I was raised in a cult.
Like my mother, and my grandmother before me.
From the time I could read, I was taught scripture and verse.
I was taught that the wages of sin equals death.
I was instructed to learn about other faiths and the ways in which they were wrong.
I was taught that homosexuality was an abomination.
I was taught to treat anything outside of our religion as the work of the Devil.
I was taught that if I stepped out of line, I would be cast out. That I would lose the only world I had ever known.
I was taught that if I failed in my duty to God, that I wouldn’t be granted everlasting life. That I would perish with everything else that God didn’t approve of.
But I knew that I was different. I knew I had feelings that I could never share with anyone. Not my father. Not my mother. Not my brother or my friends.
I was taught as a child that those feelings meant that I didn’t deserved to live and I believed it.
And so I did what I had been taught to do.
I prayed everyday that somehow I could escape all of this.
That somehow I could get free.
Because I figured if I was going to die, then it should at least be for something that I had actually done, rather than just failing to live up to expectations.
I don’t talk about this very much.
The main reason being is that I was taught that to criticise my religion was to be branded an apostate.
Even years afterwards that word still echoes in my mind.
Apostate. Apostate. Apostate.
If you think that religion doesn’t corrupt the way people think, I’m afraid you are wrong. The Abrahamic religions not only teach hate, they breed it as well.
Ignoring this fact will not change things.
I was lucky - I escaped.
But millions of people have not been so lucky.
And at the weekend, 50 people paid for it with their lives.
Actually, make that 51.
Don’t blame the pupil, blame the teacher.
I was raised in cult, it was called Christianity.