Friday, February 22, 2008

"That would be so God."*

I was raised Baptist, of the “Footloose” sort, in the little-known South Jersey Bible Belt of fundamentalism. I survived a childhood fraught with the emotion of altar calls, and worries that the Rapture would take my parents and leave me behind. But I went to a secular college and left my strict upbringing as far behind me as I could.

I attribute years of therapy to my relative mental health regarding religion. Shalom Auslander mentions his therapist early in Foreskin’s Lament, but it’s possible that he needs even more therapy…he is a funny, sarcastic, insightful, and EXTREMELY bitter writer.

I almost didn’t start the book last night – I have three others I am halfway through – but it’s a seven-day library book and I really REALLY wanted to read it (because Jessa loves Auslander, so I want to, too). Once I started it, I had a very tough time putting it down. If it’s possible for my kindred spirit to be a lapsed Orthodox Jewish author, then Auslander is mine. He GETS how fucked up religion in its extreme form can be, and what havoc it can wreak on impressionable young minds, and like me, he also questions why any sane, caring adult would subject their child to the mindfuck that is fundamentalism in any form.

He and his wife refer to his childhood religious experiences as “theological abuse.” I know EXACTLY what he means. I want to email him and say, “Yes! Yes, I get it, and you are so right, and oh my fucking God, ME TOO!”

**************

*Shalom Auslander, Foreskin's Lament

6 comments:

paula said...

You should.

Email him I mean.

Validation is sometimes the best thing you can give someone.

Dawn said...

You should email him!

Have you seen this video on Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/Foreskins-Lament-Memoir-Shalom-Auslander/dp/1594489556

Sarah Louise said...

Totally email him!

Kim said...

Footloose is my favourite movie of all time.
ALL.TIME.

Hungry in LA said...

Have you read "Jesus Land" by Julia Scheeres? It is truly amazing what adults can justify doing in the name of God.

nutmeg said...

Have you read Joe Bageant's Deer Hunting With Jesus - there is a chapter or so on this stuff too. This was an eye opening book - though being a reader outside America it's hard for me to know how much of it could/should be refuted - but a very interesting read anyway. [I had never heard of "The Rapture" before I read this book!]