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Shinobi

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Posts posted by Shinobi


  1. 9 hours ago, willybilly30 said:

    I am glad you had this place and could write it...I think it was therapy for him and He needed to release his hurt and anger. I wish I knew what to say...I did not really know what to say to him and remembering it I told him...He said"You are helping alot by just listening to me.." Thing is no one he knew in town  would listen so, he never got to release his feelings. My friend was the turning point for me in my deconversion. Imagine believing so strongly in a helpful God and Having such a good friend say that. I have read news articles, met people in these situations, and Now, I think were the hell is God....I am glad you are here I know it will help you. 

     

    Hi, willybilly30.  Your friend was absolutely right.  Just having someone who will take the time to listen to you can make all the difference in the world.  I've never really met anyone who fully understands what my family and I have been through - it's one of those things you almost have to go through yourself to be able to relate to...  However, the few people I knew who just took the time to listen and offer their friendship and support during my time of need really helped me more than they'll probably ever realize.


  2. Thanks for the video @Faithfulless!  I really enjoyed it, and it really makes me wonder how often hypnosis techniques are actually used in charismatic services.  I really think you might be onto something with this!  By the way, I had to show the video to some of my friends.  The girl who kept calling herself Bob and the guy who forgot where his mouth was just really blew my mind! :D


  3. Hey, everyone.  I found the original Camp Meeting 97 video on YouTube from which Fweethawt's clip was taken.  I just thought I'd post it here in its entirety for anyone who might be interested in watching it.  It appears that the laughing manifestations start at around 37:00.  

     

    Edit: After about five or six minutes of watching this, I was completely creeped out...  It's very hard for me to believe that there are so many grown adults who have actually fallen into this kind of thinking, who engage in this kind of behavior, and who embrace these kinds of belief systems. It's actually kind of scary.

     

    Kenneth E Hagin Campmeeting 1997 072197 Learning to Flow with the Spirit of God

     

     

    • Like 1

  4.  

    Would it be logical to regard fundamentalism as a mental illness or the attributes that leads one to it?

     

    Hi, MOHO.  You bring up a really good point.  I'm not 100% sure what the answer is.  However, I'm personally of the opinion that religious fundamentalism may cause mental illness over time.  I found a study that seems to indicate that this might be the case. In an article titled, "Religious Experiences Shrink Part of the Brain," found in Scientific American, author, Andrew Newberg, writes, "In this study, Owen et al. used MRI to measure the volume of the hippocampus, a central structure of the limbic system that is involved in emotion as well as in memory formation. They evaluated the MRIs of 268 men and women aged 58 and over, who were originally recruited for the NeuroCognitive Outcomes of Depression in the Elderly study, but who also answered several questions regarding their religious beliefs and affiliation. The study by Owen et al. is unique in that it focuses specifically on religious individuals compared to non-religious individuals. This study also broke down these individuals into those who are born again or who have had life-changing religious experiences. The results showed significantly greater hippocampal atrophy in individuals reporting a life-changing religious experience. In addition, they found significantly greater hippocampal atrophy among born-again Protestants, Catholics, and those with no religious affiliation, compared with Protestants not identifying as born-again."

     

    Basically, this study may indicate that radical religious experiences such as being 'born-again' might actually cause hippocampal shrinkage in the person who experiences them.  If this is in fact true, it might help explain some of the erratic behavior that some members of religious extremist groups exhibit during services, etc.

     

    Here's the link to the article: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/religious-experiences-shrink-part-of-brain/


  5. Hey, everyone! A post recently made by @Fweethawt reminded me of an article I read that discusses the possible connections between religious fundamentalism and mental illness.  According to an Oxford University researcher who specializes in neuroscience named Kathleen Taylor, religious fundamentalism may one day be treated as a mental illness.  I just thought some of you might be interested in checking this out.

     

    Here is an excerpt from the Huffpost article where I found this information:

     

    "An Oxford University researcher and author specializing in neuroscience has suggested that one day religious fundamentalism may be treated as a curable mental illness.

    Kathleen Taylor, who describes herself as a “science writer affiliated to the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics,” made the suggestion during a presentation on brain research at the Hay Literary Festival in Wales on Wednesday.

    In response to a question about the future of neuroscience, Taylor said that “One of the surprises may be to see people with certain beliefs as people who can be treated,” The Times of London notes.

    “Someone who has for example become radicalised to a cult ideology — we might stop seeing that as a personal choice that they have chosen as a result of pure free will and may start treating it as some kind of mental disturbance,” Taylor said. “In many ways it could be a very positive thing because there are no doubt beliefs in our society that do a heck of a lot of damage.”

    The author went on to say she wasn’t just referring to the “obvious candidates like radical Islam,” but also meant such beliefs as the idea that beating children is acceptable."

     

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/31/kathleen-taylor-religious-fundamentalism-mental-illness_n_3365896.html


  6.  

