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Jesus Sister Rants


R. S. Martin
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Yesterday I had an intense and lenghty telephone discussion with a Christian. I wrote this yesterday on Word, posted it on a thread but decided to make it a thread on it's own so I'm moving it. I was so upset when writing it that I don't even know if it makes sense or if things actually happened the way I wrote them out so read at your own risk. Here goes:

 

She explained the plan of salvation to me as though I'd never heard it. Patiently I listened. She said any question as to whether the Christian faith is the right faith is from the devil. I think, "Closed system," like my prof told me years ago. My prof, who came from orthodox Judaism, had explained that any gap in the theology is in this way closed to seal off any possible discussion.

 

Out of respect for her statement I asked, "Am I allowed to ask a question?" She repeated her scripted testimony. She wasn't reading it from a page because she switched a few words here and there and perhaps rearranged the phrases. Otherwise it was the same.

 

"May I ask a question?" I asked again, when she was done. She repeated the testimony with another rearrangement of words and phrases. "May I challenge what you said," I asked.

 

"What is there to challenge?" she asked. I know now, after an hour-long phone call with a trusted friend to restore my equilibrium, that this was a rhetorical question that was not intended to be answered.

 

At the time, however, I did not know this. I was stunned by the opportunities of the question. She was giving me the go-ahead to present my challenge. I took a deep breath, did a few intellectual gymnastics and blurted out, "It makes no sense!"

 

That launched us into an intense and lengthy wrangle. Included were statements about the wonders of nature and the depth of wisdom that can come only from God. Human nature cannot forgive. She stated this last bit as a truism. I was stunned at the boldness of the statement. I managed to somehow challenge it with a mutter about psychology, and she closed off all possible discussion with the anonymous Christian argument that even people who don't believe in God are helped by God. She closed the argument with: No good thing comes but of God.

 

My entire brain was screaming in protest. There were more holes in her theology than in a sieve. Which one would I address and how?

 

I presented a truism: Science explains how the universe came into being. Psychology explains human nature. That is a fact. Do you believe facts?

 

She repeated her testimony only this time she inserted pieces about how wonderfully God created the universe and ended with a declaration of it being her choice to believe this.

 

I repeated my question: Do you accept the fact that science explains the universe and that psychology explains human nature?

 

She replied: I accept that science thinks it can explain…

 

I cut in: Not 'thinks' it can explain, but 'it can explain.'

 

The conversation took a totally new direction. I forget the order in which the topics were presented. It was a whole new ball field and I knew where to find a whole batch of books to prove the fallacy of the arguments she was making.

 

After a summarization and acknowledgement of what she had said, I repeated my question: Do you accept the fact that science explains how the entire universe was made and that psychology explains how human nature works? This is a fact. Do you accept the fact?

 

"How?" she asked. "How does science explain it?"

 

I explained that I don't know but that I can find out what books she should read to find out.

 

Without acknowledging that she heard, she added: Is it the same century after century?

 

I was familiar with the argument because I had read about them on this board. Even so, I was overwhelmed with the enormity and boldness of her ignorance. She had been a teacher at one time and had to know that knowledge is acquired over time, and that this being the case, it was impossible for the science texts to remain unchanged from century to century. However, out of respect for her question, I explained the concept of the accumulation of knowledge.

 

Again, with barely an acknowledgement that I had spoken she was off into another topic. Time and time again I brought things back to the fact about science and psychology. What took away my breath was the fact that she never ever challenged my blanket statements. I don't know enough psychological or scientific facts to make an argument. She never challenged it.

 

She started attempts at opting out of the conversation. She would wrap things up with statements like: So we each choose what we believe…

 

There was no way under the sun that I could allow her to include me in a "choice to believe" statement. Consequently, I had to listen to more scripted testimonies. I dug deeper, asking on what this is based. More testimonies. I said there had to be a feeling this is based on. I asked what that feeling was.

 

"I couldn't explain it so you would understand," she informed me, and repeated some of her earlier testimonials.

