My grandmother walked me to a church when I was four years old. I was left in Sunday school, and Grandma went home. I walked home when it was over. I came through the door, Grandma asked me what I thought of the experience, and I said, (I didn't believe a word of it. We children were told three of the most unbelievable stories I had ever heard. Religion was new to me. There was no religion in our house. When I learned how to read I begin studying the subject. From every angle, in every book I read, I felt it was all stupid. How could anybody believe this crap. It was a business, a very nasty business. It was used to try to control the unwashed masses. More wars and more deaths are caused by the church. I just could not take it and keep my mouth shut about it. I quickly learned that it wasn't a good idea to openly say,(you're all morons if you believe that crap!) I became very knowledgeable about the bible. I've noted the absurdities, the contradictions, and historical incongruities. I use to employ this when confronted by a zealot, sending them away dazed, confused and full of doubt. It ceased to be amusing to me so I resisted the temptation when I could, and saved it for people who tried to shove their beliefs down my throat. When I came back from Vietnam I felt nothing, believed in nothing. Nothing, not faith, not love, not patriotism,the American flag. Hate and rage were my only feelings, and I did my best to control it and tried to fake like I was a normal person. Next time Ill talk about death and dieing.

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I wish that I could have had your clarity when I was young. Unfortunately, I ended up being brainwashed for 21 years before I saw the light. I guess better late than never. I look forward to reading what you have to say about death and dieing, for me that topic is still hard for me to think about.
Thank you for your reply, Lisa. My first contact with death was when I was4 years. A car tried to beat a train. The car lost. At the age of six I saw a 6 car accident which killed three people. In the lead car a little boy was sitting in the front seat next to his dead grand mother. I begged him to get out of the car fearing a a gas explosion. As a photographer I,ve had countless encounters with death both with victims and myself. I was never knowingly afraid of death. During Vietnam I had so many close calls and knew I wasn't going to leave there alive. We use to joke about it, it one sure way to shorten your tour. We just accepted and didn't worry about it. One minute there was a live guy and in seconds he was gone. Nothing stopped. When I came home I was messed up and it took thirteen years to figure out what the problem was. Part of me did die over there. Death moves on a person so fast they don't know it's coming, of course some do, I've been holding their hands or cradling their heads at the at the moment they expire.I hope there is enough space for this. People are afraid of death because it is the greatest unknown of all. When you die only two things can happen, something or nothing. In either case it means nothing. We know atoms survive forever so in that sense our elemental substance goes on,....but not as a whole, and not with any life that exisited before death. Quick death is completely painless, because our mind has a mechanism that protects us from the pain. I've had several heart attacks and went into cardiac arrest. No pain at all. No bright light at the end of the tunnel.We will all die sooner or later, we all know it but are to afraid to discuss it. If you are unfortunate to live to long, you'll be glad to die. To outlive your family and friends is much more painful than death itself. Visit some nursing homes. It will teach you a lot. There is much more to say, but tomorrow is another day. I hope I didn't scare you because my goal was to comfort you.
I wanna know what your grandma said when you told her that you didn't believe that stuff.
I just finished answering you, then lost it. Granny was cool. She asked me what stories I heard. She laughed when I told her and said I could never believe them either. So ended my first and last day at that church. At age 14 my parents made my brother and I attend a Luthern Sunday school. Around two or three months the Pastor visited me to inform me that our teacher had quit teaching Sunday school and quit coming to church. He went on to say he was taking over the class and wouldn't be taking any shit from me. I told him if I can't speak freely I was done with the church. It always came natural for me to resist authority based on ignorance. Thanks for asking(:

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