Tag Archives: acceptance

God bless the child that had to deal with crazy churches

I didn’t grow up in the church, and for that I’m thankful. My girlfriend grew up going to the Pentecostal church– the fire and brimstone church. She woke up every sunday, put on her best church clothes and sat through Sunday school. She was forced to listen to a man who told her she was going to Hell for being herself or for making the same mistakes that everyone did.

After Sunday school, she absorbed all of the Christian extremist crap from the zealots who made her believe their interpretation of the Bible was the correct one, and anyone who believes differently is anti-Christian and will go to Hell.

She started getting panic attacks around age 12, whether or not it was just from the Church we don’t really know, but I know that the Church definitely had a part in it. When you grow up in an environment that tells you you’re going to Hell for being true to yourself, what do you do? You hide who you really are. You live with secrets and you let them eat you alive until there’s nothing left. You live in fear everyday and hope that sometime in the future you can fall in love with yourself again. You’re lucky if that time ever comes.

Now, when my girlfriend and I go to church (one that accepts everyone, no matter any differences we might have, no matter what the Bible can be interpreted as) she can’t sit through a sermon without having a panic attack and having to leave.

All those memories of her old church come back to her. She thinks of all the times she’s felt claustrophobic and suffocated even in a big church building. She remembers the preacher telling her she’s a pervert and a sinner and that all the feelings she has are wrong in the eyes of God. What do you do when someone tells you that God hates you, the man who is suppose to love you unconditionally and who decided your fate, for loving someone else?

These words are all she ever knew, all she was ever taught; they were ingrained in her brain for years and she’s worked so hard to forget them, to not believe them anymore. Even though the church we go to now doesn’t believe that love is a sin, she still can’t help be feel scared and unprotected in a church and that is the saddest part of all.

The snow was really deep so.  Photo from twentytwowords
The snow was really deep so.
Photo from twentytwowords

From what I understand, God is about love. That is the main message He strives to send out to all of his children. So why would a preacher speak hate and uncompromising rules that one must follow in order to be granted into Heaven? I will never understand that point of view on God’s words. Christianity and religion should be about respect, love, compassion, and generosity, as far as I’m concerned, and not about hate, exclusion, or isolation.

Aggression and intolerance are the root of all evils

I’m not the most tolerant person. I get frustrated with people and their habits easily. That being said, this may be the most hypocritical article I’ve ever written.

Being tolerant of others is the only way we’ll ever have peace in ourselves and around the world. As frustrated as I get with pro-lifers and others who have radically different views from my own, we all have to find some sort of patience and acceptance of each other. Part of growing up is realizing that not everyone thinks the same way you do, and learning to be okay with that.

Walking through a war zone. Graphic from the Trust Collective
Walking through a war zone. Graphic from the Trust Collective

Aside from people with different views, there are going to be people with annoying habits that make you want to gouge your eyes out. As much as I detest hearing other people chewing, learning to approach them kindly and patiently will solve the issue much more gently than reacting with anger and intolerance. Finding coping mechanisms that help you deal with the things that get under your skin will help you rest easy in the face of things that generally tick you off.

One habit I’ve taken up in order to avoid swearing at a complete stranger for chewing loudly is simply using headphones or evacuating the immediate area. When I see a dumb bumper sticker that goes against my own beliefs, I remember what it felt like to have a complete stranger approach me and attack my beliefs because of a bumper sticker . I also observe the person because nine times out of ten, it’s an older person who grew up in a very different time and will likely not be around much longer. It’s morbid, I know, but it helps me rest easy with my angry liberal-hippie heart.

Stephen Hawking recently made a bold and telling statement while giving a tour of London’s Science Museum to Guest of Honor contest winner Adaeze Uyanwah. Hawking stated that aggression is the biggest shortcoming of mankind, and that aggression should be replaced with empathy. Of all of the research and observations Hawking has made on climate change and the impending doom it could bring to Earth, he recognizes the simplest of truths: we humans are destroying our own existence. No species has managed to destroy as many other species as humans have, and most of it has been for the sake of controlling the environments around us.

In the fight to control as many resources within the imaginary borders we’ve created, we’ve left thousands upon thousands of species devastated in our wake. Nuclear bombs, deforestation and drilling for the liquid gold we call oil, all in order to be the country with the most resources, we’ve destroyed the pale blue dot we live upon. This can easily be blamed on our aggression. We aggressively pursue as many resources as we can, taking drastic measures which create consequences that future generations will have to face–all for the sake of our economy.

It may seem that someone with little stance in society may not have the power to disintegrate the hate and aggression all over the world, but by simply injecting empathy in your daily life, you may cause a ripple effect. Showing kindness in the face of adversity is one of the greatest tools we have in the fight against the unrest in the world. It’s easy to get angry at things you deem unfair, but instead of getting angry, it’s time to get smart.

 

 

One of them

A trail of water on her pale skin

The smallest hint of a raging war

A war almost lost

 

Society’s needles dig into her “imperfections”

Her brown eyes

Her frizzy hair

She loses count of needles

 

Day in

Day out

She slaves away

Cosmetics to hide faults

Clothes to hide individuality

All for the sake of approval

 

Speaking as they do

Acting as they do

Even eating as they do

Just to feel accepted

plastics
“Never measuring up Never being enough.”

 

The need to be part of the elite

To be what they are

Who they are

Be them

 

But it’s never enough

A hollow life continues

Never measuring up

Never being enough

 

Time passes

Society’s needles permanently embedded

The aftermath of a lost war

Always wondering

If  the path less traveled was better

Your religion (or lack of one) is wrong

We’re all guilty of it: assuming that our beliefs unconditionally trump the beliefs of others, or that a lack of belief — a refusal to accept things that cannot be physically explained — somehow makes us more intelligent than others. We could go on for days (and the media often does) about the horrible things that people are doing because of their religions, or lack thereof. But it’s time to change the conversation. Continue reading Your religion (or lack of one) is wrong

Weekly Time Wasters: Baboon torture and penny revenge

Hey guys, how’s life? I considered doing a Harlem Shake special this week, but I started watching videos of it and as much as I love the Shake, after about 10 crappy ones the music began to make me want to kill myself. It was a great fad with a terrible, emotion shattering 30 seconds of music. So I decided to scrap the idea and go with a regular show this week. If you would like to see some Harlem Shaking, check out the article on Radford University’s own attempt. It’s pretty fantastic. Continue reading Weekly Time Wasters: Baboon torture and penny revenge