On Christmas eve, just simply another time for me to sit alone and remembering all those memories years ago when I was at home.
* * *
I was born as Christian. Both of my fathers, both of my mothers, my both sisters and younger brother are all Christians. I was raised with Christian values. I learned how to read from Bible, even before I started my first year in elementary school. Since six years old, I was required to read at least one chapter per day. I has to pray when woke up, before eating meals, before going to school, before sleep and for any kind of activities.
Christianity is the core value for our family. It seems like we weren’t able to do anything without helps from Jesus.
My first school, was a Christian elementary school. A conservative Lutheran-Calvinist school where all the students has to go Church every Sunday and shall reporting it back on Monday. I used to have a book where the worship leader will be signed on it before I handed to our teacher of religion’s subject. Those who abandoned this rule, will received some kind of punishment. Your grade on the religion subject will be reduced and for sure you will get physical punishment as well.
Guess what, I was a nice kid who never failed on it.
So it was not a big surprised for my family when I started regularly to be a “prophecy speeches” during Christmas worships since my second grade. I remember how proud both of my parents back on those days. To become a “prophecy speeches”, required one abilities to read and memorize certain verses from the Bible regarding the prophecy of upcoming messiah called Jesus. That was a valuable opportunity and an honor for the entire family. That’s why, both of me and my sister were always trying to be elected as part of it. We were spent days practicing the verses because we both realized that there was no place for mistakes. And when the day comes, we will stand before the members of congregation and starts delivering our part of the prophecy.
It goes for years.
Those thing above were the reasons why nowadays, years after I decided to stop reading Bible, some verses are still stuck on my brain. Somehow, I still can easily spitting out those words. I can proudly say that I am good enough till now if you were looking for someone to exercise your faith on Christianity. I can be both: your partner for discussion or the evil who are going to pushed you down to hell. After all, Bible was the first book that I’ve read. No regrets.
I grew up within Christians community where it was the majority in my hometown back then. In my tribe, all the members are Christians, specifically Lutheran-Calvinist. None of us were Moslem, Hinduist or Buddhist. My hometown have great numbers of churches from different sections of Christians. Catholic and Protestant, both are competing one to another on whose church better than others. The more glorious and rich you are, the more Christian you are.
* * *
In 2003, I decided to throw off my Christianity and started my journey as religionless person.
I stopped going to church, withdrawing myself from any kind of religious activities, turned away from Christian community around me and at some points I waged criticism towards it. Since then, going back home was never be an option. I was clearly know that my parents will be there questioning my choice and seeing their faces of frustration was not on my list.
I moved out and lives in different places where I found myself was acting as an anti-Christ hardliner. Sex, drugs, alcohol and political activism were my options. I thought that, by doing those things I was putting myself beyond normative Christians around me whose were ignorant towards social and political issues. I was using all knowledge that I gained to attack other Christians’ friends, debating their believes and publicly humiliating their religious stance before public. At this time I believed that all Christians or those religious people in general were blinded by irrationality, dogmatism and chained by their inabilities to raise a question towards religion.
At the same time, I keep pushing myself to learn more from different corner of knowledge’s source. I learned how to write so I can use it as mirror for self-criticism as well as tool for keep waging war against Christianity and of course as defense mechanism regarding financial issue. Writing articles, poems and theater scripts helped me a lot where it was also a way to survive as one who left home behind.
Before later I found that being anti-Christ was actually a form of my self-frustration towards Christianity. Being a hardliner of anti-Christ simply showing how I was deeply attached with Christianity and hardly to move on from it. As simple as you turned to hate someone that you used to love. Anger and hatred were signs of how I was still love to be Christian and failed to detached myself from it.
It took more than five years before I realized that moving forward was the best and the only way.
What happened in the past shall not to be regretted. It made who I am now and at some level it contributed on shaping my thoughts, my values and my personality. So, I should thank to my family who taught me so well to be a good Christian. Though I am no longer a Christian nowadays.
But Jesus was and will always be one of my role model. He was a communist, mate.
That’s why I were always missed Christmas. It gave me time to remember all my childhood memories, my teenage mistakes and the time when I was a hatred (lover) of Christianity. Christmas always succeed to brought back all of those, both good and bad one. Christmas also a moment for me to realized that I missed home so much. I missed all the foods, all the members of my family and of course all the stories that we shared during it.
For last four years, I was always missed the time to meet my family on Christmas. For many different reasons. Mostly because I was stay far away from them. Going back to hometown was not so simple. Just like this year. I decided to go somewhere else.
And I always playing that song below to remember each single Christmas that I missed.