A 16 Year Abyss

In my 36th year I feel as though I am only now living fully.

Religion, in my experience, placed a noose around my neck and made me a slave.

Intellectually and emotionally I was bound and restricted.  Limited to a narrow framework with which to receive and perceive the world.

Life revolved around the afterlife.  Heaven mattered more than earth.  All my thoughts and actions were judged by how much they were pleasing to the great deity.

And yet what is life?  Fuck, procreate, die, leaving a genetic legacy.  Looking from the perspective of bacteria up through the animal kingdom, you see waste, violence, damage, death, destruction, disaster.  Kill or be killed.  Predators and victims.  And you call this the creation of a benevolent god?

Sorry guys, we evolved from apes.  We will die and we will be dust.  We will join the legion of the dead and life will cease to exist.  I know, it’s a hard thought.  Took me long enough to finally let go of the illusion of life going on.

Without this whole bullshit guilt around sin, I can now finally live freely.  The religious freaks will probably pray for my soul and lament at just how hedonistic I will become.  All the while I feel free to practice a new kind of morality, one that is respectful for all of life.

The religion that I knew was immoral.  Anything that places such a vice on life should be discarded, mocked, ridiculed, and destroyed.  Life is now so much more pleasurable, though I still carry the scars that are slowly healing with time and hedonistic delight.


4 thoughts on “A 16 Year Abyss”

  1. I haven’t visited for a while and I see that you have given up the religious noose, as have I. It just took you a bit longer.

    The reason I was able to reject religion when I was young was that my family read the Bible, cover to cover, one chapter each evening before dinner. I’m sure we read the entire thing 3-5 times. Instead of reading only those nice bits, the heartwarming stories of god’s love, I also saw the vengeful and jealous god who thought it was just fine to bash babies’ heads against walls and I knew the stories about walking on water, living inside of a whale and talking snakes were fairy tales. I had no one to talk to about this, so I pretended I still believed it all. What else could I do in my super-Christian home surrounded by a community of Christians? As far as I know there was one Jewish student in my high school graduating class of 256, and although I am sure some families were wishy-washy Christians or non-believers, no one admitted it.

    Hemingway once wrote: “The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, shit detector.”

    I am not a great writer, but I have always had that “shit detector” in me. As a kid I didn’t believe the stories passed around about the green man who supposedly lived in the next community. I knew that early internet posts about stolen kidney’s and other intentionally scary emails were bogus while many very intelligent friends passed those on to me as if they were “gospel truth.” The first time I received an email from my bank asking for my credit card number, I immediately knew it was a scam —after all the bank gave me the number. I had smart friends who fell for it.

    The “shit detector” worked fine when people tried to feed me religious rubbish, too.

    I understand it would be very painful for some people to give up religion. Congregations are often their lifelines and give them a sense of belonging. They can’t imagine not having a life after death. But you are right, there is such a sense of freedom, when one grows up and gives up the myths and stops using religion as a crutch. What a wonderful feeling to shed all the guilt and shame that religion imposes on us. And to live THIS life to the fullest without worrying about heaven or hell, makes life doubly beautiful and meaningful.

  2. That “shit detector” has only just come into effect for me.

    Only when I decided to face reality as it is, and begin to accept it as it is, have I found a healthy dose of scepticism.

    Which mean getting rid of a hell of a lot of books, I tell you. I finally let go of the self-help rubbish that I had held on to.

    Shedding religion was a long and grievous process. I’m so glad that it’s done and dusted, such that I can move on to far better enterprises. What a serious waste of a life.

  3. I am now reading Frank Schaeffer’s “Sex, Mom, and God” and will be reading his “Crazy for God” soon. Frank was the son of the evangelist most responsible for the anti-abortion movement and the Religious Right’s migration from trying to win Christian souls to their current emphasis on politics. Frank is still a Christian, but he got out of that hypocritical evangelical movement and has much to say about it. You might find the books interesting.

    I just wrote a lengthy blog post about Schaeffer:

    His writing is sometimes laugh-out-loud funny and at other times pretty scary —as when he discusses Christian Reconstructionists (like Gingrich and Santorum) who want to return to Biblical law —making homosexuality a capital crime, for example. I guess Gingrich wouldn’t want the same for adulterers, although some do.

    I don’t agree with Schaeffer’s religious beliefs, but I respect his ability to admit to mistakes he made and his courage to have a public change of heart about his religion and politics.

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