Sanctimonious Posturing For Dummie(s).

I have always had a pretty fucked relationship with anything to do with religion.

Growing up my parents always reinforced the idea of a vengeful god, ready to smite down the wicked. A god that is, among other things, always watching.

That really fucked with my young schizoaffective mind.

I remember being about 6 or 7. I hated lying in my bed at night. Waiting for sleep to take me. It would never come. I was too focused on laying absolutely still. Trying desperately to purge my warped little mind from all the things my mother assured me would get me a one way ticket to eternal damnation. My eternal soul burning for eternity as the demon spawn of satan torture the shit out of me.

I carried that shit for years. That fear at the back of my head that god is watching. And that all the difficulties that I came across in my life were punishments because I was lacking. Because god only grants his divine love on the righteous.

My mother used to pin this little glass eye on the inside of my top whenever leaving the house. She would sew another into the elastic of every single one of my underwear too. So that god could always keep an eye on me and know what i was doing and thinking. She would say. That shit weirded me out. I used to genuinely believe that god constantly has one eye on my cock. It was outrageously uncomfortable.

When she left one of my immediate thoughts were of the relief I felt that she wouldn’t be around to do that anymore.

Then there was the time when I was 16. When I got asked to leave youth group. I hadn’t been there in some time. I mean. Initially I had started going because my friends went. And it was a reason to get out of the boarding house on a friday evening. But somewhere along the way I had found something in the message of a loving god, as opposed to the vengeful image of god that I was fed as a wee child. I went for years. But at one point, after leaving home at 15, I was forced to work weekends. I had to survive, you know. Being alone at that age isn’t easy. I didn’t have a plan. It was week to week. Day to day. Moment to moment.

Eventually I found time and found myself yearning the sanctity and accepting love I had gotten there. So I went back. After greeting some familiar faces outside, I was stopped at the door by the youth master. He pulls me aside. And tells me I have to go. That he had heard from some of the other members that I had gone AWOL because I had started using drugs and drinking.

Just to be clear. I was absolutely smoking a bit of cannabis and drinking full on at this point. But I had done so throughout my entire time at youth. That was an established habit. Not something I did besides going to youth. In fact, and yes I do see the hypocrisy, there were many instances where we went drinking after youth.

I was shattered. I felt like being on the outside of a closed door. Locked, bolted and sealed off from me forever. I had been banned from things before. My father loved keeping locked doors in the house when it came to his office and bedroom. Due to his high level of paranoia there were many things that I was never ever privy to. So I understood that. But this was something different. It felt like if that was really the case, then this place that preaches about acceptance and forgiveness and love was basically turning its back on someone that potentially needs help or has lost his way.

That was one of the first times in my life that I realised that it wasn’t just my dad. Other people do say one thing and do another, too. Even the so-called best of us.

A few years of agnostic apathy later and I am standing in the still smouldering ruins of a charred church. Burnt to the ground. With a few dozen people inside.

The air is thick with smoke and ash and the crackle of still burning wood and human bodies. The smell. That fucking smell. 16 years later and it still burns my nostrils.

Some of them are pilled up at the entrance. Dead where they fell as they clambered on top of each other in a desperate attempt to break out.

Others died kneeling at their pews. Praying for a miracle that never came.

All of them. Women and children.

My mind reels as I take in the scene around me. Fully understand what has occurred. I can feel the cracks in my mind deepen and spread as more and more pressure builds. Not quite diving into madness. But certainly howling at the gates.

Something inside of me. Fundamental. Breaks.

I am forever changed.

No idea of god fits what I now know. What I understand. The lie is made all the more obvious each time I hear it over the years.

Today it feels like a spit in the face of reality. The idea of any type of god. Benevolent or otherwise.

I have seen men do horrible things in the name of faith. Those are the people i understand to be the most dangerous. The blind believers. The fanatics.

These past few days I have been wrestling with myself. I have taken on a small job. Doing a few translations online. Greek to English. Mostly religious texts. Things written by religious scholars and the such. My “employer” is a nun from a Greek orthodox church overseas. Times are tough. Work is skint. But I find myself very bothered with the money. And where it comes from.

I have literally chosen to live on the streets rather than accept one rotten euro of dirty money as payment for work already rendered.

I am fundamentally against the idea of the church. Organised religion. Faith based on the words that other men tell you. Pretending they know more about how the universe works than you do. People who try to tell you how things are. And insist that their word is gold. Unwavering faith is a dangerous human trait.

Part of me tells the rest of me to just shut up, it’s only money. And the work is easy. And that right there is another thing that irks me. Easy money. From a shitty source.

I might accept it like the hypocrite shite that I am. But there will never be consensus inside of me about it. It will irk and bother me the entire time.

Part of me understands that a large part of this is an overcorrection because of my trauma and how I am choosing to express that trauma. I know that I am doing this to myself. But other parts don’t care.

I have done far worse to myself in the past. Pick a note. Most of them hold multiple instances where I cut off my own nose to spite my face.

Because in reality. No one and nothing hates or hurts me like me.

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Costas K.

Costas K.

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