    These people vote... As atheists, we mostly control our own minds. Not a single strong minded person would ever fall for this shit.

     

    But religious people will do it all day, every day.

     

    https://streamable.com/4occw

     

    Hi, Fweethawt.  I must say that this was one of the funniest things I've seen in quite awhile.  How completely embarrassing!  Are these people for real?  It almost makes you wonder if they don't have a few screws loose to begin with.  I can't think of a single mentally stable person that I personally know who would act out like this at home or in public without being under the influence of hardcore drugs or the like... 

     

    Anyway, you are absolutely right when you bring up the fact that it's scary that these people can vote... It pisses me off that people like this are taken seriously at all by anyone.  Unfortunately, in our modern society people like this are not only taken seriously, but they are given positions of authority and power in our cities, places of government, and schools.

     

    This might sound harsh to some, but I'm of the opinion that people like those featured in your video should be under some sort of psychiatric evaluation.  If anyone acted out like that in regular society without the safeguard of the church, he or she would be forcibly committed. Here is an article that I think you might be interested in checking out.  It is titled, "Kathleen Taylor, Neuroscientist, Says Religious Fundamentalism Could Be Treated As A Mental Illness."  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/31/kathleen-taylor-religious-fundamentalism-mental-illness_n_3365896.html


  7.  

    I know I'm a bit delayed in reading this, but I am absolutely heartbroken for you, your sister, and all those that this has affected. This is so many different levels of fucked up too, like it's preacher man/congregation fucked up, it's husband/wife fucked up, it's parent/kid fucked up...it's fucked up that justice can't be served, it's fucked up the that other men accused your sister of lying, it's fucked up that your dad's relatives would shelter him from his own consequences....I cannot imagine this, a father is supposed to be the one guaranteed man to love and protect his daughter. 

     

    This infuriates me, fills me grief, overwhelms me with compassion, and makes me want to march down to any generic city hall and have a bitch fit. I am so very sorry you've had to go through this and I hope you are finding healing.

     

    Agnostic, you are right on so many different levels. I could probably write ten pages about the different feelings and thoughts I've had as they regard this whole situation. There were times after the bottom fell out when I literally felt like I was losing my mind. I can only imagine that my sister felt the pain tenfold. My eyes were opened up to so many different hypocritical and painful things regarding church, religion, family, community, and society in general that it was almost too much for me to take. Even though I didn't immediately lose what little faith I had in God, I was never able to look at anything that was connected to the church in quite the same way again. Eventually, I lost my faith completely, and it's safe to say that between all the pain, confusion, and anger that I experienced as it concerns my father and the church's actions as well as the many personal, emotional, and intellectual breakthroughs I made after leaving Christianity behind, I could never go back to being a Christian again even if someone held a gun to my head and told me to convert or die.

     

    I am doing a whole lot better now. Believe it or not, this site has played a huge role in the healing process for me. Even when I wasn't actively posting on here, I could come here and read the different stories that other people had posted as they concerned leaving Christianity behind. Just knowing that there were other people out in the world who understood some of the pain I had been put through really helped me to cope. It helped me to not feel so alone...


  8. There's a huge and very important reason that I didn't post this in the "What are You Listening to?" section of the forums.  Every last one of you who are using this site will probably be able to relate with every single word that this man has written.  I don't care who you are, this will hit you on a deep and personal level - I can almost guarantee it.  Please take a few minutes from whatever it is you are doing and listen to this song.  I've honestly never heard anything so bold, raw, and honest in my entire life...  

     

    Ill Mind Of Hopsin 7

     

