Throughout most of my life, the Bible was something I had never thought to question. Now, I see it merely as a book that one of the most greedy organizations in history pushed to maintain. Since I was born, the Bible had defined my morality. I prayed on a nightly basis, being, as my great-grandmother put it, 'A Good Christian Boy'. Sadly, I learned the hard way just how unforgiving revealed religion can be.
I was born in a town in Nebraska. For all of those who don't know what a town like that would be, imagine a homogeny in every way. Nearly all of us are white, generally friendly, Christian, all-American football lovers living in small homes surrounded by corn. While partly true, needless to say, outside of Omaha and Lincoln, you'd be hard pressed to find anything other than a stereotype.
One of these stereotypes is being Christian. This was the family I was born into. My Dad was a devout non-denominational Christian, and for the longest time I never knew what my mom was, but she did go to church with us. After they divorced, my mom went to church for about one more year, but stopped not long after. My dad still goes to the same church every Sunday. Church was such an important thing to him, that he also put a lot of that on me as well. I had been raised so close to our church, for the first part of my life, I wanted to be a pastor.
This part of my life continued all the way up to my last years in middle school. Living in Nebraska, my life was largely uneventful, and I went to church on a regular basis. My sister also took to faith like a moth to a flame, and she was just recently baptized, and has become the talk of the family. My mom, on the other hand, had another boy, and then remarried another man. This was among the darkest point in our lives. The man she married was a drunk, abusive, and horrible. My dad and my mother's dad hated him. He was such a drain on us, we often went to bed hungry when we were staying at our at our mom's.
This was when I first began to doubt my faith. I had spent my life living as a model Christian, and I had now been put in a place where the people I loved were suffering a veritable hell. Even my sister, who was more devout than I was, suffered more than anyone with the exception of my mom. This doubt in my mind haunted me, and with this doubt I began losing sleep to violent nightmares. It felt like God had cursed me, and I had no idea why. My mom thankfully was able to divorce safely, and things became better, but she is still struggling with debts he created to this day. The point is, my faith had begun to crack. It would shatter in high school, when I discovered my sexual orientation.