We live in a small town that doesn’t have a lot of social outlets for kids, so much is church based. All their friends go to youth group and they’re always inviting my kids. The little ones don’t go. We went to MOPS for a while. I liked the free food and didn’t mind that it was religious until I found my 4 yr old playing “sinner, sinner, saved” instead of “duck, duck, goose” with the childcare volunteers. I should have been alarmed when they brought home coloring pages with a bloody crucified Jesus on them, or scripture verses about obeying authority. After a while I’d go and enjoy the breakfast buffet and contact with grown women and leave the kids at home. Not anymore, the MOPS group I attended stopped meeting and I’m just not into it enough to want to move over to the other church. After going there for 4 years, I realized I didn’t really know anyone’s name and wasn’t really friends with anyone. I made smalltalk and ate a huge hot breakfast, that’s really all I wanted. I liked that they celebrated motherhood. Pregnancies and new babies were cheered and monthly guest speakers gave home organization advice and we’d play games & do crafts. It was fun, and I didn’t have too hard of a time ignoring the bullcrap.
But this is crazy. My teenagers keep going to these youth group meetings so they can hang out with their friends, but the stuff they’re teaching these teens just kills me. The other day it was all about how Believers go to heaven. Non believers, Jesus respects that decision but you still go to hell. If you’re on the fence, however, you are the worst scum of the earth. Apparently being unsure is disrespectful. WTF??? What teens are sure of ANYTHING? How can they not see this as psychologically damaging?
Another time, the “message” was about how kids need to forgive their parents for EVERYTHING. No matter what is going on. If your Dad is beating your mom, forgive him. If your mom is cheating on your Dad, forgive her. If they both poke you in the head with needles every time you use foul language, forgive them. I don’t have a problem with forgiveness, but telling a teenager that God wants them to forgive their parents for being assholes is a bit extreme. Don’t bring God into it. Doesn’t their God hold marriage vows sacred? Doesn’t their God say that he’s the final judge, not humans? Sure- it’s good to forgive people. But it’s also good for people to not be jackasses, and if we train our teens to put up with the abusive bullshit of people around them, why would they strive to be good people. You’re forgiven simply because you’re Christian is the most fucked up bullshit in the world. If they could do away with any one of the ten million stupid little lies they tell themselves, this single ONE could change the world.
I asked my daughter how can she stand to go to these things. She said “It’s an experience.” I wish I could say that I’d embrace the experience the way she does. I wouldn’t though. I think I’d be fuming in my seat for the long-term psychological damage these inconsistencies are capable of. The complete lack of logic is insane. How do they not see it? God lays out all these rules for humans to follow and simply believing that Jesus is his son makes you exempt? WTF???
I can’t wait to get my kids out of this town.