficking and child abuse and rape and murder and whole nations starving to death and us with our big flat screen tellies and mind numbing riches while the rest squirmed in their squalor… God Did Not Exist and Was Not Involved In This World.

No being with even an ounce of empathy or love or emotion or justice could exist, and having created this world, just let it be.

Even now I cannot re-create that feeling, that realization or the impact it had on me. It was a blinding moment of absolute realization and it was like being sucker punched and the wind knocked out of me.I just knew God wasn’t there. The bible made so many promises of a loving God who would lift up the broken hearted, heal the wounded and wipe the tears of the mourning. Bullshit.

Where is God? Where is God in Darfur where women are raped and their breasts cut off and their babies thrown into the fire before their very eyes. Where is God in China where infanticide occurs regularly and boy babies are deemed more worthwhile then girl babies? Where is God in the child sex trafficking? Where is God for the homeless and the helpless and the abused? Where is God in the Tsunami? Where was God in the Holocaust when his OWN FUCKING PEOPLE were slaughtered in their MILLIONS? Where is God in the thousands of starving children all over the world? And WHERE the FUCK is God when people commit horrible atrocities in His name? Where. The. Fuck. Is. God?!

I came home and told one of my closest friends who I could discuss the deep stuff with and I explained what had happened, about how my faith imploded. And then another realization that brought me to gasping tears. There was no justice at the end of it all. There would be no retribution. The wounded, hurt, abandoned, abused, neglected, starved, murdered, betrayed and left for dead would never see justice. God would not be waiting to wipe their tears and hold their hand. He didn’t do a damn thing on Earth to help them and they would receive no vindication after death either.

There was no justice.

I cried myself to sleep that night and several nights after.

There is no justice.

There is only what we stand up and do ourselves. I have heard many Christians say with a kind of smug self righteousness that without God there is no morality and no ethics or values. Lies. Humans will be moral with or without God depending on who they are. There are Christians that I have seen first hand readily admit that if their was no God there would be nothing stopping them from raping women.There are non believers who risk their lives every day to make a difference to those who need it most.

As for me? Losing my faith and the realization of there being no Judeo Christian God to make it all right at the end means I am accountable for everything I do or do not do on this Earth. I am accountable to me and to anyone I don’t protect, defend or hurt with my inaction. I can’t do everything but I will damn well do everything I can.

It’s still the single most disturbing realization I have ever had in life and the one that haunts me.

Losing My Religion

How cliche is that title? I had to, there was no helping it.

I might break this into several posts because there is a lot to it. I will try and be succinct though, and not waffle on.

There were several… parts if you will, to my loss of faith in the Judeo Christian God and Faith. It began over 2 years ago. I had managed to hold onto my faith in God through an abusive marriage, through being abandoned, through separation and finally divorce. Through eating disorders and trauma and bla bla bla. I would have to say, however, that those things were the catalyst to what became my journey away from Christianity and God.

Previous to my marriage falling apart and all the aforementioned crap happening, I was a born again Christian attending an evangelical pentecostal church. I went every single sunday, helped with admin and helped start their very successful youth group. I was considered a woman of God/a woman after Gods own heart/a woman with a heart for Gods causes – the poor, orphaned, widowed, destitute, etc. Basically I am an activist to my core and always have been. I was quiet about my faith but served diligently from the time I got saved til my marriage fell apart which happened at the same time I questioned the direction of the church and it’s new found connections to a movement I disliked immensely – Willow Creek.

After the majority of the dust had settled from my separation, I came up for air and decided I needed community and support. A church. I had stopped going because my ex had deemed our last church to not be teaching the Word of God correctly or deep enough and he disliked their new connections to WC. I found a sweet little church with people my age and started attending. I literally have nothing bad to say about that church or the people who attend it except possibly the pastor who told me the following. I had been dating a Christian and the pastor knew we were quite smitten with each other (Uh, try an unhealthy rebound >.< yuck). He decided it necessary to inform me what his thoughts on divorce and remarriage were. He explained that while I was ok before God to get divorced due to the abuse I sustained, it was not ok for me to remarry. Ever. I had mad a commitment before God and while it sucked that it didn’t work out, I had to honor it until his or my death. Peachy.

Hearing that devastated me. I had married way too young at 19 and while I had meant my vows I had no idea WHO I was marrying as I would later find out. I could not believe God wanted me to be alone and never experience a full and loving marriage. That my only experience of marriage would be one of continuous abuses. That my daughter would never have a two parent home again and that I would be destined to struggle alone and achingly lonely to be everything for both of us. None of it made sense and my instincts kicked against it violently.

