I don't discount your troubles and experiences. It is true that religion is used as a control device by those in power. It is also true that Jesus spoke out against the power structure set up by the Pharisees and Sadducees. That is precisely why He condemned them. It is also precisely why they crucified Him.
In my own experiences, there are many examples of religious abusers. My uncle who kidnapped me was a member of a protestant church and often spouted doctrine about how God did not intend for boys to be raised without a father. The high school friend who set the stage for me to be saved also made passes at me. I realize he had been and was being abused by a youth pastor. A college roommate of my brother in law that went to the same religious (no alcohol, smoking or dancing) college I did is now in prison for molesting kids from his church (where he was a pastor), a high school were he taught and a basketball team he coached among others.
However, I also know two friends of my brother have went to jail for molesting their children. My brother raped a 7yo girl before killing himself. All three of them only entered a church for weddings and funerals and never sober. The general morals on the streets I grew up in were you got off on anything you could stick it in and get away with.
Perhaps one reason for more religiously devout persons being in prison for sex crimes is that the surrounding persons are more horrified by the actions.
For my own experience, Jesus Christ is the only one that I can cling to and He will be there. He has kept me sane and alive. He has comforted me in sorrow and lifted my head from my shame. Following in His ways the best I can (I am NOT perfect) has led to me being educated, married and a father of three.
I don't mean to be confrontational about this, because I understand your viewpoint. Many have raised the flag of faith and doctrine and behind the veil have done evil. God has a special place in hell for them, it is written, both for deceiving and leading astray God's flock and for harming little ones.
Edited by catfish86 (02/25/10 04:47 PM)
God grant me
The Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.