My faith and views on God or lack of…………

First I need to get this out-of-the-way. I am not looking to challenge anyones ways of belief and am in no way wishing to have a debate on religion, what I write here is based on my own experiences with God and religion. I have read and followed several blogs that mention the power of God and what he has done to help others in their struggles with various ordeals. I have shared with others about my lack of faith and my issues with God, and well there was no little surprise that they looked negatively on me or seemed to dismiss me entirely except one person. I don not judge others on their beliefs and I wish not to be judges on mine, or the lack there of. I wished to have healthy discussion and honest feedback about how God has helped them, yes I am still searching for the right answer and perhaps a little direction. But like I have stated before most have looked at me negatively or dismissed me entirely except one, finally some forth right and honest feedback, what I have been looking for. I will tell the story of how and why I lost my faith in God.

When I was a child I grew up in a very violent, emotional and verbally abusive home. It was very hard growing up with my father and mother (please realize this will be very generic, I don’t share these memories from my own memory but from what has been related to me only about the abuse) my father was supposed to be a religious man, we went to church and he was very active in the church when we were, well it started in Puerto Rico when my father was stationed there. I can remember the first church we went to was not in a regular church but in this fellows house, that didn’t seem right to me, but being young I guess it didn’t matter. I don’t remember what he preached but I do remember that this man set my father on fire, he was consumed with this man and his brand of religion. I can remember him sitting there talking with this man telling him that he would take on the devil and be Gods warrior. And one night he did just that, it was weird I can only remember sitting on the steps to the upstairs watching our cleaning lady finish up in the living room. What I relate here is not from my own memories but pieced together from my brother David and my mother. Well my father was stalking back and forth from his den to the living room with a bible in his hand screaming at the ceiling for God to send him the devil and he would fight the devil for him. I do remember that I was scared because the cleaning lady was a native and she was Catholic and she was praying very loudly, and moving very quickly with the final chores of her day. Funny I can remember that but not what my father was doing I loved our house keeper she would always make us these little meat filled pies, and I can’t remember what they were called right now but man were they awesome, and her brother had a little stand that we would stop by on our way to school and get basically the same thing but made with fruit every morning before school. Little off side track here we lived in Puerto Rico in the mid to late 70’s and during that time we were escorted to school every morning by Navy SP, you see there was a rash of kidnappings during that time and a lot of them were blonde haired blue-eyed American children, oh and we walked to school every morning with these sailors, but usually different ones each day, I guess whoever was on duty that morning.

Ok back to my father and that night, I remember that the cleaning lady left without telling us goodbye. There in the middle of the living room still screaming at the ceiling and telling, no demanding that God send the devil to him. Ok now the next part was taken directly from my mother because she caught us on the stairs and sent us up to our rooms. Well it seems to be that sometime during that night that God answered my father and sent him what they thought was the devil in the form of our next door neighbor, she went on to tell me that the man didn’t have the same face that we knew and had to be invited into the house because my father had called for him, and now he was here, and she told me that after a few minutes of talking to this apparent devil that my father lost all of his nerve and fled the room and left my mother to deal with this man, he was uncomfortable with the bible she had in her hands, and that when she asked him to read scripture from the bible that he couldn’t, I have to say that when she related this story to me it was like she was scared to tell it, or even to talk about it.That was all she wold me of that night, and all she was willing to share, but according to my brother this  confrontation had lasted till almost dawn, so I know there was more but she was unwilling to talk to me about it. Knowing what little bit I did remember and with talking to my mother and brother, well this is where my fear of God began, not like what they say in church about fearing God, but that I was actually scared of him. Now this is not the only reason that I have doubts you see my father used to write in these little green books that the NCO’s in the Army and Navy used to get to put their information in, I have them myself and used them myself to put information in about maneuvers and information about patrols and mission briefings. I have one right here on my head-board. Little innocuous things that had no meaning until I found my fathers, I do remember him writing in them as a child, and I don’t remember how I got them but there were over 100 of these little books all filled with my father’s hand writing, at first I thought ya my fathers journals now I will find out something about him that I never knew, hoping to find a connection with him that I could use to rekindle our relationship.

Boy was I wrong about what was in those little books, as I read the first book I came to realize that what I was reading were conversations that my father had with God, and the things that God had told him to do, all of the things that he told him to do, well most of it was down right disturbing to me, especially about the parts on how he was supposed to treat us children, here was where he got his information about what he treated us like, right down to how many times he would hit us, which one was to be punished on which day and how he was supposed to be punished, when he would attack my mother and in what fashion and why he was supposed to do to her what he was going to do. The way it was written was in rapture and joy, and not the horror that I read it to be, it told him everything that he was supposed to do even moving when we did and why we were supposed to move. I was older by the time I found these books and was able to understand just what they were, the guide lines to my childhood. the reasons this man was a monster was all right here in front if me in these little green books. I read all of them and with each one it got worse and worse, the violence, the hate, the beatings and that way that he was told to live, were all right there in front of me, a life times worth of pain, he even wrote about us after he and my mother divorced in the     80’s there was still in the books about what he would do to us children. This is the down fall for me, how could God as he was explained to me as an all-knowing all loving father of life, tell this man to do these horrible things to his wife and children? To spell out in detail the mean and evil things that were in those pages. And know this it wasn’t after thought of his about doing these things it was directions and discussions before and about what he was supposed to do. That was enough for me right there to begin my doubting ways, with all that had happened to me during my childhood laid out before me and even after we had split as a family he was still going to do these horrible things. It shook me to the foundations of my being, this is not the God that I learned about and if it was why would he tell my father these things and tell the world something different. Was my father special, was he a prophet? No, he was just a man if he was a prophet where were the words of wisdom and love that were God as I learned, defiantly not here in these books of a raging lunatic that is for sure. As I learned going through out my life and of my father, his life with the church became fanatical, it was his way of life, it was in his every waking moment. Unfortunately my fathers beliefs were skewed and he was thrown out of several different churches where he lived, his beliefs did not go along the same lines as the teachings of those other churches.

