Jump to content

Were You Ever Punished For Asking Questions?


R. S. Martin
 Share

Recommended Posts

Sometimes it seems like I was purposely kept in the dark, blind-folded, and every time I tried peeking around the blind-fold I'd get clobbered over the head until I just gave up and submitted again. This was not physically but emotionally and intellectually. It feels so hopeless when I'm not allowed to understand what is happening to me and to know why they are doing it, but I'm forced to submit and obey. I get condemned if I don't.

 

It feels like maybe I did something to deserve it, such as being too stupid to deserve answers. Or maybe I was too nosey. I tried really, really hard not to ask things that weren't my business. But it seems it was more that I was too stupid (in their minds) than too nosey. Asking questions about the things I don't know seems a logical approach to learning. It made no sense that I got punished so severely for asking.

 

But my mother hated, Hated, HATED my questions. She HATED them with a vengeance. I was not allowed to understand. However, I was forced to obey, not accepting the religion was not an option if I wanted them to like me even a tiny little bit. In other words, I was forced to lie, to say "I believe" things that did not make sense to me so it was impossible to believe. But I had to do it anyway. I had to lie so they would like me. I think something died inside of me and it's just starting to come alive again.

 

I'm sorry if I talk too much about these things. It seems the only way to heal is to talk about them over and over. I'm not even trying for their love anymore. All I'm trying for is to heal and become a whole person like I was before these troubles started.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was kicked out of catholic school, in the second grade, for asking questions. Even then I was an Atheist and didn't believe any of the stories they were trying to force on me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

RubySera,

 

I am sorry you were treated so badly. I was always given the token answer and for the most part this satisfied me, I mean if my family and pastors were saying this was so it must be right..right..NOT..

 

Am glad you found your way out, and from what I was taught also asking questions were good.

 

 

And Dave, what did you parents say or do when you got kicked out of catholic school at such a young age? For asking questions? Wow. I am so glad I managed to escape going to religious school.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I cannot ever recall either of my parents saying something like "you ask too many questions".

 

In regard to issues that were religious or spiritual, questioning was encouraged. But when it came to issues of routine, everyday tasks or chores, any response to questioning was often met with "because I said so". I came to just regard that as parenting, and expecting a child to follow everyday expectations, and doing what I was told.

 

In the end, I think things came into balance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know where you are coming from Ruby, at least to some extent.

 

While my mother was not big on attending church, she knew everything about the bible and how to interpret every part of it; a pretty good accomplishment for someone I never actually saw reading the damned thing.

 

My mother HATED it when I would question her beliefs and try to interject a different perspective. As far as she was concerned it was her job to make my brain an exact copy of hers, any deviation meant that she had failed somehow. To her dying day I put on fake mask whenever I was around her. The only ways to maintain any kind of relationship with her was to LIE to her and give her the answers she wanted.

 

She never knew me at all. It some respects I think she realized that but did not care. Like many xtians the mask is more important than the person underneath.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, Constantly,

 

As a child growing up in government institutions, (dumping grounds for unwanted children).

I was punished with physical (and sexual) violence for even asking to go to the bathroom.

 

As an adult, I was punished for asking WHY? . This has been my experience.

And the violence of my frequent controlers/masters, has always been especialy savage when I have asked questions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

RubySera,

 

I am sorry you were treated so badly. I was always given the token answer and for the most part this satisfied me, I mean if my family and pastors were saying this was so it must be right..right..NOT..

 

 

Unfortunately for me, that did not satisfy me in the least. It had to make sense and it didn't. Thus, the answers more often than not only stimulated more urgent questions. That's when they would refuse answers. When I got older and refused to accept this refusal I was accused of not having enough faith.

 

Thanks for your note of sympathy. I think that was the single greatest abuse I suffered. It seems so harmless yet is so oppressive.

 

Dave said:

 

I was kicked out of catholic school, in the second grade, for asking questions. Even then I was an Atheist and didn't believe any of the stories they were trying to force on me.