    It's us, mind power
    Live life, mind power
    It's us, mind power
    Live life, mind power
    Yo, fuck anybody I might alarm
    Life is a tour, I sit and ride along
    Taking some notes and then I write the song
    I'm staring down the road my life has gone
    Is this where I belong?
    Is it wrong to not believe in right and wrong?
    My mental state is fucking me up
    And I cried upon while asking you for some answers
    But we don't have that type of bond
    Now my desires gone with the way that I've been living lately
    If I died right now, you'd turn the fire on
    Sick of this bullshit, niggas call me a sellout
    'Cause I hopped on Christianity so strongly then I fell out
    Now I'm avoiding questions like a scared dog with his tail down
    Feeling so damn humiliated 'cause they looking at me like I'm hellbound
    What story should I tell now? I'll just expose the truth
    I'm so close to the fucking edge, I should be close to you
    But who the fuck are You? You never showed the proof
    And I'm only fucking human yo, what am I supposed to do?
    There's way too many different religions with vivid descriptions
    Begging all fucking men and women to listen
    I can't even beat my dick without getting convicted
    These ain't wicked decisions, I got different intentions
    I been itching to get it, I've been given assistance
    But the whole fucking system is twisted
    Now I'm dealing with this backlash because Marcus isn't a Christian
    And I've been told that my sinful life is an addiction
    But I can't buy it, it's just too hard to stand beside it
    I need an answer and humans can't provide it
    I look at the Earth and Sun and I can tell a genius man designed it
    It's truly mind blowing, I can't deny it
    Is heaven real? Is it fake? Is it really how I fantasize it?
    Where's the Holy Ghost at? How long it take Man to find it?
    My mind's a nonstop tape playing and I can't rewind it
    You gave me a bible and expect me not to analyze it
    I'm frustrated and you provoked it
    I'm not reading that motherfucking book because a human wrote it
    I have a fucking brain, you should know it
    You gave it to me to think to avoid every useless moment
    It was a mission that I had to abort
    'Cause humans be lying with such an inaccurate source
    It's gon' be hard to put me back on the course
    Next Jehovah's witness to come on my porch, I swear I'm slammin' the door
    A lot of folks believe it though, but I'm not surprised
    Humans are fucking dumb, still thinkin' that Pac's alive
    I ain't trying to take your legacy and torch it down
    I'm just saying, I ain't heard shit from the horse's mouth
    Just sheep always telling stories of older guys
    Who were notarized by you when you finally vocalized
    Now I'm supposed to bow my head and close my eyes
    And somehow let the Holy Ghost arise, sounds like a fucking poltergeist
    Show yourself and the boom is done
    Every rumor's gone, I no longer doubt this shit, you're the one
    I'll admit that my sinful ways was stupid fun
    And all my old habits can hop onto of a roof to plunge
    I'll donate to a charity that could use the funds
    Fuck the club, instead of bitches I'd hang with a group of nuns
    And everyone that I ran into would know what I came to do
    I wouldn't take a step unless it was in the name of You
    I hate the fact that I have to believe
    You haven't been chatting with me like you did Adam and Eve
    And I ain't seen no talking snake or rabbit from trees
    With an apple to eat, that shit never happens to me
    I don't know if you do or don't exist, shit is driving me crazy
    Send your condolences, this is me reaching to you so don't forget
    If hell is truly your pit of fire and I get thrown in it
    I'mma probably regret the fact that I ever wrote this shit
    My gut feeling says it's all fake, I hate to say it but fuck it, shit I done lost faith
    This isn't a small phase, my perspective's all changed
    My thoughts just keep picking shit apart all day
    And in my mind I make perfect sense
    If you aren't real then all my prayers aren't worth a cent
    That would mean that I could just make up what my purpose is
    And I could just sit in the church and say fuck in the services
    Man what if Jesus was a facade? Then that would mean the government's God
    I feel like they've been brainwashing us with a lot
    So much that we don't even notice that we're stuck in the box
    Man everything is what if, why is it always what if
    Planet Earth what if, the universe what if
    My sacrifice what if, my afterlife what if
    Every fucking thing that deals with you is fucking suspect
    I'm fucking done, I'm fucking done
    This is my fucking life and I'm living it, I'm having fun
    If you really care for me, prove that I need to live carefully
    But I'll be damned if I put my own pleasure aside for an afterlife that isn't even guaranteed
    We are you, and you're us, stop playing games
    My life's all I got, and heaven is all in my brain
    And when I feel I am in hell, my ideas are what get me through pain
    Do as you please, and I'll just do me, I'm a human, I'll stay in my lane
    Ill mind
    It's us, mind power
    Live life, mind power
    It's us, mind power
    Live life, mind power
    Songwriters: Marcus Jamal Hopson
    Ill Mind Of Hopsin 7 lyrics © The Administration MP, Inc
     
    • Like 6
    • Thanks 2

  9.  

     

    Interjecting your thoughts is ok by me, Shinobi. :)

     

    For the record, I'm 99% sure that the Stranger is the genuine article.

     

    But if he were a troll, then at least our dialog is giving my brain a bit of a workout.

     

     

     

    Cheers,

     

    BAA.

     

    Ha ha! I completely understand.  And, I'm wishing you the best of luck! If there's anyone here at ex-c who should be able to put this guy in his place, it would be you. :)

    • Like 1

  10. @bornagainathiest I've been reading these endless debates between you, the rest of the ex-c crew, and stranger (they're starting to become excruciatingly painful to get through), and I just thought I'd interject with my thoughts on the matter, if that's okay?

     

    Anyway, I'm almost 99% sure that Stranger is trolling you and everyone else here at ex-c, and if I were you guys, I'd seriously think about getting out while I was ahead.  Just my two cents (no offence intended)!  However, don't let me stop you.  I'm just beginning to think that he really doesn't care about what you or anyone else here has to say...  Maybe he's mad, and he wants to fill up the forums with his raving lunacy?  Who the hell knows...? Smh :/

     

    @Stranger, I already told you how I feel about you a few weeks ago.  I'm the guy who thinks you're like a Christian version of an Islamic jihadist.  My opinion has only been strengthened by your piss poor failed attempts at rhetoric, and I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to talk to you at all.  So don't bother responding to me.  I won't write back - you can bet on it! 

