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Nobody Said Sorry.


Llwellyn
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As I was growing up, my parents, relatives, and other responsible adults told me that the Bible was true. They told me that God had a wrathful punishment for the violation of his law, and that the way to escape this retribution is to follow the law and believe that Jesus was God and died on the cross as a propitiating atonement.

 

This teaching, especially the teaching about God's wrath as a retribution not-intended-to-correct, hurt me. It injured me deeply. It lived and grew like a cancer in my mind until it had contaminated my body and spirit, hobbled my emotions, stunted my reasoning. It spread gloom and sadness throughout my life. It took away my smile and made me depressed, anxious, and desperate.

 

Now, I am still spiritually crippled and debased by what I was taught and believed, although now I am trying to leave it behind. I remain haunted by it as I try to drive the theology away. Perhaps the most frustrating thing is that those people who taught me these evil things seem not to have been hurt at all by them. They seem to be functional in all the ways that I am not.

 

And they never say sorry for what they did by teaching me this. They never apologize to me for telling me that the Bible is true.

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Yeah I think most people just aren't that thoughtful. I don't mean in the sense that they didn't appologize, as Vixentrox pointed out, they won't appologize for something they don't see as wrong. Most people just aren't very deep, so religious teachings don't affect them on the same level as those of us who internalize everything and really examine ourselves and our believes carefully. This is probably the reason we are ex-christians. When we were christian, we took seriously what the average person doesn't dwell on. When we find things not working they way they were promised, we start to examine the beliefs and eventually find the way out of the bubble of delusion.

 

Like you, my parents are happy, well adjusted people even though they hold onto the repugnant concepts of hell and retribution. You have to be somewhat happy-go-lucky to pull that one off.

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Like you, my parents are happy, well adjusted people even though they hold onto the repugnant concepts of hell and retribution. You have to be somewhat happy-go-lucky to pull that one off.

 

"Happy heretics", so to say. Violating the babblical commandments (of course all believers and nonbelievers do, considering the heap'o'contradictions in the book... :scratch: ) but picking and choosing the "kind" parts of it to follow.

Not the logical thing to do, but at least acceptable. ;)

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Violating the babblical commandments (of course all believers and nonbelievers do, considering the heap'o'contradictions in the book... :scratch: )

 

I think one thing that set us church dropouts on our way was that we realized that no matter how hard we tried to live our lives according to biblical principles, we'd almost always be violating another (Jesus: Do not worry about what you will eat, for tomorrow will take care of itself, vs. Paul: Whoever does not work shall not eat). It seems like the last couple times I got dragged into church I could counter everything the pastor said with something else from the Bible. Some of us just can't stand cognitive dissonance like most of the Happy Go Lucky Christians can, so we finally got out.

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Sorry, I see that the thread got a little off-topic. Unfortunately, the previous posters are correct. Nobody is going to apologize for a belief they think is correct. Maybe someday a few of them will deconvert and be truly repentant. Unlikely though.

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Most people just aren't very deep, so religious teachings don't affect them on the same level as those of us who internalize everything and really examine ourselves and our believes carefully. This is probably the reason we are ex-christians. When we were christian, we took seriously what the average person doesn't dwell on. When we find things not working they way they were promised, we start to examine the beliefs and eventually find the way out of the bubble of delusion.

 

Interesting idea. That makes a lot of sense actually...I've always wondered why it was that I absolutely could not live like most of my Catholic friends, drinking, smoking, doing drugs, having sex outside of marriage, missing church half the time and going to confession only occasionally. This is probably part of the reason...I wasn't able to stop thinking about it all, and trying to be completely 'perfect' (sic) by their supposed standards.

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I wish that people would but they likely aren't going to, because they honestly believe that they were doing you a favor. Why apologize if they are doing a favor? Sigh.

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Yeah I think most people just aren't that thoughtful. I don't mean in the sense that they didn't appologize, as Vixentrox pointed out, they won't appologize for something they don't see as wrong. Most people just aren't very deep, so religious teachings don't affect them on the same level as those of us who internalize everything and really examine ourselves and our believes carefully. This is probably the reason we are ex-christians. When we were christian, we took seriously what the average person doesn't dwell on. When we find things not working they way they were promised, we start to examine the beliefs and eventually find the way out of the bubble of delusion.

 

Like you, my parents are happy, well adjusted people even though they hold onto the repugnant concepts of hell and retribution. You have to be somewhat happy-go-lucky to pull that one off.

 

I think you have a point. There have been surveys on this board before, and most of us are introspective and introverts, which I think is generally in the minority in the Western population (at least in the US). Most people just don't think about what they are doing at all, they just do it.

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They never apologized? They never apologized?!

 

Man, if you go through life wanting an apology for every single perceived wrong......you're gonna die pretty damn disappointed.

 

Now it's true, I can't really say that their pushy, demanding religion was.....well-thought-out, but they did what they thought was right. When it all boils down to it, they did the best they could.

 

I don't think your parents or family deliberately terrorized you so they could placate their God. They did it because in their minds (remember, they were brought up that way, too), that was what was best. They tried their hardest to bring you up to be a healthy human being. They might have failed, but you cannot blame them. They didn't do it on purpose.

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Sage, what you say is realistic but it's not a very sensitive response to a person who is obviously hurting.

 

Llwellyn, it never occurred to me that anyone should apologize to me but you're right, they sure do hurt us with their religious teachings. Since reading people's stories on this forum, however, I realize we are not all hurt by the same thing. I was hurt by being forced to lie about what I believe. I have never believed that Jesus' death on the cross could benefit anyone on a spiritual level like they claim but I trusted eventually I would understand the secret no one was telling me so that eventually it would make sense. I expected to figure it out when I got older, like mom and the preachers promised.

 

I expected to find out that something more happened when he died than the stories mentioned. I'm considerably older now and I have almost completed a degree in theology. I guess there is no more. That's all there is to the story. Jesus died on the cross. His disciples could not figure out how this could happen to the Messiah, so they came up with this story. But they didn't fill in the details like the things we are asking about.

 

An all-knowing god would have known about and prepared for this. Since the god of the bible failed in this, perhaps his knowledge is limited to that of the humans who wrote the bible. That is what I believe. It is very sad that you suffered so much depression from these supposedly up-lifting teachings. I'm very sorry this happened to you. I hope with time you can heal and live a happier life.

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It's sadly true that parents don't often enough see the ways in which they've damaged their child, whatever those ways may be. And unless and until they recognize their role in tyrannizing their child with their religion or drinking or molestation or abandonment or whatever it was that they've concocted "a perfectly good explanation for" there will be no apology.

 

And sadder and truer is that this apology is usually so deeply longed for by the damaged child.

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