Did I ever stir up a hornet's nest today. I let my mother see what I'd written about my spiritual path, something I thought she'd be interested to know about. Hell no. That I'm not a respecter of the devil was a major grievance. She sent a long paragraph parroting a Baptist tract, scripture and references to scriptures. The worst part for me was it dredged up all that old belief system I threw off first thing when I got out from under belief system by duress. The day I moved out of their house, I threw that belief system in the trash and left it behind. I spent the next 15 years squeezing the last remaining dregs of it out of my system. It was used to rule me before; after, I'm out of control. I'd very seldom seen expression of love in the house. All I recall was griping and threatening. By the time everybody was in the car to go to church, daddy was in a storming rage because mommy takes so long getting her makeup and everything together. We drove to church in silence, because daddy was mad, arriving at the last minute. Daddy was always mad. He didn't think he needed a psychiatrist, but he did.
After church, daddy and the kids sat in the car while he fumed, smoking Lucky Strikes, because mommy was always, every time, the last one out the door before it was closed. She had to talk to all the women, one at a time. I knew it was a game she was playing. It was every time. I think she was tired of his pouty self-centered ways and decided to give him something to fume about. I don't know if she knew what the kids went through in the car with him while lava was spewing out the top of his head. It wouldn't matter. Better the kids than her. All the years I lived in their house, no choice about church five times a week, I don't recall love in or near the house or the church. The "love" was supposed to be understood; that's why it didn't show. There was no question love was there, because it was supposed to be. But supposed to never manifested in action or expression or speech. Evidently not in thought or feeling either.
The issue from here on is she will never let up on the nagging. Finally, maybe ten years ago, I got her to stop the nagging. I finally had to spell out what I'm not going to do, fill in the blank, ever, so please drop the subject. This one will only end when the first one of us dies. As evidence of what I said that you can't trust your salvation in the baptist religion, she was telling me how to get saved, like I didn't get it; she already enforced that one years ago. She enforced baptizing too. Now, it must not have taken. She told me Adam created sin by not obeying God. I don't recall the origin of sin a matter I'd addressed. I was looking at a definition of sin, what it means. Not the Bible book of records for who sinned first. Then a paragraph of Jesus died for our sins, like I'd missed that one through an entire childhood of preaching, brow-beating, control by guilt, and missed all of it. If I don't believe in the devil, I'd "better think about it." That mind is so far in my past I forgot. I had forgotten her adamantine mind. I'm of the mind that a blockheaded woman has a blockheaded man behind her. In her case, it's the blockheaded preacher man. She holds preachers as high up as I hold them low down.
I found it uncanny when I read her objections to who I am. Of course, she was replying point-for-point, but it struck me odd that she gave evidence for every one of my reasons for getting away from her and the religion. Immediately, I began to regard myself an agnostic, convinced the God business was about money and control, which it is, though not really certain about whether or not God, indeed, is. It took several years to come to a place I could honestly call atheist. This was in reaction, as the God put before me only convinced me this is not the case where God is concerned. Where is the love? Where is the love? The question I ask over and over where they are concerned. By the time I left the religion, I didn't know the first thing about love except that what I'd seen called love was not love. (I only hit you because I love you. LOL) In the time I thought I really was an atheist, the spirit of God came to me and showed me I was not. That was a surprise. Then showed me it's about love, not tightropes.
Whether or not I fall for the virgin birth has nothing to do with living a life of love with God and the people around me. Calvinist doctrine is nothing at all in relation to love. Doctrine is about control. In my theology, God is love. That's the beginning and the end, the long and the short of it. The gospel in a fortune cookie: Love God and treat other people right. I don't give a shit about virgin birth, supposed-to, better, damnation, free-will or predestination, church, rules or regulations. God is love. Love is not driving back and forth, to and from church in a fury, keeping everybody in the car beat down with brooding silence, silence broken by threats. We looked good all dressed up going to church, doing what we're supposed to do, God's will, smiling, good little sheep, never questioning the grocery store manager in the pulpit, because he didn't have any answers. God doesn't want us to know about things like that, was his answer to my questions.
I'm feeling feisty. I've realized that I brought it to her attention, subconsciously, to square up with mother on my spiritual life in my last days on earth. I've allowed her to believe I think and believe like she does, because she won't have it any other way. It's the easy way. The way of water flow. She really isn't interested. She's right---no two ways about it. She's only interested in whether or not I'm going to hell when I die. The mistake on my part was not foreseeing that she will picture me unrepentant in hell for eternity if she doesn't come to the rescue and browbeat me with her equivalent of the Chinese water torture, never letting up, never letting up, never letting up. She'll be calling the whole church to pray for me, now that I'm going to hell. And I can't help her see it otherwise. For once in my life I have allowed myself to open up with my own personal truth with my mother. When I was little, she told me if I told her the truth she wouldn't punish me. She'd only punish when I lied. That didn't work out even the first time.
First time I told her the truth of whatever the matter was, I got punished. I lied, I didn't get punished. She taught me well. Being punished every time I told the truth, she taught me to stop telling her the truth about anything. So I stopped. She didn't want to hear it. This was the first time I've let her in on one of my own truths. She couldn't handle it even worse than I'd imagined in worst-case scenario projection. She'll just have to see me burning in hell fire for eternity, unrepentant, unsaved although saved, for refusing to ally myself with nonsense. It doesn't make a bit of difference to me how she projects me. I was just thinking maybe, once, before I depart the body, I could let my mother in on my own vision of my spiritual path and she'd be interested. Shoulda lied.