Gazing lovingly into my spouses eyes, we exchanged promissory vows in front of our family, friends, also our lesbian wedding officiant. I felt complete and undoubtedly secure in entering this matrimonial journey. Regrettably, the year we took our vows, same-sex marriages were considered illegal and immoral by California State laws.
Check out the Divorce rate in USA.
We married knowing very well that the State we lived in would not recognize our marriage and would definitely not issue a marriage license to us. Yet, with our undying attraction for one another and the fact that we loved the shit out of each other, we were more concerned about our commitment to love, honor and build each other up rather than making other people feel comfortable at our expense.
After marriage, I would lovingly force my family to attend church services and partake in church events. My spouse came from a Catholic upbringing and I was Pentecostal. It became a little problematic for her when sitting through a sermon and the pastor repeatedly mentions Jesus and promotes Him as being God’s equal. For my spouse, Jesus was not higher than God so why all emphasis and praises? Trying to root my family the best way I knew how, the first two years of our marriage I became a stickler for praying in the morning time, bedtime and all the time.
The cracking of my early-layered indoctrinations started when I learned about secret societies such as the Illuminati, The North Star, Skull and Bones and various conspiracy theories. I spent innumarable nights researching and reading library books on Freemasons and other related topics. YouTube seemed to have barrels of videos accusing every rich, successful celebrity to be a devil worshiper who sold their souls in exchange for wealth and fame. I started seeing triangles and symbolisms everywhere and so my heart would palpitate as a result of fear. Paranoia set in at the likeliness of The Rapture being around the corner and how “they” were coming to take my bible away and implant microchips in order to control and lead me away from my Jesus Christ. In order for me to understand Christianity I had to learn Catholicism and pageantry. The translations of scriptural text became important and equally intriguing . How will I ever be able to read Hebrew or Aramaic? It finally registered that I had been taught a bootleg version of bible scriptures and possibly the entire God of Abraham religion.
I recognized that most of my judgements and opinion on things were steered by fear and the promise of living eternally joyful in a far away galactic place. As an adult woman who reads the bible, I noticed its insetiable obsession with a woman’s purity and virginity–that was disconcerting to me. But of course, with the bible encouraging men to always seek young, pure, untouched girls, this explained why most religious men are insensitive and intolerant to “feminism.” Indeed it was God himself who impregnated an underage girl without her consent and convinced her that she would be carrying the most important embryo in history–kinda like that time a grown man tried to tell me at the tender age of 14 that him penetrating me would bring us closer and would expedite my womanhood.
Thousands of questions flooded my head in frustration. Sleepless nights turned into sleepless months of exasperation, confusion and uncertainty. Being female, black and gay gave me a taste of what discrimination and being considered a fourth class citizen was like. I knew I was not a bad human being. I knew I had zero intentions of destroying or causing harm to the human race yet, according to scripture, I may not even make it to heaven.
Something had to give, but I just could not let go of God still. I started researching the bible because I realized that I had never read the bible in its entirety though the first twenty years of my life were devoted to going to church. I had attended church but never retained or even learned scripture. I started to read the bible story by story and not just the ever popular, cherry picked, regurgitated scriptures.
Thanks to the internet, I could research each bible story online in layman’s simple language. It was at this juncture that my brain switched and started questioning everything I had ever been taught.
Netflix’s science documentaries and the History channel opened up a new world of demonstrable scientific facts. At this point there was no coming back to my old views, my mind had been opened, Pandora’s box had been pried opened. My religious friends thought they could scare me by saying: ” Wouldn’t you rather live and praise God now and find out he doesn’t exist rather than to die and find out he does exist? “
It become increasingly clear that my moral standards and respect of human life far exceeded what God had displayed in scripture. I found out that I was morally superior to religious deities.
When I started to identify as a non-believer, it felt like a heavy burden had been removed from my shoulders. I have found peace and clarity by living an authentic lifestyle and living for me–not live in fear and the hope that I’ll get a cushiony seat in heaven. I choose to live in the now, be a decent and useful individual in my community and the world at large. I’m excited about the future and no longer fear the “end times.”
What this has done for me is relearning the ability to understand fully what human rights are and often times make solid secular decisions and opinions. I am a proud and happy NON-beliver, NON-conformist and Non-O-Ya-Damn business. I have never been more at peace with myself.