I can’t help, but feel this longing for Christianity. With all that I’ve experienced– all the hate, the rage, the conflict– one may think I wouldn’t miss any of it.
They’re kinda right.
I don’t miss the warped theologies that put legalistic drivel ahead of caring authentically for our fellow person.
What I don’t miss about Christianity is self-professed leaders of God perpetuating themselves as ‘prophets’ whilst projecting their insecurities to the masses via fear, shame, and manipulation tactics.
They’re kinda right.
I don’t miss a religion fostering a patriarchal standard that renders me worthless based on my vaginal walls.
I don’t miss a religion that propels an odd thought process of HAVING to give love to a supposed all-loving God and savior BEFORE he can return said love (conditional love for 200, Alex).
They’re kinda right that I don’t, won’t, or can’t miss a brand of religion that tells me I HAVE to believe in a proverbial cape-less spiritual superhero to be anything if I can do anything and I can ONLY be anything if I admit I’m not anything without this thing.
Nope, I don’t miss that Christianity.
I don’t miss feeling guilty for doubting when doubts should be ushered in with joy.
I don’t miss being blamed for just being TAMMY, when I should have been appreciated.
I don’t miss being called a ‘witch’.
I don’t miss the self-righteous stares and whispers.
I don’t miss being prayed over just because I saw through the bullshit.
I don’t miss the condescending judgments.
I don’t miss being spiritually measured by a black-and-white metric.
I don’t miss the hate.
I don’t miss the bigotry.
I don’t miss the xenophobia.
I don’t miss the sexism.
I don’t miss the misogyny.
I don’t miss the unsolicited guidance.
I don’t miss the gossip.
I don’t miss the lewd looks from men.
I don’t miss the obnoxious shoulder rubs.
I don’t miss the Christianese speak.
I don’t miss the mindless sheep.
I don’t miss the brick wall Christianity built to further themselves in a sanctimonious way to say, “We’re Christians. We’re better than you, heathens.”
I don’t miss any of that charlatan malarkey.
But I do miss certain aspects of Christianity.
As a poetic person, I miss having the rose-colored glasses of innocence on as I view Jesus to be a spiritual giant no one could touch — to have this person as an unattainable, untouchable role model was kinda great.
And I miss it.
To sit at a table during a potluck with nervous energy with seven other Christians WITHOUT wanting to stab them with a salad fork.
That’s what I miss.
I miss the feel of community during praise and worship even if the songs were repetitive sophomoric piles of dung. I used to enjoy them compared to the nauseating feeling they create now.
I miss it.
I miss the part of Christianity where I blindly believed a loving God listened to my every prayer and followed me around like a love-sick puppy.
That’s what I miss.
I miss the euphoric feeling a sermon stirred within me. I believed and applied every word opposed to how sermons create more cynicism as of late.
I miss being an innocent, wide-eyed Christian.
And if I’m really honest, I miss being dumb.
I miss being blind.
I miss being submissive.
I miss being an eager student absorbing everything.
Not for Christianity or Christians, but for the idol Jesus on the Cross.
I miss THAT guy.
That guy who I clung to when I was raped.
That guy who I wrapped my arms around after my father was ripped from me.
That guy who dried my tears when I was bullied and tormented.
That guy I sought after another botched suicide attempt.
That guy who caught me after I was punched in the face.
That guy who covered me with hope after I was called a whore. Again. And again. And again.
That guy that didn’t care how messy I was; I was his messy disaster.
That guy. I miss THAT guy.
I miss hopelessly believing in that guy.
But I can’t pretend any longer.
I can’t pretend to believe in an idol that’s a farce in my mind.
That guy, Jesus on the Cross, is a farce. A ridiculous lie to make me feel warm and fuzzy until real shit happened.
And real shit DID happen.
I don’t blame him.
I don’t hate him.
I just love him differently.
In a way that I don’t need Christianity.
In a way I can still miss him AND continue on my healing journey from systemic religious abuse.
So maybe I don’t really miss Christianity.
Perhaps, I’ve come to terms with the dysfunction that resides in it. The awful, abusive, manipulative relationship I didn’t desire any longer.
Maybe, I don’t miss any of it.
Maybe, I just miss me.
Maybe, I miss my inner child.
Maybe, I miss believing my truth and not giving two shits about anything else.
Maybe, I miss instinctual authenticity.
Maybe, I miss the symbolism of Jesus on the Cross, not the literal translation.
Maybe, I miss that Jesus on the Cross who was a long, winding metaphor for trusting myself.
For understanding I am my greatest advocate.
For knowing my worth.
For knowing my love.
For knowing my eyes (and how they view the world) are the only eyes I need to rely on.
So, really, I don’t miss Christianity. I miss myself.
Welcome back home, Tammy.