For the Love of All

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I want to shed some light on the initial issue I was dealt as a child that brought to light my suspicions of how legitimate religion and Christianity really were. This will be preaching to the choir, so to speak, for my Little Rock friends...but I feel it's time to open an eyelid or two...or three.

As a child, I viewed my mother as the most "holy" of holy, righteous, Christian people. I saw her as good and nothing else. She could do no wrong to others.

My little brother and I (age 5, I think)

And upon her constantly asking and being concerned with where my "soul" would be going upon death — going to and from grocery store trips, ventures to the mall, leaving the movie theater, in the car after church service, etc etc. — I, as a small 6-year-old child, distinctly remember asking her one day after she fielded that same guilt/fear-driven question into my psyche once again, "But why isn't being good and doing good things for others good enough to get into Heaven?" Her reply (paraphrased, of course)...

"Being good to others isn't enough to get into Heaven. You have to give 'every bit of your heart and soul' to the Lord and ask Him to save you. And when you do, you have to give up all of these worldly things the devil entices you with."

Me: "Even video games?"
Her: "Most of them, yes."
My older sister and I (she's age 11 or 12 here)

I remember this making me quite sad. It blew my little mind that there was a conditional requirement in order for me to access Heaven. This upset me so much.

"So, being a good person isn't enough? Why?"
Her: "It just isn't. Because that's what God said. You have to decide."

So, conditional eternal "love" combo'd with the fear of eternal pain and torture....riiiiiight. I'll get right on that.

My mother gave birth to a very intelligent, logically-minded child, and this little girl wasn't going to have any of it...at least not right away. Remember, I viewed my mother as the most pure person on this planet, but I feared so much what would happen if I turned my back against her and said something of the sorts like, "No! That's stupid! It doesn't make any sense, mom!!"

She would have sent me away for conversion therapy before she even knew I was transgender! Gah. I couldn't imagine that kind of mental torture. What I grew up with was already bad enough.

But as I've grown, I've realized that, yes, love and being good and doing good for others, truly is the most important facet of life. Because as most of you have seen throughout the course of this past year, my family has walked away from me because of my transgender status — something they vehemently feel is incorrect and "not of God." I only rarely get a text from my mother saying, "Love you. Still praying for you. Still hoping you see the Light and the Truth." And nothing else. Nothing from my brother, my sister, my father, and even my nephew has now started ignoring me. All of them, with the exception of my nephew, have all unfriended or blocked my old Facebook account. My brother even has my new Twitter account blocked! I mean, that's hysteria! But yet...they tell me they love me. And that's not love. That's conditional love. That's telling me that I have to abide by YOUR fake rule set in order for YOU to be happy with MY life. Do you understand the hypocrisy in that? Do you understand how hateful and extreme that sounds?

And this is why I'm happy to say that I'm a secular humanist. Because I believe in truly helping and aiding others. I believe in showing love in the best interest of the person...not for my own self gain. Not for any "righteous" worth, not for some fictitious mansion surrounded by "streets of gold" in the sky, and not because of my own subconscious voice in my head I've attached the term "God" to because of indoctrination. I do it because I truly LOVE humanity. Because I want to see us as a species continue to prosper and further our lives in a positive direction. And that isn't accomplished through religion. That's acquired through love. Love is powerful. And love is, most importantly, real.

If everyone on this planet truly loved and believed in love, there would be no wars, no famine, no religion, no strife, no poverty, no hate, and no disparity. People would lovingly take care of each other's needs along with themselves. But that kind of world can't exist, unfortunately, because of evil. And you know what wholeheartedly believes in evil?

Religion.

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