The luxurious, colorful handbags glistened before my eyes as I stared in awe at the inexpensive prices printed on the tags. A Coach purse for only $50?! I traced my finger over the C's. But wait...they were O's. And that Prada bag...why was it plastic? I thought it was leather from a distance.
I was 14. I was in New York City. I was surrounded by designer knockoffs.
Over the next several years, I would find myself exposed to more knockoffs. Not purses, but people. Religious people.
When I was in high school, I was religious. I was extremely involved in my church. I chose to get baptized again. I believed. It was a pleasant time in my life. I was surrounded by wonderful Christians who were amazing friends.
But not all religious people are good.
Every religion has them--the knockoffs.
The people who pretend to be religious, when they really have their own agenda.
For example, people who use religion as a shield to hide their own ugliness. Ever seen Saved? That shit is real. There are self-proclaimed Christian girls who will seriously get all Hilary Faye on your ass. I've seen it.
When they feel threatened by another girl, who may be prettier or cooler or nicer than them, they panic.
They play mind games, they vandalize property, they spread rumors, and they physically hurt you. All when nobody is looking. Who will believe you? Not their pastor. Not their parents. Not their friends. Because these girls are perfect. Their souls have been saved, after all. They quote the Bible. They say they love Jesus. How could they be so evil?
Obviously, religious hypocrisy doesn't linger just in high schools or amongst the Christians. Like I said earlier, it's everywhere.
My ex is Egyptian.
When we were together, he drank like a fish, did drugs, stole whatever he could get his hands on, slept around, never prayed, and then eventually got put in jail for three months for robbing a house. But there he would be on our college campus, giving speeches on what it was like to be a "dedicated Muslim." It was hard to swallow.
When you're surrounded by these people, it is beyond frustrating. It opens your eyes to what the world is truly like. It's ugly.
It's frightening to realize that many people use religion as a mask or a weapon, just for the sake of justifying their own hatred or hiding their own mistakes.
I hate to sound preachy, because I don't usually stand up on a soapbox, but I have to beg you:
If you're going to stand for something good, try to be good.
Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes or do things that cause shame. But at least own up to it. Otherwise, nobody can save you from yourself.