This is a post I’ve been baking for a while. I know it may well be a very sensitive topic, but I feel it needs to be said. I typically try to keep religion out of my discussions, but in my experience, abuse of religion can be one of the most damaging arrows in the narcissist’s quill.
In my family of origin, the ultimate flying monkey was God. God was the one that was going to condemn me for my behavior. God was the one that was going to show me how horrible and disrespectful I was. Failing to blindly obey my parents meant I was slapping God in the face and I would find myself in hell. Questioning my parents authority meant I was questioning God himself.
If going to heaven means putting up with more abuse from people like my parents, I’ll take my chances with hell.
God was always the quick out for my parents. If my narcissistic mother was dead wrong, she would invoke God and then return to her ‘righteous indignation’ at her ‘horrible’ scapegoat of a son (me). “He that spares the rod spoils the child”. Ironically, this is one of the few bible verses I still remember, probably because it was used as justification for the way I was treated.
I find God and religion to be about the most hypocritical entity ever created by mankind. I was raised in a very conservative protestant Christian family. Because of our religion, we were taught that we were better than everyone else, and that people of other religions were all going to hell and we should not associate with them. But in the next sentence, it is our job to go and spread God’s word to the masses and convince them that they had better do it our way or face hell. So first we are supposed to ignore anyone that doesn’t profess our beliefs, while we are also supposed to convince these same people we are supposed to ignore that they need to follow our way or risk eternal damnation. So which is it? Are we ignoring these people, or are we showing them our Christian love to help convince them that they need to follow our interpretation of God? Honestly, you can’t have it both ways.
So does that mean that I’m free to believe whatever I want to believe because I happened to choose the ‘correct’ religion, but everyone else is not? How is that fair? So I am encouraged to have my own personal relationship with God, as long as that relationship follows the principles that are dictated by my (or my parents) religion of choice?
If you are familiar with Christianity, Jesus loves the sinner but hates the sin. Jesus hung out with prostitutes and thieves. Why? Because they are the ones, that, according to Christian principles, needed the most help. But if I hung out with prostitutes and thieves, I would be a pariah for associating with such horrible sinners and I would quickly become fodder for the gossip mill. So it’s OK for Jesus to do it but it’s not OK for me? This brings up another interesting dichotomy with God and religion: Interpretation of scripture is subjective and is subject to the motives and desires of the person making the interpretation. Osama Bin Laden used a fatwah based on his interpretation of the Koran to incite a holy war among his followers and convince them that they needed to kill themselves and thousands of others in the name of God. Was Osama Bin Laden correct in his interpretation? Can he scientifically be proven wrong?
I find it incredibly ironic that the Christian Bible is “inspired by God” and “unable to be comprehended by men”, yet, that doesn’t seem to stop Christians from placing their own interpretations on it anyway. Christian principles say that God is the only one who has power to judge others, but that doesn’t seem to stop many Christians from picking up the gavel. Conservative Christians are some of the most judgmental people I have ever met! Of course, these Christians are picking up that gavel “in love”, which is EXACTLY the way my family behaves. “I only judge you and tell you how screwed up you are because I love you”. What’s the saying? Don’t judge a man unless you have walked a mile in his shoes? This concept is completely lost on conservative Christianity in my opinion. They feel that they are superior to others because of their belief system, and thereby have the right to judge others. How wonderfully narcissistic.
Yes, there are many people that call themselves followers of God and take to the principles of love that are inherent in most organized religions, but there are many other people that use God as the ultimate manipulation tool. More people have died in the name of God on this planet than for any other reason. It’s an abomination.