Monday, March 17, 2008

Child Abuse, or, "The Shit Torrent"

No, it's not going to be about what you think. I think the apparently widespread and highly publicized sexual abuse of children by "holy men" really speaks for itself. And if not, it's certainly been thoroughly covered already.

Today I want to talk about the indoctrination - or rather brainwashing - of children into the family faith. I have a few things here.

A couple of days ago I had a phrase running on a loop through my head: Shit rolls downhill. This is the polar opposite of Pay it Forward. Shit rolls downhill. My grandmother pounded heavan and hell into my head when I was 7, and scared the shit out of me. When I cried, fearing the eternal torment of hell, she said it was the Holy Spirit moving in me.

When I later bought in and became a holy roller, around age 13, I pounded on everyone else. My immediate family (then agnostics all) quickly grew sick of me; I'm sure I was pretty intolerable. My younger brother got the brunt of this, and you know why? That's right, kids. Shit rolls downhill.

Speaking of which, my poor stepdaughter's mother is now telling her that the child's father (that's Surfer Jesus to you folk) would sacrifice the girl to save his own life, if he says otherwise he's a liar, and ask God what the truth is. Shit fucking POURS downhill.

Oh sure, I hear you guys over there. You're saying that there will always be a few bad apples in the bunch, it doesn't mean that the whole gang is rotten, all that jazz. I'm just picking on the bad few and asserting that they stand representative of the whole. There's something in that, sure. I certainly can't claim all who have faith are bad (hm, or CAN I...), but really now. There are an awful lot of extremists making more extremists. There are a lot of "foot washin' Baptists" indoctrinating new ones. And there are a whole hell of a lot of people scaring kids into a whole set of beliefs, completely at odds with the supposed tenets of those beliefs. God is love, kids, so believe in him or he'll put you in hell forever and ever.

The problem with religion - here specifically, Christianity - is that it's a system that can't be defeated, so to speak. There are no rules, no verification, no way to tell the real from the made up, opportunity from pride, punishment for God's tests. If it's not working for you, then you're simply not doing it right. Look to the church, look within yourself, ask God for a sign...these all boil down to, hold your breath and spit. And it's all covered, because if you question all the confusion you simply have no faith.

Remember folks, I've been there.

Examples: I remember having the Once Saved, Always Saved debate with a Christian friend well after I'd chucked the whole thing. I said well, if that's the standard then I'm not going to hell. At the time I was saved, I believed truly and wholeheartedly. I had the weeping coming to Jesus, I was baptised, I prayed, I churched, I tried to read my Bible and ask the church/myself/God for my right course in every thing. So I'm saved even now.

He said, well, you weren't REALLY saved, then, if you've disavowed all that now. Nobody who REALLY accepts Jesus would ever go back on it.

Nice try.

Nobody could ever explain the whole God and evil thing to me, either. So God is good, is perfect, knows everything, and he created all the universe and the Earth and every creeping thing `pon it, and he's hip with all the SIN and tragedy and horror that goes along with it? He's cool with Lucifer rising up against him and getting thrown down into the fire. He's cool with that lady up in where the fuck ever who cut off her infant's arms. How the hell does this make sense to everyone?

I mean seriously, if I'd had the foreknowledge that my first child would be a mass murderer rapist pedofile fuck, and the second would be average to great human...I'm pretty sure I'd forget about having kids completely.

(Hey, as it turns out I've got quite a bit of rage to vent too, PraiseNull.)

Okay, so what I'm trying to say here is, religion makes no sense. It takes an extraordinary amount of mental acrobatics to come to terms with the plethora of contradictions any of the major given faiths present. And to teach children that the most important thing in life is to bind their minds into believing this insane hodgepodge is horrifying. How can we expect to turn out intelligent thinkers - women who mean it when they say No, men who hear No when it's said, people who can recognize a con for what it is, teens who understand the place and consequences of sex and relationships, people who are independent and responsible - if all we teach them is Just Belive, Trust Me, Don't Worry Your Pretty Head About the Details?

No comments: