Once upon a time, I asked a Pastor’s Kid – what can God do for me now? Like Heaven is great and all but I kind of cannot wait here. What help can I get *now*?
I shouldn’t have seen his lack of answer, his honesty, as the red flag that it was. I had been raised in this religion after all. I was asking him, “what have I missed all this time?” and despite being a PASTOR’S KID who was going to SEMINARY he didn’t know. Had not a single answer for what the god he professed to worship and had made a lifelong commitment to spending ETERNITY WITH and he couldn’t tell me what good it would do me in this world. That should have been enough to keep me away but gosh darn it he had the cutest green eyes and the most annoying smirk.
That stupid jawline and infectiously cocky attitude set me back a decade from discovering who I truly was, what I truly believed. I clung to that delusion so, so hard because there were some dreams I just didn’t think I could survive losing. But that is neither here nor there.
What that experience, that whole chapter of my life, really, taught me is how absolutely ingrained it is to dive deep into the “mysteries” of the triune god and turn the blindest eye you ever did see to the absolutely obvious and effusive amount of contradictions. That is the true definition of a believer. Someone who has become “saved” when they can profess to see the clarity in the absolute jumble of nonsense that is the American Christian religion.
Allow me to paint you a picture of this. Let us say you are living life quite peacefully in your corner of the world. There are some hardships sure. Life has its ups and downs. Emergencies. Scars. Triumphs. Life. And then one day, you are invaded. Conquered. Forced into abject slavery. Raped. Families separated. Your children, sold. And wholesale slaughter. You are forced on your knees to worship the god of the people who have ruined everything. Who have killed people you loved. You die hating that god. You go to hell. Because those people were Christians and that god was the one true god, they just got the representation wrong but *Jesus would have given them (the oppressed, not the oppressor) some revelation of who he was so they could be saved.
**Being something that has not one single backing in scripture but that any reasonable, even remotely empathetic person would know that this situation is *bit* much to ask of someone to know before they unknowingly choose their eternity. Even adding that meant-to-be-comforting addition, that’s… psychotic. Cruel. Twisted.
Let’s try again. You are a person taught that you are the chosen people meant to save the world. Your empathy is slowly numbed out of you by being taught, over and over, that women and children and anyone who does not have your exact melanin content are subhuman and worthy of nothing but your rule. You embrace this. It makes you feel big. You see people being hurt but no longer care. You see that owning them can make you wealthy beyond reckoning. You begin their wholesale slaughter. And you do it in the name of the god that chose you. You do it because you are cleansing the devil in their hearts. And making obscene amounts of cash with every death and sale. On your death bed, you ask to be saved by the god that was preached to you and though you got the interpretation of it wrong, to the tune of thousands of deaths by your hand alone, and never with any intention of ever lifting a finger to right even the smallest of wrongs wrought by your hand – you go to heaven. Congrats. These are the rules.
And the rules are perfect. You cannot contradict the rules. Because god is all good. And thusly his rules must be fair. They must be just. They must be. But they aren’t.
I used to wonder how a god of pure love and light could have such fucking hypocrites as followers. Until the kool-aid began to fade from my system, and I began to see what was, instead of the deeper mysteries I had chosen to focus on instead.
No, they are just like him. They model him perfectly. All they ask of you is all their god asks of them – turn a blind eye. Do not see the cruelty in slavery, defend it as the order god enacted after the flood because despite just killing off the entire population of the world, save one family, god gets so mad at one of the remaining people that he curses them and every goddamn descendent of theirs for the remaining 6k+ years. Tad bit petty, don’t you think? Like. Really? But then again, when you think about it, it’s just par for the course. He literally cursed all of humanity, billions upon billions of people – not to mention the rest of creation, even if only on earth (which would be absolutely absurd), has led to the suffering of TRILLIONS of animals in the knowledge that only a handful of them, a drop in the ocean of humanity, would meet his conditions for salvation – from his own wrath. LIKE.
(Important note: first, god lied to them and then got mad when they didn’t listen.)
God: If you leave me, not only will I put you into an eternal torment, I will afflict every generation of your descendants FOR ALL TIME.
Literally, anyone who has studied psychology at all: WELL THAT’S TOXIC AF.
The church isn’t not being like the god they profess when they silence the abused instead of the abuser, they are mirroring him. When they are on the wrong side of history, it’s because they are benefiting from this particular translation of their holy book and are wholly uninterested in truth but in remaining “right”.
I bring this to attention as I have been seeing a number of Xtians claim that things were better when people had a healthy fear of god. Which is a very strange code for believing that people are “breaking gods rules” by not subjecting themselves and their families to abject abuse by Xtians nor following the American Christian’s rewritten version of Xtian History because people don’t take hell seriously enough.
We were xtians guys. We were uber devoted. We followed the rules better than anyone. We prayed ourselves away. We took hell extremely seriously. I read the entirety of John Piper’s book refuting Rob Bell’s Erasing Hell. I would cry in bed, agonizing over the concept of purgatory, terrified even of that cleansing fire. (And if you want to say well purgatory isn’t real, then congrats, you too are deciding which parts of Xtian theology to pick and choose not based on biblican backing but on emotional preferences.) I forced myself into small boxes to try and cut off the parts of me that caused me to sin and doubt. I was praised for doing so, even as men in power refused to do any such thing and just bolted down the locks on my cage while they continued to poison and pollute everything they touched.
So for anyone that thinks that this is a phase or a tantrum – no. This is carefully, in full knowledge and awareness of what the Xtian belief of the consequences of my choices are – deliberate rejection of not only American Xtianity, but of the Xtian god in his entirety. Not because of how he is represented by American Xtians, no, while sad, pathetic, and frankly vomit worthy – he is *not* mis-represented by American Xtians. That is what all of my studying revealed. Despite the self proclamation of “all good” and “holy” and “pure” and “love” – all evidence, anecdotal and systematic, points to the exact opposite.
I choose any future, eternal or otherwise, to be as far away from the Xtian god as possible.
If that god made this brain to come to this conclusion then even in this worst case scenario – I’m gonna enjoy the absolute H. E. DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS out of the next 60 years before an eternal torment. Which, logically, is the better option than slowly suffocating my soul for the next 60 years before putting myself through a different eternal torment by being stuck WORSHIPPING the most chad bro god since Zeus. No. Fucking. Thanks.
So, next time it occurs to you to tell someone that they just aren’t thinking through their choices – especially when it comes to your religious viewpoint – try to wrap your very inflexible brain around the fact that they have probably thought about it 10x more than you have. And that rather than saying a gods damned thing, you might want to take a second and listen to someone who has gone through the dark night of the soul and awoken whole and awake on the other side.
But hell, you do you boo.