Nov 23

Editor’s Note: This is probably the most controversial topic I have touched on in my writing here on The Hall. I reread it days after writing and found that it is 100% Greg Dragon in terms of being blunt, offensive and harsh. I did not and will not be changing what I have written to make it palatable because it is honest, and I feel that me being less than honest is a disservice to both you my readers and myself the bleeding heart. This is an entry into the mind of someone who is extremely bitter with religion in general and I hope you take something away from it other than a wont to argue with me. Thanks as always for allowing me to express myself, it is a freedom I don’t take for granted. – G.Dragon

To be honest I never had it, like many other children I was raised into my parent’s religion. For me it was Christianity and I dreaded Sundays, it was boring, formal and extremely lengthy. Church to a child involved adults dressing in a way that they didn’t dress the other days of the week, a rich man at the pulpit putting people down and annoying brats in Sunday school.

I used to hide, pretend I was sick or whatever I could to not attend but my mother made sure I went. I would take my seat next to her and put my face between my legs, close my eyes and try to be somewhere else mentally. As you can see, even when I was impressionable the church thing was not for me.

How Christians and their preachers discredit their organization

When I was an older teenager my mother married a man who knew the Bible inside and out. He wielded it like a weapon making it read the way he wished it to read. He told me my sketches of Conan The Barbarian, Thulsa Doom and Red Sonja was satanic, he dominated the television with Jack Van Impe and bragged about the amount of crowns he was owed in heaven. This man was the epitome of the brow-beating Christian, a former womanizer who prided himself on repenting and being born again. He was worthless, did nothing to aid my mother financially and was disrespectful. Through him I learnt to dislike most Christians, the daily revisions of Psalms he had me do made me curious and I read the Bible and was not pleased at what I found there.

The experience with this fanatic made me see the Bible as a tool that can be used to manipulate the ignorant that didn’t ask questions. I recalled asking my pastors what would happen to my dog after death and the obvious question of what happens to those who have never ever been exposed to Christ? The mixed answers on these along with the varying messages given at the separate churches we attended led me to believe that the lot was corrupt. My mother’s ex and the preachers I encountered that would pull up in their Mercedes Benzes and tell me whatever I wanted to hear made me question my religion.

The final straw, the day I kissed Christianity goodbye forever

What made me lose my religion was my freshman year in college. My roommate was the son of a preacher and with my history in the church I agreed to attend service with him on Sundays. I was a young college student and the product of a single parent household who could offer little more than support for me to attend the University. My finances at the time were restricted to Financial Aid and grants, both of which were horribly delayed for months by our beloved HBCU (rolls eyes). The church we attended was a clown show, people would speak in tongues, roll around on the ground and the ushers would cover them with blankets.

It was crazy but they had a good hook for a kid as broke and hungry as me – they would feed us after every service. I attended weekly, and I actually listened to the words. One day the preacher had us stand up if we were going through financial trouble at the school, myself and several other students stood up. The preacher then asked for members of the church to sponsor us and stand with us, a nice old lady stood up next to me and my heart was touched at her willingness to help me out. What happened next was my final draw with the Christian church; the preacher then passed around the offering plate and told the members to put their contributions in it. The fund would be for a bigger church in which they could better pray for our plights – his words.

As I grew older, and became more studious I took a love for history and one portion of history that I studied was military history. It led me to become even more cynical about religion when I read about the blood spilled, people enslaved and rulers established through the power of that Bible. I went back and read the Bible myself with different eyes and I began to question how many of these so-called Christians took time to read the Bible for themselves. It spoke volumes to the terms “blind faith”, “sheep” and flock”, I lost respect for the whole lot – people and organization.

The Happy Heathen

I was done with religion at 19 years of age and 15 years later I have not missed it. I find myself knowing the texts and philosophy of the Bible better than the leagues of drones that run up to tell me how fast hell will absorb me for refusing their membership. It is such a charade…. recently TIME Magazine did a survey on religion and found that the agnostics and atheists knew a whole lot more about the Bible than the true believers did, now if that doesn’t say something nothing does.

This is my personal story, and it is the reason I am a free-thinking human being that prefers his beliefs of a more pragmatic nature than stories of magic (no disrespect). If you are a religious person I hope this offers some insight into the mind of… heh whatever you want to label a person like me, let’s just say – a heathen. You should read that book you swear by once in awhile, this way when I try to argue intelligently, I am not sent away in silence by your obvious lack of knowledge.

If this comes off as a mean-spirited article, I apologize. This subject is one that I have never been able to have with someone sane so I offer it here as an entry.

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  • De La Rosa

    Before you roll your eyes when seeing my name pop-up as a response to this posting, let me just say that, while some of your words are demeaning to Christians, I know your heart. You can delete it if you feel the need.

    As a Christian myself for over 15 years, I too struggle with the aspect of “blind faith”. Often referring to myself as a “doubting Thomas” of sorts to some of my closest Christian friends. I often find myself looking for the proofs of some of the worlds so called miracles.

