Tuesday, April 6, 2010

pride will shatter

I'm sure at this point it goes without saying that I am judgmental. I am definitely the kind of person who believes that everyone should live how they want and believe is right, with the exception of stepping harshly on others civil rights, but that doesn't mean I don't judge them while they are living the way they want. It's become very easy for me to accept almost anything you can throw at me. I openly embrace pretty much any lifestyle as long as it doesn’t out rightly benefit from the pain or injustice of another. The only thing I have no tolerance for anymore is Christianity.

I’m not a fan of any organized religion, but none bother me as much as Christianity. Maybe it’s because I was a part of it and I’ve seen the inside. Maybe it’s because I was a part of it and I’m bitter, although that honestly feels like the least likely option. I don’t feel bitter, not anymore. Maybe it’s because Christians are the only major religion that is bent on everyone knowing they are the right ones. Maybe it’s because I find it a foolish thing to think is true. Maybe it’s because Christians are the only ones selling their religion. Maybe it’s because you know they’re always thinking you are lost when you’re with them, praying you would someday be like them, believe like them, love the lost like them, be saved like them.

Maybe it's all of the above.

This wouldn’t be a battle for me if I didn’t have Christians in my life, Christians I hold dear and respect. There are Christians whose ideals and morals I just do not respect and there are Christians whose ideals and morals I don’t understand but respect. Maybe there will always be a side of Christianity I hate, and the rest will always be something I’m just ok with accepting for the sake of the ones I love. I think even a lot of Christians feel this way, that there is a big world of Christianity they don’t want to be associated with. As much as that is the biggest issue to me, I’ve gotten to the place where I’m not even comfortable with just the idea of believing Jesus is god, or the bible is true. In my head I just think it’s so idiotic and can’t understand why intelligent, respectable people choose to believe and follow such nonsense. This is not where I want to be. I don’t want to be one of those, an atheist who thinks they’re above everyone else because their scientifically superior brain cells out think and out analyze everyone else’s data coming up with the clearest most sensible answer deeming everyone else foolish sheep with no minds of their own. There will always be people who live as sheep, and so will be seen as such, but I want compassion and understanding for them as well. Making a better decision, in putting thought into who or what I follow, doesn’t make me a better person. It just makes me a better decision maker. And even that can be argued.

It would be so easy to separate myself from all those who follow Christianity, to cut myself off.

I think this is why the heathens stick to themselves, only bumping into the religious in freak accidental meetings and why the Christians stick to their fellowship, only straying to “save the lost”. The same reason people with kids tend to hang out with people who are just as crazy as them, fellow parents. And people without kids tend to hang out with people who live life just as well as them, eating out, traveling, spending quality alone time doing things they love, all without children screaming in the background. It lessens our battles if we stick to what we know; if we love what we see in the mirror and only look for more reflections.

I don’t want to see more of myself. I don’t want to walk around with a full length mirror in front of my face. I want to look around and see people. Fully see. I have done this and done it well. I can relate to anyone, I can put myself in anyone’s shoes and come to a clear understanding of their choices and actions. I have hypothetically put myself in terrorist’s shoes and been able to have compassion. I have put myself in the hypothetical shoes of polygamist Mormon leaders, criminals, extravagant spenders, people who just live differently than me and had understanding. I can go so many places in my mind and find the place where I relate to these people, I can relate to the feeling of walking in anyone’s shoes. Anyone’s shoes but my own, my own old, thoroughly worn, shoes.

Maybe those shoes are the most uncomfortable because I remember how painful they were, how they gave me blisters, how they struggled to fit my feet inside them, how they spoke nothing of who I was and just matched the shoes around me, how they stomped on others beautifully humble shoes.

When you come out of something I guess the only way to move forward is to remind yourself of the reasons why you are leaving. Otherwise you’d never go. But you have to get to a point where that past isn’t related to you anymore. Christianity isn’t related to me anymore. It’s nothing of who I am. It’s the same to me as Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism. None of these are a part of me, who I am now. And I need to look at them the same, with compassion and a desire for understanding. It’s time to put my shield down, drop my sword and stop battling with an unarmed enemy.
There will always be things that Christians say and do that bug the shit out of me. But I don’t need to be defensive against their desire to get me back, it has nothing on me, if something can’t take you down there’s no need to fight it.

I don’t know how to change my mind, how to see people who I think are great, but are Christians, and not have that feeling of sadness and loss because there’s a place you’ll never share, a place where there will always be a valley between your minds, your hearts, your souls. Maybe I can’t.