    • Like 2

  11.  

    Shinobi- what a horrible story. I'm glad that you and your sister have been able to start the healing process. 

     

    I think that I would never be able to attend church again simply because Christianity makes its followers either victims or unwitting accomplices to abusers. The respect for the higher levels coupled with all the forgiveness talk creates a safe haven for abusers. And Christians are simply unwilling to educate themselves on abuse prevention or healing. I think because it's seen as secular knowledge.  And god and prayer and forgiveness solves everything. Church unity and keeping up appearances is paramount. Ridiculous because those outside the church see how things are swept under the rug. Inside the church, though, they think about how it would ruin reputations and people won't want to come to church. Nope- people don't want to come to your church because you are a bunch of dishonest, hypocritical fucks. How it all played out in your family's situation doesn't surprise me at all. 

      I was molested as a child at a home group bible study. Luckily I don't retain much of the memory and I told my parents immediately. But, they didn't press charges because they didn't want to put me through that. And they had this teen write apology letters to us. Which was super lame- about how sorry he was and how he tries so hard but the devil keeps making him slip up. And the letter my mom wrote back was filled with, we are trying to forgive you and know you have repented...  

     

    anyways, all that to say how it is so very believable that your church and family didn't handle it perfectly at the time. And that the Christian programming is just awful in that regard. (Honestly, I am glad to hear your mom did divorce immediately and move out. I've heard terrible stories of the mom not being able to do that because of the controlling dynamics in the family).

     

    best wishes for the future and for the healing process. I'm sure that your sister is thankful to have you. You understand some of what she has one through and you are obviously supportive of her. 

     

    Thanks for the encouragement, Riversong.  I'm really sorry to hear about what happened to you...  Everything you have described is exactly what my family went through.  What freaked me out the most was how people within the church community were so quick to tell me and my sister that we needed to "learn to forgive."  I realize that at some point we all have to try to find some understanding as it regards even the most horrendous of situations, but there are some things that happen in this life that never need to be forgotten or written off so easily.  I mean, imagine going up to a Jew and telling him or her that that he or she needs to forgive Hitler for killing off his or her family.  It sounds almost absurd, right?  I honestly don't even know what these people are thinking?!

     

    Anyway, I'm really sorry that your mother didn't do more to protect you from the creep you were forced to go to church with, and I mean that sincerely.  I can totally relate because my mom didn't do much either.  Even though she left my father over the matter, I think she immediately put up a wall to block it all out, and as a result, she never fully allowed herself to come to terms with what actually happened.  To this day, she gets weird and flaky if the subject is brought up... 

     

    By the way, the story you related to me about the guy writing a letter to you in which he blames the devil for his repulsive actions is beyond ridiculous.  I honestly don't even have words for it...  How does someone like that wake up and look at himself in the mirror with a straight face?  How could your mom think that his letters were enough to make up for the pain he caused you? The whole situation is sickening..

    • Like 3

  12.  

    What happened to your sister happened to my child.  The main difference is that is was at a young enough age where he was able to make it to adulthood without retaining the memory.  

     

    My brother, my only sibling, was on the elder board at the time, and he refused to stand up for my son.  So, you can imagine the family stress, given it was all kept secret to hopefully protect my son's memories from becoming permanent.  I have zero extended family as a result.

     

    Bastards.  Church bastards.  They are all total bastards.

     

    Hi, ConsiderTheSource.  I'm so sorry to hear that you had to deal with a similar experience regarding your child.  I think you'll know what I mean when I tell you that nobody really understands how hard it is deal with molestation and rape until they've actually had to go through it themselves.  The way the people in the church handled my father was sickening and disappointing to say the least - I'm sure you can relate.  On the one hand, I'll admit that there were a few people who tried their best to be understanding and helpful, but I think that the shock of it all was almost too much for them to bear, and it left them more or less helpless.  On the other hand, there were people who refused to even believe it, like the ministers I mentioned above.  I think their disbelief or rather denial stemmed from the fact that what my dad did shattered their fragile worldview, and it threatened to undermine the various power structures within the church that they had built their lives and reputations around.

     

    I lost so much respect for so many people I knew who were in leadership within the church community that I was involved with at the time that all of this happened.  You never really get to see a person's true colors until he or she goes through a life experience that truly tests every aspect of his or her character...
     

     

    Im sorry your family suffered such a terrible thing. 

     

     

    Thanks, Jeff. I really appreciate that. We all managed to survive... somehow, and I'm really not trying be overly dramatic when I say that. I'm honestly surprised that my sister didn't take her own life. She told me that suicidal thoughts used to cross her mind all of the time. What my dad did to her screwed her up in ways that I'm not even going to try to describe in this thread.  And, honestly, I don't think I should be the one who tries to speak for her.  There is no way that I could ever fully understand her pain...