    In the bible, when Jesus rose and exposed Himself to His disciples, He invited Thomas to put his finger in the wounds of His hands so that he might believe that He was the Son of God raised from the dead. While I feel I have a strong belief in my God and His Word, I sometimes wish that I would be offered that same invitation on certain things.

    You often hear Pastors preach about miracles happening in far off places, bodies raised from the dead, cancerous tumors falling to the ground in front of hundreds, supernatural healings. While these stories usually result in a thunderous applause by the congregation and shouts of praise, I would sometimes sit there with my arms crossed, thinking to myself “am I the only one who has a problem with this?” These are BIG events! In my time as a Christian, I’ve never seen any of it documented in the news; there’s never video footage, and it’s usually “a friend of a friend told me” type of scenario.

    I am a follower of God; I am NOT a follower of man. Man is flawed. This includes Pastors, Priests and Evangelists. This also includes those who translated the original Bible into the different English and other translated versions of the original Word. No one is perfect, and I refuse to put my complete trust in any man or religious belief.

    But, in my heart, I know that God is as real as the flesh on my bones. If I never experienced Him myself, I would have a hard time believing. But, he HAS made himself real on many occasions in my life. It may not be in “Miraculous” ways, but you KNOW when he’s had his hand in something. I know what you’re thinking… “ok kid,… examples please”. Here are a few.

    As a young Christian, newly married, coming from a poor upbringing, I used my newfound faith to pray and believe to be the first in my family to own a home. I owned my first home at 20 years of age, along with a 30-year mortgage. I then began praying to be out of debt, which had accumulated upwards of $50k, including my home, my student loan and credit cards. I made plans for myself, with tight budgeting and prayer, to have my home paid off in ten years. The total of my debt was paid off in four.

    Not good enough? How ‘bout this one. Several years ago, my wife and I were in need of a new vehicle for our growing family. The month before Christmas, we went to 5 car dealerships looking at SUVs. I did not feel the release to make a purchase. Although, I found several that suited me perfectly, my wife wouldn’t agree. She said that she had been “praying” for and desiring a black SUV with tan leather interior. Picky! The week before Christmas, my boss at the time, came to my door and gave me the keys to his black Lincoln Navigator with tan leather interior and said “God told me to give you my truck”. We gladly accepted.

    In 2009, with much prayer, my wife and I had a release to start looking for a new home, since we now had three children in a two-bedroom home. While we made several offers on homes ranging well into the $150K range, the offers all fell through. One month after our last offer was denied, I quit my job do to unforeseen circumstances. My wife has been a stay at home mom since our first son was born. So we went from a generous income, to no income… instantly. I decided that our home searching days were over and we would just suffice with what we had, since we owed nothing on it. Lo and behold, six months later, a close friend of mine gave me a call, offering me his home for $30k due to the fact that he was moving out of state. The house offered was an immaculate 3-bedroom, 2-bath, 2-car garage home built in 2007. With minimal income coming in at the time from my new home-base business, I bought the house.

    Again, we made plans to have the house paid off in four years, this time. We’ve just come to find that it will be paid off in less than one.

    Now, these may not seem like miracles to many. You may just say, “Paul, you’ve always been ambitious. Give yourself some credit!”. While this is true, I know that without His guidance, timing and wisdom, it wouldn’t be possible.

    I know you’re against religion. I am too. But, don’t be against God. And don’t be against Christians. Many of them, unfortunately, do live on blind faith. Faith is good. But, faith without works is dead. I work my faith until it produces the things that I have been promised by Gods Word; Abundance, health, and a good life. You’re not a heathen. You’ve just been exposed to the corrupted influences that the people of this world have on all things good. Who can blame you for feeling the way you do.

    • Sheesh De La Rosa, I didn’t roll my eyes when I saw the name, I just was a bit surprised you still come around to my Hall. Seriously though, I appreciate you writing this because it took a lot for me to put myself out there and one of the main reasons I did so was to influence some discussion on this very topic. You are right, I have experienced the poisonous portions of religion and I will not be looking that way again as long as I am sane, but I hope I didn’t come across as saying that my way is the real, best or logical way for people to live. This essay was merely an explanation to the bitterness I tend to have towards religion as a whole.

      And yes I am one of those who would go to bat that it is your raw ambition which afforded you two homes paid off and no debt. That and you are a man of honor and strength, actually the god pimping parts aside you are the archetype of male for which this site was built to teach other men to work towards. So you can say it was the spook in the sky that got you to where you are but I will continue to say it’s ambition, good timing and an unsatiated hunger to succeed. We can agree to disagree on the drive – but in the end it is what it is.

      Hopefully people who visit here and read my article will take the time to read your side of things. Feel free to shoot me an article anytime bro, but I doubt your schedule allows for it. There are two sides to every story, and the thing is you choose one or the other. You’re one of the few Christians I know that will actually hear me out. I may not accept your views but I 150% respect them.

      Thanks for coming through, and come through more often. Heathens need love too.

  • I take offense by your final sentence of the article. Good day sir!

