....and I begin, with letting out a very long sigh.
Today is Leap Day. Wednesday, the 29th of February. A date that only comes once every 4 years. Many think this to be a lucky day, a fortunate day, a day of change. I have had an interesting morning, and as such, feel I should write some things down, to clear any misunderstandings, insure that there is no guessing or assumptions going on.
I read so much, and I love to read about everything. I am particularly fascinated with history, and biographies, and religion. These all intrigue me, because they all have a direct affect on our lives now. What has happened, what took place, events, philosophies, books, migration of civilizations, wars...all have happened and brought us to the present time. I blog a lot about religious topics because they are the articles that I find when reading, and most are compelling enough to me that I want to write something down. It has been suggested that I have projected "religious attacks", which is completely off the grid, and not at all what I have tried to do. Therapy is friggin expensive, and blogging is free. This, is how I vent, how I deal, how I cope. Some feel the need to go to a building and pray for their comfort....I write.
I was raised in an extremely dysfunctional household, much like a giant chunk of the worlds population, and I was also raised Catholic. For years, and years, I went to Mass on Sunday, Catechism after mass, (Catholic Sunday School), CCD, a Catholic youth group, and sang in the choir. I had my First Holy Communion, at age 8, and my Confirmation, at 14. Catholicism has been around for centuries, and these rites of passage are familiar to anyone who grew up in the Catholic church. Many of the "newer" religions that came along later, adopted and developed the same practices, renamed, arranged, and basically, took them into their churches for their own. During these years of Catholic education, my parents were at home, sleeping off the Crown Royal and Blue Nun (white wine) that they had overindulged in the night before. Not once...never, did they attend church with us. The first time I remember, was when my Grandmother Mills passed away, and we had a Mass for her funeral. My Dad literally broke out in a sweat, and was a nervous wreck. Even at my brothers wedding in Colorado, my Dad had to get drunk before the wedding, because it was in a Christian church, and a very religious ceremony. It always bothered me that we were forced to go and attend something that scare the living hell out of my Father. I have always held a great deal of anger about this.
Later, as I started to branch out of my messed up home life, and broken divorce, (too long of a nightmare, but if you know me...you know.) I began to read up and sometimes even attend many different churches. I have always been fascinated with religion, and why people believe what they believe. Some, were just beautiful services, rich with tradition, (Jewish, Catholic,Greek Orthodox...) singing, praying, reading, etc. The tradition of it all, knowing that these ceremonies have gone on for centuries...was amazing. I can understand why many stayed, followed, believed. I got that part. What puzzled me, was why I wasn't allowed to ask questions. Why is it that we are told that God is merciful, God is good, God is bountiful...but in the same paragraph, God is jealous, God will strike you dead, God is vengeful. Really? God, the all knowing, all powerful, has measly, petty human emotions? I thought he was "God".
Just that sentence would get me attacked.
When I was 7, I attended a Mormon service with my much adored neighbors and their 4 children. I loved the Andersons...they were so kind, so gentle, so sweet. Miss Darlyn was just about perfect in my eyes. I never met a woman so loving. I was thrilled to be with them, and then....
During the very long service I sat in the "Baby room" with their daughter Tammy and many other small children. There was a window over looking the church, and speakers inside the room. Kids were playing, crying, laughing. Not so bad. After a couple hours though, I was completely bored. I really didn't understand why we had to be there so long. Mass was only 45 minutes most of the time, and the time passed very quickly. (Stand, sit, kneel, pray, stand, sing, kneel, pray, stand, receive communion, pray, sing...go home). I said to Tammy that I was bored, that I preferred my church. This one wasn't fun at all. How come no one was singing...my favorite part. The service ended, and a man in a suit pulled Miss Darlyn to the side. He spoke to her sternly, pointed at me. I felt like I was in a lot of trouble, but confused. What did I do? We got in the van to go home, and Miss Darlyn took me to my parents. I was not allowed to return. What ever I, a 7 year old, had said was so bad that I was not welcome. You don't forget something like that.
In my years of adulthood, I have had multiple questions, and then, I seek the answers on my own. I do not rely on anyone else to tell me how to think, or what to believe. I have read extensively, and formed my own opinions. I feel absolutely no connection what so ever to organized religion, and many, to me, are simply brainwashing factories, scaring the hell out of people so that they will not question, not think...just do as they are told. No. I refuse to be a part of that.
So, what have I learned? Catholicism and it's forceful attitude that Priests cannot marry has caused multiple accounts of sexual abuse. The "new" Christian Mega churches have shown that money and power brings about some really disgusting human beings that tell you that you are a sinner, take your money, then go snort coke and pay for a hooker. Mormonism is so afraid of people discovering their ceremonies and beliefs, they create this cloud of secrets, and the giant bubble that incloses most of the state of Utah. Veiled hints of direct racism, and keeping women under that thumb. Do not question, do not disobey. Muslims have now had the radical insane murderers that use, just like EVERY OTHER FAITH HAS, the Muslim faith and Koran as an excuse to kill innocent people for their assention to Heaven. All in all, more people have died, been brutally killed and tortured, and families destroyed, all in the name of God. Like it or not, reality is, organized religion is always about power, control, and money. You may shake your head, and say I have it wrong, but the truth always comes out. Power is the drug that men just can't deny.
I do not "attack" religious beliefs. I state that I don't care for them, or that some are upsetting. I have every right to agree or disagree. My beliefs are that being a good person is much more important than giving money to a church so they can get rich and be tax exempt. Caring for and loving my family. Supporting my husband and my children in their every thought, every decision, and insuring them that I am completely accepting of them in every possible way. Filling my life with diversity and change, so that I don't miss out on one experience in this life. I do NOT believe in spending every moment preparing for "after death". No one, not one single human being on this planet, knows for sure, with absolute authority, what happens when we die. They will say that they do...but the TRUTH is that we don't know. They say there is a Heaven...there is a Hell. Really? What could possibly be worse than this Earth? Innocent children are ABUSED, tortured, killed. Animals are tortured, starved, abused. People are killed, neglected, abused, tortured, starved.....Hell is worse than this? No...I doubt it. I don't believe in Hell. I truly believe that it was made up to keep people in line. Fear is a very powerful medium. Used correctly, it can be a tool to rule anyone.
I am offended by those that are selfish. I am offended by those that lie, especially when it is emotionally. I do not care for those that marry for money, or security, or anything other than they completely love and adore their spouse. I am offended by those that hate for no reason. I am offended by those that cannot think for themselves, but have led their entire lives by anothers beliefs. Living in the past is a waste of time. You cannot change it, and it is a waste of emotions.
My husband lost his Father last week. How many of his family members have called him to see how he is doing? One.
Thank you Tori.
I will never be accepted by some, and that's fine. I am not living my life to please others, as they are definitely NOT living to please me. I am fortunate enough to have a husband that shares the same values and morals and beliefs that I do. He is a very resilient man that has overcome insurmountable situations and I am constantly baffled as to how he turned out so loving, and so kind. He is my hero in every way. My thinking and my beliefs are MINE, and I am asking again, please, no one, not anyone, make choices for me that I can make for myself. You are selfish in doing so, and not doing me any favors. I lived in fear and control for 26 years of my life, and as such, completely refuse to ever do so again. I am not a bad person because I am strong, and opinionated. I am simply free.