 

If the consequences had not been so horrendous I would probably have stood up for my atheism in second grade, too. It was about that time when I was told that Jesus died so we could get to heaven and it made absolutely no sense. That is the lie I had to profess to believe when I was 17 so I could join church. And joining church was necessary if I wanted people to keep on liking me. I mean, if I had not joined like the obedient girl I was supposed to be, the social pressure and guilt trips would have been huge. Then the "sin" and "lost" accusations would have started for real.

 

Piprus said:

 

But when it came to issues of routine, everyday tasks or chores, any response to questioning was often met with "because I said so". I came to just regard that as parenting, and expecting a child to follow everyday expectations, and doing what I was told.

 

I got the same. But that was different. Sometimes, years later, I could figure out why my parents wanted things done that way. It's the religious thing that was such a huge issue.

 

 

I know where you are coming from Ruby, at least to some extent.

 

While my mother was not big on attending church, she knew everything about the bible and how to interpret every part of it; a pretty good accomplishment for someone I never actually saw reading the damned thing.

 

My mother HATED it when I would question her beliefs and try to interject a different perspective. As far as she was concerned it was her job to make my brain an exact copy of hers, any deviation meant that she had failed somehow. To her dying day I put on fake mask whenever I was around her. The only ways to maintain any kind of relationship with her was to LIE to her and give her the answers she wanted.

 

She never knew me at all. It some respects I think she realized that but did not care. Like many xtians the mask is more important than the person underneath.

 

 

You know what, Broke Free, this gives me an idea. She probably hadn't a clue what was in the Bible or what it meant. But she could not afford not knowing so she attacked you instead. I wonder if that is what happened in my case, too. Because I seldom saw my mother reading the Bible until after I did a lot of Bible reading.

 

When I was younger she was always telling me we do such and such because the Bible says to do it. Maybe that is what stimulated my interest in the Bible. Funny thing was, I never found the stuff she said the Bible said. So I guess it would make sense that our mothers treated us like they did. Still doesn't make it right but at least it makes sense in a wierd sort of way. Yes! you're right on about mom not knowing me or wanting to know me. Okay, you were talking about yourself but that fits me, too. Only she used to pretend she knew me inside out. That was abusive, too, but I think I dealt with that some years ago via self-help books because it's not big for me anymore. It's just the way things are.

 

Thanks for sharing. There's nothing like knowing another person who went through the same thing and really understands.

 

 

Yes, Constantly,

 

As a child growing up in government institutions, (dumping grounds for unwanted children).

I was punished with physical (and sexual) violence for even asking to go to the bathroom.

 

As an adult, I was punished for asking WHY? . This has been my experience.

And the violence of my frequent controlers/masters, has always been especialy savage when I have asked questions.

 

Wow! That sounds even worse than my situation. I hope you have been able to escape that abusive situation by now. That is disrespecting basic human rights.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And Dave, what did you parents say or do when you got kicked out of catholic school at such a young age? For asking questions? Wow. I am so glad I managed to escape going to religious school.
I don't remember my mother saying anything. She had a talk with the priest I got into an argument with on Friday and the next Monday I was in public school. My grades improved too.

 

The old Catholic bible had several chapters on jesus as a child. One thing he did was stretch a board that his "father", Joseph, had cut too short. I remember arguing that he could not do that. No one could do that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest dexys midnight runner

I have almost read the entire bible this year and had tons of questions. I have been told that I think too much!! After I told my wife I thought genesis was all myth (garden of eden, noah's ark, tower of babel, etc..), she gave me several booklets of information from answers in genesis. I looked at them but couldn't believe any of what it had to say. I haven't told my family or friends yet of my non belief and don't know if I'm ready yet to face the consequences. But I know that day will come soon. It's getting harder to pretend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, Ruby sorry you had to go through that. I have nothing but sympathy for you.

 

Anyways, I was never punished for asking questions. However, I could sense annoyance from my mother and other members from my former church. The answer I would usually get was, "read the bible," but reading the bible only made me ask more questions. I ask simple questions like, "why was it okay for the servents to throw Jezabel out the window just because she slept with many men and worshiped pagan gods?" I mean, I didn't understand why this woman is considered to be "evil." Especially when no one took the time to tell me what "evil" is.

