(Photo by: Dimitry Ermakov)
I just watched a Ted Talk about a woman named Linda Murphrey who escaped her fundamentalist father (Jack Hyles) and through years of therapy – started to come forward with some of the things that he did. (watch the video here)
I feel gross. I feel like I need a shower. I feel angry and bitter and frustrated that a candid world refuses to see some of the things that goes on around it.
In short – I was triggered.
While she was speaking all the things that I went through in life started parading around in my head like RuPaul’s drag show.
But this isn’t about makeup or dudes in dresses.
These things were repressive and angry and ugly and cruel.
And the nastiest part of it all – is that these are supposed to be the best of the best kinds of people.
Religious and spiritual abuse may not have a place in a psychologist handbook of “Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you?”
But it’s real.
And it’s intimate.
And it’s skanky and vicious and twists people up inside with things that can neither be proven or disproven, using rhetorical flourish and hyperbole to scare people into submission.
It’s about power. And it’s about control. And it’s about keeping people socially retarded – so that you can keep them how you want them doing whatever it is you want them to do.
And just like with all things – it’s not fair to paint all religion with the same brush – but dammit – if there is a God he’s just going to have to understand that I’m so freaked out by the idea of having to fall within a certain sect or believe a certain way or say a certain prayer – that I can do neither but obey my conscience and hope – that that’s enough.
And trying to explain this to someone is like trying to explain color to a blind person.
If you’ve not been there – you don’t understand what it’s like.
Because it’s at such a level of space cadet meets the tooth fairy – people laugh it off. Or give a passing “That’s bizarre”.
But if you’ve lived it – if you’ve been a part of something like that then you know deep down in the marrow of your bones the feelings of ‘wrongness’ that is associated with cult like behavior once you’ve stepped over to the other side.
We as a country were ready to accept the scandal of The Catholic Church because we’re fundamentally bigoted toward them. Their priests and nuns don’t marry, the Catholics once ruled the known world, and hatred of them is ingrained in our socio-political culture.
Same goes for Muslims. They talk funny and the men wear dresses and their wives look like a veiled “Cousin It.”
We’ll accept their ‘evils’ without a second thought because they blow stuff up. I mean, there are 1.5 billion NOT doing that – but whatever.
But when it comes to evangelical protestantism – we won’t even try and acknowledge the scope or magnitude of it’s collective power – except when it comes to election season.
But fuck a doodle do, man. I lived in it. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord and the vintage where his grapes of wrath were stored and just a 20 minute video and I am right back there once more.
20 years and thousands of miles ago – I’m right back there.
I understand there are people out there who want to avoid triggers as much as possible – I get their reasoning. Trust me, I feel their reasoning right down to the soles of my feet.
But dammit – as long as I live there will NOT be a moment when I observe something like that I won’t stop and say something about it.
So -ready, aim, fire, I guess.