I began researching. I found loads and loads of Christians who disagreed with that pastor and allowed, encouraged and condoned remarriage, especially in my case where infidelity and abuse were present. Luckily that rebound relationship didn’t work out (he was a fundie – YIKES!) and suddenly the pieces fell into place for me to make some big big changes for me and my daughter. We moved and settled deep in the countryside, started attending a new church where I felt relatively welcome and unjudged.

But this new church had different doctrines. And friends in real life and Online had different doctrines too. Everyone seemed to have them. I was definitely not new to the concept of doctrinal differences, but it was the first time I had been so personally affected by one or the other being right. I wanted one way to be RIGHT but if the other was RIGHT was I condemning myself and my new partner to hell? Then I came across an incredibly well outlined doctrine which made a case against the existence of a literally hell. It outlined how Noners would simply be annihilated and believers would spend eternity with God. I was taken aback. Which was right?

I became deeply concerned with finding out the Truth. Which of the many sects of Christianity had the right story? What if none did? What of these Gnostics? How did I know they didn’t have a corner on the truth? How could I reconcile the way I was being treated as a divorced woman with the Jesus I followed and how second class I was constantly made to feel? How could I be part of a church that reveled in such abject wealth and riches while so so so much of the world wallowed in poverty? What about the disgusting ways the LGBT community were treated? What of the inconsistencies in the Bible? How could God leave behind such confusion? Why would he leave things so ambiguous. If God is the same yesterday, today and forever… then… that means at one time commanded a raped woman be stoned to death and babies and women be slaughtered… wtf? And this was the doozy – why was he SO fucking silent and inactive to the mind blowing amounts of injustice happening all over the world?

That is just a very small taste of the questions that swirled and swirled and swirled around my head constantly. I began hungrily reading. My goal was simple. Find out which sect was right. Find the right theology/doctrines/beliefs and I would have my answers. Find out if the Bible had to be taken literally or metaphorically. Find out if it was some kind of cryptic guide to a deeper understanding and spirituality that not everyone was privy to. Find out the TRUTH.

Three main areas of discovery followed. One was scientific. One was instinctual. One was based on the validity of the Bible itself.

At this stage I will leave those three sections for future posts (they’ll be up shortly), because then I can address them deeper.

At the end of this discovery time, which lasted over a year, I was left without my faith, much much more peace and contentment and a freedom from so very many unhealthy things in my life that religion had imposed on me. I felt so incredibly free. The end result was also scary because having been involved in the church for 10 years, I knew what happened when people walked away. Rejection. Gossip. Supposition. Judgment. Condemnation. Guilt. All of these things were things I had to deal with. I lost a lot of “friends” (they weren’t worth the time and effort I had invested to begin with) and many of my closest friends still do not know the completeness of my loss of faith. I am gentle on them because I know how they will react and how they will worry and I spare them that. They know I have lost my faith but I spare them my rage at the faith and it’s leaders. I spare them the rage at feeling 10 years of my life were wasted in deception.

Among some of the harder things I had to face were the douchebag bastards who were very detailed in explaining how much I was hurting my daughter and letting her down. The pastor of my last church very gently and supportively and lovingly told me how I was hurting my daughter and depriving her and how badly I was regressing. My response? stfu and gtfo of my life. You’re done. Emotional manipulation and coercion are NOT ok with me. I’d come too far to put up with that load of horseshit.

In the end out of many, many friends I kept 4 from my real, every day life. My Christian friends I had made online were much more loving and accepting of me and it was never a problem. One of the real lifers has abandoned her faith as well. The subject is skirted around and that is ok with me. They very considerately asked if it was ok to be honest about their faith around my daughter. I said of course! It’s who they are and I love them, be themselves. While they never try and push her towards Christianity or indoctrinate her, they do occasionally give her overtly Christian things which grates on me. We deal with that as it comes up, which is usually painfully honestly on my part.

For my part I have both remained myself and changed significantly. I find my status as an agnostic free thinker allows me delve into subjects I never thought possible and consider an incredible amount of new things from a detached outside perspective, giving them each careful thought and rarely passing judgment unless it directly effects my life and how I want to live/raise my daughter, etc.