 

To be honest, I never really believed what being fed to when I was Christian, it was more like accepting it.

 

Have you ever recieved the "ask God" resposne, Ruby?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, Ruby sorry you had to go through that. I have nothing but sympathy for you.

 

Anyways, I was never punished for asking questions. However, I could sense annoyance from my mother and other members from my former church. The answer I would usually get was, "read the bible," but reading the bible only made me ask more questions. I ask simple questions like, "why was it okay for the servents to throw Jezabel out the window just because she slept with many men and worshiped pagan gods?" I mean, I didn't understand why this woman is considered to be "evil." Especially when no one took the time to tell me what "evil" is.

 

To be honest, I never really believed what being fed to when I was Christian, it was more like accepting it.

 

Have you ever recieved the "ask God" resposne, Ruby?

 

Perhaps once, in a church I didn't go to all that long. And I thought it was stupid. I had already done my praying. Since God didn't answer I figured the Christians who had all the answers should be able to. Why do they profess to have all the answers if they refuse to answer our simple questions?

 

Passion, it sure feels good to know another woman (maybe I'm wrong; I am assuming you are a woman) is asking this kind of "simple" question. It's probably complicated because you don't accept the worship of pagan gods and sleeping with many men as evil. Throwing her out the window certainly is violent now that you draw my attention to it.It's just one more of those things I had to accept. I like the way you differentiate between believing and accepting. But yeah, it's an evil sin to condemn people for being evil and sinful if these same people (you and me) and forbidden to know what evil and sin mean. A definition for sin was one of my hang-ups. Thanks for speaking up.

 

Dexy, welcome. You must be new. I never saw your name before. Stick around. Read some more testimonies. You're not the first and only person who deconverts and then has to find a way to tell spouse, children, parents, or whoever is closest kin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I'm sorry if I talk too much about these things. It seems the only way to heal is to talk about them over and over. I'm not even trying for their love anymore. All I'm trying for is to heal and become a whole person like I was before these troubles started.

 

don't apologize. we're all here for the same thing.

 

 

i was never punished. i think the only person i ever asked was my mom, and she would just say things like, "i don't know; you can ask god when you get to heaven." no answers, but no punishment either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But my mother hated, Hated, HATED my questions. She HATED them with a vengeance. I was not allowed to understand. However, I was forced to obey, not accepting the religion was not an option if I wanted them to like me even a tiny little bit. In other words, I was forced to lie, to say "I believe" things that did not make sense to me so it was impossible to believe. But I had to do it anyway. I had to lie so they would like me. I think something died inside of me and it's just starting to come alive again.

 

Hey Ruby,

 

Yes, whenever I challenged the bible or Christianity, my father would get mad at me.

 

It's okay to talk about all of these issues, even if you might have done so before. It's a hard thing dealing with all this shit.

 

Cheers,

Amelia

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was "cautioned" by a couple of more tolerant professors (in Bible College and again in Seminary) that my questions were being viewed as a lack of faith by other profs and that there had even been discussions of expelling me from both. I learned to phrase my questions in more acceptable terms in order to get by.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember once being scolded by my fundy mother for saying something rather mundane. About the time the movie 'Twister' came out, a character referred to an F5 as "the finger of god". I reiterated this phrase in the midst of my mother during a particularily unruly storm we were having that night. She said, "don't you EVER say that again, do you understand!?" I must have apparently offended her god.

 

I chuckle about it now, but as a teenage mind-control bot, she certainly scared me then.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Ruby,

 

Yes, whenever I challenged the bible or Christianity, my father would get mad at me.

 

It's okay to talk about all of these issues, even if you might have done so before. It's a hard thing dealing with all this shit.

 

Cheers,

Amelia

 

Amelia,

 

Thanks! I know you understand. I remember your horror story about being a pastor's kid and the hell your dad put you through.

