This is how religion steals your childhood…

 

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From Reddit

Growing up Christian meant to me that life on Earth was but prologue to Heaven, almost a sort of virtual reality training ground to see if you would accept the authority of God and submit to achieve immortality and forgiveness, or be stubborn and reject Christ and damn yourself to an eternity of fiery torment and final exclusion from God’s presence (which was portrayed as being the real, ultimate torture of Hell).

The end time that we were being drawn to was the Apocalypse, and we were immersed in the weird cognitive dissidence of it being simultaneously the most terrible event ever, worse than any war or Holocaust imaginable, yet at the same time a blessed event (to quash the Adversary and establish God’s Kingdom) that we might not have to take part in, if, IF we could be good and holy and forgiven enough to be caught up in the rapture.

That’s a lot for a kid. I was just a pawn on death row, waiting for when the shit would finally hit the fan.

Now, before you think I was raised in a cult on a razor-wire compound, all Jim Jones style, let me assure you that mine was a common (not even bible belt) upbringing. It wasn’t even drilled into me daily by hand-wringing religious nuts of a family, it was much more banal than that… it was just a simple fact that they told us in Sunday School and my family confirmed that yes, that’s right; there will be an Apocalypse, a Judgement Day, and yes, we’re all sinners bound for Hell but we have an escape clause provided by the blood atonement of the Son. Praise Jesus, I am washed clean in the blood of Christ! And after church we all had pie.

It was like being raised in a happy, care-free concentration camp where we could walk by the gas chambers and play in the ovens, and all my neighbors smiled and reminded me every now and then that a good boy loves the Camp Director because He’s the only one that can sign and stamp your Papers. We must be careful and any infraction had to be asked forgiveness as the Camp Director had cameras everywhere and He could see you in such detail that He could count the hairs on your head and see into your very thoughts.

This is how religion steals your childhood.

I finally escaped my own prison (so lovingly and faithfully built by my family and community) and saw the world outside the walls erected in my mind. Most never escape and remained twisted and gnarled by their upbringing and feel it their duty to erect the same walls in the minds of their children, and twist them with this burden of imminent torture and damnation. So thorough is their indoctrination in the faith that they do not realize what is like to live outside the walls.

The abused become the abusers, generation after generation, and we all call it good and righteous and great for the nation. The government stamps its approval and bestows churches with a free pass on taxes, and good Christian boys and girls grow up to be on a stage where we judge them for their fitness to be President of the United States by how much they swear allegiance to the Camp Director.

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3 Comments

I know. The feeling of being watched was always a creepy idea to me. Although, now, kids raised in this era of cameras accept it as normal. My nephew didn’t want to disobey a no trespassing sign on a trail in the woods because he thought there were cameras in the trees and he’d get caught. Sad.

It’s interesting that a parallel was drawn between being jailed, awaiting certain death in a gas chamber, and being a member of a religion. I don’t really have trouble with basic tenets of religion as much as I have trouble with how religion is interpreted and carried out by the humans following said religions. I agree, though,that children are sort of the innocent “pawns” in the game, which many of the adults around them don’t see as a game.

Find the pie chart for the breakdown of religions by numbers and it’s obvious that most of the “religious people” will be disappointed if a held tenant is their exclusive access to eternal bliss.

The confounding issue behind the endless conversation is “Who are we?”, really. The conversation is similar to a proxy war in the collective mind as it struggles to wrap itself around a concept so very large.

Within that dynamic is a nugget of insight into who we are…we are curious about ourselves.This curiosity leads to science and technological advance more discovery, more curiosity…in two words; evolution cognized.

Curiosity is of the mind, but powered by the joy of discovery. That which brings more joy is sought after. So a story that makes us feel better about ourselves is exciting that way, especially to insecure developing cognition, whether it be infant human or humanity.

The problem comes when the story has to square with planetary reality that features others in great number who have a different story which features a different god who they are special to.

Every problem provides an approach to an advance in understanding the underlying principles.
Thank Dog for problems!

The “problem” is the story. When the story you are told is flawed, like all of them, it creates friction within as experience demonstrates it’s shortcomings.

We see the war. We know its over power, and we know its backed by belief, and belief is backed by a story. There is the motive, a well propagated story equals power. Clear, and clearly history.

If your incomplete story is leaving you feeling perplexed, try tearing down some of the fences built by others from a different time and place and look at how the world models our fallacious stories.

That perplexed feeling is good! It’s your guide to personal evolution beyond what doesn’t work. Listen to it, and understand that the energy that is used to resist change with anger can be replaced by energy for doing something you really love doing when you’re not perplexed by a narrow, fear inducing story.

Our elders hand us the best that they have. Sometimes that works out better than others, but it’s still their story. No blame necessary. Simply forgive dim understanding, and move on toward non-exclusivity, openness to others and vast possibilities.

However you identify yourself and whoever you oppose, no matter the variables, we are all closer to blood relations than is normally considered. We are of the same universe, the same planet, the same substance, the same time. We bleed the same blood, have the same feelings, thoughts, hopes for the future… The greatest difference is in our mind. Our story is where our personal problems begin and we are free to write a new chapter, leading to a better tomorrow.

We are skateboarding the slippery slope of truly grocking our unity not only with each other…