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When I Told God to Fuck Off

I looked out into the darkness and wiped the tears from my face. I took a long, harsh drag of my cigarette to steel my nerves. Then I folded my hands carefully and bowed my head. I did everything perfectly, just like I was taught to do so long ago when I first asked Jesus into my heart. I was crying back then, too. But now I was asking Jesus to leave.

I made it brief:

“God, I… I hate you. F– fuck you. Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you.”

Then I turned my tear-streaked face towards the moonlight and flipped off the sky, just to drive the point home.

I was 16.

******

In the annals of history, I doubt there was a less enthusiastic apostate than I was on that day. Sometimes I imagine God was up in heaven, just banging his head on the desk — not at me, but for the long and arduous thought process that led me to so resoundingly (yet sadly) renounce my faith.

I gave up God for a girl.

Well, that’s the poetic, almost romantic way to put it.

More frankly, I gave up Jesus for a blow job.

(I’ll give you a moment to laugh.) As strange as that may sound, it was deathly serious to me at the time. And I need to emphasize something about this moment: I didn’t even want a blow job. I would’ve been terrified to get one.

I gave up Jesus because relationships meant lust and lust meant blow jobs and blow jobs damned you to hell.  And I was so miserably lonely, I so desperately wanted to be in a relationship, and the fundamentalism inside my head was so strong, that I saw no path out of the woods but one: send Jesus packing because I wanted to date and real Christians don’t date.

*****

See, I kissed dating goodbye. Well, not really. Because I never dated until I was 16. But long before then I was inculcated into Christian purity culture and the courtship model and sex-shaming. I inhaled these ideas and the fumes filled my head, the toxins infiltrated my heart and my soul. The black-and-white, either/or poison of fundamentalism had seeped into my thought patterns. Guided by my elders and the books I read, I judged as fake and hypocritical those “Christians” around me who dated, who made out, who sold the purity of their beautiful faith for youthful passion. They were hypocrites. They were dirty. They had taken their bodies, sanctified as temples, and turned them into filthy whorehouses — every single one of themI hated them. I hated them with a passion because oh god I wanted to have that freedom, too.

But I couldn’t. I was a “real” Christian. And life is black and white. Life is either/or.

(Fundamentalism, it seeps into your thought patterns. It winds its away around your brain and you lose sight of your own humanity. You lose sight of others’ humanity, too.)

But when I was 16, my family uprooted me. They moved from California to Oregon and nothing was ever the same. I lost my friends. I lost my community. I lost the sunshine and my cat and I was banished to a world of oppressive gray and eternal rain.

The day we left California, I left pieces of my heart on the freeway — hoping like Hansel to one day retrace my steps and be happy again.

But I was stuck. Until I fell in love.

*****

She was kind. Quiet. 14-year-old blue eyes that melted the ice that had filled the holes in my 16-year-old heart. She was my first love. I fell, and I fell hard. And what I found mirrored in her eyes wasn’t lust. It was something pure and desperate. I found in her a place to belong, a place that was stable and I was accepted. She was everything I didn’t have in Oregon. She was everything I had left behind when we moved.

I felt like I had found a home.

I wasn’t allowed to date, though. Dating was evil and Josh Harris said so and you don’t court unless you’re going to get married and good Christians don’t stir up passion until the time is right. But I needed someone to talk to. I needed someone to be that place where I felt safe.

So behind my parents’ back, behind everyone’s back, I dated her.

It was as wonderful and weird as a first love could be, especially considering it was a long distance first love. We talked for hours on the phone late at night after my parents went to bed. We chatted online, back when AIM was a thing.

But one night, everything changed.

One night I found out the awful truth. One night I found out that she had once given someone a blow job.

I remember the night vividly. I remember the night because my heart felt like it stopped and I got dizzy. See, up until that night, our relationship was long distance and we hadn’t even held hands, let alone kissed. I was never in a situation where I could be “tempted,” as purity culture would phrase it. And even that night, even though we were talking online and my body’s “purity” was safe, it hit me that — she was a Christian and she had given someone a blow job. I could get a blow job.

Every 16-year-old boy’s dream, right? I could get a blow job.

But to me, that thought was no dream. To me, that thought was a nightmare. It was a death sentence.

If I were to continue a relationship with this girl, I could get a blow job and — in my head, in my poor head swimming with purity culture and fundamentalism and fear of sexuality — lose my spot in heaven. My heaven, my Jesus, had no patience for grays or nuance or alternative interpretations. My heaven and Jesus were fundamentalists just like me.

So I faced a dilemma: God or the girl.

