Victoria NeuroNotes

Into the Gray

In the Lie of the Storm: The Hubris in Prayer

80 Comments

When I started questioning my cultural beliefs (Christianity), something started to happened. It was as though my brain was thawing out — as though a fog was lifting. There’s a neurological explanation for this: a reactivation of neural circuitry associated with critical assessment. Deactivation of this specific circuitry is associated with attachment.

Reality slapped me in the face. For quite sometime I felt ashamed. Why?

I’ll elaborate shortly.

Having experience the impact of several major hurricanes, I know the agony of waiting 3 weeks before getting word that my siblings and mother survived a category 5 hurricane. I know what it’s like to evacuate with a baby — what it’s like to go without power for weeks (with a baby) — what death smells like in unrelenting 95 degree (35 Celsius) heat — what it’s like when a hurricane obliterates your hometown — not just once, but twice.

The point of mentioning this is to inform readers that in times of overwhelming uncertainty — in times of crisis, I understand why people find ways to cope and cling to hope. The world can be frightening sometimes.

Aside from offering comfort, prayer is often seen as virtuous.  Let’s remove the sugar-coating.

 

Prayer is self-comforting and ritualistic talisman-wielding

Disasters often bring out the best in humanity, but they can also bring out the worst. The internet was plagued with wealthy evangelical charlatans leaders claiming that Hurricanes’ Harvey and Irma were the result of their god’s judgement.

Others were so full of themselves confident in the power of their prayers that dozens gathered on the beach in Jacksonville, FL to command Hurricane Irma to go back out to sea.

“We’re gonna put this storm to sea — no fear”

“The prayer service was complete with hymns and Bible passages. Participants made sure that social media shared the message with the entire city.”  Source

Florida Gov. Rick Scott: ‘The biggest thing right now is pray for us.”

What was especially disappointing was when seemingly caring believers failed to see how insensitive they were to others not so fortunate.

Hurricane Irma decimated several islands in the Caribbean, and also did significant damage across 3 U.S. states.  The storm took at least 68 lives, and around 200 people are still missing. The situation has become dire in parts of the Caribbean. The cost of the storm will be astronomical. 

“The damage is complete,” says Ambassador Ronald Sanders, who has served as Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to the U.S. since 2015. “For the first time in 300 years, there’s not a single living person on the island of Barbuda — a civilization that has existed on that island for over 300 years has now been extinguished.” Source

In the midst of great suffering, social media was slathered in comments like this:

 

 

 

“It seems to us humbler to defer to the laws of nature and work within them than to try pulling strings to change them when we really want something.

Besides if what you pray for really is virtuous and God, working in mysterious ways, was ultimately beneficent, it seems pretty arrogant to feel like you have to give his omniscience a heads up on an opportunity to do the right thing.

If God is benevolent, does He need you to say “God, please make good things happen.”?

Jeremy E Sherman

 

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Author: NeuroNotes

Victoria predominately blogs about religion, and the brain's role in religious type experiences.

80 thoughts on “In the Lie of the Storm: The Hubris in Prayer

  1. There is a level of hypocrisy in the Christian approach that borders on pathological insanity – if there is such a thing.
    If Yahweh is responsible for hurricanes then it must be obvious he …Oh, I am dreadfully sorry … He knew beforehand exactly what was going to happen.
    I mean, do these nutters actually think Yahweh sat in heaven, looked down and said aloud: ”Oh shit! I didn’t see THAT coming. Wow … no more acid for me in a while.”

    In any other situation a group of weirdos on the beach, chanting to the sky would have had the local Sheriff and his Deputies driving there in their poleece cars, hauling off some ass to the local jail and charging them with disturbing the peace.

    Yeah … pray all right. ”Pray” these halfwits have a massive brainfart and wake up.

    Liked by 8 people

    • “”Oh shit! I didn’t see THAT coming. Wow … no more acid for me in a while.””

      LOL

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes Ark you point out the absurdity of it all.

