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Non Serviam


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My first post here. Very glad to be here, but struggling to put my story into words -- without putting it into way too many words.

 

The summary: I was raised with a weird combination of horrendously oppressive religion and no real religion at all. I was taught to think for myself -- then punished (and told god would punish me worse) for doing so. Despite the confusion I grew up to be a reasonably sane person -- then discovered many years later that the pain is still within.

 

Does that make any sense? Well, I don't necessarily expect it to.

 

Mom was a sort of general, non-denominational, but utterly fundamentalist Christian of the backwoods variety. Rarely went to church, but sure knew all the parts of the bible that could be used to terrify and control children.

 

Dad was Catholic. No church for him, but plenty of hellfire and no sparing of the rod, or the belt, or the fists, or the insults for his children.

 

We moved a lot and I got sent to whatever Protestant church was handy. Some were merely stupifying (Methodist, Baptist). Others were like horror movies. Ranting, raving, screaming, learning that all the good people (not me) would be raptured away at any moment, leaving my little self to fend off the worst sinners and criminals. I went to one of those for two years, thanks to "friendly" neighbors. My parents had no idea.

 

Never had a moment of love for god or Jesus. Just knew god was spying on me 24 hours a day and would punish me for quintillions of years for the tiniest slip-up. Knew that no good behavior on my part could placate him. Knew that only holding the "right" opinion about Jesus could save me -- and you know, I just couldn't feel it.

 

I became a rebel and a "bad kid." Senior year in high school unbelief in god overwhelmed me one day in class. "I don't believe in god. OMG, I'm going to go to hell for all eternity!"

 

Yeah. Makes no sense, but neither does anything else about religion.

 

Later, in my 20s and 30s, I tried to find truth in Christianity, partly out of fear, partly out of a sincere, unfulfilled spiritual longing. Studied with the JWs, Mormons, Catholics. Read, read, read. The more I studied, the less sense Christianity made. Not one of my questions ever got a credible answer.

 

For a few years, I just gave it all up.

 

Then about 15 years ago I made the mistake of publishing an essay about spirituality being bigger than anybody's dogma. For the next several years I had to contend with hundreds of Christians either condemning me or trying to convert me.

 

Still questing, I listened and asked questions of the Christians who wanted to talk. But it depressed me. Oh my, how it depressed me. I wanted to find the great truth that kept eluding me. Instead, I found myself listening to arguments so foolish and illogical the people making them should have been embarrassed. People I thought were intelligent couldn't string too thoughts together without contradicting themselves or popping out with some elementary fallacy. And so many were so SMUG at the same time.

 

I am still surrounded by proselytizing Christians. Somehow old wounds keep reopening long after I think they should have healed over.

 

My position has always been that I will respect others' beliefs. But I've realized lately that, virtually from birth, too many Christians have not respected me or my humanity in any sense. The bible was used like a club to beat the spirit out of me. Christianity has been an entirely destructive, evil influence in my life that kept me from experiencing real spirituality. I've only now reached the position of not taking it any more.

 

No more respectful listening. No more hoping to finally hear a plausible argument. I really hate what was done to me -- and has been done to millions of others -- in the name of an imaginary, yet incredibly cruel, old warrior god.

 

So here I am. Still speaking out only anonymously. But not going to put up with the BS any more. Maybe one day I'll even get up the courage to say in my own name, "Non serviam."

 

Thanks for listening. Thanks for being here in this great forum. Sorry for going on so long.

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Uh ... that should have been "two thoughts together." I know there must be an edit button around here, but I can't find it. Sorry.

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Welcome, dont worry you will find lost of answers here and you will find lost of open doors to new understanding. All you gotta do is get involved and you will find this to be a great community.

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Guest Valk0010

Uh ... that should have been "two thoughts together." I know there must be an edit button around here, but I can't find it. Sorry.

25 posts get a edit button. Ohh and I love the title.

 

Welcome.

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Although different, many of the elements of your story paralells mine. Perhaps we all see in those whose eyes are opening to the insanity of xianity.

 

May you find peace here among other critical thinkers.

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Hi MerryG! It all makes sense. I can relate to the crippled edit buttons--no worries. :)

 

You didn't go on long at all. We appreciate your sharing your perspective.

