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Songs of Sacrilege: Religion Ruined My Life by Brian Ritchie

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This is the latest installment in the Songs of Sacrilege series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a song that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please send me an email.

Today’s Songs of Sacrilege is Religion Ruined My Life by Brian Ritchie, of Violent Femmes fame.

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When I was five years old, I walked out of church and
got hit by a car.
I suffered a brain concussion and was put in the
Many friends and relatives visited me there and brought
lots of cool presents.
Then Reverend McKenzie came bringing a boring coloring
book with bible stories.
I thought to myself, “If this man is in touch with God,
would he bring such a lame present? No way!”
My Mother says I was never the same after that day.

Religion ruined my life, Hallelujah, religion ruined my
Well I’m traumatized, permanantly scarred, hoisted by
religion’s petard

When I was twelve, my famiily switched churches because
the one were attending wouldn’t admit black people.
In Sunday School I would ask questions like, “How did
they fit two of every species on that boat? There are
no boats that large.”
The minister told my parents, “He’s causing doubt.” I
became the first child to be expelled from the church.
When I realized my religion wouldn’t let blacks in and
would kick a boy out,
it set me on a path of antisocial behaviour, which
landed me in jail within three years.

Religion ruined my life, Hallelujah, religion ruined my
Well I’m traumatized, permanantly scarred, hoisted by
religion’s petard

As an adult, I thought I was safe from religion.
But when I was 26, my wife took all the money I had
saved from years of touring with the Violent Femmes and
went into hiding in Jamaica.
I didn’t see my young son for five months. She came
under the spell of a Rastafarian con man and the money
We’re divorced now. She’s into Hindu and says she’s
raising my four year old boy to be a great spiritual

Religion ruined my life, Hallelujah, religion ruined my
Well I’m traumatized, permanantly scarred, hoisted by
religion’s petard

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Series Navigation<< Songs of Sacrilege: Bruised and Bloodied by SeetherSongs of Sacrilege: Midnight Choir by Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers >>


  1. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    Wow! Bruce, happy Mother’s Day to you, Polly and the family. I’m sitting here in my evil small town, on a bench eating ice cream, and began reading the lyrics to this latest ” Song of Sacrilege,” almost dropped my spoon,lol. These lyrics really sum up how toxic churches can be. I can SO relate, though not a rocker. Where’d you find this. ?? I haven’t thought of the Violent Femmes in decades. .As I sit here reading off my phone, I hope no ” Karen’s” in the area report me to the cops for my momentary rest from chores. Truly, I can say that religion, churches, and God himself are how I wound up where I am today. It won’t stop me from reading my Sunday papers at Taco Bell a little later on,lol.😁

  2. Avatar

    Pretty much appropriate. Pastors talk about demon possession and all sorts of fanciful notions, but if you ask questions of substance like details concerning the practical legitimacy of stories like Noah’s Ark or are we truly doing things according to the Bible then you are most likely on a one way ticket to being made unwelcome.

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