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So I wrote an email to my folks today.
It was a long one; part of it was news about the house, discussing the move and such, I ended it with that 'cos I figured hey, better to end on a happy non-arguementative note, right? But the first part of it... meh. I've been saying for quite some time that I ought to send my mom a link to Fundies Say The Darndest Things, mostly joking. I decided today that actually, it was a good idea. A lot of the posts there reminded me a bit TOO much of things she's said and things she believes, things she's made me listen to other people saying, etc. I sent a copy of the letter to my dad too, who might at least appreciate the humor in the site and who hopefully will cut my mom off at the pass if she starts misinterpreting what I wrote a bit TOO much.
I'm going to paste the first portion of the letter here:
Hello, me again. There's a link I came across a while ago; at the time, I mentioned jokingly to the person who passed it along to me that I should send it to you. Since then I've been keeping up with the site (it updates on a fairly regular basis) and the more I think about it, the more I think it would actually be a good idea.
I know you would be happy if I returned to Christianity, and I know the few times we've talked about it, it's ended up with both of us frustrated and angry. I think this link would help explain WHY I have such a hard time taking Christianity seriously.
http://www.fstdt.com - Fundies Say The Darndest Things
It's a site full of quotes taken from Christian message boards, Christian sites, and Christian videos that have been posted to the web. The moderators double-check to make sure the quotes are NOT taken out of context, and include the source of each quote so you can see for yourself; the people quoted are encouraged to respond to the comments posted on each quote. Some of the quotes are outright silly, some are actually rather scary, but all of them have one thing in common: they're the same stuff I heard from you, from pastors, from youth group leaders, from other people in church, from nearly every Christian source sooner or later... and they're all mind-bogglingly stupid.
Please don't get me wrong, I consider everyone a source of potentially stupid stuff. Goodness knows I've said and written enough. >.< I just... I guess I wanted to show you, in the best way I've found so far, how Christianity has seemed to me since I was old enough to start reading encyclopedias on my own. I don't think there's anything wrong with believing in it, honestly. I think the way a lot of people act, and claim they are acting thus BECAUSE of it, is very wrong - the Inquisition and the Crusades come galloping to mind but I've got quite a few more recent and personal examples as well. But... ehh. Believing in the biblical God doesn't seem any more or any less silly to me than believing in Allah, or Zeus, or any other figure of that sort. If it helps you through life, makes you be a better person, gives you happiness and joy, then it's GOOD.
However, if it urges you to hurt or hate others, tells you to force your beliefs on them, encourages you to dislike someone based on skin color, sex, age, religion, country of birth, or anything other than their actual behavior toward you and others... then it's BAD. And a LOT of what I see in Christianity therefor is bad. It makes me cringe, reading some of these quotes, because I remember people who I was supposed to be trusting and learning from spouting words of such violence and hate that even when I believed Christianity was The Way, I thought they were wrong. Even if God actually stuck his head down out of the clouds and told me Himself that He existed, my first response at this point wouldn't be worship and praise... it would be yelling, screaming at him, asking him why, if he was indeed all-powerful, he let his religion and his name be used for so many hateful, horrible, terrible acts.
Yeah, I have a lot of built-up anger about this. I have years and years of experiencing the 'good Christians' causing trouble, hurting people I cared about, hurting ME, lying, telling me not to think, just to obey... and years of the people who I was told were bad because they weren't Christians, being the ones who understood, who were supportive, caring, friendly, compassionate, loving, kind, honest, trustworthy... it's hard not to be frustrated with the religion as a whole at this point. I have met some Christians that I respect, yes. Several of my good friends in Portland are strong Christians who actually live their faith... and are also good people. I know it can be done, I've seen it, they are living proof. It's just that they are the minority, in my experience so far.
I think I've been meaning to write this letter, or at least this sort of letter, for a while; I just haven't had the nerve. It's a bit scary to even say all of this, because I know most of it isn't anything you want to hear, and I do still love and respect you. I just... I feel so often like I want to stop in the middle of conversation and just scream "do you see how wrong this is". I have gone through pages and pages of research. I've read historical texts, followed archeological studies, emailed back and forth with a couple of theology professors. I've looked, I've tried, I've tested, I've searched... and I've found nothing that convinces me Christianity as it is today is right.
Yes, part of me still has a little bit of faith left. Part of me does believe in God.
