I grew up with a very negative sense of self which lasted for nearly 40 years until I engaged in serious psychotherapy and spiritual awakening.
That negative sense of self came firstly from my immediate and distant ancestors who had themselves being indoctrinated in the very crooked and dysfunctional form of Christianity that we call Roman Catholism.
In fairness, most other churches were as bad.
We were led to believe that:
The BODY was the bad part of us – and
The SOUL was the good part of us.
We were brainwashed into believing that our genitalia were dangerous to our spiritual wellbeing and nearly always a source of sin.
We were told that virginity and celibacy were the greatest of virtues and that marriage, which would not exist in heaven, was nothing more than a guard against “concupience” and a “necessary evil” for providing the World and the Church with new members.
Masturbation, which every normal human being engages in, was a mortal sin.
I was told more than once in the Confessional that every time I masturbated I destroyed 300,000 possible souls.
For the Church of that time and before, the whole human being was in the sperms and the woman merely provided the oven the bread was made in.
As a teenager I knew the very dark corners of every Confessional in the 1960s Dublin.
Years later, a priest I was counselling said to me:
“They wouldn’t let us get rid of our semen and it went to our heads and made us fucking mad”.
The priest was right.
So we were all the victims of Western Christianity and Roman Catholicism.
If you were lucky it turned you into a neurotic.
If unlucky it turned you into a psychotic.
How many thousands of Irish people ended up in mental hospitals, not suffering from a mental illness, but suffering from Christian-itis or Catholic-itis, we will never know.
The famous Irish author Tim Pat Coogan once pointed out that Ireland had been colonised by two forces – the British, politically and the Romanists religiously and morally.
In 1922 we got rid of the Brits from most of our island.
In 2022, a hundred years later, we are well on the way to getting rid of our Roman colonisers.
And it can’t happen a day too soon.
PHILIP LARKIN ABRIDGED
They fuck you up, your priests and nuns.
They mean to, and they do.
They fill you with the guilts they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style veils and black.
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.
Religion hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t spawn any clerks yourself.