I made the mistake of confiding my current depression to a religious friend. Since this friend is male, much older than me and generally given to minding his own business, I thought it would be a safe thing to do. When will I ever learn you can't talk to religious people like they're normal people? For that matter, when will I ever learn that I can't talk to anybody and expect them to understand or at least be sympathetic and admit they don't understand, unless they're weird in most or all of the same ways I'm weird?
The assumptions are presumably well meaning, but forever tiresome and frustrating.
If you're depressed, it's because you don't go to a 'real church.' You need to find a 'real' Bible believing church.
If you're having any sort of trouble with your kids, it's because you homeschool and you need to put them in school.
If you're lonely, it's because you live in the country. Move back to the city.
It's so much easier to give pat answers than to actually get to know a person and try to understand them and what's really going on with them.
But anyway... the sadness over having my friend judge that certainly, my depression is at least in part due to the fact that I don't go to a 'real church' is frightening at this point. Will I continue to lose friends and friendly relationships everywhere until there is literally nothing left? Will each person in my life, and my kids' lives, eventually take offense at the fact that I go to a flaky church and don't get into their conventional doctrine? Will I continue to watch friends turn out not to be friends because of religious differences?
I can hang out with a traditional church-goer and take no offense that they're not a free believer, an agnostic, a pantheist, or any other spiritual path that I find more open-minded and freeing. I have, at their request, attended their church meetings and found myself cringing at some of the awful lies that are preached in Jesus' name. But, I don't hold it against them personally and have always tried to continue the friendly relationship with the person. THEY have always been the one to end the friendship. They take offense when I don't agree with their doctrine, their church, or their religious beliefs. Even if I never say one word to them about it. Somehow they know... and get angry... and offended.
Remember that old song about how they will know we are Christians, by our love, by our love? Bullshit. Someone should re-write that whole song. They will know we are Christians by how easily offended we get, by how fast we are to dump you if you don't square up to our standards, by how we'll lie and say we love you but we don't have a fat clue what true love really is.
They prove their god is untrustworthy and downright false because they never do love and just let their god stand up for himself and reveal himself to someone in need. Their frantic, rabid, aggressive evangelical tactics show just how untrustworthy they believe their god really is.
How sad it will make me if I lose this older male friend. I'll call him Bill. Referring to the post previous to this one, "roads," it seems the Universe is going to make sure I learn that I will never have a father figure taking care of me. Not outside of the resources inside of myself. I've felt such powerful love for Bill at times, been so grateful for him. Felt like I've gotten tastes of what it might have been like to have a father who loved me. I should have known it wouldn't last.
I hate religion. I hate it. I hate it for what it's done to me, to my family, to most of my friendships. To the human race at large.
You may say I'm a dreamer.
But I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us.
And the world will be as one.