This is a two-part article which may be difficult to follow,

but I hope will make sense in the end.

While I know that Jesus rose from the dead, I have to say that I don’t respect religion very much, and for one reason:hypocrisy.

You see, I was never accepted, even as a child.  I talked about that to the pastor’s wife a couple of days ago, and the suggestion was that I somehow had something to do with it-as a child.

Let me tell you about the last grain of sand which pushed me too far and let me tell inform you how I crawled out of the grave.


It was early 1983 and I had been severely bullied by Christians for years.

I was on the brink of suicide when I found this man, the former frontman of Elf; the former frontman of Rainbow; the former voice of the notorious Black Sabbath.

My soul was crawling and crushed by what the Children of the Cross had done unto me, as they spat at me, sabotaged my schoolwork so that the teacher never saw it (we had to pass it forward in those days).  I usually had to do the same assignment twice-and that was before I had even gotten to the homework assignment of that particular day.

I wonder if that had happened to Ronnie, too.

I had never made a friend in the Church, not even as a small child.  I was always the outcast in the House of the Lord, which was why I was so drawn to Rainbow, to Sabbath… Ronnie.

By the time I had left North Valley Lutheran Church, it was too late.  The transformation had begun, as the pastor had blamed me for my own afflictions and said he had no time to help me.  It’s funny, but I was told that I was to blame for my own experiences by a pastor’s wife as we conversed on the phone last weekend; that I was making excuses for what happened to me in those years.

Holy Diver was released in 1983, and I was already past the point of decision before I had even heard the album.   It was just a matter of how I was going to try and become successful at the ultimate symbol of failure in life, because that’s how the people at Church made me feel.  It’s possible that he had felt the same way, because he spoke about ‘always being smacked in the head by the nuns with a ruler’.

That will deter your faith-no matter what religion you’re born into.

Yes, I felt like the rainbow in the dark, for sure, and this is why I struggle with my beliefs nearly forty years later.  It’s not that I don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died and rose from the dead.  It’s that God the Father ever gave a damn about me in the first place-and I am not the only one.  Before he changed his name, Ronald Padavona experienced something in the Catholic Church which made him go somewhere else in his later life.  However, I watched this video of Ronnie and Wendy Dio in Volgograd, Russia, shot in 2005, I wonder if he struggled in the last five years-I mean, I really have no idea, as it seems to me someone who has no interest in God would wish to enter His House.

I guess I’d have to ask someone who knew Ronnie on May

16, 2010.

I was given the news by a friend of mine from Sylmar High School, a fellow metal guitarist by the name of Kari Simon, whom I had met in guitar class.  Time stopped at that moment, because Dio’s  office was Ventura Boulevard and I lived on Sherman Way-less than five miles away-and I had always wanted to thank him for getting me out of Hell.

It’s possible that I’m doing that now, because he told me that I just needed a little hand, because he knew I could feel the hot breath on my shoulder.


Because of Ronnie James Dio, I will never say this at the end of my life.


“Dreams are what we are.”-RJD

Looking at this man’s face still shakes me-even eight years after his demise from stomach cancer.

While religion nearly brought me to the brink of suicide, this is the man who told me to hold on; that a better day would come, and that I wouldn’t be the last in line anymore, but rather…the first in line.

Lastly, the struggle I face is in becoming rich so that I can find love, but what does Dio tell me-even now?


“Love isn’t money.  It’s not something you buy.”

Here is where I move on into the second part of this article, and you can read what Dio wrote above.  I move into a different part of this article, because it is what I am struggling with right now in my personal life.  Who is there to guide me through this?From beyond the grave, it’s Dio-and the lyrics are right above.

That’s funny, but I could have sworn that the Bible states the same thing about love and courtship.

While the pious tell me I have to make good money (as hard as I have tried since I graduated from high school), I have never had much luck-even my sister told me that I am one of the hardest workers whom she knows, as I have worked in a Goodyear, dug ditches, worked with those who have autism and have been brutally attacked (both physically by my charge and mentally by his father)

Genesis 2:18 

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

Hm.  Nothing about money there.  Let’s look somewhere else.

1 Thessalonians 4:7 

For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.

Nothing about money there, either.  This is not looking good, is it?


Ecclesiastes 4:9 

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

Gee, you mean things like: HE DOESN’T MAKE ENOUGH MONEY?

Proverbs 31:10: “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

Hm.  Suppose I am a poor man who only has a small bank account because I have a damaged spine and a screwed up shoulder.  I have a bachelor’s degree, but so what?

1 Corinthians 7:9 New International Version (NIV)

But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.


Something isn’t right here, and it’s quite understandable why people like Ronnie James Dio felt the way he did about hypocrisy.  Love isn’t money, but there are a lot of people in this country who delay marriage so that they can afford to be husband and wife.  

Meanwhile, what happens?  Everyone ends up sleeping with everyone else.


 from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.

1 Corinthians 7:9 New International Version (NIV)

But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

Romans 14:13-23 English Standard Version (ESV)

Do Not Cause Another to Stumble

13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.

This leads us right back to:


1 Corinthians 7:9 New International Version (NIV)

But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

Money is a stumbling block which causes sexual immorality, isn’t it?  What did Christ say about issues like that in Mark 9:42?


New International Version
“If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.


The hypocrisy of organized religion was what transformed Ronald Padavona into Ronnie James Dio.  

He understood my experiences with religion unlike any pastor whom I ever knew, and I never met the man personally.  I only knew him through his music and his interviews-and I learned that Ronnie Padavona experienced what I had, which is why he became the great Ronnie James Dio, the last in line and the first in line.

If some of this article escapes your understanding, you can thank the pastor’s wife for that, as we had a very nasty conversation a few days ago, and you read the gist of it.  

I still reel from her words, as she was not there to experience what I did.  She did not deliver me from suicide, but Ronnie James Dio was one of the people who did.  He was probably the strongest influence in my life at that time.  

I couldn’t talk to my old man, because all we ever did was fight.  I still have trouble with God, because of Acts 1:8:

New International Version
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”


So, since she blamed me for being bullied and since she blamed me for the feelings which I have carried for all of those years, does that mean the Father is also like this, too.

I’d love to ask Ronnie, but I’m not totally sold on the “power” of Ouija boards.  All I can do is thank him for being one of the most important people in my life during a time when I tried to end my life for lack of hope in any future.  After all, Ronnie James Dio was the dad I never had.



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