Losing my Religion

4 07 2010

Earlier today I came across a youtube video about brainwashing kids to believe evolution is wrong, dinosaurs didn’t exist and an idiot who thought that teaching her kids religious nonsense was “simply a lot easier and made more sense”.

Mum battled with getting me to believe, Mum grew up among family members who were in the Salvos, in fact a few of our family were in the local Salvo band.

Though she was an interesting case, although she believed in God, she never went to church, at least in my memory, and I’m not sure why.

Mum had been a churchgoer earlier on, and was even a Sunday School teacher for a while, My sister also attended sunday school.

About as much as I can recall of religion when I was growing up, were those awful US evangelists on television on a sunday. In the 70s, it was law for Aussie TV to have several hours of religious content… but this was thankfully dropped in later decades.

Mum was strange though in that whenever a nature program came on, which spoke of evolution, she never criticised it. Though she’d point her finger at me at times and yell “You’re a bloody heathen, just like your bloody Father”. Whenever I was “bad” I was always my Fathers Son or just like the other side of the Family.

We had religious instruction at primary school in the 70’s, but suddenly for whatever reason it was not required anymore, whether this was a change of government or school views, I’m not sure.

I remember some kid dobbing me into the pastor (or whatever he was) telling him that I didn’t believe in God, the fellow had a word with me but I don’t remember anything he said and it didn’t matter anyway, the words ran off me like rain from a ducks back.

The class was strange, My feelings now was that it was a bit like being taught facts and figures and then having a class dedicated to elves and fairies (which may have been more fun).

I always found religion sombre and dreary, it may have been different if I’d been bought up in the US with one of those soulful black choirs, whose music I could feel on the inside… maybe I would have gone on to enjoy music more for the experience, but the religion would have gone just the same.

During the 80s, Mum pushed me into Sunday School, so I had to stand there and sing like a goose and read parts of the bible and pray, She’d glare at me and growl “It won’t hurt you to go” when I’d protest, so instead of laying in bed like a teenage boy with a hardon and a dirty mind should, I was forced to get up an have Jesus forced down my throat, sometimes I wondered if Mum had noticed a few of my urges and was hoping she could squash them back down before I became a total animal with a few threatening words about the man upstairs.

Sometimes I though Mum was in it for the freebies, this church was extremely generous at picnics and I do admit the food was good, and oddly they weren’t too pushy with the whole God thing.

But I think it gave me a whole pile of guilt about my feelings and who I was which ontop of what I already carried around, was something I simply didn’t need.

I briefly toyed with religion myself during the 90’s when I became interested in Chinese Medicine, Shiatsu massage, Natural medicine, Native American beliefs and Reiki (which I was told was the same sort of healing power that Jesus used). I was great at reiki and shiatsu, people loved receiving a massage from me, and it was the sort of quiet hobby I needed at the time.

I became quite a spiritual person, around that time. it was my hippy phase, but without the drugs, booze and the free love.

But I got over it and moved on, and became a volunteer at Melbourne Zoo just shortly before a lot of bad stuff began to happen in my life, including the death of my Father, My wonderful Dog and the discovery of why I had been sick for so long.

Mum came to see me in hospital shortly after the removal of my rectal cancer, which was a six-hour operation. She inspected my wrist band with my name, number, home address and religion on it, and saw that it read “No religion”.

She questioned me on that, and told me that I’m Protestant, I looked at her and said “No I’m not, I don’t even know what that means”, I think she was a little surprised that I’d say… all my life I had not been religious, sometimes I said I believed merely to keep my peace with her, but I never was and this was my moment.. She wasn’t upset with me, she was just grateful that I was still alive.

Mum would sing while she was in the kitchen, she often only knew a few phrases of songs, but it was enough for her. sometimes it was a tune from the 40s, something from theatre or the pictures, sometimes a song that came out during the war… sometimes it was a Hymn.

She loved to watch “Songs of praise” but would get quite upset and angry when an old tune that she loved was “all hepped up”, sometimes she’d fight it by trying to sing louder than the television, in the old style… if looks could kill.

But a few weeks short of her passing, it was odd to hear her singing REMs “Losing my religion”. to me, that seemed to indicate that her God had left her and she didn’t care anymore, perhaps she had accepted that I was right after all.

Wolfie!

The video which was mentioned in the story.


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