Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sinned much?

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-boyfriend was 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.

58 comments:

Kristy said...

This was a fantastic post. I couldn't agree with what you have to say any more than I already do. I hate that people can put on such a "front" it makes me sick. Not all of the world is ugly though, don't worry :)

myheartstumbles.blogspot.com

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

Well-written, honest, open, heartfelt. I so enjoyed reading this. And you are correct; nobody can save us from ourselves, but change begins with the individual.
There is much beauty in the world - seek beauty and your life will blossom like the first burst of Spring. Try and change the ugly or make the ugly more refined. xx

Melanie's Randomness said...

You are very smart and wise lady. I live in New York state and have all my life so I haven't been exposed to devotees that would actually hurt someone and hide behind religion. That's scary & your right, it's a shame. It's a shame to use religion as a back-up because of their own insecurities. Knock-offs don't realize that they really hurting themselves. I hate fake people to no end. It's just sad.

I agree with you a 100%. If your standing by something good then be good. Absolutely!

Melanie's Randomness

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Sometimes I want to found my own church: The Church of Decency and Minding Your Own Business.

Alina said...

What a wonderful message! You write so well!
very touching story.

LEONID GUREVICH said...

Incredible inspiring post, dear.
"But not all religious people are good." - BRILLIANT

love love LOVE what you've been posting so far

<3

Leon

Venus In Virgo said...

Fabulous post-perfectly written. Your so good at this... I love the images,those outfits are alluring in a mysterious way. I saw Saved a few times,that movie is hysterical!!! You reminded me to go grab the DVD again XOXO

Couture Carrie said...

Really interesting and well-written post, darling!
Love the handbag analogy and the gorgeous photos!

xoxox,
CC

ching said...

this is a wonderful post. i hate it when people talk the talk but dont do the walk. its very hypocritical really.

Vikki said...

This is one of the best post I've ever read. I absolutely agree with every single word you wrote. People cannot possible say one thing and do the very opposite of what they say!

xxx
Vikki

http://stylometre.blogspot.com

btd. said...

I definitely agree. I actually stopped going to this church because of the people in it, even though I loved the church itself and the pastor. I need to see that movie...

Phil said...

Great Post, very intense, i loved the second pic :)

Vintage Vixen said...

I'm in awe of your fabulousness and I honestly think you are amazing. Nothing to add other than to say the most unchristian people I've ever met have always been parcticing Christians. xxx

BlueVanilla said...

Great post...everything including religion has fakes or knockoffs...strange to think about. But correct on every level.
xx

The white cabbage said...

interesting post


ciao ave

mariahsmile said...

I agree 100%! And I LOVE the movie SAVED! haha

JUST ME said...

We call it "Spiritual Materialism" where I live. People claim they're all enlightened and talk about being "conscious" - but when no one's looking, or the lights are off, they're douchebags.

Ugh. Those people can fall off a cliff.

Kavery said...

So true. Sadly some religious people give the whole industry a bad name. But at least it made you stronger

this free bird said...

hollar! i'm a christian and see all the same things. i'm not a perfect person, but i'm also not trying to pretend to be one. that's the point. if i get mowed over by one more dolly do gooder...

thechyrelgomez said...

Religion breeds hypocrisy. I'm only a Catholic by default.

David L Macaulay said...

a well written and thought provoking blog Jennifer, as always, helps explain why I don't do the blog thing. BTW - couldn't access your bad thing on FB link

David

Twenty.Something said...

Intense post! So incredible and deep... and so true. I completely agree with you in so many different ways. Religion is often hard for me to swallow because I believe there is just so much else to life :)

Alicia said...

This is one of my biggest pet-peeves. I went to school with somebody who went to church and youth group all of the time and consistently preached abstinence and waiting until marriage and very openly berated those who dared to choose different decisions than she did. She had an older boyfriend who she was *not* sleeping with, so why do other girls have to do that to make themselves feel cool?!

Our senior year she totally got knocked up.

Nobody would have been mean to her about it if she hadn't gone out of her way to guilt everybody else all those years.

Courtney Erin said...

This was a wonderful post -- and I loved the Saved reference, scary shit.

xoxo ~ Courtney
http://sartorialsidelines.blogspot.com

Nadine2point0 said...

Whaaawww. Loved this post. Cheers to the points you made. My inlaws claim to be such strong christians, small c, yet they are some of the most manipulative, selfish, and hypocritical individuals I have known. And I have known them half my life.
Being good is a path you choose on a daily basis.

Ton Amour said...

I love you more than life.

Elisse said...

Oh - interesting post! I'm a big believer in people being genuine. And that includes admitting mistakes and not being perfect. None of this other hypocrisy.

Lee Oliveira said...

You are a great writing, very interesting post. I totally agree with you about change. You, yourself, create your own destiny.

Lee
x

Christopher said...

I think the problem is that people don't realize that church is just a social institution like any other. It may aspire to higher ideals but the reality is when you get a bunch of people together some of them are going to have big egos and be petty, you can't escape it.

Now I think I want to write yet another post on religion tomorrow. Also, great imagery in this piece. I have no idea why, must be the taboo nature, but sexually suggestive imagery that has to do with religion is very appealing to me. I'm such a heathen.

Veronica said...

