1. I apologize to all the homosexuals. I am sorry that I believed in a religion that condemns you. I am sorry that for many years I thought that the bible was right in it’s condemnation of homosexuality. I am sorry that when I no longer thought the bible was right about homosexuality being a sin, I did not raise a gigantic stink about it every Sunday right in the middle of the sermon… week after week after week… until the church issued a restraining order against me and I could no longer come within a hundred feet of the sanctuary.
2. I apologize to everyone on the face of the earth that has not accepted Jesus christ as their personal savior because I believed that you were all going to hell. This includes Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Pagans, Environmentalists, Democrats, Movie Stars (especially Tom Cruise), Scientologists, University Professors, Physicists, Geneticists, Europeans, Women’s Studies Majors, Feminists, Millionaires, Billionaires, Hippies, Atheists, Agnostics, Astrologers, People who read their horoscopes, People who watch Bay Watch, Vegetarians, J.K Rowling, Bill Gates, All High-School Biology Teachers who teach evolution and P.E .Teachers who teach a yearly unit on sex-ed..
3. I apologize to all my former Sunday school students because I taught you that the bible was the word of god. I perpetuated a myth that the bible is a special book that should be regarded ‘much more highly than it ought’. I encouraged you to trust this book, to think this book contained sacred ideas about life and god. I made you think that the stories in the bible were intrinsically valuable and could teach you about how god works and who god is. I apologize for always referring to god as a ‘he’, thereby further anthropomorphizing a pretend deity and making you think ‘he’ was real and decidedly masculine. I apologize for teaching you to think that you were a sinner and that Jesus had to die for you when you are really just a beautiful child, perfect in every way from the minute you were born (except for when you aren’t). I apologize for telling you that Jesus conquered death and that you should put your trust in him when there is not a shred of evidence of the resurrection except for what is in the bible. I apologize for not respecting your intelligence and glazing over thorny issues and rationalizing all the bullshit that is so present at all times in ‘god’s word’. (I apologize for saying bullshit in this apology). I apologize for ever calling the bible ‘god’s word’. It isn’t ‘god’s word’. It’s just a book. There are a lot of other much better books. There are books that helped humanity move beyond misogyny and slavery and tyranny. There are books that led to scientific discoveries which led to medicine and helpful machines and made the world a better place. None of those books are in the bible. In fact, the bible helps people to justify misogyny and tyranny and slavery and the bible made church leaders fear science and so they burned scientists and doctors and smart people because what those smart people were learning was often in direct conflict with what the bible and the church taught. I apologize for not telling you that the bible and christianity are two of the main reasons that it took people so long to move from tyranny into democracy, from slavery to human rights, from cruel religious mandates to civil law. I hope someday you will figure that out for yourselves in spite of what I taught you.
4. I apologize for giving money to the church. I apologize for helping to support and pay for a building that stands empty six days a week. I apologize for giving my hard earned cash to pay an enormous utility bill on a mostly empty church building. I wish I would have given all that money to alleviate real human suffering. To purify drinking water, to build a third world hospital, to educate a child living in a slum, to improve an orphanage, to further research on diseases, to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, heal the sick, reform the prisoners, but instead so much of my available funds have up until now, been sucked into a huge building that gets used once a week by wealthy over -fed Americans who get upset if the sanctuary is not adequately cooled in July.
5. I apologize for believing all sorts of mad things that are seriously messed up and incredibly hurtful to my fellow humans. Things like god causes the sins of the parents to punish the children and the grandchildren (which some christians use to explain birth defects). Things like excusing the extra creepy stuff in the bible (slavery, misogyny, genocide) based on ‘historical context’ instead of just insisting that it was wrong back then and it’s wrong now. I apologize for things like teaching the stories of big bible heroes like Abraham and Jacob and not insisting that taking a slave for a wife was a hideous violation of human rights because having a slave and then raping a slave and then fathering children with a slave is no way for anyone to EVER behave even if you are a BIBLE BIGWIG. I apologize for thinking it is okay for god to ask a person (Abraham) to murder their child to prove their faith and even thinking that if I really loved god, I too must be willing to murder my child if god asked me. I apologize for things like thinking that I had ever done anything so terrible… so horrible.. so AWFUL to warrant someone else to have to die on a cross for me. (Hey! I am far from perfect, but no one should have to be tortured and slowly murdered for my eternal salvation).
6. I apologize to my kids for being a passive aggressive christian mom. For saying things to them like ‘”if you are lying to me, god knows. He knows you are lying so you better not be lying because he knows. God knows everything. Are you lying? Because if you are lying god can tell. You can lie to your mom but you can’t lie to god. God sees everything. Are you lying? You better not be lying to me because even if I don’t know – god knows” … etc etc etc…
7. Finally, I apologize for allowing my faith to numb my response to the problems of the world. So when there was injustice, or crime, or pain, or hunger, or illness, or ignorance, or war, or greed, or tyranny, or slavery or abuse, or addiction, or pollution, or natural disasters – I believed that god was taking care of it and I didn’t really have to do anything… (except pray). Because it was god’s will… and god was using these bad things to teach me compassion… or patience… or that satan was ‘the ruler of this world’… or that we should forgive… or god was ‘perfecting’ us… or ‘disciplining’ us. (Boy! god sure disciplines the hell out of Africa doesn’t he?) I was taught that all you have to do to get into ‘heaven’ is accept Jesus as your savior. You can do good things if you want, but good deeds are not getting your ass into heaven. So why would I bother helping out? My ass was already saved!
For all these things I am truly sorry and I most humbly repent…
AND plan to make changes, repair damages and do the hokey pokey and turn myself around.
So Be It,