I get really irritated with people blaming religion for things. I've read it in several places recently—blog posts, articles, Tweets. Religion does this or that to people. Religion keeps people repressed in all sorts of ways. Religion is awful, essentially, and screws people up.
Here's the difference: Religion may do those things, but God doesn't.
Religion was created by man. Religion is the manner in which you worship or believe, and it's a set of rules and traditions. It's an earthly system created by fallen people. Of course it's going to have flaws. We're human. And most of us are lousy ones, at that. When you put the religion up on a pedestal—religion and the people who are in charge of it—you're going to be disappointed.
Humans make mistakes. Humans misinterpret things. Humans look out for their own best interest sometimes, even when they're supposed to be looking out for others. It's how we are. It's awful.
One thing that I read recently said that people are sexually repressed because of religion. I'll bet that's true for a lot of people.
But you know what? That's not on God.
Have you ever read Song of Songs in the Bible? It's a whole book about how awesome sex is! It's a married couple talking back and forth about sex. What they like about the other's body, how they long for each other when they're apart, how awesome sex is when they're together.
God invented sex. It's intended to be fun and awesome.
But humans have a tendency to go overboard. I mean, even Solomon (who wrote Song of Songs and was the wisest man who ever lived) had, like, 700 wives or something. And 300 concubines.
That was not God's intention. That totally came from a dude's brain.
So humans went to the other extreme. Some, like the Shakers, wouldn't allow men and women—even husbands and wives!—to sit next to each other. Or sleep in the same bed. Or procreate. For reals.
That was not God's intention, either. I'm not sure who thought that was a good idea. That's why there are only three remaining Shakers. Three.
When you're not sure what to think about Christianity, go to the source—the Bible. God. Don't take someone's word for it. Don't rely on this denomination or that to tell you what's up, since they all have different ideas and (man-made) rules set in place. Go straight to The Book and see what it says. I think you'll be surprised.
And, actually, you may be most surprised by the freedom it has for you. Not oppression.