      As a former Christian I admit I was so indoctrinated that ‘God is good’, ‘everything is God’s will’ and ‘God answers prayer’ that rather than see the inherent contradictions I would make excuses for God in order to preserve my belief system, because the alternative was too painful to contemplate.

      It is little wonder that the Bible makes so much of the sin of questioning ‘God’.

      Liked by 5 people

      • “It is little wonder that the Bible makes so much of the sin of questioning ‘God’.”

        So true. Also, preserving our belief system was essentially preserving our identity. That’s the power of indoctrination.

        Liked by 4 people

        • It all reminds me of that Ga Ga song. She sings about having a million reasons to leave. However, she just needed one good one to stay. That was me the last two years of my deconversion.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Exactly Charity and the more adherence to a belief has cost us personally the harder we cling to it as psychologically we have invested so much and it is damaging for us to accept that it was all wasted effort.

            Liked by 4 people

            • Peter, so true. I had many reasons to leave Jesus for many years. Near the end I just needed one good one to stay. I didn’t want my life to be a waste. My excuses to remain a Christian were running out left and right. Now I can at least recognize that what’s been done is done. However, reconstructing my life, my marriage and my parenting is still difficult years after deconverting.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Hello Charity. I wish you the best in readjusting and hope all is soon well. Hugs

                Liked by 1 person

                • It’s a constant reconstruction. I know some of my issues with my marriage are due to me. As a Christian single woman, I spent all of my life being programmed that I needed to be married. I finally met someone and married at 31. I was considered an old maid by most religious standards. Now as a deconvert for almost five and a half years and in my mid forties, I don’t see the relevancy of marriage in modern culture. I mean no disrespect to you, Scottie and others who have fought and waited for equality in marriage. I’m glad that marriage is legal for same sex and interracial couples. However, I think more of us are getting married than what there needs to be. Many of us do so out of pressure from our families, faith and society as a whole.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • The big change for us was the legal benefits and protections. Plus it was nice to see that those who hated our relationship have to grant we have the right to the institution and its protections. No more refusing to honor our wishes medically, they have to. It is a big difference. I tell the story of a gay couple who were married in one state but that marriage was not recognized in Florida. One of the couple was in the ICU. One of the doctors was a big time catholic bigot. He refused to address the partner, regulated him to friend only status for all things including visitation, and even called estranged family members to overrule decisions made by the partner even though he had legal paperwork to give him those rights. The partner took it to legal and the president of the hospital and they told the doctor he MUST honor the patient’s partner and married status. At that point the ICU doctor dropped the patient from his care and roster and REFUSED to treat the sick man in the ICU. I have such anger over it because I worked the unit and had to sit there next to the doctor and listen to him and watch him do this. That is why universally recognized marriage with no exceptions is so important to me. But I do understand your point also and everyone should be free to chose. Hugs

                    Liked by 3 people

                    • I could see how that would be upsetting, and ABUSIVE as well. That’s what people need to understand. Bigotry is rude, hurtful, belittling and insulting. That guy was hurting that couple in the worst way, undermining their humanity and co-existence.

                      Liked by 2 people

          • “That was me the last two years of my deconversion.”

            I can relate — more so with belief in God than Christianity. Once I realized that Christianity was one big clusterfuck invented by men, I had no problem walking away. However, I did want to believe there was a loving god looking out for our best interests. That’s why I went through two deconversions. A lot of people I know became an atheist right away. I got there in phases. Life makes much more sense without god(s).

            Liked by 1 person

            • She just gets me with the whole…

              “I bow down to pray.
              Try to make the worst seem better.
              Lord, show me the way
              through all this worn out leather (the Bible).
              I’ve got a million reasons to walk away!
              I only need one good one to stay.”

              Liked by 1 person

    • My point exactly.
      Why pray when god wanted the hurricane to happen? Are they suggesting their god erred?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. >>> “It was as though my brain was thawing out — as though a fog was lifting.”