The biggest changes in my life are as follows:

  • I am an unabashed feminist and am no longer afraid to call myself one. You’ll be exposed to my rage against Christianity’s treatment of women shortly as well as general patriarchal bullshit too.
  • I no longer have a cognitive dissonance about the LGBT community and consider myself an activist for their rights. Love the sinner, hate the sin? I call BS. Had it pulled on me and it is a sickening feeling. So wrong and am so deeply sorry for not addressing my attitude to their community sooner.
  • I am personally pro-life but politically pro-choice.
  • I will never, ever again get married. For many reasons including that there is no equality in marriage right now. Only straight hetero-normative people can marry and until there is absolute equality then the whole institute is a means for discrimination. There are other reasons like rejecting the idea that being married lends some kind of validity to a relationship and disliking the government involvement as well.
  • I am no longer wallowing in cognitive dissonance  and no longer ignoring what I completely and utterly disagree with in terms of biblical issues and the culture that is coupled with Christianity.
  • My views on what it means to be a steward of the earth have changed drastically but they are not necessarily in conflict with the faith itself.
  • I am unapologetic in my swearing and firmly believe they are just words – occasionally appropriate, often not! ^_^
  • Sin = human nature and it is neither intrinsically negative or positive.
  • I no longer apologize for who I am anymore or feel like I am constantly failing or disappointing God. (Fuuuuck that noise!)
  • I accept the theory of evolution. Before I thought God started the whole shemazzle – now I am decidedly agnostic on who, if anyone, started the process and just enjoy that it produced what it has.
  • I now honor myself more, my daughter much much more and anyone who’s path I cross more – their journeys are their own and it is no longer for me to enlighten them or save them. I am not perfect and I still argue and debate with people, but I am now a facilitator and an observer more than anything else.

On the whole? I am still me. I am still trundling along working and trying to raise my daughter while moving towards a self sustained life. I am and always have been an Activist… I just don’t have to try and convince the believers that THAT is what Jesus said was important (they never listened anyway). I still donate more than I can afford to the charities I have researched and have found to be doing good, effective work. They have changed since I was a Christian. I still celebrate holidays but have reverted to the Pagan festivals, not because I have become a witch/pagan but because I have found them to be the most relevant for myself as someone who is so ecologically aware – living in tune with the seasons and nature is a truly enjoyable thing. I leave out the magic ^_^ lol because this world IS magic all on its onesies.

So. Highly unexciting. Well for anyone other than me. It was extremely painful and hard in parts. I will write about the most brutal realization for me personally in another post (click the link – it’s up now). Very, VERY liberating experience as well. I deeply value my ability to think critically and question now and to not have to believe what some random authority figure has deemed “truth”. I found it next to impossible to do these things while trying to hold onto my faith.

I do feel like I broke free of an oppressive religion. Part of me wants to apologize to any Christians who may read this for saying that but it is true. You may say “I am sorry your experience was bad, or that you encountered bad teaching, spiritual abuse, etc – my experience is MUCH different.” but rest assured, I used to say that exact thing myself. I feel like I have escaped, not unscathed and am better for it, and am now much more aware. I am now Agnostic. That means, when it comes to the question of whether or not God exists, my answer is I do not know. However, I do not, under any circumstance believe the God in the Judeo Christian Bible to exist as outlined in the Bible, nor do I believe He is the only way to any kind of salvation or that we even need salvation in terms of salvation from innate sin.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Quickie – Dawkins Planning Popes Arrest

For the Win

I hope it works too. I am sick and tired of religious icons and leaders getting away with serious and horrific abuses because they have some kind of untouchability attributed them. Here’s hoping something comes of this, and I mean more than just raising awareness.

Strange…

Oh hai thar,

So now that there are people stumbling across my blog and reading and commenting (Thanks 🙂 Lovely to meet yew! Will write back to comments soon) I am getting stage fright lol. And am suddenly like concerned about what I write about which wasn’t the case when I started. Either way I’ve decided to trundle along with my original plan and write from my perspective on the stuff that matters to me.

Most likely it will be religion heavy for awhile because I am out of the agnostic closet and finally able to blurt out how the whole thing has affected me. Topics I am working on include Women and the Bible, Rape and the Bible, Shit one has to deal with when walking away from the Faith and Raising free thinking kidlets.

So lots coming up. Stayed tuned 🙂

In the mean time if you missed The Daily Show addressing the Holy Catholic Church of Rapists, here’s some sardonic chuckles for you. The laughter eases the rage… No, no wait, it doesn’t!

The Daily Show – Pope Opera

The Daily Show – Holy Sh*t

I’m so offended. No really.