Wonderful pics!
Nice blog!

Follow me? I'll be very happy if you do it!
Thank you so much!
www.cipollainspiration.blogspot.com

Marta on cocogroove said...

I think religions make people weak and they don't let human race advance. When religions extinguish, the world will be better :)

YUI said...

this is really a great post!
i agree with you, keep being religious :)

♥ Monica ♥ said...

beautiful pictures dear!!

www.fantasiedifolletto.com

Mony

Joanna Paulsen said...

Very very good point here!

http://theythinkimtooyoung.blogspot.com/

Fashion Cappuccino said...

Your post brought me back memories from my highschool. It is so true how some people use religion to take advantage of other people or push their own agenda. I went to a Catholic school even though I was a Buddhist (it's a long story! I'll tell you more if you want to know!) and I was one of a very handful of foreign students and I get bullied by girls. They were horrible! It's hard to believe they were Christians sometimes. I really like what one of the commenters said about finding the church of minding your own business. I wish people are more secure about themselves instead of tearing someone down! xoxoxoxo

a woman's right to shoes said...

What a great post! Well written and honest and beautiful. You are a very talented writer and I am always enjoying what you write about =)

Imogen said...

I am so pleased you wrote this post because I couldn't agree with you more. Everything you wrote is like it came from my own mind. Of all the things that annoy me in life this issue is one of the most. I am very familiar with it and I know many people in this situation because I went to a Christian high school. I still can't believe how people say they are religious but are drinking and smoking, generally being nasty to others and pretending and just because they think they are saved. I want real people, people who say who they are.

Cafe Fashionista said...

I seriously love you for this, Jennifer! There are so many phonies and hypocrites amongst us in society; the real key is unmasking them and finding the ones who are true. :)

Diego R. Wyatt said...

Great post. Much like the sidewalks of Manhattan, the world (and its churches) are littered with knockoffs, counterfeit personalities. It is scary at times that people profess to uphold certain belief systems and really have their own agenda like you wrote. Religion is man-made and is flawed. Thankfully all religious people are not like that.

Best,

Diego
www.howtozipyourfly.com

daisychain said...

you seriously write THE best posts x

love jenny xoxo said...

amazing post, definitely true! Actions speak louder than words...

XOXO

http://lovejennyxoxo.blogspot.com/

Fashion Nicotine said...

Great pictures, especially the third!

Alicia said...

P.S. I just passed an award on to you (although I think you already received it in the past) so swing by and pick it up!

MG said...

Let's talk about it. I could help you write a book on this topic. I've seen some of the worst of this throughout my private religious schooling. Sad but true fact, usually the 'religious' are the worst.

tanvii.com said...

You are a fabulous writer Jen. I am not religious. I do not follow any norms. I believe in doing good and not hurting anyone intentionally. But I guess there are all kinds of people and while you cannot tell them what to do ... you can only be true to yourself. Great post! :)

Nina said...

Wow gorgeous!!

loves Nina

Venus In Virgo said...

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Go to the post and pick out the lipstick shade you want and i will be emailing you with the info on claiming your prize so have the shade you like picked out!

CONGRATS! Have a great weekend XOXO

Style, She Wrote said...

Awesome post! Thank you for preaching tolerance! xo style, she wrote

Audrey Allure said...

I haven't actually met anyone like that, but I can definitely see someone like that acting that way. Totally agree with your last paragraph!

Ari Suci Rahayu said...

nice post
love it

xoxo
chia

OceanDreams said...

girl this is one of the best posts i have read on religion and i truly mean that. i've tried to tell people what happened to me {why i took 3 months off from the blog land} and this is exactly why. i had supposed friends that hid behind their Christianity {and I'm a Christian too and I never claimed I was perfect} and used it to tell me that i was the sinner and i was going to burn in hell. it hurt like nothing ever hurt before - as you said, nothing can save you from yourself, except, in my opinion loving others, loving yourself, and loving God and leaving that between you and God, not forcing your beliefs on others at their expense and pain.

josyp said...

Hi!

Totally love your blog especially this post!! It's so original! I love the pics!!

...would really appreciate if you check out my blog and maybe follow each other?

http://mypretty-pinkjournal.blogspot.com/

That would mean so much!
hope to hear from you soon,
jos xx

Ella said...

I looove all the pictures on your blog! Lovely!!

Cátia said...

wow I loved this!!



xoxo
http://LotteryHolly.blogspot.com

this is me. said...

i love this post. whether it's religion or something else, putting up a front really is a question of someone else's self-esteem and insecurities. it's sad, but many find it hard to be comfortable with their own skin because society has helped raised people to always go with the norm. good for you for standing up for what you believe in and being comfortable with who you are.

Michelle said...

fabulous blog my dear. thanks for the sweet comment on the blog :]
now following your blog its darling.hope you'll follow me

love m.
acupofm.blogspot.com

The Candid Observer said...

I really love your blog.
Your compliment about my photography made my week!

Oh and nice to meet you.

Cheers,
Avery

Faith J. said...

This is a great post! It makes me sad when people turn their back on God just because people are hypocrites. My goal is to follow God and not be a hypocrite, to bring him glory, and not give up because "it's too hard." I know I won't be perfect but I will keep showing love to others!