Historical details have been intentionally suppressed.
Fond church memories. Quality time with Mum. A full roll of Mentos or Dutch salted licorice. An hour or two variety show of singing, evangelical orating, followed by social time with relatives, church friends or friends of Mum’s. There is always tea and cookies.
I really liked the singing. From a very young age, unable to read words or music, I would sing at the top of my lungs, convinced I was very much in tune and miraculously channelling the correct lyrics. Good thing this was long before digital video recording.
My stifled memories are rife with xenophobic philosophical doctrine designed to control and nurture my self-loathing. Being judged and conditioned to judge. Incessant fables of an omnipotent, vengeful god with horrific details of its relentless tests and punishments.
The two years spent in the Calvinist school connected to the church my all-time low. A preachy self-righteous science teacher telling a classroom of twelve and thirteen-year-olds that they were all sinners and going to hell. And an English lesson where the suffix “ism” was taught to mean, the false belief in, as in Catholicism, Hinduism, Judaism, etc.…
Upon coming to terms with my sexuality at the age of sixteen, I had an epiphany in regards to the religion I was raised. How could any god create me as I am, and then pronounce me an abomination, and condemn me to a horrific and torturous eternal afterlife? This is not a god at all. This is an evil demon.
This billboard graffiti succinctly summarizes how I feel about religion:
Religion is like a penis.
It’s fine to have one.
It’s fine to be proud of it.
But please don’t whip it out in public.
And PLEASE don’t shove it down anybody’s throat.
Over the years I have identified in myself an adversity to all things from all religions from all places everywhere ever, although I adhere to George Carlin’s live and let live philosophy of Everyone is entitled to their own imaginary friend.
I do miss the singing.