I was discussing with my beautiful Buddhist friend how much I abhor offending people. I loath it, I really do. In response she said this:

“You need to say fuck off to not offending people. People need to be offended once in a while. Look, both of us seem to spend a good portion of our lives offended and pissed off because the people in charge or the majority are doing or allowing things that are just insane, upsetting, hateful etc. and WE’RE worried about offending people? Hells no, things need to be riled up my friend. That’s where change comes from.”

Girls got a damn fine point. I spend a disproportionate amount of my time livid about the status quo and the state of things and the lack of justice and discrimination and inequality and abuse and bla bla bla bla bla. And I am soooo fucking fed up of it. My ideas aren’t even offensive! They’re for WHOLENESS. That’s why my blog is so cheezily named for pete’s sake. Everyone is entitled to wholeness. That includes an absence of bullshit like injustice, discrimination, abuse, inequality, persecution, etc. Yes yes yes, I know it’s idealistic. That’s incorporated into the title of the blog too. I got stuff covered – trust.

But seriously. If I offend? Suck it up. This stuff needs to be addressed or I wouldn’t be mouthing off about it.

Oh fiesty fiesty! Such potent questions you ask, Rechelle.

I’ve done it again. Followed link after link after link and wiled away hours reading again. I can’t say I feel guilty – I encounter such fascinating and challenging things.

One blog I stumbled upon months ago is My Sisters Farmhouse written by a lovely lady named Rechelle, who after being a Pastors wife and a Christian for 41 years walked away from her faith and became an atheist. I found a blog about her apologizing for being a huge religious shit head and I admit I instantly had a crush. A me kind of crush. A omg I love what you just said, how articulately you express yourself and how much I identify with what you said kind of crush. A go on say more kind of crush. Not an I wanna snog you kinda crush, if you know what I mean 😉

So today I was wandering around her blog again and came across this post. Please go read it.

I’ll wait.

No really, did you read it?

See what I mean? Good stuff, that. Maybe because I have had all those questions confronting my own faith before. Maybe because I want to SCREAM those questions and fucking well get some answers.

I may not be an atheist, but that lovely Rechelle and I? We have the same beefs with the Christian faith and there’s no answers forth coming as of yet.

If you read this Rechelle, MUAH! You, my dear, are a woman of great strength and integrity and I have much respect.

Edited to add this: I found another post of hers about the Ten Commandments. I had to share. Read it 😉

Own it Baby! Work it! *Snaps fingers*

Oh, lol… I do amuse me.

Digression done away with, I’ve been thinking more and more lately about walking away from Christianity. I realize one of the most powerful aspects of leaving my faith behind was finally being allowed to own my feelings. To experience them, keep them, work through them, etc.

What I mean by that is when walking the walk of an evangelical pentecostal Christian, every single emotion/inner experience that you have is given away.

For example:

Grief – say if you were sad because your Mum died – Aw hunny don’t be sad, she’s with Jesus, give your grief to the Lord!

Depressed – You’re not experiencing the victory of Christ! Grasp His victory on the cross!

Angry – The devil is aggravating you, trying to get you to sin. OR! It could be that you’re experiencing Righteous Anger and the Lord is prompting you to action! (You mean like shooting an abortion Doctor?)

Frustrated – Oh this one is fun. It could be because you’re being rebellious and not submitting to God. It could be because Gods put something on your heart He wants you to fix for Him in the world/church/neighborhood, etc.  It could be because God is making you aware of something in your life He wants you to fix about yourself.

Horny – TEMPTED! (If you can’t control that and stay celibate like Paul, then Marry! Marry quickly so you can get your rocks off!)

Happy – The Lord has given you joy!!! Be grateful!

Devastated – The Lord is testing you, but tut tut, take comfort, He’ll never give you more than you can bear.

Anxious – Whatever you’re anxious about you should be giving to the Lord for Him to deal with.

Connection with Something – God has put that something on your heart.

Desire or Yearning for Something – God has put that on your heart because that is where you can do the most good and honor Him.

Jealous – Satan is fuckinwitchu again.

See what I mean? And because you’re so focused on handing over your emotions, wants or needs to God or trying to decipher what God is using your emotions/wants/needs to tell you, there is probably little chance you’re actually sitting and working through any of them. You never fully FEEL anything. What does it mean, what does God want, what is God telling me with this, repent, repent – you’re tempted!!! Fuck that’s exhausting. And a fabulous tool for repression.

