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Resentment At Indoctrination & Fear Of Religious Fanaticism

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I'm a little surprised this hasn't already been brought up, and I feel like it may have been at one point, but the search function says differently, so I'll ask anyway.

 

If you were indoctrinated by your parents, do you resent them for it (especially if you've experienced a terror of hell)? I can't decide whether I do or not. While lying in bed last night, terrified that everything I've been taught was true and that the malevolent God of the bible is real, I started to wonder why my parents (mostly my mother) would actively teach me something as disgusting as the belief that people would be thrown into eternal torture just because they didn't buy a 2000-year-old guy's story.

 

But I know she really, honestly believes it to be true, which explains the indoctrination but scares me for other reasons. Would she, if she believed it to be ordered by God (like Isaac and Abraham), murder me? I'm pretty much stuck with her until I'm eighteen, so this concerns me a little. I optimistically believe she'd reason her way out of it, and of course I don't really believe in a god who could actually order her to do things, but there's that little bit of doubt that keeps me from asking her about it.

 

So here's the question: do you resent your parents/guardians/family for instilling in you the belief that you will burn for eternity if you stray from the "narrow road"? Are you rationally or irrationally afraid that their fanatic belief of God will harm you in some way?

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I do kinda resent my dad for it. Mostly I'm bitter towards him. I honestly believe that if he thought God told him to, he'd pull an Abraham/Isaac thing. Luckily I'm out of the house and barely even speak to him so that's not a big concern. Honestly, I'd never really given it much thought anyway. At that time though he probably wouldn't have though because if he hurt us kids in anyway my mom probably would have killed him. No, that's not an exaggeration.

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I don't resent my parents for indoctrinating me. After all, the church had as much a hand in it as they did. And besides, I see how they still believe to the point of refusing to listen to sound logic (out of fear). To them (mostly my mother), it's saving me from a real fire. She really believes she's doing good by trying to get me to believe again. If I have any resentment, it's against the church.

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If, as you say, your mother really believed what she was saying, then in her mind it was probably an act of love to tell you about hell and all that goes with that awful doctrine. Given that, I wouldn't be angry at her if I were you. Angry at the religion, yes, but that's a different question.

 

As for wondering whether she would kill you if she really thought that god told her to, perhaps you can take some comfort in the theological aspects of Abraham's willingness to kill his son. Remember, that in the story god stopped Abraham. Most theologians, therefore, teach that the lesson there is that god would never require someone to kill their child for him. It was, from a theological standpoint, "god's" way of telling the people that human sacrifice is always unacceptable and that, therefore, god would never tell a parent to kill their child and allow it to go forward.

 

Every pastor that I ever knew, and I knew plenty of them, had the same message about that story. If your mother felt that god was asking that of her and she went to a pastor, that pastor would undoubtedly tell her that god would never ask that of anyone and would explain the story of Abraham and Isaac the way I did above. What is more, they would probably advise her to seek a mental health professional to help her overcome these thoughts.

 

The "correct" answer from a theological standpoint to the question, "If god told you to kill your child, would you?" would be no. The reason is because it would not be god actually talking to the person since from the story of Abraham and Isaac we know that god would never require that of someone.

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I try not to. A majority of the population does have empathy. So I try to believe that they were just deceived into the literal interpretation of the Bible, and wouldn't do anything to intentionally hurt people, and they must legitimately think that there is a "hell to shun" as they put it. Notice there is a lot of "trying to" mentioned.

 

The fear of God placed on me by my parents / church drove me into deep depression with lots of thoughts of suicide. Yes, I still have irrational fear of God, even though having been taught the view of God that I was, it's not irrational (so I'm told).

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My parents didn't indoctrinate me in the least. When I 'got saved' and wanted to be baptized, my Mom opposed it. I wish she had stringently forbade it. But my dad prevailed on the issue and she let me get baptized.

 

So, I don't resent either parent. The girl that invited me to go to church with she and her family thought she was being a good little girl. So, I don't really resent her.

 

There's no one to resent but myself for being an uncritical teenager with an unspoken need (at the time) to belong.

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My parents didn't indoctrinate me in the least. When I 'got saved' and wanted to be baptized, my Mom opposed it. I wish she had stringently forbade it. But my dad prevailed on the issue and she let me get baptized.

