Yes, in the churches where I was raised, parents were often warned from the pulpit that “too much education” represented spiritual danger to their children. The more “secular” books they read, the more likely they were to be tempted by Satan.

My trouble as a 10–15 year old was quite different, however. I believed implicitly in the teachings of my religion. I just couldn’t spiritually bear it. I don’t know what made me different from the other children who smiled through their Sunday School lessons in white shirts and colorful smocks.

Everything I learned horrified me. Depressed me. Made me despair for the human condition.

An omniscient, omnipotent God was creating billions and billions of people, almost all of whom he would eternally torture. The God I learned about from my church teachers was an evil, depraved monster — and almost everybody I knew seemed happy about that.

Maybe I was too smart for my own good at that age, while not smart enough to file all the teachings away in some remote box like other children seemed to do. It was all vivid, real, and immediate for me.

When I finally admitted to myself at 16 that I no longer believed in God, the relief was so palpable that I floated in air for weeks. Billions of people were NOT screaming in eternal agony! Hallelujah!

What’s so scary is that the very people who elevate and glorify that horrible sort of god are the ones with the most influence right now in formulating national policy.

Trump is giving the evangelicals almost anything they want, because if he doesn’t keep their support, he doesn’t hold onto power.

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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