I think back on the days as a child going to church every Wednesday and Sunday, going to bible study, vacation bible school and everything else that meant having to go to church. Growing up in a Black household, majority of us did not have a choice in whether or not we went to church. It was never up for discussion or negotiation. I remember loving to go to church, only because my friends were there. I never actually felt a connection to the church or this man made building. I always knew something was off and it wasn’t until I got older that I realized what it was.
Over the past few years, I’ve bounced around from church to church, trying to find one that really spoke to me and wasn’t fake and full of lies. I didn’t find a single one that made me feel like I was the only person that stuck out in a crowd, like a black bean in a bowl full of white rice. I felt alone. I couldn’t really connect with anyone because the way my mind works and how I see things, is so different and farfetched for most POC.
A year ago, when I finally moved on my own, I stopped going to church altogether. It wasn’t that my beliefs had changed, it’s just that I finally realized what my beliefs were and they did not involve the church. Often times when you tell someone that you aren’t religious or don’t identify with a religious group, they automatically think that you are atheist, which could not be further from the truth. You have many people who believe in God, the Universe, a Higher Being, the Most High, etc., who don’t go to church. Granted, all of these things are one in the same, but called something different that better resonates with that individual.
I identify as spiritual because I believe in spirits, mainly my ancestors, surrounding me and guiding me through life. I think that was something I’ve always felt, that presence of more than one entity. As a spiritual person, you aren’t restricted and there aren’t any rules or commandments. You are free. I’m a Libra and we believe in balance. Meditation, essential oils and the moon helps me to balance. I prefer journaling as my form of prayer because I feel like writing my thoughts, words of gratitude, helps to relieve stress and pressure. It allows those things that are weighing me down to be lifted.
I believe in the stars, the moon, the sun, nature, everything that has life. In my home, I have an altar (pictured above) that I pray (journal) at daily. This helps me focus and become closer to the Universe. When I found this way of spirituality, I felt a sense of peace, home, belonging.
What made me give up religion? Just because a person is religious doesn’t mean they are a good person. Some of the most wicked people are religious and use their religion as the basis of their evildoing. Being of a certain religion does not make a person better than the next. I see a good person as someone who has morals, values, is caring, helps to uplift others, and is living their life the way they want that does not harm anyone else. I have seen people of various religious groups (and no I won’t name them but I am sure if you don’t live under a rock, then you know which ones) do the most evil things to other human beings.
Another reason I gave up religion is because Christianity is not the religion of my ancestors. Christianity was something that the Europeans used to keep the slaves in order. They took our spirituality and turned it into something that they could have over my people. Because slaves could not read, this bible was introduced and they had to rely on the white man to tell them what it said. They painted Jesus as white and the slaves had to obey Him, and since slaveowners were white, that meant the slaves had to obey them. If anyone does not know, the picture of “Jesus” is a picture of Cesare Borgia (do your research on who he was). And if this picture of “Jesus” is a lie, what else is a lie? That made me do a lot of research on religion, specifically Christianity.
As you grow older and can think for yourself, without the objection from your parents and you can do your own research, you realize that a lot of things you were taught growing up, was a lie, and not just what your parents taught you, but also what you learned in school.
Riddle me this: If there were no white people in Africa before slavery, then how is it that they became to worship a White man? If anyone can explain this to me with proof, facts and logic to back it up, maybe I’ll change my mind, but until then, I’ll continue to think Jesus isn’t real. During that time period that he was born, the letter “J” was none existent. So where did the name “Jesus” come from?
The next reason is how no one seems to follow the rules of the bible. You have all these Christians, who swear by the bible and everything it says, but don’t practice it. Then you get the excuse that these are different times. So then why do you quote from something that apparently no longer has value because it is outdated, and those practices won’t hold today? Think about it. Many things that are in the bible that we are told not to do, we do them anyway (adultery, premarital sex, murder, lust, lie, cheat, steal), and there are Christians who do at least one or more of these things.
It blows my mind how people can act to “righteous” because they are of a certain religion, but then don’t actually follow the practices. To me, I believe the original bible (not these updated and translated ones), had good intentions and was meant to help guide people to live a wonderful life and be prime citizens to one another. I believe over time, it has changed and been taken completely out of context, to the point that it’s now just a book.
Many religious folks wonder why people give up their religion or talk about religious folks as they do and it has a lot to do with how people use religion today. Me personally, I’ll continue my spiritual journey. On this voyage, I have become a better person. I have come to terms with issues that I have been holding on to for so long. There are things that happen in our lives that another person cannot help with.
I’ve heard that it’s good to fellowship with other people for support, however, as an introvert, I have received more healing from journaling by myself, at my altar, than the number of times I’ve gone to church. I have received more blessings and opportunities since I left the church. I’m seeing things differently and have become more open. I honestly don’t believe that I would be where I am today if I was still going to church. Isn’t that God is wherever I am? So is the Universe. You can pray, worship, meditate, journal, anywhere. I feel like now that I am living outside of the box, I have more options. I don’t want to limit myself.
I know there are people who will read this and judge me for it, but by the same token, I don’t really care. These are my beliefs. I feel more people should explore what best suits them and not by what others say they should do. What works for one person, may not work for another.
I know this was a long post, but I felt it needed to be said. There are some great things in the works for this site and my YT channel.