The thing is? I hate him. I hate what he's let 'his' religion become. I hate what people do in his name, I hate the bigotry and cruelty that his followers perpetuate, I hate the fact that just thinking about it makes me FEEL so much hate. I don't want to be this angry, I don't want to feel betrayed and hurt, I don't want any of the anger and frustration. It's not what I believe life should be about. That's why, or at least a large portion of why, I won't go to church any more. It's why I am not Christian, why I will never be Christian. I refuse to be a part of something so hurtful. If I died right now, I would honestly be ok with going to hell, if that's what happened. Every person I trust, all of my closest friends, most of the people I respect, would be right there with me. I've made life better for everyone I could, I've done my best to treat others with kindness and respect, I try every day to live in a way that shows what I DO believe in: that humans CAN be good people, CAN be kind to one another, CAN help each other, CAN love each other, CAN make the world better for their presence. It doesn't require belief in a deity. It should NEVER require belief in a deity. It should simply be How Things Are. If you have to be terrified into good behavior by the threat of damnnation, then you aren't really a good person, are you? But if you believe that there will be no real punishment or reward beyond the results of your own actions, and you are still kind and caring... I think that's the real mark of a good person. And I think that's the sort of person I want to be.
I... meh. As a sadist and Domme and generally fucked-up individual, I sure as hell can't claim I've never hurt anyone, or even say with a straight face that I don't ever WANT to hurt anyone again, or won't hurt anyone again, or any permutation of that. But... with very few (and very specific) exceptions, that's not the sort of pain that is being referenced here. I'm talking about the kind that scars you for life, leaves you hating other people, questioning your own value, miserable and suicidal and... yeah. Christianity in a nutshell.
For years I've been trying to figure out how to explain what I feel in a way that will be understood by my mother, enough so that she'll stop trying to 'convert' me. I doubt this will do it any more than my other attempts have but at least I'll have tried again and said what I feel needs to be said.
Today is apparently The Day For Seriousness, at that. Puppy... I'd told him that I wanted contact, be it phone or email or IM or journal update or ANYTHING, twice a day for a while, at noon and midnight his time. He managed this for one day. ONE. And has utterly failed the next three times, and in about an hour and a half it'll be four times. His passwords are changed, he doesn't answer if I'm the one calling him, in short he seems to be quite thoroughly taking back what portions of his life I had any hold on.
I suppose I can't exactly blame him. The last time we DID have any serious contact, he... offered something I know he would have preferred not to lose. Perhaps he feels this is the best way to get it back. Perhaps he isn't really thinking at all, just acting. Perhaps somehow I've misinterpreted all of this... but I doubt it. Two days is a long time to go with only two IM'd attempts at contact, neither at the times I had specified, neither actual contact. One was 'work now', the other was 'tried calling you'. I'd told him earlier that my cell phone no longer works, told him to check my journal, and in my journal stated that I would be on AIM. So.... he calls? Doesn't even say what number he tried calling; I haven't heard the land line ring and doubt it was Caleb's cell he called as I have no messages from Caleb saying he rang there.
I'm... well, frustrated, obviously. Right now is when I could really use the support and comfort I had begun to find in him. Unfortunately, it seems that's not going to be How It Goes, and about all I can do is let him go. Yeah, I could start making phone calls. I could poke huge holes in his life. I'm tempted, gods know I'm tempted. But...
...is he worth it?
That's the biggest question, really. I told him weeks ago that I was tired of caring, tired of worrying. I don't think he understood just how deeply I meant that. I don't have the time, the strength, to keep myself in a mental space that vulnerable. If I were able to consistantly draw the strength and energy I needed, be it from him or anyone else, it would be different. I'm not, though. Anyone who has been following my life... you know how things have gone over the last year, petwise.
At this point, the only person I can truly lay claim to besides Caleb (who is dealing with moving crap, helping me when I'm sick, etc, which is more than strain enough on him) is Torian... who is having enough scary things going down in her own life that I have no intention of weakening her. I've got nothing here to draw from, no source of strength, no way of filling myself, no satisfaction, no pleasure, nada. I had begun to rely a bit on Puppy, more even than I'd consciously realized.
I can't even feel him.
So yeah. One last ultimatum, shall we say. It's 8:00 my time right now, on the dot. If he's obedient, if he's even trying to obey, there'll be some form of contact in an hour.
...if not, I'm not trying again. Period. No matter what his reasons, no matter what justification he comes up with for his absences, no matter what he offers, no matter how he begs, nothing. Losing even that hope... will hurt, honestly. I do still care about him, even though I've been trying not to, even though I've been doing my best to return to total apathy. But caring isn't enough, is it? Caring only means that his disobedience and idiocy manage to upset me. There's no reason to let that happen, not if I get nothing in return.
I. Can't. Do. This. Any. More.
That's all I have to say.
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