You still come here? Maybe I should too…

Well hi. Been a long time… again. I lost some of my vitriol against my former faith… but lately I have run up against it more frequently and have been forming some posts in my head. I will work on them soon and update the site. I remember when I made this that I had wanted to cover religion and permaculture, self sustainability, parenting, etc and it’s only just been about my walk away from Christianity.

 

But! In the mean time enjoy Tim Minchins Christmas Song. I love it and listen to it several times a week.

 

 

And while you’re following links that I direct you to, check out what has been happening on The Bloggess. It’ll make your heart swell and eyes possibly tear up 😀

 

If I don’t blog before Christmas, may it be Merry and if you celebrate Winter Solstice like us, enjoy – the suns on it’s way back and that’s a good enough reason for me to celebrate!

Prayer: Take credit for outcomes without lifting a finger!

We were discussing how nice it is to finally be in a healthy relationship. How well it had fallen into place with little friction. How dreams I have been talking about for years are finally coming to fruition. After a thoughtful pause he continued with: “Yanno what I don’t get? All this stuff is working out for you and you’re not even following God anymore!” I wasn’t quite sure how to respond so something along the lines of “I know, hey?” Came out of my mouth. Then the kicker. “It must be all the praying I am doing for you!”

I’m sorry, did he even THINK before you blurted that retarded self congratulatory comment out at me? It must be all that praying he was doing for me? So him sitting on his ass mentally considering my situation and discussing it with his deity while doing absolutely nothing in the physical material world to actually help me make my dreams come true somehow explains my success as of late. Couldn’t possibly be that I simply worked my ass off? No, no it MUST be prayer! I am so glad I now know the key to my success.

Which leads me to ranting about the ego stroking, credit taking, responsibility sherking bullshit that so often accompanies prayer. Should I first put a disclaimer in that in general I think the concept of prayer/meditation on anothers behalf can be incredibly potent, positive and uplifting? Probably not, but I will anyway so no one can accuse me of thinking the general idea is BS. Positive mental energies are never a waste of time.

However, there are aspects of prayer that infuriate me. Like the people who, whether out loud or in their own minds, congratulate themselves on a positive outcome in a situation because THEY prayed and somehow their prayer got through to  the ear of God. Or the jackasses who take the credit altogether because they prayed – “I knew it would turn out this way, I’ve been praying so hard!”. Ooooor the assholes who absolutely sherk any responsibility for responding to real life needs with real life assistance and instead think sending some prayer in the direction of the problem is a solution in and of itself. Yes, because Prayer is what found the cures for numerous diseases, and prayer is how crops get planted and prayer is how battered spouses find a way out of abusive marriages and have shelters to seek refuge in and prayer is how your child miraculously gets good grades. It has NOTHING to do with hard work, long hours, sacrifice and human strength or resilience.

I found it incredibly insulting how someone could take the credit for my hard work over the last three years and attribute it to praying to his God who I don’t even believe in. And no, it is not ok that that’s just their belief system and everything and anything good comes from their God in their opinion. If that’s the case keep your fucking opinion to yourself. Or yanno, I can start pointing out all the uber shitty things that happens in these peoples lives and be like, so… your God allowed that hey? Huh – seems kind of…uncaring? Sadistic? Cruel? But you know the response is going to be either that the Lord is testing them or that it isn’t God but Satan. Yes. Satan. Horns and all.

If a hell of a lot more people would, along side their prayers, get off their asses and get involved in the world that is going on around them just maybe the world would be a better place. I mean obviously not everyone can get involved in everything, but chugging along in ones vapid religious life with all their incredible first world luxuries that the majority of the world can’t even imagine and somehow thinking that their prayers uttered between their Egyptian cotton sheets is somehow going to make an iota of a difference in any situation from Darfur to their friends financial crisis when it isn’t followed by some kind of positive action has got to be one of the most offensive aspects of Religion for me these days.

I know! I’ll pray that these types of people see the folly of their ways and turn from them to a more productive & beneficial way of helping others – by actually DOING something.

Awww poor Pope got his feewings hurt

While browsing a blog that kindly linked to a recent book review I did, I came across his latest blog entry which comments on one of my FAVORITE subjects. The Pope!

The poor bastard has done gone and got his knickers in a twist because of a leaked memo. Apparently the Foreign Office had a little brain storming session about the Popes up coming visit and it leaked. Whoooops.

Check it out here.

The Telegraph covered the leak and subsequent response by the Vatican. One source in child abuse cover up central the Vatican is quoted as saying “This could have very severe repercussions and is embarrassing for the British government – one has to question whether the action taken is enough.” and “It’s even possible the trip could be cancelled as this matter is hugely offensive.”

ACTUALLY, twatwaffle, you know what is offensive? And no, no I won’t go for the easy “what is offensive is how wide spread the catholic churches involvement in child rape and abuse is” but I WILL go for the following: What is offensive is your repulsed reaction to the suggestions within the memo!

  • Launch pf “Benedict” condoms
  • Review of Vatican attitude on condom use
  • Bless a civil partnership
  • Reverse of policy on women bishops/ordain women
  • Open an abortion ward
  • Speech on equality
  • Statement on views over adoption (change of stance)
  • Training course for all bishops on child abuse allegations
  • Harder line on child abuse – sacking of dodgy bishops
  • Vatican sponsorship of network of AIDS clinics
  • Meet young unemployed people
  • Apologise for ………………………………
  • Canonise/psuedo canonise a group
  • Announce whistle blowing system for child abuse cases
  • Go to job centre
  • Debate on abortion
  • All catholic schools should be free entry to all
  • Speech on democracy
  • Vatican and C of E funded committee on dialogue
  • Launch helpline for abused children

Granted some are facetious and satirical like Pope condoms. Er… wait. That’s the only one. The rest? VALID FUCKING SUGGESTIONS YOU BARBARIC ASSBACKWARDS INSTITUTE OF ABUSE SHELTERERS.

*Deep breath* Sorry, got a lil frustrated there. Lets look at these for a moment please.

  • Review of Vatican attitude on condom use

Hahaha

  • Bless a civil partnership

What is offensive about blessing the love between two people? The potential that they might be homosexuals in civil partnership? Well we all know how repression of sexuality works don’t we, oh holy institute swarming with child rapists.

  • Reverse of policy on women bishops/ordain women

Well, yes, yes I can see why you’d find this offensive. The idea that women are equal and just as capable of men to lead the spiritual lives of the masses is so fucking offensive I just threw up a little in my mouth.

  • Open an abortion ward

This one – I can see the offense. But seriously, reproductive rights is a serious issue and you can’t make a blank condemnation of abortion when there are cases happening on a daily basis of rape and incest. Like the 10 year old in Mexico who is pregnant right now by her stepfather. See how abortion might have been an option there? No? Fuck you then ^_^

  • Speech on equality

Good god if the Pope gave a speech on equality all those uppity black people, gheys and immigrants might get IDEAS!

  • Statement on views over adoption (change of stance)

I… I don’t know what their stance is and I don’t think my little activist brain can handle finding out today. I’ll get back to you on this one.

  • Training course for all bishops on child abuse allegations

Well if it’s on how to dodge allegations you fuckers could lead a world wide educational seminar. However, I think the suggestion implies you learn how to deal with them legally and properly while supporting the victim instead of forcing silence and covering up the allegations.

  • Harder line on child abuse – sacking of dodgy bishops

BUT THEN THE POPE WOULD HAVE TO LEAVE! Damn straight you sick fucking child abuse enabler. TA TA! Surely it would behoove the whole institute to have a leader who wasn’t involved in covering up child rape and enabling more, but maybe I am just being idealistic again.

  • Vatican sponsorship of network of AIDS clinics

AIDs is a reality you bastards and you’re supposed to bring healing and peace to people so HOW IS THIS OFFENSIVE?!

  • Meet young unemployed people

God damn dirty hippies. Ignore this one Pope, no one expects you to meet the disenfranchised.

  • Apologise for ………………………………

THE CRUSADES? THE CHILD ABUSE COVER UPS? THE RACISM? Oh I’ll stop there cause I could go on forEVER.

  • Canonise/psuedo canonise a group

I don’t even get this so I’ll leave it be.

  • Announce whistle blowing system for child abuse cases

Oh god, oh god, oh god, you’d lose too many priests and bishops wouldn’t you?! Can’t have that now! Again HOW THE FUCK IS THIS OFFENSIVE?!

  • Go to job centre

Those damn disenfranchised again!

  • Debate on abortion

You’d think you’d like this one because if abortion was allowed there’s the potential to cover up more rape…..

