The other night I had fallen asleep on the sofa watching something with Amanda. I woke up about the time that she'd settled on the other end to sleep so I decided to watch a movie on our Netflix queue to fall asleep to. Only I didn't fall asleep. For some reason I was suddenly very much awake, sucked into this movie, and the more I watched the more sadness and anger I felt. Amanda ended up watching it with me and it sparked a conversation between us afterwards, one that I've wanted to write about but needed a few days to cool my jets and remember a few things.
Philomena is about a woman who, at the age of 17, went to a fair, met a boy, had sex, and got pregnant. She was Irish and Catholic. Her father was so ashamed of her, he dumped and abandoned her at a convent. The time period looked to be between the 50s-60s. When she gave birth, a breached birth, she wasn't given any pain killers and the pain was supposed to be an atonement for her sin. She and the other girls who had been dumped at the convent had to spend the next four years of their lives working off (difficult labor and kind of bad conditions) the "help" the Sisters of the convent gave to them, before they were free to go. They were only allowed to see their children for an hour each day. I don't think most of the girls there left with their children. Why? Because the Sisters sold the children for 1000 pounds to Americans. Philomena's baby was taken and she kept the ordeal a secret for 50 years. Then, she and her daughter enlist the help of a reporter to find her son and they go on an adventure of a little excitement, hope, and sadness that ends with a little forgiveness. I wanted to sob my eyes out at the end. I wanted to jump into the tv and hug Philomena.
The religious conversation that sparked afterward was one wherein I just wanted to cry. Amanda and I came to the conclusion, at the time, that monotheism is horrible. We don't know a ton about Islam, but we do know quite a bit about Christianity since we were both raised that way- her more than me since she was Catholic and my main christian education and pushing came from my Grandmother. Anyway, we were examining how the peoples of monotheistic religions treat people, and how the Bible, the old testament especially just seems cruel. The do this or else, only worship me or you'll be punished, mentality. We talked about the religions in terms of history, in terms of present history and current things happening in the world today. Yes, there are some pagan religions that haven't been much better- for instance the Aztecs were not nice people. but it just seems that the monotheistic way of life seems to condone torture of people as a way of repentance. As a way of "you're not like me, so you must suffer until you are like me" it is sickening. I don't understand it. It is as if these religions are going to war against anything and everything not them- which is kind of Hitler-esque don't you think? For religions so much about love and peace, they sure spurn thousands of gallons of hatred.
I had to have a few days to separate myself from the subject and focus on some homework before I could think about this again. The religions themselves could be beautiful, but the written word of them are done by man and mad is cruel. I have to remember that the people of these religions have been, are, and will continue to use their religion as way to torture people for no reason other than their mistaken sense of duty and if you really want to get down to it, their personal twisted and sick enjoyment. Not all, but a good plenty of them.
But why? Why and how does anyone have this kind of energy within them. How does a person find delight in hurting someone else and using religion as an excuse to do it? It is disgusting. And why does it seem so much more prevalent in monotheistic religions? Sure I hear about pagans tearing in to other pagans online- trolling per se-, and there were occasions in history with pagans attacking other pagans, but you never hear about that in the news, you never hear about pagans protesting gay marriage or other things, and so on. So what makes it so different? (keep in mind when I use the term pagan, it is an umbrella for everyone not monotheistic, not just the more magically inclined). What is it now that sets pagans and monotheists apart? Is it tolerance? Sure okay, but what about the need to use religion to torture others?
As of right now, all I think is that people who are predisposed to hurt and find delight and sick fulfillment in using religion to torture others, gravitate to these monotheistic religions because there are certain things passed down through the centuries from other disgusting people, that gives them license to get away with it. There is also a sense of control. I know that is a dark view, and probably skewed in a way, and it will most assuredly piss someone off, but those are my thoughts and opinions right now. No, this doesn't mean that I hate followers of monotheistic paths, no that doesn't mean that I am trying to bash them or will stop being friends with someone because of their religion. I'm not that lame, petty, or afraid. I know there are good people from all religious paths and walks of life. I know because I have met them and I'm not going to turn against them because of the hateful few that give the rest a bad name.