I’ve been going to a christian church all of my life. I never had strong feelings for church, never felt a huge personal connection with God, and never really had a relationship with a higher being, outside of one dictated by my family. I’ve been to church camps, where I’ve cried during worship services, apparently moved by the spirit, I’ve been baptised, I know the language to use. But never felt a consistent connection to spirituality or religion, however you want to define it.
Defined, I’ve always been a sinner. I mastrubate, I have kinks and fetishes. I used to feel bad about this. (See crying at church camp as a child) But at some point moved past the self hatred I harbored, and realized it was normal to have these feelings and attractions. I don’t share them with my family, but have learned to feel comfortable talking about it with close friends and partners.
Church taught me to hate myself for these, and it took a long time to learn to move past this. But church, specifically evangelical churches have other beliefs I don’t like.
The church thinks anyone on the LGBTQ spectrum lives in sin, and I don’t feel that way. I’ve discussed it with my family before, and had to explain how a man in a relationship with a man, is different then a man and a child. That was a really sucky conversation and realization that my father, a man I love, doesn’t (hopefully didn’t) understand consent. And anyone who is knowingly and acting on any queer thoughts is going to burn.
My mom also actively searches out lesbians who hate themselves and are in relationships with men to validate her belief it’s a choice and they can change.
My dad at least seems to believe I will devolve into a hedonistic person, taking advantage of them because they are obedient to gods direction and laws. And now that I am not going to church, I have become a hedonistic person who doesn’t follow their god or their beliefs and no longer beliefs in right and wrong or morals of any sort.
The following is an email I wrote to my therapist about how telling my mom and later my dad I didn’t want to go to church went.
Told my mom that I didn’t want to go to church, and my dad was out of town. Initially I thought it was going to be fine because my mom didn’t react, but then my dad called me and that’s when it got a bit rougher.
Apparently whenever I first came back from Mines, one stipulation was that I go to church every Sunday, and my dad was saying he would’ve liked some more time then I gave him and my mom about going to church so they could think about it. I don’t remember that being a requirement but I can easily imagine it being so, but honestly if I’m paying monetary rent, I shouldn’t have to go to church as an additional toll.
My dad said this was bad timing, which is fair, but also I was being very selfish, which I don’t think is fair. The fact I am apparently being so ‘selfish’ with my timing about telling them I don’t want to go to church apparently is good evidence as to why I need to go to church all the more. Also classic dad lines came up, like being disappointed which sucks, but I kinda figured.
Anyhow if I am not going to church I am wondering what the alternative is? I can’t imagine it’ll be a ‘extra rent or go to church’ deal, because he’ll definitely want to or seriously consider trying to create some sort of incentive for me to go but to create the relationship with god he wants me to have, money is to secular of an approach I’d imagine. I don’t know what the alternatives are, so i’m curious.
Overall, I feel okay with it, not great, but could’ve been worse. I could have found better timing, but there wouldn’t have been optimal timing ever. I don’t know how my living situation will change, if they’re going to be requiring rent even when I’m going to school, or maybe I’ll have to continue to go to avoid repercussions, but I’m curious, and I’ll keep you posted if I don’t see you before I learn more!