to believe is divine, i struggle with that divineness and struggle with belief and faith for you I am glad, for it seems you understand

So you see why and how I drew away from God and as I went through my life searching and looking for my faith I came to realize that my views on this subject were also skewed, I could not see God for what he expressed he could be and was supposed to be. So I continued my search for faith and thought at one point that I may have understood it, but once again it was outside influences that jaded my mind, and this came from my first wife. See we went to church, the Lutheran Church and I met a preacher that I could relate to, he was young and full of then Lord and he explained to me about what God wanted from me and he took the time to talk to me and show me a direction. But the real truth came from my wife, we weren’t there to listen to the teachings and what God wanted me to be, we were there to be seen by the other influential families of the church and to socialize and to make connections for my wife to help further her career and standing in the city and by coming to church and meeting these people and being invited to their house for dinner it would broaden her reputation and career and standing in the community, now here I was trying to sort out my life and my understanding of religion and her she was rubbing elbows with the wealthy and powerful of Louisville not here for the same reasons I was. And once again jaded by others I lost what little faith I had developed, I still went to church, but quit my sessions with the minister and played the dutiful husband and did all the right things and told all the right jokes and made conversation with whim I was supposed to all to further her needs, I played my role very well and became the very thing that she needed me to be, her husband and mediator and her chance to become more than what she was. I don’t mean she couldn’t have accomplished this on her own but, she needed me to be charming, funny and play the good host and know what topics of conversation to bring up and what jokes needed to be told at the right time and to be where and when I was supposed to be. Finally the end, I could not take anymore, I didn’t need religion of what others thought to be religion to define me and after we were divorced I came to a point where I was happy with the way I was, I didn’t need religion or belief to make me the person I was. I decided to start the research on how religion began and learned quite a lot for myself how religion was jaded and taken from other religions and how the bible was just a history of what some of the most important people of that age wanted it to be, I knew that the bible has been rewritten to several different languages and how it was translated and to me that is the key, if you tell a story to one person and that person tells the story to another and so on and son on by the time the story gets back to you it has been changed and improved upon or interpreted differently by someone else. That is how i view the bible, and another little thing that bothers me is this if they had all these prophets back then that spoke to God and obtained information from God about how we are supposed to live and follow his rules then where are the prophets now, how come there are no new books to the bible? What is the difference between now and the times in which Jesus was supposed to have done miracles, if you hear of someone doing miracles now they turn out to be fakes and false, and what of the Gods that were here before the word of God came did they just up and die, no you see if you look closely at our holidays and even some of the rituals that they practice in the church today they came from before the bible was written or at least the new testament, they were pagan rituals and holidays. Ah yes the final thing I needed to kill my faith in God and the bible, you have to understand there is much more to this story of my faith and belief in God, people I have talked to, books I have read and several other things that happened to me in my life that led me to where I am now but I wanted to share some of the more obvious reasons for my down fall. And the question that I am most asked is this, Do you still search for faith and total belief in God even now? To say that I don’t want to believe in what millions of others believe in would be a lie, to say that I will never start the search for God again would be a lie, you see how can so many others believe in something and it not be true, I have said and will say it again it is man that needs something greater than himself to believe in. At this point in my life I don’t have the energy or drive to continue my search for God as others believe in him, I am not content with my belief system as it is, and I want to believe in something greater than myself, just like others do. But the memories that I have about the things I have seen over the years and done over the years has placed me in a place of mistrust. How can the things that have happened to me at the hands of my father and others in my including my mother and ex-wife, have come from God would he tell a man to harm his children? Well look at all the terrible things he did God that is to his children in the old testament and why the huge difference between the old and new testament, and why did the old testament teach all that fear and death.

Here I am take me as I am or don’t take me at all, thank you all for reading this post, I need and value your input on this subject, and I don’t think I would have written this at all if it weren’t for the support and sometimes the lack of support coming from my blog, most people are judge mental on this subject of religion and no I have not told the entire story as it has happened, I don’t think I want to put out here some of my other experiences due to the fact that they are mine and I do not feel the need or the want for them to be judged or even read. I could write a novel on my experiences on this matter, and look I already have.

Dan Kline


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