 

"But this has to be based on experience," I insisted. "What experience is this conviction based on? What convinces you that it is true?"

 

At the end of another testimonial she explained that she cannot describe her feelings on which it is based. For one brief syllable her voice sounded real, like something more than a memorized script.

 

As I write this out I realize she's a sick woman. No so you'd notice because she can hold a job and occupy her place in the faith community. But every inch of her "faith" is scripted. Not a syllable of her own conviction is in all of this. I know some of her history. She's my sister. I was seven when she was born. I remember the time. I believe that, like myself, her real self was obliterated when she was very young. She managed to construct a pseudo-self that met the expectations of the church. I failed.

 

But how did she come up with this sculptured robotic script? I can only guess. At one point she had a nervous breakdown. Like my own breakdown a few years earlier, hers wasn't so bad that a psychiatrist was involved. She got sleeping pills from her family doctor and counsel from the local deacon's wife. Lots and lots of counseling. That woman is a very empathetic person and very intelligent. If I'm not mistaken, she had some basic "first aid" level training for dealing with a mentally ill person. She also had exceptionally deep spiritual insight. Even after my sister moved away from the neighbourhood of that woman she kept seeing her on a regular basis.

 

In our conversation today we discussed peace. I told her I have peace when I don't worry about how the universe came into being, or whether or not there is a God, or what happens when we die. She said she gets peace from believing the Bible, i.e. testimony. I believe that. Her testimony holds together her fractured and fragmented self. This pseudo-self feels like peace because it constitutes a self that otherwise does not exist. I see it as a severe case of brainwashing. This is on the level of cult. My other sisters, in spite of belonging to the same church, are far more resilient, creative, and able to think for themselves.

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Maybe it was something I ate last night--I don't know. After about three hours of sleep I woke up still haunted by this jesus sister and her rants. Again, the site was down so I wrote it up on Word. I think maybe I don't say why I call her a jesus sister. At one point in her rants she told me that her whole life revolves around jesus. UGH! Here goes some more:

 

After a conversation in which I did my utmost to get one of my sisters to engage reason regarding her beliefs I conclude that when belief is a choice reason has no power. I believe the reason for this is that the person has totally divorced, or split off from, his or her feelings. I further think that the person has sublimated all true feeling into the religious feeling of total depravity. When this is done, there is a very real need of a saviour. In a very literal sense, belief in a saviour—an imagine of the warm love of a saviour, saves them from themselves. It makes them feel good. It helps them hold together the fragmented pieces of themselves, like the hoops on a barrel.

 

 

 

This belief is self-reinforcing. Letting go of the hoops literally terrifies them. Why? Paul Tillichs The Courage to Be comes to mind. Tillich claims the ultimate fear is fear of nothingness, of annihilation, of being obliterated. This being the case, so long as we don’t exist as in being real, there is nothing to lose. You can’t become nothing when you are already nothing. But when you have the courage to be, to exist, to connect with your feelings and examine them in the light of day—that takes strength of character. You might not like what you see. You might see a seriously flawed person.

 

 

 

But if you never look at your feelings, you know you are flawed and that there is a universal cure-all for it: Jesus. God suffered in Jesus when Jesus died for human sin. It’s so simple when they rehearse the age-old platitudes.

 

 

 

The enormity of ignorance borders on evil itself. The accompanying arrogance ensures that the evil that is lurking in ignorance comes to life as the monster it is. Willful ignorance is truly a monster. How do I know? Because I talked with this sister who embodies it. She has never, so far as I know, been her true self. I suspect it got obliterated when she was very young. In her twenties she had a breakdown. Close to her lived a very intelligent deacon’s wife. Not only was she intelligent, she also had some basic “first aid” type of training to help people who are mentally disturbed. On top of that, she was very empathetic so that a person simply trusts her. This woman came to my sister’s aid in her time of deep distress.

