Sad movies are the reason I don't believe in God.

I only realized this tonight.
When I was really involved in the church (teenage years) I loved the feeling of being really emotionally charged. Like I could change the world. I loved the feeling of walking out of a youth service in a Wednesday night like i was walking on air. Like I had the world figured out. Like I was invincible. Like anyone could say anything to me and it would bounce off me and turn into rainbows.
Eventually I figured out what was going on. I would go to a service, get really emotionally involved with what was going on, go home, and soon feel exactly the same as before I went to the service. I was incredibly unhappy as a teen. I even tried to end it all once. I wanted church to be my way out.
One year, at church camp, I decided to not let myself get caught up in the emotional part of church camp. If God wanted to move in me he was really going to have to MOVE in me. I wasn't going to let myself be swayed into the emotional pit then wonder where it all went shortly after.
Ya know what happened? Nothing. I went to church camp. Felt nothing. Went home exactly the same. Nothing moved.
Sad movies are exactly the same. They are emotional predators. I went to see "My Sister's Keeper" tonight. It was pretty fucking sad and when I left I felt eerily similar to when i would walk out of a church service! I felt like I needed to call my ex-boyfriends to tell them things I've wanted to say for years!
Justin: You're really nice and I'm sorry I cheated on you.
Steve: You're an idiot for getting back with your ex-girlfriend and I can't believe you're going to marry her and expect it to work. You're the reason I've been single for the better part of 2 years.
Ryan: You're creepy.
Jeff: Grow the fuck up.
Alex: I don't want to date you. I just want to sleep with you.
Justin#2: You're an asshole. I like musicians. If you weren't musically talented I would've dropped you long before you could tell me you can't date me because I'm an atheist.
The correlation between church and sad movies is the emotional manipulation. You're duped into feeling a certain way for a period of time but soon enough you're back to your normal frame of mind as if nothing ever happened. If a true act of God ever moved through me I think it would have a more lasting effect. Church preys on your insecurities. That's why there was a separate service for the teens. Our demographic was an easy target. Being duped is a good way of stating it. Looking back, I definitely feel duped. I don't cry at sad movies because I get a similar feeling of being duped.
Maybe I'm just jaded.

Views: 43

Comment by baddy on July 1, 2009 at 8:18pm
Love this post! I especially like the brutally honest ex's rant. I feel the same way about some of mine.

Sometimes I like getting swept up in sappy movies. Other times, I think they're a total load of crap and they make me lulz. You're right though, it's all about controlling your emotions. Religion preys on that. They try to tug at your heart strings.
Comment by Bakari Chavanu on July 4, 2009 at 8:46pm
Well, it seems to me that religion and art often play on our emotions. They're both narratives that use very similar devices to gain our attention and attempt to leave an impression upon us. With movies, we should know the construct and respond accordingly. Some movies will make us sad because they convey something about life that is sad but yet needs to be explored. While religion, on the other hand, is inherently manipulative and too many people don't understand or see its constructs. The only way for religion to maintain a hold on believers is that it must appeal to their fears and their longing for a better life. But as we all know, religion is the wrong premise in which to find happiness in life. We each do it differently.

As for sad movies, I just watched Frost/Nixon, and by the end of the movie I was actually feeling sorry for Nixon. But later on, the critical thinking side of me kicked in and I realized that the kind of man Nixon was, what he did, and what happened to him was very tragic. Extremely tragic. He helped cause the death of many, many people. That is indeed is sad, but I can't allow myself to be sad for him. That movie can make us sad, but more importantly it should make us understand how destructive power can be and how humanity must keep power in check. That's getting beyond sad, and thinking more rationally when rational thinking is very much needed.


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