Changing the Rules

In the real world, obedience was pounded into our butts; discipline nailed each to the cross of his own days. I fought so hard to shut up and buckle under, but couldn’t confine myself to this tiny, hurting world that everyone else lived in. I was like St. Michael slaying the dragon, with me as both the saint and his dragon.
Blind obedience was both our nemesis and our inspiration. What could be more achingly beautiful, more pained by inspiring grief, than that scene in the Garden of Gethsemane? “Not my will, but Thine.” My God, that makes your heart weep. But Jesus knew what he was getting into. Life was rarely that clear for me. I was just a lonely kid with no hope for companionship, in a world where adults claimed to be following God, and God didn’t have to explain Himself. “Abraham, kill your son! I’m bored and the TV’s busted again.” …
… I couldn’t resist questioning encrusted old beliefs, though questioning was the worst of all sins. Adam and Eve had been fine wandering around nude among tigers and snakes until they’d eaten that apple and started thinking things through. We had to bet our souls on stuff that didn’t make sense; on wandering stars, wives turning to salt, and God stopping the sun so His own children, made in His image, could kill each other. Samson hadn’t cut his own hair, someone else had, but rules must be followed, so the hell with him, God said. Then our principal kicked a kid out of school for refusing to cut his. Adults kept changing “eternal truths,” and I couldn’t keep up. Everybody kept hammering away at the world like blacksmiths, each trying to beat it into something different…. – From “Entertaining Naked People”

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