    That is incredible, Victoria. Having never been so absorbed with religion, the only experience I can relate to is waking up from a drug-induced stupor.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. It was Canada’s offer to send whatever aid was deemed most needed to which the ‘pray for us’ response was elicited. We must have prayed a little too hard because it caused an 8.1 earthquake in Mexico.

    And people wonder why we Canadians say ‘Sorry’ so much.

    Liked by 7 people

  4. Yuck! So, children of god have to plead with their heavenly father “Please don’t hurt me, daddy” like they’re horribly abused sons and daughters. Let that sink in for a minute, sister and mister Christian.

    Liked by 5 people

    • And how must they feel when they are still hurt?

      I recall an elderly and very devout lady who was so buoyant at “God’s” goodness after her house burnt down because in the ashes so found that her Bible, although charred, had survived.

      Liked by 5 people

  5. When I got back online, a person who reads my blog and comments informed me they were OK, their home was ok, and asked me to join them in prayer for others still without power and safety. Here is the response I gave.

    You wish to pray , go for it. I don’t believe prayer does anything. It is saying “hey I am thinking of you” nothing more. I will join you in saluting all the wonderful scientists who studied the climate system, and the meteorologist who could see where the storm was going and give us guidance. I am very grateful to the many people who got my power back on in only a day and a half, and the people who cleared the streets, the police who directed traffic at major intersections that had no lights. In fact chuck I refuse to pray to any god that had the ability to divert this thing and did not. One death from it was too many and we had too many. IF the god couldn’t diversity it to open sea that god doesn’t deserve to have the title. So no I won’t be praying.

    Hugs

    Liked by 8 people

  6. I made some corrections / clarifications in my post. Sorry about the dyslexic grammar. I hope Hariod wasn’t too traumatized. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Like Henry Fonda once said to his shoeshine boy, Bela, “Bela, if prayer actually worked, I wouldn’t have to pay you 5 bucks to shine my shoes. I’d just pray to God to do it for free, and he would. Hey, you missed a spot! Get back to work, kid.”

    Liked by 7 people

  8. It all fits well together and evens out when you consider the hurricane is to teach sinners a lesson about being gay and the 20,000 children that die every single day from starvation and disease is basically part of Gods holly plan, however, I do recall on a blog I read some time ago that God picked out one or two American Christians to be recipients of miracles, one with sorting out his earwax problem and for the other the finding of some car keys.

    Liked by 5 people

    • What we see so much is the powerful impact of confirmation bias. Some years back a devout couple told me about a miraculous answer to prayer (or so they claimed), a wind change had slowed a fire down and stopped their house burning down. The problem I had was that the wind change had been predicted in the weather forecast before the fire had even started.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Oh, dear, you totally misunderstand. God is “doing” this (sending hurricanes) to bring the U. S. back together. Haven’t you seen all the self-sacrifice of people for each other regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation? It’s amazing!

    Sorry, Caribbean. Collateral damage.

    Liked by 6 people

    • You mean it’s not the beginning of the end? Wow! Thanks for the clarification. I’ll return the apocalypse food buckets I purchased from Jim Bakker.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hahaha! Noooo. No one knows the day or the hour.

        Just look at the evidence. I mean, sure it was rough over some small islands, and sure a few people died, but just look at all this unity! Small price, doncha think, for god to show how much he loves the U.S.A.?

        Liked by 1 person

    • Well according to Jennifer Lawrence it is ‘mother nature’ seeking revenge on Donald Trump.

      I thought it was an odd statement, but I gather it makes more sense in light of the movie ‘Mother’ by Darren Aronofsky, where apparently Lawrence’s character is meant to portray Mother Nature.

      Like

      • I saw that she was quoted as saying that. Not having the rest of the context I’m not sure what to make of it. Perhaps snark? I can totally see her being snarky.

        Liked by 1 person

        • ” Jennifer Lawrence is clarifying remarks she made last week about the devastating hurricanes of late.