  • RG

    I think you underestimate how necessary this article/topic is/should be. I have this converation all the time with my friends (atheists, agnostics, Christians, etc.). I’m not shocked when I hear people talk about the Bible as magic or a conglomerate of stories because for years “Religion” has gotten the interpretation wrong. Think about it, there are over 200 religions of Christianity in North America alone, all claiming to have the truth based on the Bible. How is that possible? If a poet composes a poem, there are many ideas concerning what he was implying and what he meant and yet these ideas and critiques do not tell us exactly what was going on in the poet’s mind when he wrote the poem. Using that example, its no surprise that we would want to know what the author, God , meant in writing such a book, and not someone’s ideas as to what he meant.
    Oftentimes, religion and science are separated because they seem diametrically opposed, but the reality is that while religion and science may not jive, spirituality and science dance in perfect concert. Why do I say this? Because throughout the bible there is a pattern to everything which is the basic blueprint to everything in nature. Don’t take my word for it, investigate it yourself. The human body, atoms, solar system, etc. all operate according to a pattern. There’s not enough time or space to discuss details in this medium, but I guess my point is that religion fails because it doesnt show people where they fit in the equation. It’s all blind faith, when it was never inteded to be as such. We can know our creator and it is not above the moon and stars, but rather operating within us. Lol, I don’t know that might sound to esoterical or philosophical, but that’s been my understanding. I actually think you are more on track than a lot of Christians because at least you understand the context of the Bible, which means you can have an intelligent conversation and investigating things won’t seem so foreign.

  • Ron

    Thank you for this article. I’m a Black agnostic and feel as though I’m a rare breed (although we’re starting to pop up online more and more) Religion just doesn’t add up for me. I’ve seen so many good people suffer. During my military days, I was given the opportunity to travel the world. I’ve witnessed poverty and disease that would make a person faint. I’ve seen death and destruction. Even here in the US, there’s poverty, hunger and death in so many communities. The one common theme I noticed is that all these things overwhelmingly seem to be affecting people of black and brown skin. I’ve pissed allot of people off with this comment before, but at 42yo, I could care less what people think. “If there is a God, it’s pretty safe to say he has truly cursed us.”

  • Yaz

    I can see why you have separated yourself from you “christian” upbringing. But I think that many so-called Christians are hypocrites to what they preach. And they always seem to forget that humans were created with free will. The pain and suffering in this world is largely an effect of humans knowingly making bad choices and doing nothing to combat evil influences. While I do believe in God, I believe that the Bible has become so skewed and twisted in the hands of man that it cannot be entirely trusted. That’s why I pray. Man is imperfect and there are always people who will manipulate God’s word and do wrong to get their way. Anything I read from the Bible that I personally find questionable I pray about. I also believe that humans in their current earthly state are not meant to know all. We can’t fathom everything. If we could, we would be God.
    Christians always love to say that God is capable of doing anything. But why are many quick to refute evidence of things like evolution? We may very well have evolved from monkeys. If that’s how God planned it, that’s how it is. At least, that’s what Christians should believe according to their logic. We don’t know the mind of God, therefore cannot speak for God.
    I’m only 19 and am still struggling with “Christian” ideology. I just try to remember not to let the sinful ways of man lead me away from God.
    Although I don’t completely agree with your decision, I understand it.

    • Thanks for being understanding of my decision, having been around enough fanatics to last a lifetime and seeing from the inside the manipulation that religion wroughts it is hard for me to accept formal religion as a whole as being something for me.

      Many people need religion especially considering the depression and worry that comes about if you consider oblivion as our reality after death (people want to hear that life is immortal) but some people can accept that the afterlife is a mystery known only to those who are in it. The brain can only do so much which is why I appreciate your feedback because your line of thinking is very much inline with mine.

      The world’s greatest atrocities have been under the guise of “religion” which is why I will never walk that path.

  • Alka

    I am a born hindu and Indian but I am saddened by the experience you shared. If God is listening, he wouldn’t need a bigger church. I agree with you here and I feel instead of every time following blindly, shouldn’t we use our brains which exist for real. I believe in free thinking and I feel humanity is the biggest religion. There has been so much hatred and crime because of the organized religion. This is not what religion teaches. So if people claim they are religious why live your life in hatred? No disrespect meant. Religion is good if it does good to you and your fellows.

  • Cyrus Brooks

    As someone who is African American and an atheist I can understand your disgust with Christianity. Like you I was forced to endure church as a kid. As a teenager I saw that what Christians say they believe don’t line up with their actions. As an adult I was able to make up my own mind based on logic and history of how Christianity came into existence and how it spread and it is obviously nothing more than Hebrew mythology dressed up as absolute truth. I haven’t been inside a church in 14 years and have no intentions of ever going back.

    • Hey Cyrus, thanks a million for sharing. I hope that more people like us see this article and your comment and realize that they are not alone in waking up from the Matrix.

  • Terry Turner

    It’s more men that are athiest then women, why is that?
    I would tell you my point of view but it’s worthless.