 

 

 

The testimonials my sister kept repeating over and over and over were not her speaking. They were a devil inside of her whom she has claimed as her own self. It’s a pseudo-self, a persona, behind which she hides. So long as nothing earth-shattering happens, I believe she will do okay in life. When and if something happens to shatter that faith, it might have disastrous consequences.

 

 

 

Because she is so out of touch with herself she can choose what she wants to believe. It’s nothing but an intellectual act of the will. Since her own feelings have no say in the matter, she can accept preposterous claims as truth. Some of these are: Forgiveness is impossible outside of God. Even people who don’t believe in God are helped by God to forgive. There is no good outside of God.

 

 

 

She has chosen to believe this and she will defend this passionately. She will promote it as the Ultimate Truth come hell or high water. Reason cannot begin to touch her faith. When I look at what is between her self and her beliefs, I see a muddy amalgamation that is brittle and soluble. When dry, it will break easily. When wet it will dissolve easily. There is no real connection between her real self and her beliefs. It’s nothing but an arbitrary act of the will. She has chosen and she lives by Pascal’s Wager.

 

 

 

I told her my philosophy: If I am true to myself then I automatically live the fruits of the Spirit. If there is a heaven then I will go to heaven. If there is no afterlife I will have enjoyed the one life I know I have.

 

 

 

I heard her scream when I said the part about going to heaven if there is a heaven. I did not hear what she said, but probably she just screamed, “No!” But I did not stop to hear it; I plowed right on with the rest of my line and then I stopped.

 

 

 

It is so crazy what this type of religionists demand. They demand belief in God, in Creation, in the afterlife. When I ask HOW these things work, HOW they KNOW these things are real, etc., then I am remonstrated to take things on faith. I like to turn the tables. I personally don’t know how the universe came into being. It does not matter to me whether it has always been here or whether it evolved or was created. I don’t know whether there is a God, but I see little or no evidence that a creator god exists. I have no way of knowing whether or not here is an afterlife and I consider it unimportant. What I do know is that I am alive on a wonderful planet called earth.

 

 

 

I was lucky and got born on a fertile plain of rolling hills where nature left to its own devices progressively restores the land to its original state of grass, trees, wildlife and wilderness. I have seen weeds, then trees, then grass push up through a crack in the concrete of an old road or building. After a few decades only vestiges of the old construction remain.

 

 

 

She denigrates me to hell for not believing in God, Creation, and the afterlife. She insists we take things on faith that we don’t know. However, I take it on faith that I will be okay without knowing exactly how the universe came into being, I take it on faith that I don’t have to know whether or not God is real, I take it on faith that it does not matter whether or not there is an afterlife. In other words, I take huge matters by faith. And I am condemned for not believing?!?!?!

 

 

 

But bring reason into the picture? ABSOLUTELY NOT. ABSOLUTELY NOT. ABSOLUTELY NOT. Get it? DO NOT BRING REASON INTO THE PICTURE.

 

 

 

In other words, MY experiences don’t count. MY convictions don’t count. MY testimony does not count. In short, *I* as a person don’t count.

 

 

 

When I observe that she does not understand what I’m talking about (I have strong mystical tendencies) she says dismissively, “I’m sure you know a lot of stuff I don’t.” When I confess that I don’t understand something she is saying she says with false warmth and piety, “Yes I can see that you can’t understand.” It is understood that as an atheist it is not possible for me to understand her spiritual connections.

 

 

 

Oh FUCK! I understand EVERY LAST THING SHE SAYS. What I don’t understand is how Jesus’ death did anyone any good. And neither do I understand how anyone can claim faith if they have done nothing more than learn how to mouth off certain testimonial and how to say all the right things at the right times. That’s some things I don’t understand. Oh I understand on some level. It’s a psychological defense mechanism of some sort. But personal integrity? Forget it! Think about the hoops that hold the barrel together.