 

You are fortunate. In my case, yes, I damn sure do resent it. My parents were, and still are, one united fundamentalist front. The Church was only an extension of what they both believed - they are responsible for making me go three times a week. My father used the Judgment as a threat-- I will never forget that. We kids were talking too much in the car once and he said "Don't you believe in the Judgment?" The Church he attends and still does attend supports scaring children with hell and the rapture.

 

Yeah, I resent it and it has been a real problem for me as an adult. I don't believe any of it now, but the way they manipulated me hurts to think about. True, I played a part in this by going along with it as a young child, but I still resent it. I did not have the critical thinking ability when I was 9, 10 years old to cope with this stuff. I have worked a lot to get past this and sometimes I think I have succeeded but it seems like for every step forward its another back.

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I know that I resent never being listened to in a serious way as a youngster nor as an adult. I resent the creation by the religious infrastructure of an environment of intimidation to not ask questions of any substance. A youngster is presented with supposedly absolute life and death options in a framework of dogma but when one uses merely the SAME, not greater than, level of critical thinking one uses all day every day for all other issues in life toward the xtian dogma, the question is brushed aside with god works in mysterious ways or we can't know why god does certain things, etc.

 

The lack of critical thinking on the part of the adults in my youth is what drove me nuts while they at the same time demanded that I accept uncritically the xtian dogma. I guess I resent the religious infrastructure from top to bottom but I also resent the authority figures in my life for not applying critical thinking / analysis to what is supposedly the most important decision in one's life. Certainly a topic that demands a grossly disproportionate share of time, energy, and money relative to what religion delivers in return...at or near nothing.

 

P.S. Ask the authority figures in your life what god they would be worshipping if they were born in the middle east or in India and what texts they would consider sacred if they were born in these other places. Then remind them that they would be going to hell according to their current beliefs. Religion is nothing but institutionalized brainwashing.

 

 

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I don't resent my parents in the least. They were never as overzealous as I was, not even close. My parents took us to church because they really thought it was the right thing to do and I can't blame them for that.

 

Now the other people who manipulated me and knew they were doing it, those people are guilty of something.

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I deeply resent the religion and fundies in general...my mother was honestly trying to do her best, so I can't be too resentful for her. I am thankful that she encouraged me to think and explore and dig into things (of course, at the time it was to gain a deeper understanding of the Bible and god, but that knowledge paid off later on).

 

To be honest, there are other things I resent a lot more than the religious brainwashing....and those have only loose connections to the religion (if any).

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If I was going to blame someone I'd have to blame the human race. Religion has been part of who we are for a very long time, some say it had an important role in the evolution of our brains. Blame the monkeys.

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The resentment issue is complex for me. My mother is the only god-fanatic left in my life at this point (besides one co-worker), and she's totally, emotionally wrapped up in it. She sees god as the ultimate truth and answer for everything. She doesn't mention the hell stuff all of the time, thankfully, but it comes up here and there. I do feel some resentment towards it all, but I find it hard to direct it at her personally since she's totally convinced that the biblical god is real. I guess I direct my resentment towards the system as a whole, and the church we used to attend, and how people get caught up in it all when they are most vulnerable (including myself when I was caught up in it). How people become complacent with injustice in this life by being promised something else after death like a dangling carrot. How the church leaders are so convincing, and present themselves as divine representatives. My mom is guilt-ridden and insecure thanks partially to a church we attended while I was young. I'd love to see what she'd be like if she were secure in herself. So, I do hold definite resentment about the church for sure. So far I haven't found a proper outlet, other than discussion.

 

I'm imagining your mother, like mine, is trying to save you from a danger that she perceives to be real, as awful as it is. All I can say is to stay in tune with your perspective, and remember that it seems real to her but you don't have to believe it just because she does. I applaud you for thinking for yourself, it's a great thing! I have the occasional irrational fear of hell, but overall it doesn't bother me much because I feel secure that the physical hell story is just a myth. I think the only harm that I really incur from my mom's fanatic belief in a personal god is that it contributes to any cognitive dissonance I feel. It also is painful to not be able to connect with her anymore in terms of worldview, where we came from, etc since god is such a huge part of her life. It pains me to see the disappointment in her when we disagree, but I must remain honest.

 

I wish you the best with your relationship to your family and in your self-discovery journey! I hope your fears will be replaced with confidence, as long as it may take.

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I'm a little surprised this hasn't already been brought up, and I feel like it may have been at one point, but the search function says differently, so I'll ask anyway.

