Before you gasp, judge me, then hate me it’d be pretty sweet if you allow me to explain why your first impression is wrong.
This brand isn’t just any other brand curated by young people with an attitude on the Internet to me. It’s a manifestation of some thoughts that I had while growing up in a small closed-minded town in Texas.
I was brought up primarily Christian. Catholic to be exact. I was baptized at a very young age and my parents tried to take me to Church every Sunday as well as drop me off to an after school Church program during the business week. I think that the first time I had wayward thoughts about my religion was one Sunday when I got up early, put on my Sunday best, and went to my parent’s room to tell them that we’d be late if we didn’t go to Church soon. To my utter shock they were still sleeping and told me nonchalantly that “We aren’t going to Church today.” Just think of a tiny naïve Priscilla walking back to her room to think about what she just heard.
At this young age, I believed that religion had a no excuses policy. I thought that we were a passionate family of the Catholic religion, and that if we fully and truly believed in something we would practice it everyday. Not make easy excuses when we didn’t feel up to it.
Fast-forward a couple of years. I was in Intermediate school (Grade 4-5) when I noticed that some things were off in our routine based around God. I actually took the 10 commandments to heart, so when I heard my CCE teachers talk badly about something a kid wore (one day I wore a bindi because it was pretty and they told me to immediately take it off wtf and this happened multiple times to other kids with different apparels) I couldn’t believe it. It was morally wrong to judge others so shallowly, but even more erroneous for a mentor to judge so shallowly. I noticed that my Church would do nothing but ask for donations. People fell asleep during mass and those around them were okay with that. Some people only went to Church on Easter or when a family member got married, but they still called themselves Christians. All of this to me was dishonorable.
It’s a personal problem, but if you dedicate yourself to something, if you have the audacity to preach it to others, if you take time out of your life to attend something related to it, if you utilize it for milestones in your lifetime, if you carry down your beliefs to those that look up to you, then you should be fully dedicated to that subject. Not easily cast it aside when you get too comfortable.
I’m not blaming my parents at all for my change of religion. They did what any sound parents living in a small town would do at the time. They wanted me to have some kind of structure in my life that included me learning about what was morally and ethically right and wrong. I actually thank them for putting me through Church for so many years. If it weren’t for their efforts I wouldn’t have found peace today.
When I got older and became more out-spoken I really saw what was going on around me. I was wasting my time at Church events that did nothing but repeat songs about Jesus, prayers, and scriptures that had no connection to anything that we were supposed to be learning that day or any other day. I remember my last after-school event with CCE. It was supposed to be a huge gathering with games, food, and Jesus. I came in and sat down for an hour while the 4 mentors went around asking for donations and trying to figure out how we should kill time. Which in turn introduced a board game that they tried to somehow figure out a way that 30+ kids of a wide age range could play. I was thoroughly done with anything to do with Church after that. I realized that I shouldn’t have trusted these people with my time, money, and efforts. They didn’t know what they were doing at all, but if they talked about Jesus even for five minutes then they’ve done their job.
Again, it’s probably a personal problem, but I hate wasting time. I could have been doing my homework or something else productive with that wasted time. I learned nothing about “The Word”, my love for God never grew, I never truly understood the meaning behind prayer (save that it’s selfishly asking God for something without you giving equal compensation), I didn’t gain any fellowship because the Church failed to organize anything of the sort, and I started to detest the way the Church was structured.
I will never understand why people pray before sports games. I can understand that you want the persons participating to be healthy and not get hurt, but I WILL NEVER understand why you would pray to God for your team to win. This actually happened before every game of soccer that I was in, before every marching band competition, before every baseball game that I played in, and I’ve even seen it happen too often before auditions.
I will never understand the importance of repeating the Hail Mary, the Lord’s Prayer, Apostle’s Creed, Our Father, and Glory be to the Father until each Rosary bead has been blessed. It started to seem like I was being brainwashed after I reminisced over how many times I’ve had to stand in a hallway with the other kids in CCE until we’ve went through the whole rosary each day after school.
I will never understand why some people think that God is obligated to answer their prayers. I seem to see people asking for prayers on social media the most when someone is in dire need or in critical condition. Why does God owe anything to you? That’s just too selfish for me to comprehend.
I will never understand how “faith” is a viable answer everytime I ask a Christian a difficult question about their religion. “How do you know that God actually exists?” “I can feel Him.” “How do you know it’s not the air conditioning?” “I just know that it’s him!” “What if it’s some other spirit?” “It has to be Him!/There are no other spirits.” “What about the holy spirit?” “I just have faith that it’s Him.” You mean: “I just stopped thinking because this question is too hard, please ask me something easier about my religion like where I bought my cross necklace.”
I will never understand why people “Thank God!” every time they pass an exam, quiz, test, etc. Real excerpts from my Facebook newsfeed:
Thank the Lord! I just got accepted into ____ and it was all because of Him!
I’m so happy that I got ____! The Lord does amazing things!
I just found out that I passed my ____ exam all thanks to the Lord!