 

 

 

I tell her the truth very passionately—how it is so easy to be Old Order Mennonite and live the OOM way of life and go to church every Sunday and fit right into the community and be approved by everyone but when you are true to yourself and have to leave you get persecuted and it goes on decade after decade while the martyrs at least got killed.

 

 

 

Her response? Total denial. Absolute denial. She did manage to ask if I felt she was persecuting me at that very moment. Hell, who can think straight at such a time? I said no not at the very moment. I don’t even remember if things happened in this order. All I know is that she totally denied, discounted, dismissed, and in general invalidated my very existence. Experience, conviction, and opinion—those things are ME. They constitute who I am. None of it counts. She has no script for it. My script is totally beside the point.

 

 

 

Heartless cruel bitch! Better were it for her if the dogs ripped her apart and devoured her than for her to live the wretched life she has chosen in hope of some afterlife in heaven. Yes, she says she would rather live a miserable life here on earth and have it nice after. I challenged that in some way or other and again it was discounted.

 

At one point I told her about reason. That reason dare not be thrown out—reason is the fundamental value of being human. I was saying this in German and English probably doesn’t have the same word so I’m putting it this way to get the “spirit” or attitude out. She dared suggest that I just leave it without knowing/understanding. But she refuses to leave things like the origins of the universe. It’s so backward and crazy. So hopelessly utterly and enormously ignorant by her own choice.

 

I even told her that I had to choose between suicide and leaving the church. Friends, not even THAT meant a thing to her. So utterly brainwashed is this woman, so absolutely uncaring that she does not even care that her own sister felt suicidal. She doesn’t care enough to ask for details. She doesn’t care whatever and that is that. But she’s a Christian and her life revolves around jesus so she will get into heaven. @”#<ER#Q??$@

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Want to know something else about this heartless bitch? She is a pantheist. That's right. She "sees god" in nature. She asked me if I can't see God in nature. Of course I can. But I said that is not the same god that led the Israelites out of Egypt. Yes, she says, it is.

 

Now THAT'S blasphemy or heresy or something equally evil. Why does it bug me so horribly? I don't know. Maybe because nature is what is left for me of what is sacred. Mother nature is healing, soothing, a balm in the time of storm. I can't have it sullied and polluted by the likes of her.

 

I think what she means is that God's beauty is reflected in nature. That's okay for Chrisians. But to say God is in nature--that's pantheism. So I guess she is either a Christian pantheist or a pantheist christian. And those people burn in hell.

 

Of course, telling her that would do not a bit of good. She wouldn't believe it because the woman who brainwashed her did not say it that way.

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I'm posting this here. It's sort of part of the discussion about pagan easter but it's not fair to contaminate that with this rant so I'll post it here:

 

http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?showuser=2046

 

I do my own thinking

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Group: Supporting Member

Posts: 1,062

Joined: 25-August 06

From: Ontario, Canada

Member No.: 2,046

Any Gods?: who knows...who cares

 

 

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QUOTE(Varokhar @ Mar 24 2007, 04:44 PM) post_snapback.gifQUOTE(robbie @ Mar 24 2007, 08:12 AM) post_snapback.gifI think you can find whatever in you are looking for in pretty much any religion or ideology. Personally, I find that in the right situation and with the right people, a lot of goodness and beauty can be brought out of the Christian religion, or any other for that matter.

 

Then please enumerate the exact parts of Xian doctrine that genuinely celebrate life and encourage reveling in it. life to be found in its black pages.

 

 

Yeah, there's some things in christianity that are right but they're mostly stolen from other traditions.

 

Here's the shocker. I'm still seething mad from my sister's self-righeousness flaunting yesterday and I'd like to really rub it in--she's a pantheist.

 

That's right--she's a pantheist. She's also reveling in Jesus. But she sees god in nature. That's pantheism. So jesus isn't good enough after all they have to have nature to revel in life and that is pantheism. Christians can say god's beauty is reflected in nature or the likes. But to literally see god in nature is pantheism.