          Lawrence, 27, who’s out promoting her new film “mother!’ said that her comments about the storms were taken “grossly out of context,” according to a Facebook post from the star.

          She continued, alleging that she never suggested a correlation between the Trump presidency and the horrific storms.

          “Obviously I never claimed that President Trump was responsible for these tragic hurricanes,” the star wrote in her post. “That is a silly and preposterous headline that is unfortunate, because it detracts from the millons of lives that are being impacted by these devastating storms and the recent earthquake.”

          http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/jennifer-lawrence-hurricane-comments-context-article-1.3492903

          Like

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  11. Prayer: Asking your invisible friend who in its infinite wisdom has already decided everything, to change its mind.

    So…when you are praying about a hurricane, how exactly do you do that? Do you ask your invisible friend to steer it away from you? If that by chance happens then they claim their invisible friend is the greatest, oblivious to the destruction all around them? Oblivious to the death and misery cast upon their neighbors? Yes indeedy god is great… Fucking morons.

    Religion should come with a warning label. “Could cause irreversible mind rot.” “Use at your own risk.”

    Liked by 4 people

    • They ask, then say: “Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”

      If their prayers aren’t answered in the way they hoped they’ve got that to fall back on. See how that works?

      But, yeah, people are so programmed — so conditioned — they don’t see the inhumanity of their thought processes.

      Like

  12. When Irma diverted, moving us out of the bullseye, Hubs and I had a brief convo about storms and prayer. I asked if God moved the storm bc he loved us more than he loved the Gulf coast of Florida. He said no, that he thinks prayer “can” work and that God “can” control all things – but ” we can’t know the mind or ways of God” because he’s god. He said he pictures god “up there, swirling his fingers on Earth making hurricanes and cyclones and such.” I looked at him and decided to be honest about my thoughts on that: “Then your god is a psychopath” I braced for the response. He just laughed, not maniacally but agreeing that thought was kinda crazy. Maybe I’m getting somewhere!

    Liked by 6 people

    • “but ” we can’t know the mind or ways of God” because he’s god.”

      Oh my, does that ever sound familiar. That scripture was quoted to me a gazillion times by clergy when I’d stumped them with a question.

      “Maybe I’m getting somewhere!”

      I’m hopeful.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I may not know the mind of God, but I do know the mind of good humans, and if the people who I know that are good would never do something, should they have the power, to send a hurricane on people that can take lives and destroy lives and livelihood. Of what value is such a God that acts less moral the best of us humans? If God is sending these hurricanes then the entire system is flawed and in the words of Ivan Karamazov “I respectfully return my ticket” and am getting off this ride.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Action or Meditation? Are both responses beneficial or detrimental? Or possibly BOTH depending on circumstances and needs? Is there only one method for “action”? Is there only one method for “meditation”?

    I have my own personal opinions about answers to these questions, but I was curious about other’s answers/opinions here. Having spent 5.5 days and well over 70-hours volunteering my time & efforts at our local American Red Cross shelters and needed assistance with logistics for the thousands of Harvey evacuees from Corpus Christi and other coastal towns, simple ACTION along with an appropriate sense of humor puts not only a smile on many faces, especially little children, but (appropriate) humor refocuses the obsession of self dread/pity from our brains into an acceptance or embrace of our reality: fragile, but adaptive thru persistence.

    I was surrounded every single day by families and individuals “praying” or meditating together with area ministers and priests. Could they have been doing something better with their time, those minutes there together?

    When I’d eventually get home exhausted from the tense, challenging atmosphere, I did enjoy for my own decompression, relaxation, time alone outside in the relative silence of Nature and our waterfall/pond — MY meditation, if you will — in order to be reenergized for the next day at the shelters and kitchens. My form of “meditation” is very beneficial for me which did indeed have a positive ripple-effect(?) for those evacuees. 🙂

    Seeking clarity/ideas. What does everyone else here, including of course you Victoria, think/feel about individual meditation in relation to this post?

