I grew up in a small town and my household was pretty conservative. My Mom and Dad 'liked Ike', didn't fully trust President Kennedy, after all, he was Catholic and I was kind of raised as a Presbyterian.
I didn't grow up in the part of America known as the Bible Belt, but I lived in the part where religion did get shoved down your throat, plenty. My parents believed in spankings and I felt the sting of the lilac bush's branch often. I was a wild child and willful, so my parents said anyway, so I'd get a yard stick and a good old fashioned belt when needed.
That religion part of our lives always baffled me.
For years we were Presbyterian, until the only Presbyterian church in our small town closed due to lack of a minister. After that, my Mom announced we 'would now be attending the Methodist church.' It mystified me how religions could be so interchangeable but Methodists we became. I always, there after, felt like an 'adopted' Methodist. After all, those faithful Methodists had been attending the church forever.
One of the things I now had to do, was attend the Methodist summer Bible school. I hated that two weeks every summer with a passion. Those 'popular, Methodist' girls all had a small group and I was that damned Presbyterian outcast. I guess I was a bastard in their church as far as they were concerned. They picked on me something wicked and I was not impressed with how 'Christian' those little bitches were.
We also had a Baptist church in town and I ended up marrying one of those Baptists. He turned out to be a rat bastard, so I found out Baptists weren't great and wonderful either. I guess Baptists believed in capital punishment too, and the rat bastard apparently believed in it for his wife too.
One little girl, in my third grade class, was the daughter of the Methodist minister. I remember saying: "Oh, my god" once on the playground and that girl smacked my face. She promptly told me I was taking the lord's name in vain. Well, how in hell did I know this in third grade? She was such a stodgie little girl, wearing fancy dresses and never uttering a curse word in her entire little life.
Here I am, an adult, still wondering: "Religion, what is it?"