I didn’t sleep that night. I stayed up all night. I emptied my mind of everything I believed. I spread my convictions and thoughts on the floor. And I stomped on every single one. I broke my faith and my ideals into pieces and I gave up everything. I was still a fundamentalist, after all. So this was an all-or-nothing moment. Either I love God, or I hate God. And if I hate God, I must be willing to embrace everything God hates. I carefully rebuilt my mind from the ground up and steeled myself to accept not just a relationship with a girl, not just blow jobs, but anything and everything I considered “sinful.”

Then, in the twilight of that mad night, I went outside. I lit a cigarette (yes, I know, I was a fundamentalist teenager who smoked, deal with it) and I told God to fuck off.

*****

When I think of 16-year-old me now, I laugh. I laugh but I also cry. I laugh because it’s now such a strange world to me, a world in which some poor, confused kid is forced to curse his God and rationalize crazy advanced sex shit like orgies just so he feels he has the freedom to date a girl. I laugh because God was probably up in heaven thinking, “What the hell, kid? I don’t give a shit whether you date or court. Go enjoy your youth while you can. You and me, we’re still cool.”

And I cry because I was in so much pain and I was so confused I didn’t see there was any other way out.

I cry because that world I grew up in, that world other young people are growing up in now, doesn’t give people like me space to be ourselves. It erases people like me who just wanted someone to love. It turns our emotions into “sin” and covers our bodies with caution signs. It makes us think that we have to pick between loving someone and loving God.

I need to be clear on this: the black-and-white thinking of fundamentalism led me to make out with more people than my lusts ever did. I thought I had killed God — I thought I had thrown my eternal best friend under the bus. So I buried that guilt by lashing out, by rebelling as hard as I could. I sought wilder and crazier things because that’s what people who date do, right? I could watch the whole world burn and I would think, “Well, I did date a girl, so the whole world might as well burn!”

But this is what purity culture does. This is the end result of fundamentalism. It makes you think that life gives you only two choices: either no kissing before marriage or a coked-out orgy in a strip club painted by Baphomet with the blood of innocent babies. It makes young women think they have no worth without their virginity and young men think that holding a woman’s hand without an intent to marry her means they might as well punch baby Jesus in the face.

And you know what? Now I realize that purity culture and fundamentalism did far more damage to my faith than a blow job ever did.

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44 thoughts on “When I Told God to Fuck Off”

  1. This is exactly what I went through at 17 (the idea about God, sin and the meaning of being a Christian…not the wanting a blow job).

    “purity culture and fundamentalism did far more damage to my faith than a blow job ever did.”

    This just so perfectly sums up what so many are going through. Like you, I laugh at how ridiculous my thought patterns were back in high school, but cry for my younger self and all the pain I went through. When I hear teenagers now talking about Christianity and sin in the same way, I want to laugh at how black and white they think everything is. And then I want to cry because I know how incredibly painful it is to get to a place where you can finally see the grey.

    I’m glad you made it to the other side. Always nice to find a fellow recovering fundamentalist!

  2. Ryan, I can relate a lot with so much of this incredibly honest, well-written article. When I was 15 my 17-year-old brother died of cancer. I had already been questioning God and his rules as my friends did whatever they wanted to and I was trying to be a good girl. My brother’s death was the last straw because obviously God didn’t care about me or he would have healed my brother like I asked him to. I started drinking and smoking pot with my friends, but I was filled with guilt.

    One night I had enough and I told God that I didn’t want him anymore. I raged, “God, I don’t want you. I want you to leave me alone!” I didn’t use the f word, but I was mad and I meant it. Where our stories differ is that God answered me. He said, “I will never leave you or forsake you. I love you.” That made me even madder because I knew it was true.

    I could write for hours about how he protected me from myself and gently brought me to a place of yielding. The time of hating him is a stark contrast to how much I love him now and I don’t ever want to go back to that dark place. I have learned that he is not trying to deprive me, but wants to give me freedom. James 1:25 says, “Whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”

    I pray that this honest journey you are on will bring you full circle, not to a harsh judge, but back to who God really is.

    1. twyla stewart: I have honest questions about what you wrote. I feel unsafe having this discussion on a public forum. You may feel unsafe replying. How do you know God exists, wants you to have freedom and happiness, and at the same time uses a way of communicating that is so prone to abuse by troubled people, like fundamentalists who burn people just because they feel justified by divine power to do so.