 

QUOTEMany Xians recast their religion in a positive light, because it's human nature to do so - most folks don't want to actively celebrate hatred, intolerance, and tout their own fear-based slavery as something good, even though that's precisely what Xians are doing.

 

Yeah, and right in the middle of the condemning rant she asks if she is persecuting me. As though imposing her beliefs on me and discounting all my experiences could be anything BUT persecution.

 

 

QUOTEBabbically, Xians are encouraged only to revel in Jebus, and in being slaves to him. There is nothing about enjoying

 

Exactly. She said she would rather be miserable in this life and have it nice in the next. I pointed out that this is selfish. She was stumped for only a moment until she had a slick answer. She knows exactly what God wants, how God feels, etc.

 

I thought how utterly and completely crazy. She doesn't even understand me--she confessed that. If she cannot understand her own flesh and blood sister, how does she presume to understand God's every last thought and feeling? I didn't bother asking. I had to choose my battles carefully because I didn't get too much opportunity to speak.

 

That is Christianity at its utterly more horrible worst. That's the kind who will kill for the faith. Fanatics who don't even know why they believe what they beleive. They jsut believe so they can go to heaven.

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Ruby, you gotta let Jesus Sister go her own way. Don't let her witness to you. Her attempt at winning you back to the "Lord" just gets you riled up. I would try to avoid situations like this; only enter into a religious discussion if there is interest on their part in an honest dialogue. If it's clear that the person is dead-set on simply controlling the discussion with their viewpoint only, refuse to continue the conversation. They won't listen to you, anyway, with such an attitude.

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Thanks, Ex-COG. I've arrived at the same conclusion. I had no idea any of my sisters were like this. I believed it would be possible to reason with her. And then she kept trying to end the conversation by promising to lie about me. I didn't know how to handle that. I believed if only she understood she would at the very least agree not to lie about me. The lie was that I choose to believe differently from her. For me, belief is not a choice. That is the point I wanted to make.

 

Maybe I made it; maybe not. I have no idea. I've been trying to imagine what the outcome is of this conversation--what she tells the others in the family. At least one person heard at least some of her end of the conversation. And she was late getting supper on the stove because the conversation went on so long. Thus, the conversation is not a secret and I have no idea how she justifies having been on the phone so long. I cannot imagine that her justification is kind to me.

 

It ended with me screaming at her forbidding her to lie about me. Then I hung up. I have no idea if she had already hung up or not and I did not want to know. BAAADDD example. Maybe I should just delete these posts. Writing them out helped me regain my equilibrium.

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Just the same as there's no arguing with a drunkard or a crazy person, there's no arguing with Jesus Sister. Whatever you say, nothing will make her break her scripted answers and talk rationally. Kind of like a frozen computer. Tap on the keys all you like, but the screen remains indifferent.

 

Perhaps you should cut off all ties completely from your siblings, who seem to be causing the most trouble. Or set a condition like "if you want to contact me, no talking about God." I know it is a simplistic solution to a complex problem, but it just might work to keep your sanity intact. Just a suggestion.

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Just the same as there's no arguing with a drunkard or a crazy person, there's no arguing with Jesus Sister. Whatever you say, nothing will make her break her scripted answers and talk rationally. Kind of like a frozen computer. Tap on the keys all you like, but the screen remains indifferent.

 

Hey, I love that analogy.

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Your sister is basicly afraid of life.

 

 

I know! And I wanted to help her. I guess she stated as emphatically as she can the she does not want help. I remember my old deacon used to say you can't help a person who wants no help. Of course, if he were alive today he would say I am the person in need of help and that she was doing what she could to help me but I refused. I find all of this so utterly confusing. How can people call something "help" that only hurts and confuses?

 

Can't people see that there is something wrong with our family? Can't they see that when a woman dies of old age at 74 in this day and age that there is something the matter? But no. She "submitted" to God's will of ill health. No one accepted that there was a reason for her ill health. She was still mourning her own mother's death seventy years ago. Her entire body suffered from the stress. And finally the organs just gave out even though she was so young.