 

Hope you find your place and share your wisdom.

 

Peace. B)

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MerryG. Welcome. I can identify with much of what you said. I can remember waking up from my faith-based nightmare thinking to myself "I'm not going to go to church today. I'm suffering from a dose of self-respect."

 

I think in this life we need less stick and more carrot (cake) !

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Guest wester

"too many Christians have not respected me or my humanity in any sense

The bible was used like a club to beat the spirit out of me."

 

Thank you - my story exactly. Cheers

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Welcome, MerryG. I enjoyed your extimony and am glad you came to ExC.

 

Christianity has been an entirely destructive, evil influence in my life that kept me from experiencing real spirituality.

 

I think the above quote is very insightful and you nicely sum up what Christianity really is. The worst part is the insidious nature of it. So often it's victims do not realize its "destructive, evil influence." Rather, they, the Christians who are the religion's victims, think it is wonderful and beautiful. The fact that you have realized this tells me that you have truly escaped and I am so glad for you.

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Thank you for all the welcomes. I'm overjoyed to have landed in a place where people think critically yet welcome so warmly. And I agree, Spectrox -- more carrot (cake)! With cream cheese thick on top!

 

Though I've been a skeptic a long time, only within the last week have I started putting my anger and disillusionment down in words, and at first did it only for myself and a couple of friends. Amazing the healing effect of finally "coming out" publicly.

 

After writing my extimony (great term) yesterday evening, I was flooded with emotions -- some negative (disgust at myself for the thousands of hours over the years I prayed for god to give me some sign of his "love"), more positive (relief to know I could say these things in front of people and not be condemned or proselytized.

 

Then last night I dreamed that I had joined the crew of a spaceship (rationality in motion?) and that we journeyed in search of god. We found something -- but it was so huge, dark, and so mindlessly violent it devoured us before we could begin to perceive its nature.

 

Then, no sooner were we down its throat than it began to gag and heave. We choked it! It vomited us out. Our spaceship was nearly destroyed in the upheaval. But in being ejected, we tore through its enormous razor teeth, breaking its jaws, shredding its tongue, leaving its head in ruins, killing it. Then, soaring out of its jaws -- we were able to perceive that it was nothing but a vast carnivorous reptile (the primitive part of the human brain?). And dead, dead, dead, dead, dead!

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Hi Merry, thank you for sharing and welcome to ex-C. Hope that you start to find the strength, comfort, acceptance and healing you seek (and deserve!!), here :)

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MerryG,

 

I'm a relative newbie too. Your post had this down-to-earth wistfulness to it that really touched me.

 

Welcome! :)

 

p.s, You didn't even remotely "go on too long." I am the QUEEN of going on too long. You want an example of that? Just check out my last post. It begins, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. . . " ;)

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Thank you for all the welcomes. I'm overjoyed to have landed in a place where people think critically yet welcome so warmly. And I agree, Spectrox -- more carrot (cake)! With cream cheese thick on top!

 

Though I've been a skeptic a long time, only within the last week have I started putting my anger and disillusionment down in words, and at first did it only for myself and a couple of friends. Amazing the healing effect of finally "coming out" publicly.

 

After writing my extimony (great term) yesterday evening, I was flooded with emotions -- some negative (disgust at myself for the thousands of hours over the years I prayed for god to give me some sign of his "love"), more positive (relief to know I could say these things in front of people and not be condemned or proselytized.

 

Then last night I dreamed that I had joined the crew of a spaceship (rationality in motion?) and that we journeyed in search of god. We found something -- but it was so huge, dark, and so mindlessly violent it devoured us before we could begin to perceive its nature.

 

Then, no sooner were we down its throat than it began to gag and heave. We choked it! It vomited us out. Our spaceship was nearly destroyed in the upheaval. But in being ejected, we tore through its enormous razor teeth, breaking its jaws, shredding its tongue, leaving its head in ruins, killing it. Then, soaring out of its jaws -- we were able to perceive that it was nothing but a vast carnivorous reptile (the primitive part of the human brain?). And dead, dead, dead, dead, dead!

 

I didn't see this until after I responded to your first post. I have only one response:

I am REALLY looking forward to seeing more of your writing! :)

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