 

If you were indoctrinated by your parents, do you resent them for it (especially if you've experienced a terror of hell)? I can't decide whether I do or not. While lying in bed last night, terrified that everything I've been taught was true and that the malevolent God of the bible is real, I started to wonder why my parents (mostly my mother) would actively teach me something as disgusting as the belief that people would be thrown into eternal torture just because they didn't buy a 2000-year-old guy's story.

 

But I know she really, honestly believes it to be true, which explains the indoctrination but scares me for other reasons. Would she, if she believed it to be ordered by God (like Isaac and Abraham), murder me? I'm pretty much stuck with her until I'm eighteen, so this concerns me a little. I optimistically believe she'd reason her way out of it, and of course I don't really believe in a god who could actually order her to do things, but there's that little bit of doubt that keeps me from asking her about it.

 

So here's the question: do you resent your parents/guardians/family for instilling in you the belief that you will burn for eternity if you stray from the "narrow road"? Are you rationally or irrationally afraid that their fanatic belief of God will harm you in some way?

 

 

If, as you say, your mother really believed what she was saying, then in her mind it was probably an act of love to tell you about hell and all that goes with that awful doctrine. Given that, I wouldn't be angry at her if I were you. Angry at the religion, yes, but that's a different question.

 

As for wondering whether she would kill you if she really thought that god told her to, perhaps you can take some comfort in the theological aspects of Abraham's willingness to kill his son. Remember, that in the story god stopped Abraham. Most theologians, therefore, teach that the lesson there is that god would never require someone to kill their child for him. It was, from a theological standpoint, "god's" way of telling the people that human sacrifice is always unacceptable and that, therefore, god would never tell a parent to kill their child and allow it to go forward.

 

Every pastor that I ever knew, and I knew plenty of them, had the same message about that story. If your mother felt that god was asking that of her and she went to a pastor, that pastor would undoubtedly tell her that god would never ask that of anyone and would explain the story of Abraham and Isaac the way I did above. What is more, they would probably advise her to seek a mental health professional to help her overcome these thoughts.

 

The "correct" answer from a theological standpoint to the question, "If god told you to kill your child, would you?" would be no. The reason is because it would not be god actually talking to the person since from the story of Abraham and Isaac we know that god would never require that of someone.

 

When the story is understood from the perspective of child sacrifice being some kind of common cultural thing at the time, and then explained as OF did, I get it.

 

When people look at it as a glowing example of faith to emulate, as is also common, I feel really, really sick. I assess that I am in the presence of a religious fanatic and even have trouble feeling safe.

 

Phanta

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I resent my parents for a lot of other things, but not for the indoctrination specifically. For that, I feel more sad, because they're just as indoctrinated as I was.

 

They didn't threaten us kids with hell much at all, because "of course" we're all Christians, and once saved always saved! They do scare me with some of their beliefs, though. Like my mom seems to think that "my parents told me so"/"faith of our fathers" is a good reason to be religious, and feels that it's much more right for a Muslim or Hindu to stick with the way they were raised than for anyone to be an atheist. So if I ever do come out to them, not only will they see me as immoral for rejecting the god they can't imagine not existing, but will take it as a personal slap in the face to them as family. And they're YEC, I do resent the lack of biology taught at my Christian high school. I'd probably have been fascinated by lifeforms and become a biologist or neuroscientist if I'd know more sooner.

 

It mostly makes me extra angry when their way of being religious highlights their underlying character flaws, and I see that their supposed moral guide to life isn't helping them out one bit. And there's nothing I can do about it, and no way to make them love me as I am.

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I don't resent my parents for indoctrinating me because they were indoctrinated as well. I have to take full responsibility for my own actions and not blame others.

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I don't resent my father for it because I know he believed this was the best for me. So I can't resent him for that. I'm just sad that religion managed to switch his brain off.

 

It's an interesting question if he would pull an Abraham/Isaac thing. Maybe yes, but I think he would stop in the last moment (even without angelic intervention). But then I may be wrong.

 

I had a kind of Abrahamic/Isaac moment once - metaphorically speaking:

 

I already mentioned it on this board that I once found a letter in his computer that he wanted to write to me (he never sent it to me), in which he calls me to return to the church and start attending again. And at the end of the letter he wrote in case I don't want to he doesn't want to see me again! It was a big shock to me to read that and sad to see what religion has done to him. And I'm his only child. Like I said, he never sent this letter, but it was still a shock to read that.

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My parents did what they thought they were supposed to do, and their attempts at indoctrination were so half-hearted and feeble they did not take. I don't resent them in the least.