    Liked by 4 people

    • I don’t think anyone would dispute the benefits of meditation. I think the specific critique is of the “prayer” model that is expressed as changing or impacting the will of some god. Meditation, I think, is different from that. By the time I was at the end of my Christianity “prayer” for me was essentially mediation. By that point I knew prayer changed nothing but me.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I knew prayer changed nothing but me.

        From my personal experience Ruth, the same applies to me. However, did my revitalization, rejuvenation via my own personal meditation have a ripple-effect for those evacuees? I was wondering, asking you and any others here, if calm, composed, and slightly quirky sense of humor was possibly beneficial for them? 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

    • “Seeking clarity/ideas. What does everyone else here, including of course you Victoria, think/feel about individual meditation in relation to this post?”

      Ruth pretty much said what I was going to say, PT. To address your other question, if meditation helped you keep your shit together during the chaos, then it was beneficial to the evacuees you helped. As Ruth mentioned, this post is predominately about how people come across as being “so important” and “so influential with their god” that they don’t see how their egocentric prayers and public display of “gratitude” comes across to others, and especially to those who are suffering and have incurred great loss.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, it is pretty commonplace that “public displays” seem more important by certain personalities — tRump & other public/civic officials being prime examples — than immediate action, just simple neutral, decent, humane (silent?) help as best you/we can for those that have lost and in crisis. Get your hands, knees, feet sweaty dirty, with some smiles, and DO not long-windedly speak. Did the Florida Governor or tRump or ANY civic officials ever do that?

        But I personally feel that to those who try or want to make disasters a religious event or a religious debate are indeed missing the pure HUMAN side of the catastrophe. I certainly didn’t (personally) care for the public displays of prayer, worship-gratitude, etc, but I was there to ACT. Besides, if those prayer groups were benefitting those evacuees, to FEEL a simblance of normal & familiarity, I wasn’t going to interrupt and start a theological debate with them right there. LOL “Each to their own.” Could the time be better spent?

        To me — outside of direct physical (silent?) help/aid by other friendly “humans” — initiating or perpetuating a religious or political slant or debate at such a time is inappropriate, NOT the time and place when SO MUCH needs to be organized and physically done pronto. Ugh, then you have all those ‘religious organizations’ that do heed and answer the call; not sure how (as a secular Humanist) how best to engage them when they usually ‘religious twists’ attached to their aid. 😞 When we seculars are a minority, maybe debates are appropriate much later when there’s no more to DO in the area? But as your post alludes to Victoria, time and resources I feel are more valuable and better utilized DOING the recovery rebuilding stuff, for sure!

        More thoughts/ideas anyone?

        Liked by 2 people

        • Professor, re your comments about seculars and debate … perhaps it need not be a “debate,” but when there is obvious “prayer” and “supplication” going on around you, perhaps you could “casually” comment in your experiences you’ve found people helping people seem to bring about more noticeable results. 😉

          Liked by 2 people

          • That’s an excellent idea/approach Nan! ❤ Sometimes there are cases where the means to positive results aren’t (temporarily) as important as the results for Greatest Good for Greatest Number. Funny you mention that, I’ve (had to) use that same essential comment with my daughter, and her activities/help along with her mother in similar situations of their church outreach/charities, etc. 🤔 Obviously my time-effort priorities, in those moments, are quite different than theirs. Hahaha. But…

            as fellow human beings we must still find clever ways to collaborate (and tolerate?) with “them” don’t we? 😖:P

            Liked by 1 person

  14. This post addresses one of the persistent ‘truths’ that I could not avoid and which ultimately led me away from church. The fact that if one assigns credit to their god for positive things, it follows that god must also take the responsibility for negative things. No christian I know will agree with that. I saw these posts on FB as well and had to resist the response to, “God spared Florida”. I really wanted to say, “Yes, and shit all over the Caribbean”, diplomacy be damned. We just can’t say those things, though, can we? No matter how true they are. 😦

