Pillar of Salt

I didn’t just walk away from organized religion, I fled for my life. I’d like to say I’ve never looked back, but I have. Not because I missed it, though. Not at all.

It didn’t take much to convince me I was a troubled soul in need of saving. They were just affirming something Id’ already know for years, even at the age of 15. I probably should have questioned how excited it made them to find me in such a state, but it was nice to have such a fuss made about me for a change.

For years, I made a great church member. An almost happy one, even. I could continue to cling to my identity as a defective soul, but I didn’t have to feel badly about it anymore because that’s what you’re supposed to believe in the church. In fact, folks would get uneasy if you started to feel or think differently about things. So until I got stronger, I just kept quiet about it.

Eventually, church became a reformatory instead of a refuge. At some point I realized I was serving time for the crime that I couldn’t remember committing. And if I questioned my sentence of the system, I’d be reminded of my guilt and the unavoidable consequences of my guilt. So until I got stronger, I just kept quiet about it.

It’s been a few years since I gained the strength to make my final exodus from the church and organized religion. They told me what happens to people who leave. That I wouldn’t make it on the outside. And what would happen if I looked back.

I’ve only looked back a few times. Not because I missed it, though. Not at all.


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7 thoughts on “Pillar of Salt

  1. If I cared to look back I think It’s be akin to trying to squeeze into a pair of jeans that no longer fit or feel comfortable.. I went to church (by force) every week for 16 years. I never found anything remotely spiritual or loving there. It was cold and judgmental, so too many of the parishioners, particularly my own parents! Ironically, or not, I still believe Jesus was a real man with a simple but important message- a message of love. I just feel that there’s nothing of substance in church or the bible. They missed the love memo IMO. Sorry I’m musing out loud.. 😝

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Missed the love memo.” LOL. Well said. It’s difficult to miss the love memo when you’ve got someone like Jesus as the founder of your religion (his entire message was love), but Christians somehow manage to embark on so many other adventures in missing the point.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. To me it’s interesting to think about this idea of human brokenness. Many Christians use it as a tool for power and control. That’s what the shame game is all about. In reaction to the heaps of shame we feel in Western culture, many have gone the other way, with a view of humans as essentially good, which to me seems perhaps a little naive. Not that there isn’t goodness within that we can realize, and I think some persons do reach a very high level of enlightenment, becoming deeply compassionate beings. Having studied and practiced meditation for many years, I can see that given enough time and intentionality, humans can undergo great transformation. But most of us, as is, are pretty neurotic, especially in this weird modern world we live in, that isolates us and degrades us in so many ways (gender, race, class, etc.). It’s hard, though, to talk about our general fucked-up-edness without feeling like it’s the shame game again. That’s one reason why many of us get out of churches, because this obsession with one’s shame is quite totally and entirely counterproductive.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well put. I started mediating two years ago, after my dad passed away. I don’t think I would have gotten this far without it. Or writing. Thanks so much for sharing. It’s nice to feel heard and understood. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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