Branded

Sunday was bible day at our house. Dad was a member of some cult-church where you shoved religion down kids' throats all Sabbath and then got drunk. Marshall was pretty good about taking in all the information. Cathy not quite as good. Me, horrible. I'd hear names: Peter, Paul, Octavio, Gaius . . . but really I was in some other world where cats played in pretty little fields of flowers. Where castles sparkled in the glow of day. Ice-cream and music, babbling brooks and—"Amy! Can you tell me what Ahab did in that last section?" I'd start to cry. I never was able to give a proper answer, and was shaking in my patent-leather shoes over getting the belt.

Mom used this time to do some laundry. I'd sneak-a-peek over my right shoulder and catch her coming up from the basement, arms loaded. I'd try to send a telepathic message, "Can't you make him stop?" "No, he'll come after me." It was true. You didn't raise your voice to Dad unless you wanted a fight. And believe me, Mom took him on plenty of times, even losing a tooth once. Bible readings apparently weren't worth the effort. Hours and hours of bible readings.

When he was done he'd close the leather-bound book all stern-like and pace around the room. Had he made his impact? Were we saved? Would we reject all sin, human frailty, Satan himself dressed in red satin dripping with sugar and video games? Would we obey? Yeah sure.

I still can't open a bible without a feeling of being shoved against a wall, suffocated, branded, whipped. The best book ever written and I can't read a word.


Comments

  1. Poor you, Amy. God was never mentioned in our house - thank God.

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  2. I've not read it, but I believe it's still quite popular.

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  3. Wow....how someone could take a thing of such wonder and turn it into something of such horror. My heart goes out to the little girl that was you.

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  4. amy, my heart breaks for you, that you were forced to go through all that. i suppose we are all entitled to believe what we choose to, even your dad. but just like mbj that just horrifies me so much. you are very special and precious to me as my own daughter.

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  5. Tom, that made me giggle : )~

    Cro, I actually have a few different bibles in my house, but I honestly can't get through the first page without a shiver. I like the parts when Jesus comes in though. He was cool.

    mybabyjohn- thank you

    Molly- I love you too. Thank you so much for that xxxxx

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  6. That's a very different bible approach, to be sure.
    Almost sounds like you dad was violent against your mom, her losing a tooth and all. Hope that's not the case.
    Nahno ∗ McLein

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  7. I like your blog! I'm following you and I am also taking part in the A-Z Challenge, I look forward to seeing your entries. RuthieTootieWishes

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  8. Your dad sure had a different approach to sharing God. I hope you someday will be able to read the Bible without your negative memories of your father coming into view. No one can force a person to accept Christ. I hope you will give the Bible a new chance someday. Jesus' love is better than anything imaginable.

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  9. How true, a bad experience with a very good subject, yet it turns us off that subject! Hope you can pass all the negativity connected with the bible and read it for what it is. A very beautiful book about a great man!

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  10. Thanks for all the good words here. I'm actually very spiritual, and do believe that someday I'll be able to read the bible with objectivity. I appreciate everone's perspectives here.

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  11. So many wrap their anger and hatred for others behind the bible and religion. I read once that religion can not made an evil man good, but can make a good man evil.

    I hope you can heal.

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  12. Wow, so powerful. Your last paragraph really struck me. Too bad your father didn't put the Bible down to see what damage he was or wasn't doing. It's more than reading words, isn't it??

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