In the end all I can do at the moment is try to get compassion back, to fill myself again with love, to take off my atheist glasses and remember that I am the same as a gun toting, pro-life, conservative Christian republican. We both fight for what we believe and we do it because we think it’s what is good. People’s hearts are not very complex; we all want the same things at the core. So if I don’t understand why you think a man who lived two thousand years ago is the god of the universe and if you don’t understand why I think humanity is the god we need, at least we can understand where we begin. We begin at the core of our hearts where we all want love, we all want the ones we love to be around us and have all that is good, we all want to find that thing that gives us peace inside, that tells us we belong, and anyone aiming for those things has my respect whether they find my truth or not.

Let the compassion begin and the love fill me.

12 comments:

欣盈 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
britney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ParadisoPerDue said...

good for you! I'm so happy that you are questioning things and thinking for yourself! I respect you for this!

Elissa Parrish said...

liked this a lot... funny i've been working on a blog about my christian annoyance today too... it's in the air...

i think agree with most of this except this statement, "Maybe it’s because Christians are the only major religion that is bent on everyone knowing they are the right ones. " I definitely think this is a downfall of christianity, but also mormonism, muslims, and some sects of hinduism share the same problem. most major religions share the same quality. it is just obviously more prevalent here because most americans claim to be christians. the oppression and indoctrination i have seen in other countries regarding religious belief is every bit as bad and in some cases worse.

Elissa Parrish said...

oh i forgot to subscribe...

skylana said...

elissa, mormons are christians.

skylana said...

and also.. i love you. and miss you.

Elissa Parrish said...

really? haha well honestly all i know about mormons i learned from 'big love'...

<3

skylana said...

hahahah welp.. then you've got a lot to learn missy! they are christians, although most christians wouldn't consider them christians... proving my point once again. douches. hahaha JUST KIDDING... kind of.

JustMe4Now said...

I would have to say that your post is very interesting, but I also have to say it's not something that is surprisingly new in someone who has gone through tragedy, heartbreak, fear. I see it all the time. I've dealt with it, I've been close to it, and I've experienced it. It's nothing that can't be handled. It's nothing that can be overcame. You know this. I'm sure of it. In the back of your mind, you're filtering, you're cultivating, and you're processing. The funny thing is, in awhile from now, you will come to realize your stance (whatever it is) as being something changeable once again, and not realizing it. It will begin another. A new adventure. Like you said, compassion and love. Those are going to be more real to you than you ever imagined, in a way you wouldn't think would ever come because it will be unexpected. Very unexpected, but not really, because you knew from the very beginning where this place called life would take you.

Outnumbered by 3 Stooges!! said...

there are definetly christians who are religious and un accepting. Jesus was not that way, I mean he ate with prostitutes. I totally see what you mean about how some christians made you feel. Those same people made me feel the same. Its sad. I think it happens a lot. i strive very much just to love Jesus. I do have opinions obviously about rights and wrongs, things that you and I openly have talked about, however, I want to live my life just loving and not being religious. even tho I believe in Jesus I dont want to be un humble. Something that happens a lot I think. Im sorry you have been hurt! Hope all is good with you Skylana!

Kate said...

I honestly don't think this is necessarily a Christian problem, but a human problem. We are all guilty of being judgmental and causing pain for others. I've met many, many people who have hurt me or have been hurt by others both in the name of religion or not in the name of religion. We simply are humans and humans are imperfect. There's no one person who is truly living the "right" way because we are all trying to figure it out for ourselves. And that is true for Christians too. I think that Christians (myself included) believe in a standard that people should live by and when it is not met, they can often times be found as being judgmental. And, from what I have gathered from reading many of your post, you, too, have a standard that you believe others should live by. When these people — or further, when Christians do not behave or think in the way that you believe, you have just as much animosity towards them as you claim that Christians have against other people.

I'm not saying the Church is perfect and I do have problems with some of the church and am still trying to figure certain things out, but like I said, I don't think this really has to do anything with the Church overall. It has to do with expectations. It seems as though you expect Christians to be these close-minded, ignorant people who have no love for one another, who don't think about any issues in the world, who don't think for themselves, and when they make a mistake or fall short to your expectations, it only solidifies your belief. I believe that you want to be loved, to be understood, to be given grace, but it seems like you don't give that back to people who also need those things. Christians need those things, Muslims need those things, everyone needs those things. And I think that was what the message of Jesus really was. To see others in the way that He sees us. And it's hard and I fall short constantly. But if you urge others to be open minded, look at yourself and do the same.