I read Falling Up DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL by Melody Carlson published by Multnomah. This book was written well but has a very unnerving message that is going out to the most vulnerable of our kind, the youth. It deals with the subject of using God to deal with high stress situations as well as using God to push religous morals onto other individuals. The specific topics in this was teenage pregnancy, getting married while still in high school, following certain career paths, and some other subjects that can easily bring in God. For importance in the book I will focus on those subjects mentioned.
Kim, after her mother had passed away, found out her best friend Natalie, called Nat, was pregnant after she had sex. Kim also had a boyfriend who choose for education instead of immediately jumping into his art interest. Kim was very uncontent at her friend and boyfriend for making their own persoanl choices. Kim felt as if she knew her friend Nat would regret getting an abortion because of the way she acted after loosing her virginity. After she had lost her virginity Kim and Nat became more distant. Another factor that caused them to be less talkative to one another was the fact Kim had just lost her mother. Kim had also became distant with her boyfriend because of the situation with her mother.
Kim began struggling with all the stress that started occuring due to the situations she faced. She was beggining to question if she was loosing her religion when she went to Florida to visit some relatives. She had this powerful religous experience and became enlightened with what God had planned for her. When she returned she began telling Nat and her boyfriend how they should do what god wanted them to do. In Kim's mind God wanted her boyfriend to choose what God had intended. God had intended for people to choose there career and shoot for there dreams instead of making a logical plan that would in turn lead to success. Kim was dissapointed because her boyfriend had chosen to go away from her and he did not have the same beliefs as her therefore they broke up because of a religous conflict. The relationship was very healthy and had no other reason to dismiss, except religion and God's intentions.
Kim was also dissapointed with her friend because Nat wanted to get an abortion instead of handling the stress of handling school and telling others about the baby. Kim began to shun Nat for her sudden change in beliefs about abortion now that she was pregnant without intention. Kim was very harsh to Nat about her devious thinking and how she should turn to God for answers. Under pressure to be a good person for God, Kim told others about the pregnancy. Nat and her previous boyfriend who impregnated her decided they were going to get married and have the baby. Kim was happy they didn't abort the baby but dissapointed that they were going to get married at such a young age. It was not what God intended.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a religous person, I believe we should make decisions in the benefit of ourselves as well as others. I think that Kim's boyfriend made the right choice by going to an excellent college before jumping straight into art because we know art is a very competitive field. Its like being an athlete. If your only talent is being an athlete, what can you fall back onto once your career is over after only a decade or so? I think he will do great in his field even if it didn't please the deity many of us believe in. Sometimes pleasing the deity is just a way to put off the issue and meet only our personal needs. As for poor Nat, it is our human tendency to have sex. We are meant to reproduce and continue our existance. It is ok for people to have sex at age seventeen or even earlier in some cases because that is obviously what we want to do. This deity prevents us from doing what comes naturally to our bodies. Religion inflicts the urge to resist our natuaral tendency leaving us emotionally distraught until we find the right one to raise children with. Then if someone has sex they feel dirty and wrong because they are bashed by people like the protagonist, Kim, in this story. The message becomes something like the following: God didn't intend for you to have sex, you should have waited. I strongly disagree with that message this book is trying to push. If I ever return to being religous again I would not use God in such a terrible mentally disturnbing way. Kim lost her friend and boyfriend because she was to ignorant and selfish to see the needs of others and be supportive of others when they most needed it.
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