When your feelings, wants, needs, desires and thoughts are constantly being attributed to Satan or God or having to be handed over to God you never actually get to know yourself. You never actually stay with the any of it, unpack it, face it, confront it, indulge it, sort through it. And what is even scarier and more exhausting is that so many people claim to be authorities on these topics, you can literally go insane trying to find the “right” answer that you end up like an inbred pedigree dog chasing your own tail until you slam into a door frame.

But that, my non-as-of-yet-existent blog readers, is why so very many depend so heavily on God. He becomes the protective screen so nothing is actually felt or dealt with or even taken responsibility for. I can see why people need that. I don’t judge at all. I just couldn’t hack it anymore. Call me a glutton for punishment but I wanted the ability, better or worse, to experience all that stuff in it’s best and worst and work through it myself and make my own fucking decisions about what it all meant, if anything. And if God is real and I walked away, that is still going to be my answer on my judgment day.

Personally speaking I was overwhelmed but relieved to feel/want/need/engage. It was like getting my senses back. With that came my instincts. Oh how I love my precious precious instincts. The ones I had been taught and encouraged to ignore for years and years. The ones, when acceptable, were attributed to God and when unacceptable were attributed to Satan. “I like this church” “OMG God has led you here!!!” or “Dude I am getting a bad vibe about this” “Oh goodness, you’re Spirit of Rebellion is gaining a foothold!”

I call bullshit.

I have an ex (christian fundie) boyfriend who loved visual analogies. Because I was divorced and he was a crystal clear virgin, his analogy for our relationship was as follows: Mountain has a pristine white castle upon it with a road running away from it to a field which eventually got darker, wetter and muddier. Eventually it turned into a sticky, disgusting bog swamp. Him and his family were up in the castle. Me? I was roooolling like a pig in the mud in the bog swamp. I was tainted and dirtied in my pain, emotions, experiences and *gasp* my sins. He thought I was neat but was desperately trying to figure out a way to send in a hazmat team to extract me from my filth. You can see why this relationship didn’t last.

Still. I took something away from that. That swamp? Is authenticity. Now I revel in it. I don’t want that filter to protect me from feeling, wanting, needing, paying attention to my instincts, etc. Especially since most of it is someone elses projection onto you and how unhealthy is that when they’re filtering feeling anything themselves? It’s like a circle jerk of repression, control and manipulation.

I love the freedom of wallowing in whatever comes up out of me for better or worse. I love not having to try and submit it to God or repent for it or seeking some elder or deacon or pastor to interpret it for me. Because I don’t believe any of it is from God or Satan. I believe it’s just stupid human me with all my glorious experiences, wounds, feelings, needs, wants, conditioning, traumas, passions, etc.

It might just be the best part of breaking free for me.

Another nail in the coffin. Hopefully the last.

While finishing a painting this morning my partner started reading excitedly from the next room. “Whoa, wait til you hear this one!”

This is what he read out to me:

“Pope Benedict XVI’s personal preacher is likening accusations against the pope and the church in the sex abuse scandal to “collective violence” suffered by the Jews.

The Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa said in a Good Friday sermon, with the pope listening to him in St. Peter’s Basilica, that a Jewish friend has said the accusations remind him of the “more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism.””

(Source)

I sat there stunned and thought to myself THIS. THIS finally has to be the last straw. To play the victim, comparing themselves to a people group who were targeted in the holocaust, when found to be pedophiles or to have been found harboring them? This HAS to finish them.

I’m not going to be holding my breath though. People are way too fantastic at turning a blind eye. If you scroll a little further down that article  and you already see faithful catholics excusing why they’re still supporting the church and celebrating with them at Easter. *Turns on loud speaker* Hellooooo, THE POPE – HEAD OF YOUR FAITH – HARBORED AND ENABLED A PEDOPHILE!!!!!!!!! Maybe the speaker is broken? Denial/Avoidance is a powerful tool.

Hell, the Catholic church is taking OFFERINGS to fund the vast amounts of money they own for damages to rape and abuse victims and faithful catholics everywhere are paying into it. Now… I realize the motive for that could very well be in support and empathy to the victim, but it all just smacks of enabling when it’s a well known fact that most of the pedophilic priests are not facing punishment for their appalling crimes.

The whole thing offends every bone in my body. There is so little justice to begin with and then this twisted fuck of a priest claims victimization on par with the Jews. Just… go off some where, curl up and die already – the whole obscene establishment. You’d be doing us all a favor and possibly single-handedly pushing those countries still in your grasp into a progressive human rights oriented mind set instead of a medieval assbackwards ignorance based one. Wahey! Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Aifinkso.

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