     

     

    Wow there are not strong enough words to accurately describe how FUCKED up this is. I'm sorry for your families troubles and am most sorry for your sister who has to live with this knowing her attacker (her father who she should have been able to trust) has gotten away with it. There should be no statute of limitation for this type of crime and living in another state shouldn't equal a get out of jail free card. This is the type of case that should make congressmen adjust laws to eliminate this type of loophole so that justice can be served.

     

    DB

     

    DB, I couldn't agree more...  I know that you used to be a minister, so I'm sure that you probably have a pretty good idea of how all of this went down.  Like I said to ConsiderTheSource above, I lost a lot of respect for a lot of people when all of this was taking place.  Outside of my family there were people involved within the church who should have stood up to do the right thing, but they didn't...

     

    By the way, when her counselor and social worker found out that there were loopholes in the legal system that prevented my sister from getting the justice she deserved, they were completely furious.  It's not like my sister and the people involved with her case didn't try to pursue justice.  They just got to a point where their hands were tied, and they couldn't do anything more about it.  However, for what it's worth, the social services and child protection agencies in the area where my dad resides were notified about all of this, and supposedly, he is on a private watch list that they keep.

     

    I really don't know what else to say about the matter.  I think you said it best - it's fucked up.

    • Like 2

  13.  

     

     

    DUDE!

    That's heavy!

     

    I Just have an over barring fundy wife and step-son.

    I've got it easy!

     

    Hey, MOHO.  I certainly understand where you are coming from.  However, just because you've never had to deal with a psychopathic pervert preacher who also happens to be your father doesn't mean that you've got it easy.  I'm sure you deal with more than your fair share of trials, heartaches, and headaches as they concern dealing with your wife, stepson, and all of the religious gobbledygook that comes along with having to live with their belief systems.  The truth of the matter is that none of us who have found the courage to walk away from the faith we were raised to embrace as our own have it very easy.  So many aspects of our society are built around a lot of religious nonsense and superstition, and at times, I'm sure we all feel like the world is completely against us... 

     

    Anyway, I wouldn't wish what my family has been through on anybody.  There were times when the pain and confusion was enough to make me consider completely flipping out and going off the deep end.

    • Like 3

  14.  

    Oh dog, this makes me so angry. And you know why? Because I have heard of cases like this, where the guilty party walks away a free person, in the very worst case scenario, because Christianity is about love and forgiveness. There is too little attention given to the healing process for the victim, which yes, requires that those responsible be brought to justice. Otherwise, the victim is made to feel that the pride and reputation of the family is more important than what they have endured. It sounds like the legal system really failed her. I hope she and you all have been able to recover to some extent, and it sounds like she has the full support of the family. She sounds like a strong person who has been able to stand up to your mom and grandma, and that's important since they haven't dealt with the situation properly.

     

    Thank you for being so understanding, TruthSeeker.  I rarely ever talk about this incident with people because I am so embarrassed and angry over the way it was handled.  This is the first time I've ever brought it up publicly.  Most people don't seem to understand how my dad could get away with what he did, but apparently you do.  I want you to know that I really appreciate you for that.  At this point, all I can hope for is that my story will help someone else out there who might be going through the same thing or something similar.

    • Like 1

  15.  

    Shinobi, I'll repeat what I said in the "Jesus Did It!" thread:

     

    Oh, my, that is awful! I'm so sorry to hear what your family had to endure, especially your sister. Hopefully that creep is locked away for a very long time. I wish your family the best as you move on from such a terrible thing.

     

    I still can't imagine how extremely difficult it must have been. Also, for the life of me, I don't see how any father could do something like that to his own child. It's both mind-boggling and infuriating. Is he in prison? If so, how long?

     

    I am glad to see that your family is "doing much better now." Hopefully you all (especially your sister) continue to mend and move on.

     

    Citsonga, I'm going to be up front with you and tell you right now that this subject is still really hard for me to talk about...  Things surrounding the incident with my father were not handled properly at all.  Allow me to explain.

     

    First, my dad is a really good looking, charming, and smart person.  He does not fit the child rapist stereotype at all.  In other words, if a person met him on the street, he or she probably wouldn't immediately get any bad vibes from him.  Second, he had a lot of close and trusted friends within the church community who would follow him to hell and back.  When he was exposed, a number of ministers who personally knew him immediately took the stance that my sister was lying and that he would never do something like that.  Disgusting, right?  Keep in mind that he admitted to my whole family that my sister was telling the truth.  We all heard it from his own mouth.  That is why my mom divorced him.

     

    So, here's what happened.  When the news first hit, the people who attended the church he was preaching at all boycotted him, asked him to resign, and went on with their lives.  My mom immediately divorced him and took us kids back to her hometown to stay with her mom.  My dad fled the state in which the incident happened and moved in with some relatives.  He stayed pretty well hidden for a few years.  While we were all trying to get our lives back together, my very very Christian grandmother convinced my mom not to pursue the matter any further because she was worried that my whole family would be on the news and our reputations would be ruined forever.  My mom took her terrible advice and somehow coerced my sister into lying low and not pressing charges.  My sister was an unstable mess at the time, so the fear tactics that my grandma used really worked on her.

