Belief

I stepped out of the car on a warm summer Sunday. My mother had the brilliant idea of dragging the entire family to church after a year and a half of not going. I had to suppress a scuff when she ‘broke’ the news last night. She made a big romp of it for no reason. I tried to protest best I could, but my brother and sister both wanted to go because of all the ‘Christianity’ my mother pumped into their heads when then were young. My father had no say in the matter. Whatever mother says, goes. No exceptions. 

We walked up the short flight of stairs to the exceptionally large church. Dozens of people flocked in, some I went to school with. We avoided eye contacted awkwardly for they knew I was a known ‘God hater.’ Ignorance is truly bliss. I don’t hate God. I just have different beliefs from most people. Of course that means I’m ostracized from all the God fearing Christians at my school (and boy there are a lot of them). I live in a small, conservative, back water town where religion is crammed down your throat at a young and tender age.

The only reason we’ve been out of church for so long was because my father got in a terrible accident and my mother had to take care of him until he recovered. The doctor ordered him to stay in the house and avoid strenuous activity. Of course this meant not going to church. Eventually my mom got use to not going to church every Sunday and eventually we stopped going all together.

During this year I gained a mind of my own. I discovered a world outside of my small town like none other. I suppose the internet will do that to you. I met an array of people some being atheist, some being homosexual, some being both. At first I didn’t want to accept the fact that there wasn’t a God. Then I started hearing story after story of how terrible things happen each and everyday and how gays are condemned by society for being ‘wrong’ or ‘evil.’ I started to think; how could God want everyone to love each other if there is so much hate towards things that are different? God started to fall out of favor with me after awhile; I couldn’t believe in a God that condones hates. 

I don’t know what made my mother up and decided to uproot out lovely family and take us back to this hell hole- I mean wonder establishment; it’s beyond me. My hair welcomes the rush of cool air conditioned air as we walked between the pews looking for a seat. We (and when I say ‘we’ I mean my mother) decided to sit near the front of church. My heart was racing out of my chest. I have no idea how I’m going to survive sitting through hours of someone telling me that I’m going to hell and that ‘God’ is the only savior. 

I began to nod off. I was jolted awake by my little sister. I looked to see if anyone had noticed my little nap; no one had. My watch read one fifty. I had fallen asleep for almost two hours. I looked over to my parents. Dad was just as asleep as I was and mom was so engross in the sermon she didn’t even notice. I decided to listen to what the pastor was saying out of boredom. This was a grave mistake.

"We have a problem ladies and gentlemen," he preached. "Not that of war or starvation, but a fight to keep our children safe from the gays!" he said, people starting to clap. "They walk among us and fain fearing God as we do, but they are pretenders! They will all go to hell for their sins against God and their sins against humanity!" I was flabbergasted. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. What has homosexuals done to garner such hate from these ‘loving’ people? How can people listen to this heretic preach about hate when he should be practicing love?

My mouth fell open in disgust. I began to shake, anger welling up inside of me. I tried to keep my composer best I could. If I could just swallow it and get out of here I would have less to deal with. No one would be embarrassed and I wouldn’t have to desecrate this ‘holy’ place. “There is no place for homos in heaven!” Welp, doesn’t look like that’ll be happening any time soon.

I stood up, my mouth still ajar by what I was hearing. I made my way to the door as quickly as possible ignoring my mother’s call. “Young man, where do you think you are going? Do you not believe in the word of God?” the pastor said. I didn’t have to to turn around to know he was talking to me. I could feel dozens of eyes on me now as I slowly looked in his direction. 

"As a matter of fact, I don’t," I said boldly my heart pounding out of my chest. There were gasp in the audience as though the anti-Christ were standing before them. "Everyday hundreds of people are tortured and KILLED because they are different. What gives you the right to condemn them for not falling in line with your beliefs? What happened to ‘love thy neighbor’? I suppose that should be revised too ‘love thy neighbor unless they’re fag, then hate him.’ You people do nothing but preach- CRAM your bigot ways down everyone’s throat. You are right and they are wrong. If they say you are wrong you burn them on a stake," I told him my anger boiling over. "You are a lost soul, child. Only with the power of God can you be saved," he said as calmly as possible. I could tell he wanted to do nothing but raise his voice. 

"This is what you teach your CHILDREN!" I yelled, my anger getting the best of me. “‘Ain’t no fag going to heaven’ right? What a load of Bull! Who are you to teach what a child should and shouldn’t love? Love is something that comes naturally from the heart. You fear children into believing your ways. That they will burn in hell if they don’t fall in love with a someone of the opposite sex. You’re wrong! Love is love regardless of who the person is. If you don’t believe it is right then please by all means think that way, but you have NO right telling someone who they can and can’t love. I cannot follow a God who condemns the very thing he created," I put in my last words as I turned and stormed out of the church. I lived ten miles from the church and I’m going to enjoy every waking moment of walking home. That should give this back water town something to talk about for days to come.

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