  3. This resonated with me deeply. My family also emigrated from California to the Pacific Northwest. We got a farm, and I started working incredibly hard in the summers. And like you, I was plagued with fear of my lust and what it might cause me to do to others. So when I was around 14, I found a release in secret cross-dressing and transgender fantasy. I thought that if I became my own object of affection, then I wouldn’t hurt a girl by lusting after her. Then, over the years as my obsession grew, I tried to rationalize it by thinking that if evolution is true, then maybe God doesn’t exist, the universe is meaningless, and I can go and do what I want. The either-or impulse was incredibly strong.

    I think God reached out to me many times, because I started to see from the Psalms and from Romans 7 that internal struggles like these were inside God’s story, not outside of it.

    I want to write a happy ending, but it would be truer to say that I’m still on a journey of dealing with the effects of these youthful confusions. But I do know that I am loved. Thanks for sharing your stories… I hope that by letting them out, they can help us change and grow.

    1. Thanks for sharing part of your journey, Nathan. I want to write a happy ending, too — but every day it seems like the journey has just begun. Here’s to the journey, though, wherever it may lead! And wherever it may, I have hope it will lead to greater love and peace.

    1. Yeah no shit. I watched my mom die a horrible death 2 years ago and started thinking tonight about how bad a I wanted to tell God to fuck off, but how all the fundamentalist bullshit I learned in church made me afraid to be angry at God or to really allow myself to feel the pissed off and mad feelings I have inside of me. I still believe in God and I always will but I hope tonight is a stepping point to me not being afraid and feeling more comfortable about just allowing myself to feel the emotions inside of me and to not condemn myself for it.

  4. I’m both very late to this post, and thus to responding, and also waaay out of your and your main readers’ age bracket. But, while not quite as severe a crisis as you and others have had, I had a similar one as an Evangelical (almost fundy)…. I guess softened some by attending public school for K-12, and Christian schools (college, seminary) only after that. But managing sexuality was very confusing, difficult, and mostly “operating in the dark”. Fortunately I did have female friends in high school and a lot of chaste dating in college.

    I think it’s safe to reassure you and other readers of this: one CAN find better balance, CAN gradually sort out confusing approaches to truth, to spirituality, to the Bible, etc. and not be in regular angst or feeling confused. Not that, at 64, I consider I’ve de-confused everything, but working on it all is an interesting challenge in recent years, rather than a struggle, replete with fears and such.

    As to a system of theology — a broad approach to viewing the world and truth, God and God’s involvement with us — I highly encourage anyone seeking and intellectually/spiritually curious to check out Process theology. While not strictly “orthodox”, its main architects and proponents well understand orthodoxy and respect its traditions and value while also challenging it. They have worked out a way to respect “spiritual” ways of knowing as well as “scientific” ways.

    Because of this they (and myself) can operate with a more whole conception of both realms (and all else) than any other approach I’ve been able to discover in 6+ decades of paying pretty close attention. I make reference to it periodically on my blog, which also considers a range of “psychology of religion” issues, Christian origins and NT scholarship points, etc.

  5. I totally relate to this kid. I’ve been judged for everything and anything you can think of. My life has been hell, I became a Christian at 16, but now at 32 years old I’m kicking God to the curb. I have cursed him

  6. I have cursed him repeatedly for as I feel he decided to have me as the black sheep. I am even a virgin!!!!! Sure have I kissed a girl? Yes. Have I ever had intercourse? No. But seeing as I did away with my faith. I’m going to look at all the porn I want. I’m not getting any in my lifetime so what the hell right? I fired every ounce of ammunition I had at God and it’s still not enough. I hate him with a passion that words cannot describe. I’m 32, I live at home, I’ve worked HARD at my job and make 9.60 an hour after working there for 12 YEARS, I have NO FUTURE, so yeah. I have nothing to look forward to! I hate those Christians for lying to me when I first accepted Christ! They never told me the fine print!!! I vowed my virginity to God by the way. It’s amazing how a human can keep a vow but someone like God can break their promises. Yeah. Anyways, good luck to you.

  7. reading your story relieved my anger, knowing that im not the only one in pain and yearning for happiness…you might’ve just restored my faith in all honesty.

    1. I haven’t been to church in weeks and don’t plan on going back. You’re going to go back to someone who made your life hell too? How do you know God didn’t purposely orchestrate this? Which I’m sure he did. That’s why I’m never going back to church. He wanted all my pain and misery to happen!! I hate christians and I think they are a bunch of con artists! They won’t read you the fine print! Do what you want. You want to serve a God who made you suffer for no reason go ahead. Because I sure as fuck won’t. And they says God allows the devil to do it. Wait a minute….. If God allows the devil to do it then he is basically doing it. “Oh I didn’t see anything., go right ahead.”

