Organized Religion Ruined Me

Organized Religion Ruined Me

I will never do that to my children.

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Religion has always been a tricky subject. Arguments over religion have gone on for almost centuries. What to believe, who to believe in, or how to believe.

An "organized" religion church ruined religion for me in so many ways. Baptist churches have, since the dawn of time, been pretty strict when it comes to a Baptist living his/her life. You're not allowed to wear anything too revealing, obviously, you can't cuss, you can't drink or smoke, can't have tattoos. You have to wear a dress or a suit to church and anything else you wore, you would be secretly judged.

SEE ALSO: Growing Up In A Strict, Silent World Made Me A Human Being

The church I attended was like this. But it was a school, college, and church combined into one. The intent of establishment was good but they got too power hungry and cocky that when I left, it was a borderline cult.

My family joined the church in 2007.

Before we joined, it was great. Everyone was so nice, I was given candy and made friends so fast. I loved it there. I was excited to start school there. So I can't say that I hated it from the start or "I knew something was fishy" because I was 10 and it was life. My parents were excited, thus I was excited.

Their Christian school had a total of 40 kids when I joined. From pre-K all the way to senior year of high school. It wasn't big but it was a private school for the deaf. I wasn't the only hearing kid in the school. I had my siblings, 4 of them, and two other families that had hearing kids as well. The environment in this school, let's say, was not as polite to kids that could hear.

If you muttered one word out of your mouth that didn't follow a sign to demonstrate what you said, you were paddled and scolded.

And let me tell you, these deaf kids loved to tell on us.

So I've set the scene a bit on this place. It was on a big plot of land, in the middle of Ringgold, Georgia. I think about it now and realize how creepy the place was, but as a 10-year-old, I didn't care. My parents became members of the church, that consisted of about 200 in the population of church members. We were all excited.

My parents decided to make the move down to Georgia when my mother heard about this place. So we moved. That's all it took really. My dad still had his job in Oregon so he stayed there for a few months before moving down with us. During that time, we became members and the church leaders really moved in on my mom. Not in a sexual way, but in a manipulative way.

They made her test her faith, like many churches do, to make sure she really believed in Christ.

They would stay at our little mobile home until past midnight sometimes and just push her and push her until she broke. They did this several times until they had her wrapped around their little finger. I believe that they made her believe that she was lost without them. She didn't have my dad to help her out so she bent to their will and from then is when the hell started.

They set up rules for us. They made the kids in school along with the parents sign an agreement saying that they had full rights to home business, where they had a right to punish the child as they saw fit, and the parents had to agree. Keep in mind, this was for church members only. So kids who attended the school but were not official members of the church didn't have to do it.

I was pulled aside in school once a week and told how ugly I was and how terrible of a child I was. I wasn't a bad kid.

I had a mouth on me so I used it when I wanted to. They didn't like that. I had a crush on a boy and they pulled me aside and belittled me in front of him. Made me look so small and worthless. I'm not sure why they did it. I think it was to make me bend like my mom, or it was because I could hear. I feel like it's half and half.

I let them treat me like nothing. Because what else could I do? I should've drawn the line but I didn't. Most would've drawn the line when they were all for child abuse and my family is an example of it.
Next, I'm going to write in depth and detail of how terribly they treated us, in the name of Jesus. Especially how they became advocates of child abuse.

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Dear Senator Walsh, I Can't Wait For The Day That A Nurse Saves Your Life

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

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Dear Senator Walsh,

I can't even fathom how many letters you've read like this in the past 72 hours. You've insulted one of the largest, strongest and most emotion-filled professions.. you're bound to get a lot of feedback. And as nurses, we're taught that when something makes us mad, to let that anger fuel us to make a difference and that's what we're doing.

I am not even a nurse. I'm just a nursing student. I have been around and I've seen my fair share of sore legs and clinical days where you don't even use the bathroom, but I am still not even a nurse yet. Three years in, though, and I feel as if I've given my entire life and heart to this profession. My heart absolutely breaks for the men and women who are real nurses as they had to wake up the next morning after hearing your comments, put on their scrubs and prepare for a 12-hour day (during which I promise you, they didn't play one card game).

I have spent the last three years of my life surrounded by nurses. I'm around them more than I'm around my own family, seriously. I have watched nurses pass more medications than you probably know exist. They know the side effects, dosages and complications like the back of their hand. I have watched them weep at the bedside of dying patients and cry as they deliver new lives into this world. I have watched them hang IV's, give bed baths, and spoon-feed patients who can't do it themselves. I've watched them find mistakes of doctors and literally save patient's lives. I have watched them run, and teach, and smile, and hug and care... oh boy, have I seen the compassion that exudes from every nurse that I've encountered. I've watched them during their long shifts. I've seen them forfeit their own breaks and lunches. I've seen them break and wonder what it's all for... but I've also seen them around their patients and remember why they do what they do. You know what I've never once seen them do? Play cards.

The best thing about our profession, Senator, is that we are forgiving. The internet might be blown up with pictures mocking your comments, but at the end of the day, we still would treat you with the same respect that we would give to anyone. That's what makes our profession so amazing. We would drop anything, for anyone, anytime, no matter what.

You did insult us. It does hurt to hear those comments because from the first day of nursing school we are reminded how the world has zero idea what we do every day. We get insulted and disrespected and little recognition for everything we do sometimes. But you know what? We still do it.

When it's your time, Senator, I promise that the nurse taking care of you will remember your comments. They'll remember the way they felt the day you publicly said that nurses "probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day." The jokes will stop and it'll eventually die down, but we will still remember.

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

Please just remember that we cannot properly take care of people if we aren't even taken care of ourselves.

I sincerely pray that someday you learn all that nurses do and please know that during our breaks, we are chugging coffee, eating some sort of lunch, and re-tying our shoes... not playing cards.

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