  • All catholic schools should be free entry to all

Well. All I’m gonna say is you have enough money to do this as an institute but I am glad you won’t because you sexually repressed assbackwards medieval fucks do not need to be indoctrinating more children, or indeed have access to them.

  • Speech on democracy

Hahahaha zomg the OFFENSE OF DEMOCRACY!

  • Vatican and C of E funded committee on dialogue

Over my head, sorry folks.

  • Launch helpline for abused children

God no, don’t help the children. It would fly in the face of everything you’ve been striving for all these years!!!!

Yanno why I hope this gets sorted and De Fadder comes to the UK? So Dawkins can go ahead with his plan to have the Pope arrested for crimes against humanity.

But seriously. This is absurd. Most of the stuff on that list is basic human rights stuff. Are they offended because of what it suggests about them? They are GUILTY of what it suggests. They have been for years. What is even more sickening than the fact that they are guilty of so many human rights violations is that they continue to play victim and are avoiding being brought to justice for their wrong doings. That the victims of the various crimes this institute covers up have seen no justice as of yet and that when it is suggested that the catholic church puts child protection measures in place they get so deeply offended they threaten that there could be long term repercussions for Britain.

In sort, stfu “highly placed source in the Vatican” and quit defending the indefensible.


Initial Source

My Sisters Farmhouse & Nate Phelps

One of my favorite blogs, My Sisters Farmhouse has a blog about seeing & meeting Nate Phelps (yanno, estranged son of the insane Fred Phelps who leads the twisted Westboro Baptist Church?) when he recently went back to Topeka, Kansas. She even got to meet him *^_^* I got a lovely encouraging email from him awhile back and I thought I would link to the story because of general interest. It takes balls to come out of such a cultish, abusive family and not only did Nate manage it, he is speaking out. The man has my respect. Anyway enjoy Rechelles article on the experience.

Sing Alleluia

With Jennifer Knapp, a successful Christian folk singer, coming back into the spotlight after a 7 year hiatus and openly discussing the fact that she is a lesbian (I really, really wish her all the best and admire her incredible strength in taking a stand that she is a lesbian and still a Christian. So much love and respect for that) got me listening to her music. I found one called Sing Alleluia that she sings with Mac Powell of Third Day. I used to adore Third Day.

Listening to the song made me really nostalgic and incredibly sad that my faith died under scrutiny. I so believed in what I thought Jesus stood for and serving a God who was all about social justice gave me such purpose in life.

Now I just fight for social justice on my own. I just miss believing there was a God who gave a shit.

/nostalgic moment

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.

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.

We can haz separshun of Church & State naow pls?

Ah lolcatz.

But seriously.

Ireland. Church and State. All mixed up in bed together.

I was raised in a country where church and state are separate. School was secular. Your parents were in charge of your religious indoctrination… I mean education. We learned ABOUT world religions but we weren’t taught them as fact. Not unless you went to a Religious School specifically, anyway.

Here? Not so much. My child goes to a Protestant school because I signed her up before I became an apostate. Also, having been indoctrinated into the idea that Catholics were just one more herd of people in need of salvation who did sacrilegious things like worship/pray to Mary, pray to Saints, really did think they were literally eating part of Jesus and drinking his blood at Mass… yeah I wasn’t too keen on sending the progeny to a Catholic school. That’s not even touching the horrific sexual, physical and emotion abuse stories I had heard about the Catholic run schools. See me later, I’ll share.

So. Protestant school. After abandoning The Myth, I still figured it was my best option and I had heard lovely things about this school. And to be fair it IS a lovely school. Outside the indoctrination aspect. And believe me – it’s there. “God created the WHOLE WORLD!” I was informed one day. Huh. Fascinating. Wonder how they are going to accurately teach Science and the Theory of Evolution without looking like they are contradicting themselves, I thought. I asked what her thoughts were on the subject. “Everyone believes in God so I am going to too so they don’t laugh at me.” Wow. I still feel sick when I remember her saying that.

Believe or face ostracism. Believe or be an outcast. Believe to fit in. Accept “hive mind” or else. BS. I nipped that one in the ass right quick.

Teacher is not always right. Teacher does not know everything. Question everything. Think for yourself. Do not accept everything you are told simply because it comes from an authority figure. Not even me. Not. Even. Me. (Respect? Yes. Accept? No.)

