By Karen Loethen
Am I raging and wounded? Have I seen too much pain and unfairness that I have entered a period of anger at God? Am I in despair and feeling hopeless? Am I afraid that God has abandoned me in my desperation? Am I feeling that Life Isn’t Fair? Am I unable to locate any gratitude towards God?
In my time I have been accused several times of being angry at God? The Christian god, presumably. People making this suggestion to me never ever take my reply as honest. They simply cannot accept the reality that, No, I am surely not angry at your god.
The truth is, I have no anger whatsoever at any so-called deity.
I do have anger at religion, tons of it. The organizational, structured shame and guilt and abuse and prejudice and hatred and misogyny.
I’m absolutely livid that the conservative right has placed an abhorrent human being in the White House because that man had the lack of integrity enough to play to their agenda. I’m further enraged, enraged, I say, that those people have given up their own abilities to think clearly and have looked to their religion to determine their political allies. It has divided this country in half.
I have anger at cover ups, abuse of power and religious political power, tens of billions of dollars of financial abuses, overt lies and manipulation, all religious wars, massive sexual abuse scandals that are forgiven by church authorities, encouragement of faith over reason.
I’m angry about every single effort to defeat true knowledge in the place of religion, inculcating children into the fantasy of religious belief, at religious teachings taught in classrooms and offered as facts to the minds of children, at prayer over medical treatment, at every effort to hide truth under the cloth of bullshit, at the fact for each and every single person who has ever struggled to understand something in earnest while being taught to stick with faith, and at every vile adult male who ever married or injured a young girl or boy well within the bounds of their religious practices or traditions.
I’m angry that all doubt in the religious mind is told that it is the resident demon putting those thoughts into their head. UGH.
I’m thoroughly disgusted that outrageously and overtly powerful people are thought to be humble.
I’m disgusted for every single penny or other coinage with the words In God We Trust on them, for every misappropriation of false history passed along, for every single person on their knees in prayer with tears streaming down their faces with the belief that that action is their only option, for all of the church history that has been falsified, and for every single young person struggling with the guilt of absolutely normal maturity and sexuality.
I am fully disgusted at the ostentatious wealth of the Catholic church, much of it stolen from conquests, while the church de facto encourages and supports poverty.
I’m saddened tremendously by the people who believe in some nether-regioned bad guy that is after them and all of the anguish that accompanies this belief.
I find it a huge loss that few religious people ever seek to understand the incredibly beauty and vastness of the universe. Just think of the millions of minds that have been handicapped by religious belief.
I’m angry that people spend so much of their sincere effort to figure out the Will of God, that the church demonizes nearly all sexual practices, that atheists and all people of logic and reason are considered the least trusted people in this country, that people of all ages anguish and fear the concept of hell, that all ridiculous stories that make no sense in the holy books are treated as absolute fact or real history.
I’m disgusted with the entire vile concept of Biblical Parenting, that believers are encouraged to discount, cherry pick, or misrepresent the words of their holy books yet those same books are treated as sacrosanct, that perfectly well-meaning, truly good people are encouraged to stick with faith over their own decision-making reasoning abilities, and that this country would never elect an openly atheist into positions of power.
I’m ridiculously angry that a woman’s right to personal autonomy has become a favorite witching call of the religious right.
I am angry that, were I to die at this moment, some of my family members would believe that I was burning in hell for all eternity, and this is the religion that they choose!
The more fundamental the religion, the fewer rights women have.
I am angry that the powerful religions on this planet that still exist do so by having exterminated the other religions that existed before them, by torturing people into fearful belief, and by every other violent and forced method of spreading a belief system.
I’m genuinely angry that truly GOOD people honestly have been convinced that it is their religion that prevents them from committing horrific acts of murder or rape.
I’m angry that the best fricking thing we have to offer people attempting to recovery from addictions of all sorts is a treacly religious 12 Step program.
I’m disgusted that religious families are tragically encouraged to abandon family members who have differing beliefs or understandings of the world.
It is abhorrent that wealthy church members are powerful church members, that people in poverty are encouraged to embrace and accept their position of powerlessness.
I’m angry that adults all over the planet are satisfied with not knowing things, and that the churches systematically install so many of the feelings inside of a believer that confuse them so very much.
I am livid that CHILDREN are taught to fear, reject, revile, hate people different from themselves. Every form of racism and white supremacy supported by the Christian religion shocks and outrages me.
I’m angry that my children and all children of reason often have felt like they wanted or needed to go into hiding due to the pressures or disdain from the believers around them and that those same children have been told that they are going to hell.
I’m angry that most third world countries are so mired in evangelized missionary doctrine that they are stripped of their own powers and of their own belief systems.
I am truly disgusted with the entire concept of sin and how the church teaches and controls and tortures the emotions of adherents with it.
I’m angry that the majority of people in this country are religious and that any effort to secularize the government or the culture is treated as UNFAIR or as a THREAT to religion.
I’m angry with the smarmy well he believes in you type of person out there.
I am angry with the teaching that we are all inherently evil people and that the only way to salvation is through the church.
I’m angry as heck that so many truly good people anguish over the possibility of losing a freaking afterlife rather than finding ways to make this life a truly good, just, loving, and meaningful one.
I’m angry that autonomy and personal power are not important tenets of the religions of the world.
Am I angry with a god?
Not at all.
It turns out that I am angry at the power-hungry narcissist human beings who control the hearts and minds of so many people on this planet using religion as their walking stick.
Short statement about Karen
I am a very open Midwestern atheist, secular humanist, science lover, cohost of “The Secular Parents” on the SecularTv channel on Youtube and I’m a mum to two amazing humans (ages 20 and 17). We have been homeschooling them for over twelve years. Now I’m entering into my “empty nest” years as my kids are both now in college.
I enjoy reading and movies, astronomy, photography, travel, and being with the people I love.
I want to believe in the inherent goodness of people.
Sometimes that’s really hard.