I live in a house with bible verses, crosses, and other religious icons plastered on almost every wall. For the most part, I’m able to ignore them. On occasion, I’ll look up and see a picture of Jesus or a cross or something, and it’ll just make me stop and consider what blind belief did to me. Most of the time, I’m left with the thought that my faith was a burning house.
In my last post, I talked about how platitudes can’t work for me anymore. Faith – what I was taught about it growing up in a Lutheran church and elsewhere – is the biggest reason for that. All the things I got taught could get boiled down to a single message: people are worthy of eternal torture by default. Everything else reinforces this message, from encouraging me to embrace my personal broken nature to being skeptical of my salvation. It’s easy to see now how my depressed thinking cloaked itself in religious garb and masqueraded as piety. Depression is a chameleon, but with cross-shaped teeth and an appetite for invisible wounds.
More than that, I was taught to rely on my faith to my detriment. I did it so well that I can’t do it now. To a certain extent, I think that everyone needs a certain level of the hypothetical in their lives to get through the day. Nobody gets in their car thinking about how driving is more dangerous than flying, or how swimming is more dangerous than skydiving. At a certain point, facts can get in the way of living one’s life. What happens when someone like me isn’t allowed the hypothetical to shield himself from them?
Regardless of the answer, I do know that this is why I’m not a fan of ideas that promote faith above everything else ever. Faith burns with a fire that can illuminate or inflame. People who have the luxury of being able to tell everyone else to set the world on fire don’t really know how bad being burned feels. Maybe their nerves are dead, or maybe they just don’t care.
That indifference is another sore point. Over the past few years, I’ve had plenty of Christians call bullshit on what I’ve experienced. Some do it politely, but the knife wound is still there. Faith works for them, so it has to work for everyone else. According to that reasoning, I should probably hurry up and die already – implied in the nicest way of course.
Lately, I’ve been trying to come up with a list of things that I’d need if I ever did become financially independent and solvent again. I like to think about this, because it assumes that I’ll eventually be at a point to make healthy decisions for myself. Somewhere on that list, I’d include a home free of any religious symbols. It would be nice thinking I can retreat to a place where I don’t have to get reminded of battles I’ve been wounded and scarred from.
More generally, I think that people should be able to get rid of the things that plague them. If something serves as too painful a reminder, get rid of it. Essentially it’s mental pollution, and there’s no need to consume it.