Many of you who follow my Tweets will have seen me openly saying that I need to do some shadow work with regards to my feelings on religion, specifically Christianity. I have zero issues with other organised religions, but Christianity makes me angry (FYI: I use the word ‘angry’ a lot in this post), it gets my goat.
This morning I read this post by Zoot, it’s on a different topic, but still about religion. While I read it, though, it sunk in, the reason I feel such anger and dislike, even hate, for Christianity; I feel let down by it, by that God. I feel rejected because I wasn’t good or important enough for that God to look after me.
I was brought up Christian, Church of England. I went to a CofE primary school, I was in Brownies and later on Guides. I was in the Church choir, and we went to church every Sunday as a family. Despite my Mum not being a believer, nor my Dad, (my Step-Dad is Christian) that was just the way it was.
As a child I always said I’d never smoke, or drink, or do anything ‘bad’ like that. I guess I wanted to be a good Christian girl.
And then my Dad got sick, cancer sick. I questioned more, but I think I believed that he would get better. God was on my side, right? Until he wasn’t.
My Dad died of the cancer that had plagued him for a large portion of his life. I was angry. A priest came to pray for/with me, but I was so angry I didn’t want it. That God that claimed to be so good had not only taken my Dad, but made him suffer, made him scared.
I questioned, a lot. I’d questioned before, maybe out of a need for clarity, or going through that “but why?” phase as a child. But now I questioned out of anger. Now I demanded of God why he would take my Dad. If he was so good, if he loved me so much, if he was all powerful, why? Either I wasn’t good enough, he didn’t love me enough, I wasn’t important enough. Or he wasn’t good, or all powerful. And either way, I was no longer interested in trying to love or please him.
And now? Where am I now? I’m Pagan, and I’m finding my own path, and that’s great, and I’m happy with my spirituality, it’s a work in progress but it’s mine. But when I see or hear people praise their Christian God, or Jesus, or claim that someone is so nice/happy/joyful that they must know God’s love, I feel that anger rise up again. I don’t want it to, I want to make peace with that religion, with that God. I want to be able to say, “It’s OK that you abandoned me,” but I don’t know how to, because it’s not OK. It’s not OK to create that kind of pain that creates layers of self-hatred, feelings of not being good enough and deserving of bad things. It’s not OK to preach that God will look after you when he won’t, or can’t.
So evidently I’m still angry. And I apologise for overusing that word in this post. I know I need to let this go, to accept what happened and move on, but inside I still feel like that girl who had her Dad taken away. I guess I’ll always be that girl, but it would be nice to be able to comfort her enough for her to stay quietly in the background. It is something I’m going to work on, and if you have any suggestions please let me know.