     

    However, eventually, after spending a few years in counseling, my sister finally told my mom and grandma to butt out and attempted to press charges against my dad anyway.  This is where the justice system completely fell apart.  Since both my dad and my sister were no longer living in the same state in which the incident took place, and my sister had waited too long to prosecute, nothing ended up happening...  Apparently, there were some kinks in the legal system regarding crossing state lines, etc. that prevented my sister from doing what needed to be done.  At least that's what I was told.

     

    I know this sounds ridiculous, but you have to understand the situation my family was in at the time.  My mom is still a hardcore believer to this day, and to some extent, she has never really allowed herself to fully let what happened to my sister sink in.  My grandma is the one who told my dad that he was called to be a minister when he was younger, and for the longest time, she worshiped the ground he walked on.  Between their unwavering faith in Jesus and their foolish pride, the situation was not handled properly at all...  Even to this day, my grandma tries to tell my sister and I that we need to learn to forgive.  It's infuriating!!!!  She says that regardless of what my father did he always preached the truth.  I know... It's completely fucked up beyond all recognition.  My grandma is a very stately and prideful Southern Christian woman, and apart from that, I have no good explanation for her behavior or her warped sense of reasoning. Throughout her life, she was married to a very successful and popular businessman. So, to her, keeping up appearances means everything.  I guess she comes from a time period when people swept embarrassing and shameful family matters, like the one I'm discussing, under the rug and never brought them up openly again.  I'm getting really angry just writing about it.

     

    I honestly wish I could tell you that my dad is sitting in prison rotting, but he's not.  He's a free man.  Just talking about this makes me want to punch a hole in my monitor. :(

     

     

    • Like 4

  16.  

    Oh wow, that sounds like an awful ordeal, Shinobi.

    The hierarchical nature, unquestioning belief in authority, and suppression of critical thought found in many churches seem like a dangerous mix that could worsen exactly this kind of problems.

    If we accept that we should worship a nonexistent being threatening to torture us forever and live according to his cryptic and nonsensical commands, what else are we opening the door to? A whole lot, and far from all of it good, it seems.

     

    Hi, Rounin.  Yes it was awful, to put it lightly.  It would be really hard for me to describe the amount of heartache and pain that my family and I suffered... Of course, my little sister suffered the worst.  She is still in the process of recovery to this day...  You are absolutely right about the danger of embracing the ideals of unquestioning belief and suppressing critical thought.  For many years before I found out about my father I had doubts as they concerned my Christian faith.  Every time I would ask questions I was just told that I needed to have more faith.  Living a life like that can really screw a person up.  But, when you are taught that hell fire awaits you if you don't fully commit your life to Jesus, you end up swallowing your pride and doing your best to make sense of the nonsensical.  I really don't know how else to put it.  And, yes, by doing that we are opening up the door for a lot of horrible things that could have otherwise been avoided.

     

     

    Wow. After all that, all I can say is I'm glad you have seen the reality for what it is and it's terrible that you have had to suffer like that. For many of us who have woken up, it appears that suffering in some form or other is what has led us to where we are today. It's no coincidence that Christianity has this dark side where those in power are able to abuse and cover up even the darkest of evils. Thanks for telling your story, I hope you have gained some peace after these experiences.

     

    Thank you for taking the time to comment TruthSeeker.  The funny and sad thing about the whole ordeal is that somewhere deep inside of myself I always had a quiet yet strong feeling that something wasn't quite right with my father, the church, and Christianity in general even before my dad was exposed.  Looking back, I think my intuition was picking up on bad signals long before I was, if that makes sense.  However, I was always told that I needed to fight those feelings, doubts, and fears because they were nothing more than the "fiery darts" of the devil that he was launching at me to destroy my faith.  The amount of psychological damage that was inflicted upon me by my father and his hard approach to Biblical parenting nearly destroyed me.  When I finally found out about what he had been doing, the first thought I had was, "I knew it.  This whole thing has been nothing but a huge lie."  That may sound terrible to say, but it's the truth.  Immediately after that I freaked out and started worrying about my sister and the future of my family.  My sister is still struggling with issues that relate to what my dad did to her even to this day...

     

    Anyway, believe it or not, my story is not unique.  I've lost count of the amount of news stories I've read since that day in which a pastor, a priest, or some other respected leader was caught doing the exact same thing.  It really makes you wonder, doesn't it?