 

LostOrFound said:

 

I was "cautioned" by a couple of more tolerant professors (in Bible College and again in Seminary) that my questions were being viewed as a lack of faith by other profs and that there had even been discussions of expelling me from both. I learned to phrase my questions in more acceptable terms in order to get by.

 

Wow! That sends the shudders up my spine. I'm so GLAD I'm in a much more tolerant seminary. It's okay telling my profs that I don't hold to Christian theology. Since my final stage of deconversion in Sept. (if there is such a thing as "final stage") I felt a need to tell them in order to avoid embarrassing situations in front of the class. A few of my classmates know, too. Here you can see what kind of question I got away with today.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thankyou Ruby, I'm all growen up (40 years old this past summer). And in therepy,

(recently learned how to play with crayons),

I'm in a good situation. I live in a clean, safe, apartment. I have a low paying, but enjoyable job working at a chain resturant.

 

I enjoy life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thankyou Ruby, I'm all growen up (40 years old this past summer). And in therepy,

(recently learned how to play with crayons),

I'm in a good situation. I live in a clean, safe, apartment. I have a low paying, but enjoyable job working at a chain resturant.

 

I enjoy life.

 

I am so glad. There is perhaps nothing more encouraging to read than the success stories of people who come out of severely abusive situations and turn out well despite the horrible up-bringing. You sound like one of those. All the best to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I read through all these horror stories, I can only conclude one thing: That any religion, ideology, or paradigm whatsoever that refuses to allow and field direct, forthright questions, its veracity must be held suspect. Another reason why adherents of this intolerant thinking must be kept from the helm of government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I read through all these horror stories, I can only conclude one thing: That any religion, ideology, or paradigm whatsoever that refuses to allow and field direct, forthright questions, its veracity must be held suspect. Another reason why adherents of this intolerant thinking must be kept from the helm of government.

 

Agreed! Thanks for your feedback.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Until I came to this site I had not known any stories of the type you tell, RubySera. I have heard more of the same kind of story, from other members. I didn't know of any such life, so I am glad to know about it but sad for you and the others, and your former suffering.

 

The horror stories you guys tell make me realize how few were my problems as a child, in the religion department. My father was an atheist, but my mother was a Baptist. She was a Baptist because when she was young that was the nearest church, and her own mother was a Baptist. Her father, a half-Choctaw Indian, was not a religious man of any stripe. My mother was completely tolerant of any and all, not your normal Baptist.

 

I loved my mother dearly, but not my father so much. Yet I became an atheist too at about the age of 15 (in the closet about it for many years because the Baptists and Methodists had great parties and weenie roasts and stuff like that).

 

So I'm glad to hear your story, for my own edification, not for any kind of enjoyment. It's a terrible story.

 

The only questions I ever got in trouble for were sex questions. Such as, why couldn't my cousin Ed and I have sex...because we were boys or because we were cousins?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, everyone, for your sympathy and support. Having it called a horror story is an eye-opener for me. I knew it was horrible but I did not know it rated that bad because nobody ever believed me when I tried explaining. Mom was always telling me I just imagined stuff if I didn't like their treatment.

 

Everybody made me think it's my fault, that if only I was nice I wouldn't get treated this way. So I tried really, really hard to be nice. I even went out of my way (many, many, many times) to show them that I meant to be nice. But my reward was some more mental head-clobbering. And it has not stopped to this day. See my letter from my sister. It's posted here.

 

That's the kind of family I'm supposed to love. UGH!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was never punished physically, but I did get shunned in school for having a natural curiousity, and there were a few times I got in trouble with the teachers for trying to read books that were above the level that I was supposed to be at. I always read several grades above mine because I learned how to read early.

 

And yes, RubySera, I can relate to people trying to make you think it's your fault. Although in my case, it was if I was "good enough." So I kept trying to be good enough, but of course with people like that, it was impossible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For asking religious questions? No. If I asked someone a question pertaining to religion that did not have a good answer from anybody, period, I was usually just given a dumb look while the askee made long vowel sounds, and then given the ol' "trust in God for we cannot know His ways" excuse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.