Like wtf. How many tests does God study for!? And I thought I had it bad being a double major… It doesn’t make sense to me to thank an invisible entity for your efforts. You stayed up into the late hours of the night with focus and determination to get the grade that you wanted. God wasn’t chugging down Redbulls and sacrificing his/her beauty sleep for good grades.
I will never understand how you are obligated to “love thy neighbor.” I’m not gonna love a child molester, nor forgive them for their actions. I’m not going to feel obligated to love someone who is radically racist. Actually, I’m never going to feel obligated to love someone at all. Only I can dictate who is worthy of my love and acceptance. I am very accepting of diversity of course, but I don’t want to be part of a group who prominently and shamelessly slanders homosexual people.
You could say “Well Priscilla, not all Christians are like this.” I completely understand. I know that humans are multi-faceted beings. No one is exactly the same as the other, but I would rather not be part of a group that contains leaders who are more than willing to shamelessly slander diversity (aka promote unfair diversity.)
Then you could say “Well Priscilla, you’re part of some religion right? What about their wrong-doings?” Religion is a life style and I’ve chosen to do no harm to others unless they do it to me. Treat others how you want to be treated. If someone had me at gunpoint and told me to choose a religion I’d say “Taoist” because it’s pretty close to my beliefs (I also believe that you attract what you put out. Positive thoughts and actions = positive lifestyle.)
Then you might say “What about your Christian friends? What do you think about them?” Actually the majority of my friends are what I like to call “hardcore Christians.” They are all about that Jesus life and I don’t mind. They’re not bad people, they don’t shove their beliefs down other people’s throats, they’re intelligent, and have pretty rounded lifestyles. I think they’re awesome and that’s why they’re my friends.
You could sit in front of your laptop and play keyboard warrior trying to defend Christianity from what I’ve pointed out, but it won’t change my opinions at all. What happened to me happened to me. It’s in the past and I’ve learned from it. It’s helped mold me into the person that I am today (you should take that sliver of positivity and run with it if you were inclined to the introductory idea.) You could tell me that there are better Christians out there and I will believe you because I’ve met a lot myself. You could try to persuade me into your religion, but I’ll probably just get super pissed off at you for having the audacity to do that in the first place. If you want to change something about me then try something that might actually occur. Like teaching me how to sleep.
Maybe I’ve expanded enough and I can now move on to how all of this ties into BlackCraft Cult.
One of the main ideas behind the brand is to believe in the worth of yourself despite what you hear from those who oppose your lifestyle. I don’t even want to think of all the heartbroken people out there who have chosen an “alternative” lifestyle just to have it immediately deemed an ignominy. I don’t think it’s right for someone or a group of people to judge another as useless, stupid, or incompetent because they don’t share the same beliefs or lifestyle. It happens all the time if you think about it, but really believing that someone is a heathen for not liking God or for wearing too much black or for not listening to the same type of music is ridiculous.
[Side story: I used to wear black all the time during junior high because I was comfortable in it (I had social phobia) and I would get constantly teased about it. “Why do you wear black all the time?” would be repeated throughout class until I finally gave a fu*k and asked them why they always wore the same brands as everyone else.]
I know that there are some people out there with “alternative” lifestyles that try to shame others that have different interests and beliefs, but I haven’t been exposed to the extent that it’s occurred to me in this type of situation. Personally, I would be teased for liking metal and Asian music, for wearing black constantly, for not smiling for no reason, for not talking much at all, for being so quiet, for reading books about dark subject matters or just constantly reading in general, for not enjoying huge get togethers (I have synesthesia), for not being out-going enough, and for many other reasons that I could write a whole dissertation on.
To me, BlackCraft Cult is a true manifestation of the thoughts that I’ve carried with me for years. I’ve learned that if I want something done I have to do it. I’ve learned that I can’t trust anybody because humans make mistakes and some don’t have the capacity to hold trust in the first place. I’ve learned that no one can make me happy unless I allow myself to feel happy. I’ve learned that I don’t like wasting time on things that won’t help better myself. I’ve learned that I can choose who I allow into my life just as easily as I can choose who I want to leave out of it. I’ve learned many things, but the most prominent thoughts have coincidentally been actualized onto a clothing brand. How neat is that!?
I had a hard time choosing which shirt I wanted lol:
I initially wanted this one because I love the line “believe in yourself.” I seriously have to say that to myself everyday. Whether it’s regarding my studies, social interaction, or my hobbies. When I feel like I can’t read and won’t understand 60 pages of Logistics and Supply Chain Management material for my quiz in the morning, I just tell myself that if I spent more timing actually trying and less time convincing myself that I suck then maybe I could learn the material. Also I recently picked up the ukulele. If I can learn French then why can’t I learn something else~?
This is the shirt that I actually bought. I love how simple yet profound the line “Create your own future” is. It’s so true. If you’re going to be self-loathing then you can’t expect your future to be that bright. If you love yourself for everything that you are and accept the negative things around you as something you can build positivity on then you’re gonna have a good life. 🙂 Also, if I want to be an ukulele player then I need to practice and believe in myself that I can do it 😀
I also received a free shirt from a promotion that was going on that has a moth on it with the words “Don’t pray for us.” It’s so hardcore and I love it! (See first photo)
Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored!