With my kind of mind, and how it operated, I was never going to accept religion… much to the frustration of my Mother, and I’ve written about this before.
But there’s something else.
I have also written about Barry, a boy who was “backward” and would never really grow up, even though his body most certainly did. Without a mother of his own, My Cousin very kindly raised him.
Alas, during the 80’s, while our sexuality emerged, I think Mum had the idea that she could deal with it by shoving us into sunday school every weekend.
It may have just been an excuse for Mum to have free time with Yvonne who was going through marriage problems too, get the kids away for an hour, have a good long woman to woman chat, I’m not sure, both?
Barry, although intellectually disabled, wasn’t noticeably so until you tried to converse with him, his subjects were on permanent repeat cycles, spinning around in his mind like disc worlds that he couldn’t jump from.
Things that frightened him seemed to stick there too easily.. He, was afraid of nuclear war, like almost all of us were back then, so he’d ask people questions about it often. That wasn’t unusual for any teenager in the 80’s, the idea terrified us and a lot our pop music revolved around it. But for Barry it was worse.
or maybe not, the way he’d flit from one of his pet subjects to the next, possibly indicated that once he’d tackled that bit of mental difficulty, he could just drop it and move on. despite his fears, he always seemed fairly happy.
There came a point where I lost touch with him and hadn’t heard from him for years, as he’d grown up and left my cousins home.
Then in the late 90’s he began phoning us once or twice during the week, and would speak about the things that scared him… strangers, being bashed up (he never has been), violence on the news, moomba, father christmas, death and God are about the limits of his conversations.
At some point, a christian organisation invited him to go to church, it’s funny how the sunday school didn’t seem to bother him much, although they didn’t lay on the heavy stuff.
Barry was exposed to ideas about God being the god of love who, despite the fact that he loves you, would still think little of sending you down to burn in a fiery hell for all eternity, for the most minor infraction.
Despite the fact that I’m an atheist, it’s really hard to get away from, to take your mind off that, the process of brainwashing is so amazingly strong, and I go through similar ordeals.
Religion is a cruelty, which tells us to be good and maybe we’ll see our loved ones again, which I know, having lost mine, would be the most wonderful thing. although because of the way I think and what I desire, I’d probably go to hell.
And I’m somewhat over it, but still can’t shake it fully, I had a pray before my operation, which might surprise you, out of fear… do you know how hard that is for me to admit?
But I want to because if someone like me who has a reasonable mental fitness is still having problems with fear of hell… then what on earth is it doing to Barry?
If people really want to go to church on a sunday, they should be allowed to, but none of these fundies in our government have any right to ram jesus down our throats, and I will fight them with as much of my own fire and brimstone that I can produce.