 

That is what bugs me so badly. I offered her help. I wanted to see her happy. But she refused. She would take any "healthfood" medicine and eat any "healthfood" diet that Dad suggested. He did major amounts of reading and participated in all kinds of alternative medicine and healthfood movements. He was part of the original healthfood movement in our part of the world. Mom only got worse over the years. She claimed she would be even worse if she would not be on all this expensive stuff. It was a straw to grasp when I was in need of straws to grasp. But she did not get better. She only got more worn out from decade to decade.

 

When she stopped having babies, she took in her own step-mother who was in the advanced stages of Alzheimers. She got lots and lots of moral support and praise from the community for doing this. Taking care of Gramma was not easy, esp. since the desease was barely understood and Mom refused to give Gramma any sedatives to make her more manageable. I understand this to a degree. She gave the medication as instructed at first, but when it started taking hold, Gramma got a spell that she lost her strength and sunk to the floor when Mom was helping her walk from one room to another. This was pretty scary, I confess. It was all the more scary after all the horror stories Dad had read over the years about what medical doctors and drug companies do to people all for the sake of money. Putting the meds on the shelf and leaving them there was her solution and that's understandable.

 

What I find less understandable is that when this gramma dies, mom voluntarily takes on looking after Dad's father. She was the only one who realized that he needed care. None of the six other kids realized it, not even the ones living in the same house. Makes me think she was desperate to be needed in a highly visible manner. Since the old man wasn't all that easy to be with, she could once again appear very noble. Isn't this a severe martyr complex?

 

She got attention for having so many babies. She got attention for taking in our gramma. She got attention for looking after Dad's old man. What did she do when he died? She spent a few years getting old herself and then she died. At age 74.

 

According to the reports of my sisters this past year, Mom put herself down a lot for needing so much care. She said such things as not wanting to appear to be selfish. She hurt herself a year ago and never fully recovered. Then she hurt herself again this winter and seemed to be on the mend when her blood went bad and her kidneys failed and she died. Her injuries were always the result of falling. There is no reason to believe it was self-inflicted. At the same time, it is well-known that the unconscious will sometimes make up for what the conscious mind won't let a person do.

 

Okay, I started out writing about sisters. And it turned into a tirade about mom. With so many "wacko" relatives I'm beginning to wonder if my own head is on straight. There's lots and lots of people to testify that it's not. Maybe I just manage to trick and dazzle people on the internet in my more lucid moments. Let's see...some of my sisters are okay and decent. Two of them are indicating interest in better understanding my beliefs. Another indicated that I should not talk about religion but she wants to remain friends. These three are the ones closest to me in age. The four of us grew up together. The crazy woman this thread is about is much younger.

 

Last night I mailed a letter to my sister next in age to me, and today I got a letter from her. She didn't know I was writing and I didn't know she was writing. We'll see where things go.

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*Hugs*

 

The problem is that Western society has come to accept delusional people as normal, and those who are not delusion as somehow abnormal. Religion, especially of the fundy sort, is a mental illness, yet our culture refuses to see it as such because religious freedom has been written into the constitution of the US and other influential countries. And so generation after generation, children have been brainwashed from birth, as they were centuries ago. Hence why we have such a messed-up world.

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*Hugs*

 

The problem is that Western society has come to accept delusional people as normal, and those who are not delusion as somehow abnormal. Religion, especially of the fundy sort, is a mental illness, yet our culture refuses to see it as such because religious freedom has been written into the constitution of the US and other influential countries. And so generation after generation, children have been brainwashed from birth, as they were centuries ago. Hence why we have such a messed-up world.

 

Amethyst, thank you for your support. I disagree that Christians are delusional. I will post a new thread to discuss that in more detail. I do get your point. People who question the faith are seen as somehow or other being deficient and yes it SUCKS. I just wish there were a way to get through to them. Screaming into the phone is probably not going to do it.

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