I dislike religions. ‘Hate’ is a tough and offensive word that I’ve been trying not to use. So, I dislike religions, especially the Catholic religion, the one I was raised in. They create unnecessary fear; they’re manipulative, imposing and authoritative. I can’t understand how something that’s supposed to be a moral guide can be full of deception, confusion and contradiction.
The typical definition in the dictionary describes religion as the belief or worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. In any case, any definition about religion it’s too vague and ambiguous.
Many say that the etymology of religion lies with the Latin word religare, which means “to tie, to bind”. That seems to be a perfect definition of what religion does.
I began to lose my faith in religion decades ago, when I was a teenager. I can honestly say that the more I read and the more I learned about basic human nature, the more I withdrew myself from religion. The less dumb I felt, the more incredulous I became.
I don’t remember how long ago I became aware that religion was the biggest lie in human history. It has been responsible for more deaths throughout human history than all other unnatural causes combined. For a thousand years the Church was a tyrannical dictatorship that used religion to control the uneducated masses.
Another thing that I can honestly say is that I’m not an expert in religion or theology. This is my simple and personal opinion, my own experience and relationship with God and religion.
When I stopped going to church and quit practicing all sacred rites and ceremonies, mass was still performed in Latin, which made the services even more boring. The pomposity and arrogance of the rituals and the officiating priests made it even worse.
But things didn’t start this way; in the beginning I loved my religion. My first recollection about going to church was my first communion. My parents were firm believers in God and the Catholic religion. When I was six years old my mom sent me to Sunday school to get prepared for my first communion. Back then the love I had for my parents was huge; they were my idols and my heroes. I probably love them even more now, and they’re still my heroes. But back then I would have followed every single instruction they gave me, I believed everything they said.
But with the passage of time, one thing happens. You get a mind of your own. Sometimes.
I can describe my relationship with God and religion in three stages:
· The first was submission and surrender, awe and admiration, complete belief. (From six to twelve years old)
· The second was hesitation and doubt, uncertain distrust, and the usual phase when you begin to question authority. (From twelve to sixteen years old)
· And the final stage, incredulity, lack of faith and deception. (From sixteen years old until now.)
My dad used to buy me comic books about saints and angels after we went to church. Sunday was a fun day with my dad. I enjoyed immensely being next to my dad and imitating all of his moves, like making the sign of the cross, kneeling down, taking communion, even going to confession, with not much to say and all under one minute. I was probably inventing innocent sins.
If I followed my dad to church; I would probably have followed him to hell too.
I was about sixteen years old when I lost my religion, my faith disappeared and my devotion expired. If God is everywhere, he witnessed my escape. My rebellion began with the enormous boredom I felt during mass; it was unbelievably soporific and monotonous. Among other things, the smell of incense was unbearable and on the verge of making me ill.
And then, at that age I thought I was committing sins that I couldn’t confess. Now I know they were normal sins, because I still commit the same sins. But it bothered me a little the fact that I knew in advance that my confession would be incomplete or insincere. For those reasons I quit confessing my sins.
I was confronting extreme boredom, the smell of incense, dishonest confessions and increasing incredulity. I was becoming an atheist. And ‘atheism’ is a horrible word, and I hate that word. Did I mention that I hate the word ‘hate’?
I would believe in him again if he can grant one of my wishes once in a while. (I’d like to say that most wishes I have, are not for me.)
If religion can impose fear in me, if God can punish me . . . he should also be able to please me once in a while.
And I’m still waiting.
Lancaster, Ca. Jul-29-2014