home / Tori Stories


Tori talks about Christianity

There has to be a part of us that's either in alignment or not alignment with some kind of Divine Law. Now, who am I to quote Divine Law? It's not anything that we have written down on the planet. But we all know that if you take another person's choices away, we've crossed the line. That is the line. And you know, we all know it. Anybody on the street knows it. If they take somebody else's life, or if I slap you for no reason, I've just crossed, I've just taken your choices away. And instinctively we know that. Now, I think a lot of it depends on - no matter how Viking I can get, you know, with my battle axe and stuff, there's something innate in my upbringing in this lifetime that was, as far down as it may be, "Love your neighbor as yourself." The karma that that brings you. If you break divine law, you go against the harmonic structure. [Baltimore Sun - January 1994]

I think God needed a babe and I wasn't busy. And yes, I feel capable of telling him a few things because I don't buy the "I'm not worthy" concept. I respect that he was a master teacher, but I'm walking my path. Most people, especially most fundamentalist Christians, don't have their own light. I think I understand very clearly what being your own master is. I haven't mastered that but I thought that's what Jesus was talking about. Any of these organized religions are not teaching about being your own master; they're teaching you how to be mastered. I'm not here to take away what gets them off. I'm like, "Go knock yourself out. If you want to go speak in tongues and shake, hey go for it. But I've got a date with big G, and I think he's got some problems, so we're going to talk about it." I don't see myself as unworthy of having disagreements with the structure at all. I think it's necessary and I think all the sexual guilt that has been put in Christianity is debilitating. That's how you keep a people divided....

You know, the greatest problem in Christianity has been the division of lust and love - the division of passion and love. People have a very hard time having their baby suck their breast and then sucking their man off later. They have a very difficult problem of being whore and mother in the same household. There shouldn't be a division of the Magdalene and the Mother Mary. You know, Mary had other kids after Jesus. She "did it." God forbid, she spread. People have a hard time with these truths. [Nuvo - July 1994]

Let's be honest, religion has not supported women and men exploring all sorts of their sides, their unconscious. It has not been supportive of, you know, go into the places without shame, without blame, without judgment, and just let yourself really see what's cooking in there. [WXRV, Boston - January 30, 1996]

Some people think I need to be arrested. In general, there are extreme responses to metaphorical works because there's so much room for interpretation. You know, I come from a heavy theological background, my father having his doctorate in theology and both his parents being ministers. Christianity is just one of many mythologies - and it is one of the homecoming queens, let's face it - so you'll find that within most of us. Whether it's commercials or Disney or whatever, people use mythology to get you to feel guilty or ashamed or strong or afraid. Because I work from that place, it stirs people's innate belief systems. Sometimes they hate me for it, because it's much easier to blame me than admit that they're a pig. [The Georgia Strait - July 18, 1996]

The whole idea about religion is it's an institution that makes you feel like a group, but actually fosters separateness and hierarchy. So that if you're not part of this, then you don't have anything. America does that. British football does that. Being an Italian male. Being Islamic. So many people have a belief. Almost every culture, every 'group' - quote, unquote - has a way it wants to perceive things. And when I write songs, the Christians feel that because I'm not speaking the way they would like me to, that I don't believe in God, that I'm not part of the Christian formula. But being a minister's daughter, I know it very well. If you're brought up with parents who are painters, you probably see everything in light and shade. I can smell a rat real quick when someone tries to tell me their way is the way. And see, I don't think my way is the way for everybody. [Rochester Democrat & Chronicle - August 28, 1996]

I think the institutions teach you what to think, not how to think, and I'm a big believer in a person having a choice in how they express their belief. I run into Pentecostals all the time ... a lot of them are my friends, and they say, "Tori, I hope you find Jesus." I say, "How do you know I'm not having a margarita with Jesus tonight at 10 o'clock?" [Roanoke Times Online - October 8, 1996]

You can't change what's made you. Religion is a huge part of why I write the way I write, and why I think the way I think. There are people I know who have become Christians from a different place - because they believe in Christ's teachings. Well, I have no idea what it's like to come through that particular door, because I know the shadow of the Christian church. I can't see Christianity like someone else. [Highlife - May 1998]

Basically, the church is saying that a woman doing the real stuff, the stuff we do, doesn't create special boy prophets. What does that say? Christianity has no penis. Think about it. If we're saying that this deity gave life through Mary, there's no semen. Where's the penetration? Where's the insertion? Where's the union? There's no man and woman to create this Christ being. Christian men have got to talk about the penis because they've got one, and they're using it. But that's the problem with Christian men - they haven't known where to put it! The shame that they cast on women - "You tempt us to do this" - that's because they don't think they have the right to put their penis somewhere. So they've taken the sword and gone from country to country, slaughtering people to believe in Christianity. I don't see a lot of "Love your neighbor" when I look at the last 2000 years of Christianity. [Alternative Press - July 1998]

The Christians think they're the only ones - when they say God, it's their God. I don't see the divine force as these religions. I think these are all demigods... I don't hate Christians. I just have a problem with what they haven't claimed - the dark side of Christianity. If Jesus were alive today, he certainly wouldn't be a member of the Christian church, because, in the name of God, there's a lot of blood on the ground. And correct me if I'm wrong, but that isn't exactly "Love your neighbor as yourself." [Jane - October 1999]

Sometimes I think the Christians really misunderstand. They think I don't like them and... it's not that at all. It's that there has to be a place where you don't dishonor my spirituality and I don't dishonor yours. And this need that a few of the religions have had to no matter what take over, even if they kill - That really isn't "Love your neighbor as yourself" as far as I'm concerned. This is what I say to the Christians, and they get really upset: Jesus would not be a Christian right now, okay. You guys have got to own what you did to the indigenous people of America, first. Big shadow. [Charlite Rose (PBS) - October 19, 1999]


t o r i p h o r i a
the World of Tori Amos
www.yessaid.com