* 3 mins
* This is a continuation for previous blog “The fault in my stars, they aligned!”
“For the wages of sin is death”, Romans 6:23
“For the wages of sex before marriage is a tax scam”, Ninos April 11:2015
As I was writing my last article about becoming the victim of a tax scam, some long suppressed thoughts and feelings inside me were resurrected. The first curious thought that entered my mind was wondering if this scam I fell for was actually a judgment from God. I am a good person, but I am not perfect, so could God have been punishing me for some bad deed I might have committed?
Although I don’t think about God and religion every day, I was raised in a culture where church was a regular place of hope, family, and refuge. For years, they preached to us that God could and would punish us for wrongdoing. Then, we would suffer for our sins and would have to repent and learn from our mistakes in order to redeem ourselves in the eyes of the Lord. Religious punishment was inculcated in me since childhood and it had still been engrained in the back of my mind.
After I realized I became a victim of tax scam. I managed my anger with a few F$#Ks as my cathartic release. I paused for a moment of Atonement. I was trying to identify where I could have sinned. I reflected on my previous days and weeks, backtracking my steps to visualize everything I had done, everywhere I had been, and everyone whom I had seen.
I couldn’t think of anything I did that may have been frowned up by the Lord, so I shared the story with a friend of mine. Her opinion echoed the common belief that this could be a sign from God. I looked at her and cursed Allah!
“Was God toying with us humans like puppets on strings and controlling our fates? Like ISIS killing all these innocent people who maybe were not so innocent after all? Like victims of rape, or debt, or heart conditions? Like ME who was punished with a tax scam?”
I started to get annoyed with this line of thought.
On one hand, it is irrational to draw such bogus conclusions. On the other hand, I can’t help but draw those conclusions because of the years of brainwashing the churches did to me, cementing in my mind that bad events are the result of religious punishments. Some people are able to stitch a few Biblical verses together and claim they understand Allah. It is like they privatized their religious belief and now own a “My Lord Says” or “My Church Says” franchise, and they go around preaching and casting a perceived religious guilt upon us.
Any attempt by me to respond to their religious arguments will only increase my likelihood of being further accused of neglecting God, for which I will have to suffer deeper for being so ignorant and arrogant. And if I don’t respond, but rather seek refuge in silence, lacking the ability to provide an answer to God’s businessmen, who are so skillfully robotic in quoting verses from the Bible, then I will just succumb to witnessing these disciples integrate God’s teachings into a unified marketing and communications campaign for public consumption.
The reality is that I know I am not alone in my thinking. All of these feelings I am having are very commonly held beliefs throughout the Middle East. We Middle Eastern (Christians, Muslims, Jews) have all been taught about punishment from God. It is like we have been diagnosed with a degenerative syndrome by the process of religious colonization and left without any antibiotics to be cured from all in the sake of heavenly seats.
But NO! I will not surrender my liberty of thought. I will scrutinize my brain. I will stand firm against all these critical religious thoughts. I will battle to the death!
So I switched off this paradigm and moved on. As refreshing as an ice cold sparkling water atop a terrace, overlooking a beautiful scene in Italy, I refreshed my mind. An intellectual reset. A mental migration from religious to secular society, from the Ptolemaic to Copernican thinking. It’s an escape. It’s a revolution.
Maybe at the end, Nietzsche was right. You start to smell the ‘bad odors of religion’ the moment you stay a bit far.
…but God damn it! Why did I succumb to this tax scam then? Did God rolled his dice and my number came up?
The fault in my stars, they aligned! (Part 1)
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