Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The bright and dark side of religion

This is me at age 3
This is me when I was three. Young, innocent, tender, trusting, kind hearted, and loving. Much like my own daughter is now. It was soon after this picture was taken that the LDS indoctrination began. I was strangely fortunate enough to be raised in a household with a LDS mother and non-religious father. So at a very young age I was able to decipher both worlds and decide for myself what I felt good about.

However, I was very much a Mormon in my younger days. And the pressure of making sure I prepared for the day that I would one day serve a mission was pretty intense and unbearable. And by the age of seven the stresses of being a Mormon kid showed...

This is me at age 7
 I remember my grandpa patting me on the head at this age and with a twinkle in his eye, and a big smile on his face, lovingly telling me,"I love you so much".."Your my flesh and blood and I'm so proud of you".."You are special and I'll always love you".."SOMEDAY YOU'RE GONNA GO ON A MISSION." I clearly remember even at that young age thinking"what does that even mean?" 

Now for the non-Mormon readers an LDS mission is when you're 19 years old you go off for two years to force, manipulate, seduce, bribe, and trick other people to join the church. In Utah this is pretty much what you were put on this earth to do, that, and come home and marry a young teenage girl and have seven or eight kids together and live happily miserably after, the end!

I remember wishing and praying to "heavenly father and Jesus" that someday Dad will join the church. I always felt pressured from my peers, teachers, and extended family to get him to join. That somehow it was up to me. Years went by and I started to become aware of what was really going on. It evolved into," Why is my Mom making me go to this church that makes me so miserable and unhappy? No wonder Dad doesn't go!" To be fair to my Mom she only wanted what was best for me and my siblings and has sense left the LDS church behind. 

I left the church at seventeen and I'm pleased to say it's been 10 years since I've considered myself LDS. From seventeen to before my daughter was born I was very much an Atheist and damn proud of it! I hated all religion especially anything Mormon! It all changed the day I saw the ultrasound of my daughter. Something happened to me that day that I'll never forget. And then after she was born I remember she was a few days old. Me and my wife were watching her sleep when suddenly she started making a giggling noise in her sleep. That's the definitive moment that I knew in my heart that indeed there is something more out their! How could this few day old baby who's only memories are that of being in her Mom's womb make her giggle. She couldn't even giggle yet when she was awake but there she was, giggling in her sleep.

From that day to now my belief in god, or an entity, or higher power is strong, I just refuse, will not, can not, never will believe in any religion this world has to offer! I've always said jokingly to friends that the only religion I'd ever consider joining would be the Jedi from Star Wars.  That is my heart felt belief and nobody will ever sway me otherwise. Atheists would consider me wishy washy and religious folk would consider me a heathen. But that is my belief.  
  • religion divides more than unites
  • brings hate and intolerance
  • pins us all up against one another
  • is the greatest cause of war and famine
  • brings more death than life
This is the bright side of all religion..

This is the dark side of all religion...

My final thoughts on this is I'm not an anti-religion guy. I think we all have our own path to walk and it's nobodies business to tell us other wise. I only take issue with religious people who expect everyone else to be like they are and hate them if they're not. Obviously I've been raised and brought up in Mormon Utah so I'm biased toward that particular religion in my disdain because I know it very well. But I'm quite sure that if I was born anywhere else I would be the same way to whatever the predominate religion was around me..

I'm not the type that says,"Everybody is instinctively good." I actually think opposite, people are instinctively shitty, some just try harder than others not to be.

1 comment:

  1. Great Post. I agree that I think the dominant religion of where you live have higher expectations of how you should be. But that's just my opinion


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