The first time I (almost) lost my religion

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A boyfriend once accused me of being satanic. He obviously was exaggerating. I was merely a first year student swayed by the radical ‘God is Dead’ rhetoric who was in love with a staunch Christian. He was continuously shocked by my random Nietzsche inspired rants. During the courting ritual he had spotted me, once, at a church service, so he became convinced that my branches were merely being shaken and there was nothing a good prayer could not fix. I am sure at some point he even considered an exorcism when he discovered that the many viewings of Passion of the Christ did not have the desired effect.

But he was wrong, Nietzsche had nothing to do with my brittle relationship with Christianity but rather hypocrisy was to blame. To lay my catholic foundation my parents had planted me in an all girls primary school and I had gone through all the required rituals. I knew all the songs, prayers and could kneel, stand in my sleep just when the Catholic mass required me to. I went to the Catholic Church in the next neighbourhood until I finished my Matric at 17. My parents opted for late mornings and charismatic churches every once in a while when their guilt got to them.

In Matric I began to note some discrepancies that made me a bit uncomfortable. Every Sunday I offered my version of a tithe generously but yet noticed that this money was used to buy computers, cameras and other gadgets that were then boasted about unabashedly. Yet the church was surrounded by poverty. But not a cent from my tithe was offered to the destitute community. I turned my cheek and chose to continue my relationship with the church, standing, keeling and sitting when needed.

Then one day as I reached my hand out to offer peace to a fellow member of the congregation, I was snubbed. The middle-aged white woman refused to shake my hand. It left me daze, I had been led to believe that we were all brothers and sisters praying to one father. So how come she saw me as an other? I wondered.

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I felt betrayed. It felt like the bible had been lying to me. If it had been lying to me about that I wondered what else it had lied to me about. I searched but could not find the answer. Went to many other churches but always found another source of hypocrisy practising there.

Therefore Nietzsche’s words resonated with me. We had killed God. I at times wondered if I was as evil as my boyfriend then felt I was. I knew I believed in God but I am certain that this relationship would be truly ruined forever if I continued to let people define it. So I now opt to keep my relationship intimately between me and Him.

2 thoughts on “The first time I (almost) lost my religion

  1. I feel the way you do – Church is full of hypocrisy, and that is why I feel that I have faith not religion. Dodgy waters, but I feel that religion and the Church as they are today are man-made constructs designed to guilt people into ‘believing’. You can believe without going to Church, and to me, that is faith, and it is also between me and Him. Thanks for sharing!


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