Teachers are gonna LOVE me.

When I realized the SCHOOL was teaching my child Christianity as FACT, I won’t lie – I curled up in the fetal position on my couch and bawled while my partner looked on in shock and somewhat abject horror.

You see I naively believed school would teach my child objectivity, critical thinking and with impartiality. Oh silly optimistic me.

Which brings me to my point. They fucking well SHOULD teach that way. There should be options for NON religious education in this country. Not everyone here is a Christian or a Catholic (if you see a difference between the two). And to be brutally honest, it is unacceptable that mandatory education only comes in a school that indoctrinates from day one.

The problem? Our government literally cannot afford to run all the schools in the country and the two factions of Christianity pay for the majority of education at a primary and secondary level in this country. And whoever pays the bills makes the “facts”.

I want this to end. I do not want to have to un-indoctrinate my child when she comes home every day. I do not want to constantly contradict her teacher. Is she allowed to learn about religion? Of course. All of them. In context. Right along side the fact that there are certain religions that are prevalent in certain areas of the world and the only reason why Christianity is pushed here is because of where we live. If we’d been born in the Middle East, it’d be Islam as the dominate religion. (Yeah, I actually marched her to her world map in her room and told her that, pointed to the areas and named the dominate religions.)

Another reason I want separation of Church and State is because, let’s face it, the Church doesn’t have a good track record of having the child’s well being first and foremost in mind. Not to mention the lack of age appropriate education. Call me a sensitive but I am not of the opinion that my childs very first school trip was to church where she learned about dying bloody Jesus on the cross where he died for her sins was quite age appropriate. Especially when she came home saying “Some kids were scared, but not me Mum.” Nice. Did they forget one child had nightmares about Ants when they were teachings the letter “A”? Dead bloody Jesus might have been a stretch.

Shall we address the GLARING problem of the Catholic church being directly involved in the vast majority of Irelands primary and secondary schools when they have a world wide track record of sexually, emotionally and physically abusing children? Or how about it’s particularly bad in Ireland? How very few (if any) were ever brought before a court of law and held accountable for their actions? How are people not up in arms in the streets over this institute still being in charge of their children?

It leaves me baffled. I wanted an education based on objectivity, critical thinking and teaching my child how to think for herself, to question, research, dig deeper and never accept anything at face value. That’s what she is getting taught at home and no I am not abdicating my parental responsibility to the school to teach her these things – I want them to ENFORCE these things. Otherwise, what’s the POINT?

I have no idea what the solution to this problem is. We’re switching schools before she enters the next grade due to a move and unfortunately the choices are Catholic (apparently very laid back and non-indoctrinating) or Protestant (apparently very indoctrination oriented). Wonderful choice, eh? Child molester sanctuary or indoctrination central? Oh and even better, when I enforce my right to keep her exempt from certain activities, it alienates her and makes her “other than”. I don’t think that’s a BAD thing, but I am painfully aware how hard that can be as a child.

Oh and before you ask, homeschooling is a piss poor alternative in this country with little to no guidelines, support or anything that resembles either… which might work out in my favor if I can’t hack, and decide to flout, the educational system :p

I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know how to rally the government to change their educational system. I do not know how to get religion out of education in this country. I only have a plan to subvert it all at home.

What I do know is that in this day and age having a dominate religion deeply entwined in the state is not a healthy or progressive option. No. Not at all. In fact it’s assbackwards and keeping us chained to some really medieval laws and mindsets in this country. Want a list?

  • Divorce was only made legal in 1996. Despite the fact that it is legal now, once separated a couple has to wait 4 years before they can fully divorce. No re-victimization there at ALL when it comes to ending abusive marriages.
  • Abortion is still illegal.
  • The legal sale of Condoms was only allowed in 1978. Advertising them after that point still had severe legal restrictions though.
  • From ’73-’79, despite the Church AND State objections, contraceptives could be given out at family planning clinics but not sold. In 1979 they were legally allowed to be sold, but the sale of them was not widespread.
  • Gay marriage is still illegal.
  • A new Blasphemy Law passed in 2010 (that’s right – 2010) making it illegal to Blaspheme in Ireland. Is your mind blown yet? Mine still is.

So. Go go Roman Catholic Church and State! Possibly NOT the best organization to be in charge of our children and their education after all.

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