Have you ever noticed the glaring similarities between Christian practices and domestic abuse? This is an aspect of the faith in which I grew up, that always concerned me. Well, perhaps not always, but certainly by the time I got into my teens and began to question everything that I was taught. What am I talking about? Well consider the rituals that you must go through every week at every Sunday mass.
First you must acknowledge that you are a sinner and need to repent. Never mind if you had a particularly good week and were the most kind, honest and charitable person you could be, you have to beg forgiveness for these imaginary sins that you committed through your own fault. In other words, you are a piece of shit and need to be forgiven. Can you imagine what this does to a person’s psyche when you have to denounce yourself week after week, year after year for your whole lifetime? Doesn’t it remind you of an abusive husband whose strategy is to destroy any semblance of self worth in his spouse?
Then you go on to beg for mercy over and over again. Good lord, excuse the expression but beg for mercy? Anytime I have to beg for mercy it’s because someone is inflicting some serious pain on me or at least threatening to do so. Again, do you see the similarity? Why should anyone have to beg someone who proclaims that he loves them, for mercy? If you are in a relationship and every week you have to beg your significant other for mercy, you need to check yourself because something isn’t right with that relationship.
You are then brainwashed into thinking that you are constantly being monitored. Your every move and every thought is observed and recorded and you will be severely punished for every misdeed unless you repent and beg for his forgiveness. If this isn’t mental abuse, I don’t know what is!
The next step is for him to display his awesome power over you. You must accept that you are nothing and he is everything, that he is the very reason for your existence and your only purpose in life is to serve him, honour him, adore him, love him etc. You must be completely devoted to him as that’s the sole purpose of your existence and even when you die, your reward will be to continue this adoration for eternity.
The hard part of being in an abusive relationship is, you are the last person to see it. You will defend your abuser to the end. “Oh no” you will say, “he really loves me and looks after me and and I am not worthy of his great love and compassion.” When you can finally step back and break loose of this abusive relationship, you understand that if someone really loves you, they will not threaten you with eternal damnation, they will not be the cause of any misfortune that may come your way, in fact, they will do whatever possible to ensure your safety and happiness even when you have not been perfect.
If theists believed that their god made the universe, and did not go to these extreme measures about how we need to be so devoted and subservient to this deity, and that our only reason for existing is to be his personal slave, I might be able to accept that concept, but asking me to be a willing participant in an abusive relationship is another thing completely. I abhor abuse in all its forms and I think that subconsciously, these practices must have a damaging effect on the minds of the ardent followers although they are not aware of its sadistic effects. Perhaps that’s the reason why church goers can continue to practice their religion very devoutly and at the same time be the most abusive and cruel persons in their own private lives. They are taught that this is the right thing to do.