  8. Thank you for posting. …i can relate….and still i curse him. I was lied too….I’ll fake my belief for my family and friends but deep inside……i know there is no God…there is only the God in me that i believe…if he exist…..I’m sure he’ll show up and cause chaos in pain….i can wait for that as i have enough of it in my own ..haha ciao

    1. God is no different than all the horrible dictators who have lived and caused massive amounts of pain and suffering to people. Tonight I decided that was enough for me. After trying to hang on to my faith for the past 5-6 years or so, it’s not worth fighting for anymore. God is a monster and christians are a bunch of con artists. If they would have told the truth from day one I wouldn’t be so pissed off. But a 32 year old guy deserves to have a future which I don’t have.

  9. After telling Dog Almighty to fuck off, it’s typical to go through a period of antagonism. Not that he exists, but that the old man with a beard that was put into your head by religious brainwashing is still haunting your imagination. After a while, though, hopefully he’ll just fade away; telling Dog Almighty to fuck off is kinda like shouting at a brick wall, a brick wall that doesn’t even exist…

  10. Dude… Dont speak your mind… Your shit gets deleted. Its typical how Christians operate. The moment speak the truth and speak your mind your comments are deleted. If the bible lies and Dog Almighty ignores you, you are not allowed to say a word. Rather convert people and let them find out the hard way….

  11. F your sadistic god, for he punishes decent people for having done nothing wrong, and prospers the wicked. F your sadistic god for inflicting years of pain and sorrow on my life and I’ve never laid a finger on anyone else, and I would give the coat off of my back. YOUR god IS A MONSTER!

  12. Hi rl,

    Please do not publish my previous comment. I was angry, sad, upset, regretful but I don’t like spreading hate like this. Thanks.

    A

  13. hello
    i am from Romania.
    very nice story and poetic too.
    but above all else what i liked is to see free minded humans in all the posts here.
    i never thought i will live to see the day when people will free their minds from slavery,dictatorship books and the gods that brown arabian bloodline created to enslave the world to their will.
    i am a free human but i live in a society where slavery has priority,but lately there is free humans here too.
    the future will belong to men and women of science,those with true freedom and will.
    if there will have been no gods to slave us and no arabians to enslave us…today we will have had immortality in the reality through science.
    i am 100% in my mind that immortality will be discovered through science eventually,i just hope that when the world discovers it they will be nice enough to share it.
    the perfect place to hide a powerful lie is inside a so called truth.
    jesus and allah and many other gods claim they are the truth but inside those claims it is the biggest lie the humans ever been slaved to.
    thanks for the post.
    i will like to ask permission to post this on my fb.
    reply when you can.
    free minds and free humans only.
    power through science!

  14. I identify with this in a thousand ways. I hate christian culture, churches, everything. And I went to a christian school after high school for two years. I am so bitter at God and everyone. I can’t even write this properly right now I’m so upset. You can take God and everything he’s attached to and throw it away. All I want is to be happy and live a day without this vast emptiness and lack of purpose. F*ck it I guess.

  15. I’m only 12 and I hate god with all I say. He hates me just as much, just as I’d hope to see. Fuck god…

  16. I admire your ability to honest with God. I struggled for years think we had an angry God…..I have said and done everything you have done and appreciate your ability write it out so well. Great job. I have learned over the past few years that this beautiful Jesus represents God and no one thinks Jesus is mean. The truth is we have a loving Trinity that I adore, but every now and then will still cuss him…..then I realize it is something else happening….but He does not seem to mind if I am honest.

  17. I’ve suffered with chronic illnesses since I was 26, I’m 59 now. My life has been pure hell. I’ve asked god over and over, why me what have I done to deserve this. He never answered any of my prayers, never cured me, although he says ask and it will be given. So god I have no use for you. You are a bastard!

  18. Thank you for the post. I lost my faith 20 years ago when i began to educate myself. I can’t believe all the sheeple that walk around blind to all the evidence around them. Fear of the unknown takes hold and one thinks i’d rather believe and be wrong than not believe and find that god really exists. If people were willing and not afraid to question what they have been taught, I feel the majority of humanity would realize the lie that is organized religion.

  19. I didn’t date until I was 24. So count your self lucky by my standers! I was told that God was preparing a nice christian girl for me that’s why I had to wait. I hooked up with a girl that sucked all the life out of everyone she touched and I stayed with her for 10 years. What does that say about me. Now I’m in my 50’s don’t fall for the God thing, it will wast your life. Fuck God…The invisible man in the sky that can do anything but does nothing…..As if he is not there and never was…..Go figure.

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