    Liked by 5 people

    • Why not? The “Christians” say this kind of thing … and WORSE … all the time on FB (and elsewhere). In fact, your comment was TAME as compared to some I’ve seen.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Sometimes we need to say those things without the sugarcoating. I read 2 studies several years ago showing that when the brain experiences a shock, especially from someone they respect and/or love, it can reactivate neural circuity. I can vouch for that from personal experience. “I once was blind but now I see.” Lol

      Liked by 4 people

    • I agree with Nan. I think we can and SHOULD say them Carmen. Replacing people’s world-view tiny mono-focals with a cornucopia of kaleidoscopes is always a very good thing! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I have been reading the comments ( I love comments ) here and on other blogs. One thing I have noticed. God is doing these storms and fires and earthquakes..and so on to teach the USA a lesson on morality and to bring us to him. Our actions have caused these things. The idea I see everywhere in the states is God is talking to us. The USA . Well shoot he doesn’t seem to care about the other nations then. What about nations that have had same sex marriage far longer than the USA? Why hurricane us for them, but god doesn’t care they have it, he is only mad at us. The USA. We are doing all this bad stuff and need his destruction to make us love him more…oh crap I had a childhood like that and it was called abuse by the state. What I am seeing without trying to be funny is people so set on their delusions of a mythical supreme being that loves them best is the rest of the world is not only unimportant but doesn’t exist. These people are so narrow minded they think the USA is the beginning and end all of the earth and societies. I was lucky to go to a few other countries as a young adult. I am very lucky in that I have all of you as friends who live all over the world. So I know there is more than the USA. So why doesn’t super God? Hugs

    Liked by 4 people

    • Scottie, you said a mouthful there.

      “These people are so narrow minded they think the USA is the beginning and end all of the earth and societies.”

      This short clip (under a minute) seems quite appropriate at this time.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Scottie, when I commented to Carmen about knowing from experience about the brain getting a shock (not from electricity per se– lol) it happened when I was an SDA. During my journey to find the “true church,” and I had been a member of several, the SDA was the last one I joined. To be honest, I met some very caring people in that denomination — more so than any other church I had been a member of. Anyway, in my studies I learned that Ellen White had plagiarized about 80% of her writings, saying they had come directly from god. Then I read letters she had written to other members, and compared them to other literature she had written and wow, was she ever a charlatan and a half.

      That shock accompanied the worst disappointment I had ever felt regarding humanity at the time, much like finding out your dearest lover who is also your dearest best friend had betrayed you in the worst way (pulling the wool over your eyes the whole time, and I had this huge letter S on my forehead. It did something to my brain that day. It was the weirdest experience, but all of a sudden I started seeing things I’d never noticed before. When I opened the bible, stuff would just jump out at me with HUGE red flags. Lol

      What sealed the deal for me was when I approached my pastor about what I found. I really cared very much for my pastor and his wife. He seemed like such a compassionate and honest person. But, he tried to cover it all up and make excuses. Two major shocks within a week. Lol

      Liked by 2 people

      • I am glad you are OK, and that the shock you took was not debilitating. I can understand when you say the SDA had some caring people, the people who took me from my home and paid for me to go to a boarding school were SDA. I know they really believed what they were about, but I couldn’t do it. Coming from a non-god back ground I just couldn’t accept as true what seemed so clearly made up to make it all feel good. They wanted me to become a pastor and I wanted to, but I knew I was gay and how they felt about it. For me the fact E. G. white was so easily shown to be wrong on things, such as masturbation causes prostate cancer. Something they used very heavy on us teen boys. The fact is that masturbation is great for the prostate and recommended by medical professionals. Then there was the whole god is coming back night and he never did. SO while I did not know much about Christianity I did learn the history of the church, and it had huge holes in the story. Be well. Hugs

        Liked by 2 people

        • I’m about to go out for a while, but I wanted to mention that I came into the church through Amazing Facts. There’s a reason why this seminar is 21 days, and they don’t tell you until close to the end what denomination they are associated with. By then, they’ve pretty much got you programmed, and it’s reinforced by the seemingly loving and friendly people there. I was impressed at their camp meetings because most of the speakers were doctors. I was impressed with their massive infrastructure. Their famous hospitals, where cutting-edge medical procedures had been performed for the first time, etc. I was impressed by the fact that they were health conscious, had cooking classes, etc.

