Are you as angry as I am?

I left my hometown at 18 and never looked back. However, the anger I felt back then lingers nearly 20 years later.

A Childhood Oppressed by Christianity

Back home, Christianity permeated everything. I went to a public school but you would never know it. Sometimes religion was discussed in class. Teachers had religious symbols and posters in their classrooms and there was almost always a prayer at school functions and events. I couldn’t breathe.

I spent a lot of my childhood planning my escape but at the time I didn’t realize how many other children were affected by the oppressive Christianity.

LGBTQ Loved Ones in the Closet

I have since learned that I have many LGBTQ friends and family that spent years – decades even – in the closet living in a place where it’s unsafe to be yourself. I couldn’t imagine the pain and anxiety of being in that situation.

The people I know of are now out but how many more are still trapped in the closet?

Angry in Toledo

Living in Toledo is much easier than living back home even though my hometown isn’t far away. I prefer living in an urban area where my daughter will experience lots of opportunities and diversity.

But still, I get angry in Toledo, too. Many Christians are very outspoken here and it’s hard not to be offended. It’s the Midwest and judgments are never far away.

I’ve held on to this anger for years and recently found poetry to be a good outlet.


I want to hear about your anger. Tell me I’m not alone.


  1. says

    I am beyond anger.

    I am at the point where I need to take care to keep hate focused on beliefs, bigoted manner if thought, and actions because hating whole people is a problem.
    My culture not only decided that LGBT+ people weren’t a natural part of the species and had to be suppressed, they’ve done the same thing with differences in personality that amount to diagnoses like adhd, tourette syndrome and autism.
    My family won’t talk “politics” so I do lots of general overt shaming on facebook, practicing expressing anger, hate, and disgust if their behavior. They’re perfectly natural feelings to express and they’ve had a monopoly on them for too long.

  2. publicola says

    It does you no good to hold on to your anger. It will eat you alive if you let it. It will poison your life and leave you bitter and heartbroken. Not only that, you will transmit this poison to your daughter. Show her that you and she can rise above it. If people are hurtful to you, shrug your shoulders, say “OK”, move on and don’t look back. If you let them get to you, you’ve given them control over you. Don’t give them this power! YOU have the power to deny them–use it! Think of how wonderful it will feel to look at them and know–KNOW– that they CANNOT hurt you! It is a truly liberating and life-altering experience. Remember what Eleanor Roosevelt said: “No one can harm you without your consent”. Peace.

  3. says

    I don’t know that we’re necessarily angry about the same things, but I’m angry at society. Specifically, the way DV victims are treated by police and others who (we’re told) are there to “help”.

    What good is it when you talk to the abuser, but not the victim?

    What good is it when you brush the victim off and tell them “we can’t do anything.”

    And what good is it when the abuser never faces consequences?

  4. says

    @publicola 2
    There’s nothing wrong with admitting to ones self that one can’t use anger and so should try to let it go. I don’t actually believe our society is very good at honesty about what emotion and feeling are. As a result we get politically shallow views about them.

    But I don’t believe it’s true that anger or even hate is a “poison”. It’s powerful certainly, but not all of us are incapable of using them as tools. They exist and are useful so there are things worth hatred and anger. Beliefs, ways of thinking (bias that produces bigotry), and actions that can be tied to harm are good choices. Whole people aren’t good choices, or groups in most circumstances* since the group and the hated features aren’t rationally connected to the group in bigotry.

    There’s no shoulder shrugging with me and I fail to see how what you are saying is helpful in the long run. It seems related to gaslighting.

    *absent groups defined by hate worthy things like slavers are

  5. TGAP Dad says

    Having grown up in the Toledo area, I know the popular attitude of the area well – a cosmopolitan wannabe with a stubborn streak of small town exclusivity/bigotry. I lived in Temperance, just across the state line, which has turned hard right into Trumpian dystopia. I’m pretty sure I’d be run out of town, if I hadn’t left for college decades ago.

  6. lanir says

    I’m sorry this took me awhile to think about and respond.

    For the most part I’ve actually gotten over my anger at religion. It wasted too much of my life on nonsense that was worse than useless. That was actively harmful to me and everyone involved with that ugly, gruelling shit show.

    I was raised by pretty authoritarian parents who largely did things for their own convenience. They sent me to 12 years of catholic school from 1st grade to senior in highschool and they always said it was because it was a better education than public school. But we lived in a small town. A catholic school in a small town is just a small school with very limited resources and by it’s nature it must waste a considerable amount of those resources on make-believe nonsense that doesn’t do anyone any good*.

    The people I was around, both the children and most of the adults just didn’t act much like they said they did. Religion mostly just seemed like a mantra to keep away their own boogeymen so they never had to actually confront how awful they were actually acting. Which is weird considering how much of catholicism is associated with guilt. I think because it tries to give you so many nonsense reasons to feel guilty you can kind of ignore the real ones. If you have some original sin just for being born then maybe it takes the sting out of doing something actually wrong because it’s just more of the same thing. And participating in the religion is portrayed as a good thing, so you can begin to make up for it not by actually doing anything, but just by selecting yourself into a group.

    I was angry for a long time over dealing with all that hypocrisy and nonsense. But what still gets me angry is the moral argument. Generally speaking, people who are religious portray themselves and their religion as moral. It’s like a math problem where you assume something is true because it’s a given. There’s no justification for it. There’s just lies and bullshit and the oldest PR campaign in history. And in order to distract from how meaningless that really is, they need a boogeman. They need me and you and people like us who aren’t part of their in-group. They need to point at us and say we lack some moral quality, that we are frankly less than full, functioning human beings. The groups that ran the Spanish Inquisition and caused the Salem witch trials must say we’re all one convenient step from acting like savages, that nothing really stops us from committing murder. The groups that engaged in the human trafficking operation of the Magdalene laundries and knowingly, willfully shelters pedophiles** in their ranks says there’s nothing stopping me or you from raping and stealing from our neighbors. The groups that engaged in more human trafficking and cultural destruction among native americans would hold themselves up as pillars of civilization while you and I are the immoral barbarians at the gates.

    And these are only the easy, hard to miss examples I know off the top of my head. Petty cruelties and injustices carried out under religious auspices or justified by religion are fairly ubiquitous. This is what still gets me angry. That large groups of our fellow human beings casually and thoughtlessly support vast, organized harm to humanity so they can get a pat on the head and a few good feels now and then. Once you start to see this picture I don’t know how you can ignore it but many do. They still go to their church even after finding out it chooses to harbor pedophiles among them. This is the great hypocrisy of religion. Like any of it’s adherents it must pretend to be operating with only the best morals even when it is not prepared to invest in acting out such high moral beliefs. Because if it ever stops doing so it must confront what it’s actually done. And much of that is disturbingly mean, petty, and harmful. Without giving itself this automatic pass, religion crumbles under the weight of it’s own moral hypocrisy.

    * I say religion doesn’t do anyone any good because it doesn’t change who people are. No one really cares about others because some story says they should. It just gives them a pat excuse for why they act that way so they never have to think about it too much. And it gives cover to those who do not care about others because they get to slap the same label on themselves and pretend they act the same even though they rarely if ever do.

    ** Pedophile technically just means someone who has an attraction to children but I’m using it here in the more common meaning of someone who has taken action on that attraction. We don’t choose our attractions but only our actions, whether subtle or overt, cause harm to others.

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