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The Confessions Of St. John

Guest fshrking23

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Guest fshrking23

My escape from the lie was torturous, as I am sure many others have experienced. My delusion died hard, having to blindly grope my way past fifteen years of programming and wish-fulfillment.


Some people are born to religion. Others have it thrust upon them. I was a little of both. At the age of five, my mother went through either an existential collapse or a nervous breakdown. Either way, she spent six days locked in her bedroom, refusing to see either me or my one-year old sister. When she emerged, she was a charismatic christian.


All stories derive some context from the time in which they occured. This happened in 1975, right when the Jesus Freak movement was really rolling. By 1976 she had started her own "home church", with a few other families. By 1977, I was being routinely surrounded by every authority figure I had ever known and loved surrounding and screaming at the "demons" in me. By 1978, I was speaking in "tongues" (after a very lengthy time of me praying intensely to get this "gift"). It went on from there.


I went exclusively to church/schools. They were all heavily based on scripture-memorization and their scientific curiosity went no further than experiments with Baking Soda. I was often compared to the Peanuts cartoon character Linus... I usually had a scripture ready to parrot off to any given situation, no matter how tenuous the connection really was. Everyone I knew was a born-again christian. I was heavily discouraged to meet anyone else outside of a "witnessing" situation.


Come puberty, I was presented with a disaster. Now, everyone reading this knows exactly how charismatic christians feel about homosexuals. "Pray out the Gay", right? I had a worse situation. I was(am) bi-sexual. Now at the time, I don't think there was even a word for that in my world other than "disgusting apostate". Sexually, you were either straight and good with God, or homosexual and desperately in need of some intense "witnessing" (usually in the form of a Christian Behavioral Psychotherapy).


My desires developed early (around 9 years of age), but I had always had crushes on both sexes. I was, of course, VERY discreet about this... well, about the "wrong" side of this anyway. It was either this or risk alienating everyone I had ever known or loved. So, the self-loathing (encouraged by the belief system in general) started. I hid very well under religion, dating only womein and praying my guts out every moment I could.


I was also a voracious reader. I read absolutely everything I could get my hands on, ranging from ancient roman history to Louis Lamour novels. This was in addition to studying the Bible daily. I went so far as to have a Concordance with me so I could look up the words in Hebrew and see what the "original" words meant. I was a proper little fanatic with a nasty little secret. Needless to say, this little secret made me more fanatical.


The problem was that as I read other books, glaring problems within the Biblical narrative became more obvious. Now I had attributed this to my secret sin... the apostacy was obviously seeding doubt. So I confessed every sin (and near-sin) I could think of every day in prayer. But prayer did not make the inconsistancies go away.


I fell from belief and hoisted myself back up many times over. Why, knowing what I did and knowing what I am, did I go back? And why, when I finally broke free and started actually enjoying life, did I mourn my lost faith?


I don't know how it is for others. This is how it was for me: Christianity brought me peace and joy. How could it do this if it were all a lie? There is a great deal of peace and joy when you think you are right ALL THE TIME about universal issues of life and death. There was a great deal of joy in knowing that I was on the "winning team"... that even with my naughty little affliction, so long as I confessed my sins and lived in the spirit, I was assured eternal life.


However, Christianity did not bring me enough peace and joy to make up for the self-loathing, punishment, lying, alienating others, and sheer hating I did all of those years. With that peace and joy came the peace of knowing that everyone who disagreed with you was doomed to eternal punishment and the joy of being absolved of all thought, since everything worth thinking was in the Bible alone.


My curiosity (sexually and intellectually) could not be so easily deflected. I finally turned away and recognized my belief for what it was: a trap. A horribly comfortable trap. Something that promised a next world of eternal happiness only if I made myself and others miserable in this one.


That belief is no longer in the least bit tempting for me. Certainty is a sweet refuge for the dull. My eyes are open now and here is what I learned:


I can make a heaven of THIS life without hatred.

I can think what I think with no punishment.

This time on this planet is my only time on this planet, and so it is the only time that matters to me. Make the most of it.

Death is nothing to fear, because when it happens to me I won't be there.


I have also gotten married and inherited a wonderful daughter. Without any gods, we are the happiest family I personally know of, and our daughter (now 9 years old) is a constant joy to be around. She is smart, hilarious, and has a strong sense of her self. I hold my wife responsible for most of the great things in my life now. She never had to deal with Christianity as I did, so it is something of a curiosity (and a source of amusement) to her about how and why I feel the ways I do.


If anyone is reading this and still wishes to remain "Born Again", I would like to make an Altar call. Please pray with me:


Lord, please absolve me of all thought, knowing that all that needs to be thought has been written in the Gospel.

Lord, please absolve me of all joy, knowing that the only real joy is the eternal joy that awaits me in the hereafter in your holy presence.

Lord, please absolve me of all knowledge, knowing that you make the wisdom of men into foolishness and that the Bible contains everything I need to know.

Lord, please absolve me of all love, knowing that only your love is perfect and divine enough to love such a loathsome, horrible, disgusting creature as myself.

Lord, please absolve me of my life, knowing that since you died for me my life belongs to you.



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