          Anyway, there was a lot to take in, and they just kinda swept me off my feet. Later came the study of their history, and that’s when I realized, damn — this is happening with every denomination. “Here’s your sign.” Haha

          Liked by 2 people

    • Excellent logic and heart Scottie! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Great post Victoria. Of course hurricanes only really matter if they take U.S. lives and if they don’t then this is just more proof about how America is blessed by God! It’s hard to watch all the rhetoric by the religious when these disasters hit. It’s hard to even understand how they can maintain their belief in an all loving deity. It simply just never made sense to me that God would take the time to take the time to get personally involved in everybody’s life, especially when there were broader problems to solve. Why help one ardent prayer get a job, while another person who might have also been praying for that job didn’t get it? As I’ve told you, when my ardent prayers as a young Christian for my dad not to be an alcoholic anymore were unanswered it was clear to me that this was all bullshit. At that time I can say for certain that I believed as much as any 12 year old could. One could make arguments about me not being a good Christian, but I did believe. I did let Jesus into my heart, which is what I was told was the most important thing for God to love me. Stopping your father from being addicted seems like a pretty obvious one…one that you wouldn’t say…well let this Swarn person be a Christian for a few years and then I’ll stop his dad from drinking. After a time I felt foolish for even thinking that a universe could work like that.

    Liked by 6 people

    • ” After a time I felt foolish for even thinking that a universe could work like that.”

      Ugh, I can so relate. 😦

      Swarn, I had a difficult time writing this blog post. I removed a lot from my original draft. That’s why the post appears a bit chopped up. I didn’t want it to come across as a rant, but I think a spotlight should be shone on this kind of behavior.

      In the OP I used the word “disappointment,” but I felt so much more than that. I was flat out disgusted. If this rhetoric had come from just a few, I would have blown them off, but it appeared in droves everywhere — on social media, in casual conversations, and from people being interviewed on local and cable news. Even from public officials:

      “We came out a lot better than the rest of the state and we have to thank God for that.” (Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez)

      https://www.local10.com/weather/hurricane-irma/miami-dade-mayor-we-have-to-thank-god

      I am ashamed and embarrassed that I was ever associated with Christianity. Thank you for sharing here about your personal experience.

      Liked by 3 people

    • That sounds really painful, Swarn. I’m so sorry you went through that agony throughout your childhood. That was so wrong! That overwhelming feeling of abandonment and rejection from a parent and an entity all at the same time must have felt like full on betrayal at every turn. I’m sorry that boy Swarn wasn’t loved and cared for as he should have been.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Thank you for your kind words Charity. I did have a terrific mother and my dad was good when he was sober. He’s a binge drinking alcoholic as a result of experience his own childhood trauma that went untreated. I really more wanted him to not be an alcoholic for him, not so much for me. Because it was clear that he was happier and healthier not drinking, and I just liked having him around more. I guess it was less about feeling abandoned and more wanting to stop something that was just making the entire family hurt.

        Liked by 3 people

  17. When I was a child, I had a pretty picture of an avenue of trees on my bedroom wall with the caption underneath “Prayer changes things.” I was indoctrinated to believe that this was true and was made to pray every night before bed. This was when I believed that ‘God’ was sitting up there on a cloud, listening intently to everything I said, both good and bad. He supposedly saw my every thought and action, and this terrified me in case I somehow sinned, thus causing him to be displeased with me. The threat of punishment permanently hung over my head like a threatening storm cloud. I often wish I could go back and experience a normal childhood without all the religious mental abuse. I so enjoy reading the comments on your blog posts.

    Liked by 2 people

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