     

     

    Shinobi, Thank you for sharing an extremely  hard family secret and trusting us with it. You are very brave. I am so incredibly sorry that you were exposed to this. It must be so hard when it is a parent whom we look up to let's us down so badly. You have been so let down and my heart bleeds  for  all of the innocent family members. Ì sincerely hope you are making your way with this very hard issue. I give you the biggest hug tonight. Just let us know what you need from us. (((Hug)))

     

    Hi, Margee.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment.  My family and I are doing much better now.  Although it goes without saying that all of us are still messed up from it in one way or another...  My sister obviously suffered the most through all of this, and I honestly wonder if she'll ever be 100% better again.  I really think that my father damaged her in ways that are permanent....  All in all, there are issues that we will all probably deal with for many more years to come.  You don't just walk away from an ordeal like that unchanged.

     

    Anyway, thank you for taking the time to reach out and show that you care.  I realize that I don't know you on a personal level, but I can tell from your comments and posts that you truly have a heart of gold.  Don't tell Florduh or anyone else this, but you are definitely my favorite moderator here on ex-c. :)  

    • Like 1

  17.  

     

    It's clear to me you meant no offense to atheists or anybody else, so no worries there!  And although I am certainly an atheist, I do see the value - in fact the importance - of promoting forms of spirituality that do not include worshipping gods.  People get benefits from prayer, no doubt, and many are comforted by believing that a god is watching over them.  If humans as a species are going to outgrow their gods, there needs to be widespread adoption of non-theistic ways of coping with the trials of life.  Various forms of meditation seem like the most promising answer there. 

     

    Hey, ThereAndBackAgain.  I just want to let you know that I would give you a bunch of likes if I could.  However, I've used up my quota of likes for the day.  Thanks for taking the time to respond and share your opinions with me. :)  Btw, I just created a new post about my dad.  I've decided that I'm not going to hide what happened to me and my family anymore.  Even though this site is supposed to be completely anonymous, it's still hard to tell the world about such a heartbreaking, infuriating, embarrassing, and tragic experience.  I just hope that what I've written serves to help somebody out there who may be struggling with or going through similar circumstances.

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  18.  

     

    I've kicked myself many times as well. The irrationality of Christianity is so crystal clear now that it's become difficult for me to fathom ever having believed it, but I was totally convinced that it was true for the first 29 years of my life.

     

     

    Yeah, I was the exact same way.  It wasn't until I had my eyes forced open by a number of really bad experiences within the church that I started taking the time to question all of it like I should.  One of the preachers I grew up with who I also knew on a personal level turned out to be a child molester.  When I found out what he had been doing to his daughter, my faith took a swan dive.  It turned out that he had been molesting her before and after services in the church office.  Afterwards, he would get up in front of his huge church and preach about the evils of perversion etc.  The night that he was exposed he gave a sermon about how rapists, homosexuals, and child molesters all had a place waiting for them in hell.  No, I'm not making any of this up.

     

    Anyway, I didn't lose my faith because I was mad at the church or the preacher, even though I was heartbroken and furious to the point of rage.  However, those events are what caused me to take a few steps back and open my eyes to take a closer look at everything I had been raised to believe in.  Once I started asking the really tough questions, the doubts started pouring in like a flood, and eventually, after years of soul searching, prayer, anguish, and research, I was forced to let all of it go.  I eventually ended up taking a number of history courses in college that really opened my eyes to the fact that the Bible is not an academically reliable source of history - after coming to that realization, it was so much easier for me to overcome the fears that I had been silently harboring about losing my faith and going to hell.

     

    Long story short, when a person has been brainwashed to believe that Jesus is completely in control of every aspect of life, reality, and the world in general, it is extremely hard for that person to ever completely wake up on his or her own without a little bit of outside help.  Had I not had my eyes violently pried open via tragedy, I'm not sure that I would have ever fully caught on to the charade that is known as Christianity.  

     

    Edit:  Fuck it! It's time to come clean.  The preacher I'm referring to is my father...  I've been scared to let anybody know what I've been through, but I'm tired of hiding it.  My dad was a respected preacher of a huge church, and he raped my sister.

     

      


  19.  

     

    This has been said before, but it bears repeating from time to time: most of us who consider ourselves atheists are not 100% convinced that there is no god.  Rather we see no convincing evidence for the existence of any god, so we don't believe in any and don't worship any.  Technically we are agnostic atheists.  Somebody who was 100% convinced would be a gnostic atheist, and those are rather rare.  It is certainly possible to be spiritual  in a sense without believing in any deities.

     

    Just sayin...

     

    Hi, ThereAndBackAgain.  I completely agree with you.  I hope you know that I really wasn't making that reply to disrespect atheists in any way, shape, or form.  Like I said, I completely respect where most of them are coming from.  I've just found in the past that when I've brought up my own beliefs or ideas about the nature of the universe and reality, I've been belittled and made fun of in a really bad way by various atheists.  Like you, I don't claim to really know the true nature of the universe.  I've had a lot of experiences in my own life that have led me to believe that there might be something else going on outside of what we taste, touch, see, feel, and hear, so I feel no shame in researching and hypothesizing about the nature of reality from a pantheistic perspective.  All the same, I completely understand why there are people out there who might see that as a waste of time.  I try my best not to judge others.  We all have legitimate reasons for embracing our various worldviews.  I think the important thing to focus on is the fact that nearly everyone here has been able to see through the smoke & mirrors of Christianity and organized religion in general.

