There was a moment early in my life when my innocence was clutched away from me.
I was only 6 years old in early 1984, Our school was having their annual Easter parade. Everyone had wonderful hats made for them by their parents. Mine was a flashy little pink number my dad had put together for me. A little big yet, still, it did the trick as we walked around our bonnet parade.
Earlier that day, one of the teacher aids had come along to help with the afternoons festivities. He was from the local parish in the small town we lived in at the time. At one point I found myself in a quiet room with him. I was asked to help gather some extra seats for the parade. He kept telling me how cute I looked in my uniform.
At one point he asked me if I liked sweets. My face lit up with excitement as he pulled out a small white paper bag of sweets. Before I would be allowed to have one I had to perform a special request. He quietly unzipped his pants and exposed himself to me. I remember being shocked and scared at what was in front of me but he told me the only way I could have some sweets was by licking his little friend.
If I didn’t do what was asked of me he said God would be unhappy that I disobeyed his orders. Being raised under a strict Catholic household and despite thinking it was wrong I went ahead as requested because even my own parents told me God sees everything and he will punish us if we don’t do as we are asked.
I look back at this photo every now and then. It is a constant reminder of everything that is wrong with religion. Over the next 6 years more things would happen to me that increased my dislike for religion.
If you have children of your own, then always make sure you have open communication lines with them. Even to this day my parents find it hard to deal with the things that happened to me. At the time I feared God would be angry if I told anyone so I kept it all to myself for almost 25 years.
Now I ask myself, if there really is a God, why would he let human being do what they do to others?