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Guest wester

do you resent your parents/guardians/family for instilling in you the belief that you will burn for eternity if you stray from the "narrow road"?

 

No - I pity them.

Are you rationally or irrationally afraid that their fanatic belief of God will harm you in some way?

 

Their belief did harm me. It caused a complete alienation of every member of my family from each other.

Natural human relationships were driven to the breaking point over the idiotic dogma that children should be sacrificed on the altar of Abraham. Our lives and futures compromised, curtailed and devastated as an offering to their god in proof that the things of this world have been rejected in exchange for eternal life in heaven.

 

Pardon me while I go puke.

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Wow, I have been thinking about this thread a lot. I am very humbled by the majority who say they have no resentment.

 

It is certainly not something I am proud of that I have not been able to work through this and come to the level of acceptance I see here.

 

Valuable insight has been gained. That is why I hang around here.

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I indoctrinated myself, I read the bible and drew my own conclusions from it even though I was only a kid. Sure I listened to other stuff other people said, but because I indoctrinated myself with what I believed Jesus to expect from me, I usually disagreed with what other christians said anyway. I kind of took the words of jesus literally, I am a perfectionist with OCD tendencies so I have a worldview that is different from most people anyway, christian or not.

 

I am responsible for staying in church and in the cult as long as I did. What I do resent is a society that is set up in such a way that it allows the church to further abuse mentally and emotionally ill people and no one does a damn thing about it. I know people who have been driven to suicide and I have been close more than once myself. They drag in the door every wounded soul they can find and often instead of helping them, they make them far worse. They tell them jesus is the answer to all life's questions but they dont ever actuially ASK anyone what they need, they tell them. What they tell them is complete bullshit almost certain to make traumatised people more traumatised and confused. It is a bloody disgrace.

 

I am at the point now where I am completely cynical regarding any formalised religion at all. Come at me waving a bible or koran or your favourite "truth", and you will most likely get a mouthful of back the fuck off and don't bring your poison anywhere near me.

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Guest Ricardo Salinas

Luckily, I made it very clear as a child (seven) that I did not believe a word of it and I was not going to play along. My story is entitled "Ran Like Hell From Religion" under the name Harmonika Savingsbonds and it is posted on this site. Being unusually adamant on this subject, the parents relented and I never had to go to church unless I wanted to. That freed me up to check out all the other religion gimmicks out there. My resentment is not with my family or community's belief in fairies, but more from having to deal with and in a society ruled by these believers in fairies.

I resented seeing the hipocracy of most Xtians. The bible's treatment of women I found appalling, and saw that abuse carried out in families while growing up. I resented the assumption that jesus was THE answer.

Having traveled & seen the world, xtianity seemed foolish.

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Right now, I think I resent the lack of access to modern knowledge more than I do the actual religious experiences, and while I'm ultimately responsible for my beliefs, the deck was stacked against me at the start when it didn't have to be. Anyways, I'm making up for lost time by trying to find out and assimilate all that knowledge I would have had in a non-fundie situation.

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Guest Xtech

I did resent the indoctrination by my mother (my father was indifferent to it all) but mostly I resented her using her religion against me in a hateful, hurtful way - I later learned this is sort of a family tradition. Nice family she comes from. How do I know this? As an adult I asked her, furious, because now that I was a parent I was even more outraged that she could do that to her own child. Her answer: well, my family did it to me.

 

This hateful use of religion really only underscored my doubts and criticisms of Christianity. I had seen upclose and personal how it is used to hurt people. It was not much f a leap at all to understand how religion is used to motivate people to kill during war time.

 

So, big backfire. Of the five of her children, I am an out agnostic and have been for many many years; one brother and one sister are probably also agnostic though I haven't asked, and one is a believer but in a very liberal Christian framework, and one just does whatever others do because he is a kind of mainstream unquestioning kind.

 

But after all these years, I have let go of the resentment about indoctrination because, as others here have said, they were just doing what they had been taught to do. I was loved despite my rejection of Catholicism, which is better than some families are capable of, apparently.

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YES, most emphatically so, I resent those in authority, i.e. the pastor, his wife and everyone else, for the severe indoctrination and inculcation I and my children received at the cult we belonged to, and even though I escaped eleven years ago, when I think too much about it I still get angry about it. Like most people who were a part of a cult we suffered greatly at their hands. This is a very brief answer as I don't like to think about it too much because all those feelings come racing to the surface.

 

So, yes definitely.

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