    • Like 2

  20.  

    Excellent  Shinobi! Five star post! Thanks for taking the time to write that out. My confession  on ex-c today would be that this is the game that I miss playing. This is the silly mind game that always had me twisted trying to figure out God's "higher ways".  And this stupid game is what always gave me a little hope  (as silly as that sounds ). It is our July  long weekend and it has been raining off and on all week. Now for the next 2 days it's  pouring  out. All activities in our city have been cancelled. Hundreds are disappointed including me.  I guess that Jesus is protecting us from forest fires this summer cause he's  providing so much rain! Or maybe he wants me to sit and post on ex-c! Glory to his name!  Thanks again for showing us the mind games we had to play as Christians. (Hug)

     

    Thank you, Margee. I feel the exact same way as you do about all of this. If I had to make a confession to ex-c, it would mirror yours. I guess that's why I am able to write about it - I lived it for so many years...

     

    On another note that I think you might be interested in (based on some of the posts you've made in the past), I am not an atheist. I realize that there are people who frequent this site who are 100% convinced that no god, higher power, etc. exists, and I am happy that they have been able to find peace in claiming that worldview. However, on a personal level, I've never been 100% comfortable with looking at the world strictly through that set of lenses, so to speak. That's not to say that I haven't gained a lot of useful insight from their various perspectives. Atheists have a real knack for taking a no-nonsense approach to life which I can fully appreciate and respect.


    However, after leaving Christianity behind, I still felt the need to feed the spiritual side of my self. I still felt like there were questions about life and the cosmos that needed to be answered. And, I often experienced bizarre things like synchronicity which, in my humble opinion, shouldn't be written off as mere coincidence. That is why I am an agnostic pantheist. I think that maybe all of us are connected on some level, and for lack of a better way of putting it, we are all collectively what Christians would call God... In other words, we are all energy. Everything is energy, and we are all a part of it - we are the energy. Does that make sense?

     

    My biggest problem with Christianity isn't necessarily the fact that Christians try to find spiritual meaning in the lives that they lead. It has more to do with the fact that Christianity and Judaism are based around an anthropomorphic god who is about as evil as evil gets. I mean he supposedly killed off everyone and everything in the world with a flood just because it seemed like a good idea at the time, and when the end of the world comes, he plans on killing everyone off again with fire. You'd think an all powerful god could come up with something better than that considering the fact that he is supposed to be the epitome of love. To put it mildly, a book the size of War & Peace could be written just to list the inhumane atrocities committed by him and his followers. I once visited a website called evilbible.com that had a pretty comprehensive list of the evils found in the Bible. You might consider checking it out sometime.

     

    So, when Christians try to find spiritual meaning in their lives by basing their worldviews on the Bible, the end result is that they ultimately become cold, uncaring, and inhumane shells of the people they used to be. They eventually adapt their worldviews to match the Bible, and without realizing it, they start to condone certain unenlightened beliefs and behaviors which are nothing short of immoral and bizarre. Some of the most bitter and hateful people I've ever met were elderly Christians who had dedicated their entire lives to the service of the church. The sad and crazy thing about it is that the changes happen so subtly and slowly that by the time many Christians have completely sold out every aspect of their personality and intellect, they don't even realize it. They think that they are still good people who God would be proud of. Eventually, it becomes easy for them to hate gay people or to look down on people from other cultures who weren't raised with the same belief systems, etc. Eventually, it becomes easy for them to live their lives without thinking for themselves anymore. They just think they are serving God in a manner that he would want them to. If you think about it, this also explains why it is so easy for Islamic jihadists to commit cold blooded murder in the name of Allah. They actually think they are doing a good thing that God approves of. 

     

    Anyway, I just felt like I needed to clarify this for you and anyone else out there who may read this. I truly think that people can find spiritual meaning in their lives apart from Christianity. I mean, even the most hardcore atheist out there should be able to see that other spiritual paths like Buddhism and pantheism are a hundred times more preferable to the outdated monotheistic religions of the Middle East. Not to mention that they are a thousand times more people friendly as well. Christianity is a religion that intellectually lobotomizes its followers, and I want nothing to do with it. I believe in pursuing spirituality in a manner which allows me to incorporate all of the different aspects of my heart, mind, and soul (both good and bad), not just the ones that ancient Middle Eastern sheep herders approved of. I also prefer pursuing spirituality in a manner which allows me to believe in a little thing called science. lol

     

    I guess that's all i have to say about the matter, Margee. I hope you have a great week regardless of whether the weather is good or not! :)

     

    (To whom it may concern, I did not post this response to start a debate over atheism vs. panthesim. If anyone who reads this feels like getting into a debate, please know that I will most likely not respond. This response is for Margee alone.)

    • Like 1
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