And every assembly was kicked off by our principal singing the Whitney Houston's classic, Greatest Love of All while slowly walking around with her microphone, patting children on the head as she passed. "I believe the children are our fuuuuuture..."
How come I didn't know how weird and cheesy that was at the time?
It was about 12 years ago that my friend from high school, Leslie, asked me to join her at summer camp with the rest of her church friends. I had never been to a summer camp of any kind, and I thought it would be fun.
I was not a member of any church at the time, so the nightly worship and testimony was new to me. I had fun singing and listening to people speak, but at the end of each service we were led in prayer while everyone was encouraged to go outside and find a councilor to confess their sins to. I didn't participate for two reasons:
A - I didn't know of anything bad I'd done that needed to be discussed and
B - I didn't know anyone there.
All of this was fine until the final night of camp. I remember we were all seated in a large amphitheater and when the end of the service came around, the praying would not end until every camper was out of their seat and giving testimony to one of the adults. Words can not describe how uncomfortable I felt as every child in the place filed out one by one until I was the only person left. While everyone was praying for me to get up, I was praying for it to end. Eventually, one of the councilors came to get me. Surrounded by a group of adult strangers, including the pastor, I was forced to pray and be "saved." Tears streamed down my face as I told them what they wanted to hear. When it was over, I went back to my bunk and cried all night. I was so upset, I couldn't participate in the rest of the evening's activities.
Today, I look back on that night as the single most traumatizing event in my entire life. Every time someone asks me why I'm an atheist, I mention that night and your church.
Religion is supposed to give people peace. It shouldn't need to be forced on anyone, least of all, a defenseless child.
I don't expect anything here will change your practices, but I do hope that you'll consider this communication the next time an outsider (of any age) decides to put their trust in you.
Last week, dskasak took a series of head shots for me. I'm hoping this will be the motivation I need to get back in to acting. He set up a makeshift studio in my apartment and came out with some amazing results. Here are a couple of my favorites.
Thanks again, Don!
Do you see all this tupperware?
None of it is mine. I don't even cook or have people over so there's no need for me to have it. Like - at all. And I'd like to give them back, but I don't even remember who belongs to what anymore. These people continue to have dinner parties with so many less plastic wares in which to send people home things. People they trust to return them within a certain time frame.
You probably hate me right now. That's because I am a terrible person.
Last week, Gramma kept getting calls every night from the Department of Health (or some such) wanting her to take a survey. She kept telling them no and they kept calling back. My Grampa LOVES to talk. He offered to take the survey and they told him no - that it had to be her. So one evening they called her and she said, okay "Let's get this over with."
She said the survey was long and they seemed to want her whole medical history from when she was a child until now. Toward the end of the call, Gramma was getting tired and annoyed. Then the lady said to her,
"Studies show that senior citizens often feel USELESS, HOPELESS and WORTHLESS. Do you ever feel this way?"
"No, I can't say that I've ever felt useless, hopeless OR worthless."
"But the studies show that you DO."
"Lady, I have never felt useless, hopeless or worthless a day in my life and I don't know any seniors that do!"
"Okay, next question."
"What percentage of the time do you feel USELESS, HOPELESS or WORTHLESS?"
It comes in many flavors, but the kind woman at the gas station chose two grape flavored bottles for me. The directions told us to drink half for "moderate energy" or the whole thing for "maximum energy," so we threw caution to the wind and downed the whole thing.
We took it around 8:00 PM. As for the product's claim that you don't crash afterward, I can not really speak to that except to tell you that I was still wide awake when I got under the covers at 4:00 AM this morning.
5 Hour Energy: That shit is bananas.