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DarkLordPhil

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DarkLordPhil last won the day on March 21

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About DarkLordPhil

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    Questioner

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Western US
  • Interests
    Writing, analysis, knitting, cooking, pugs, MCR, true crime
  • More About Me
    Raised Baptist and Pentecostal. Only just now realizing how damaging my upbringing was.

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Paganism/shamanism

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  1. Thanks, both of you. I know 30 isn't that old, but I just feel so….I don't know. Pathetic, I guess. Like I'm trying my hand at something I'll just be bad at and I'm embarrassing myself just by considering it. I was terrible at picking up on cues when I dated guys, so I don't see why it'd be any better dating the same sex. Part of me wants to try it, but part of me thinks it'd just be better—not only for me, but for anyone I might take an interest in—if I just stay alone.
  2. I've only had relationships with guys, none of which worked out or went further than kissing and hand-holding. Didn't realize I was gay until a few years ago. Now here I am, 30 years old and living in an area with an LGBT community that's pretty small and insular, not to mention that it's mostly people 7-10 years my junior or 20-30 years my senior. I'm no good at flirting, either. Online dating was a no-go. So I've been trying to accept that I'll probably be single for the rest of my life. Sometimes I'm okay with that, sometimes I'm not. I can't help but think that things would've been different if I hadn't been raised to think anything more than a peck on the cheek was a sin. Maybe I would have experimented more, gained more than the most rudimentary social skills.
  3. I have a friend who began sleeping with a girl he knew, and church leadership pressured them to get married. They did. I haven't heard from him in a long while, but before he cut off contact, I heard rumblings that his wife might be abusing him and their child. The church's aversion to sex outside of marriage pushed my friend into a most-likely-abusive relationship, but the general consensus is that it all could have been avoided if they hadn't been sleeping together. The blame is completely misplaced, but no one seems inclined to shift it. As for me….well, you know that old joke about how "they're so deep in the closet, they're in Narnia"? That was me. I didn't even realize I was gay until my late twenties; until that point, I just thought there was something wrong with me because all of my "crushes" on guys in youth group were shallow, random, and dissipated once hand-holding entered the equation. And I thought for the longest time that every straight girl fantasizes about kissing her same-sex friends. But looking back, I think I finally understand why my parents always pushed me to stop associating with my closest female friends, and it wasn't just because they were unapologetically nerdy and unpopular.
  4. I always hated Good Friday growing up. It was the day that my parents (my mom especially) really hammered home that my sin was part of what killed Jesus and so I had better be grateful he saved my sorry ass. There was usually a Passion play on Good Friday, the Saturday after, and Easter, but what I remember was the guilt. Now that I'm out of the church, I do nothing out of the ordinary on those days. Sometimes I'll remember that guilt and feel it all over again—kind of an emotional flashback, I guess?—but then I'll remind myself I'm not mired in that way of thinking anymore.
  5. Unless they believe that the Holy Spirit of said omnipotent god will only intercede if they ask for something that god was already planning to grant. So if you face down the devil and God wasn't planning to let you prevail, you're SOL. (the pentecostal theology I was brought up around never stated this in so many words, but that was basically the gist of it. All the demon-smashing power you're given comes from God and only works when he wants it to. Pretty lame superpower, if you ask me.)
  6. Teenage edgelord lurking in comments sections: Every human on this planet deserves DEATH. The God of the Bible: Every human on this planet deserves DEATH. Make of that what you will.
  7. I read the books years before I deconverted, but I was obsessed with them for a good 10 years after my initial read. Reading them was one of the first things that helped me realize that religious people will sometimes lie to keep you away from something that isn't worth all the terror.
  8. I don't think I believed in an occult conspiracy back when I was in the church, but I did believe Satanic influences were everywhere. My parents weren't big conspiracy theorists, but they did believe that demons influenced entertainers and writers. Harry Potter, for instance, was inspired by Satan to draw kids into witchcraft. A lot of secular music, in their view, was demonically influenced to get kids to rebel against their parents and leave the church. I was terrified to read Harry Potter for the longest time because of this, but when I did read it, I learned that my parents were full of shit. Same discovery when I heard a song by The Goo Goo Dolls over the radio during class one day. Of course, both of my parents came of age during the Satanic Panic, so I think that had an influence on their thinking.
  9. Just my experience: I tried some more liberal churches when I was still trying to make Christianity work. The ministers tended to approach the Bible stories more as folklore or mythology, so not nearly as much literalism. But there was still an us-vs-them mentality, with "us" being liberal Christians who supported liberal causes and accepted those of other religions, and "them" being the conservative fundamentalists and evangelicals. If you were with "us," you were a good Christian following in Jesus' footsteps; if you let yourself consider "their" perspective too seriously, you were in danger of becoming one of "them." So I don't think the mentality of "with us or against us" is restricted to just one political persuasion. PS: Not trying to make any kind of political statement. Just sharing what I've noticed.
  10. Ah yeah, I'm somewhat familiar with Steve Hassan's work. He's appeared in a couple of podcasts I listen to—all of them on cults, no surprise there. I'll check out the other resources you mentioned, too. Oh no, I have zero interest in converting to Islam. When I was moving away from Christianity, I think I considered looking into Islam for maybe 0.032 seconds before I remembered that I wanted to get away from religious restrictions.
  11. Oh yeah, there's definitely a difference between good discipline (which IS important, if for no other reason than that kids do dumb things and need to have some sort of structure in their lives lest they kill themselves) and abuse. My mom was much the same as yours—she's in her fifties now and still throwing tantrums when things don't go her way, and Universe help you if you're in the same room when that happens.
  12. My parents always took that verse to mean discipline in general. Unfortunately, their idea of "discipline" included emotional and verbal abuse, since according to them, I was just so stubborn and prideful that nothing else would work on me. (Spoiler alert: Saying "Hey, don't do that" would have worked on me.)
  13. If you genuinely believe that a child is depraved to the core, you're going to focus more on stomping out negative traits than on encouraging positive ones—and positive traits like curiosity and assertiveness are probably going to look more like pride and rebellion.
  14. Assemblies of God. My parents went to Baptist churches until I was 10 (my dad was raised Baptist; my mom converted later in life) and then switched to Pentecostal churches after some theological disputes with their pastor. I haven't. I would appreciate recommendations for more neutral works on the history of Christianity. I do think that's the case with me—I walked away from my faith, but I see now that the idea that it's the only truth is still programmed into me. I have my own practice and haven't gone to church in years, but as soon as someone says "You're going to Hell," my first reaction is panic because I think they're right.
  15. I don't think this is exactly how I felt when I was taking my first few steps away from Christianity, but I did feel uncomfortable with a lot of the religions I looked into at the time. Some aspects of Wicca appealed to me, but the notion of joining another religious group and participating in rituals didn't, because I'd been forced into church and forced to put on a show for other Christians all my life. (You know, raise your hands during worship, ask the questions they want you to ask, act like there's no place you'd rather be than church.) The nice thing about paganism, though, is that it can be as formal or informal as you want it to be. You want to join a coven and gather for rituals? You can do that. You want to be a solitary practitioner who communes with your spirits and performs zero rituals? You can do that too. Pagan religion can be a religion of hundreds or a religion of one. You get to define what it means to you.
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