I was brought up in a strict christian household. In hind-sight I don't think it was a good thing to be told that if I don't believe I'll burn in an eternal pit of fire from as young as I can remember.  Please share your experience with religion and explain why it was bad, or maybe not that bad, and what pushed you to stop believing in it.

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I saw a lot of this during my first 18 years of life in a fundamentalist family.  But I think, unless you're going to be a minister or missionary, boys are taught a lot of the same.  To be obedient without questioning, when someone does something bad to you, turn the other cheek.  I've thought a lot about it, and I don't think these things work. I can't remember them ever working for me.  The church seems to rely on people that follow orders.  I think it's great that your daughters were raised to think for themselves.  What religion and denomination you were part of, Charlene?

I doubt your daughters would have turned out the way they are if you were not a strong woman. You have a spine. Feel around for it!

Geez Louise, I am still trying to overcome Catholic guilt. It's an everyday struggle.

Have a look at the dalai lama's website. since he stepped down as leader of the tibetan people he has taken a more ethical (as opposed to religious) position in regard to compassion and values. I think it is an interesting and thought provoking way of gradually overcoming catholic guilt and insecurity. Casting off a lifetime of religeous domination and mind control can leave one feeling a little insecure (the 'God hole'), but it will fill up with other more worthy and humane principles and thoughts eventually.

Lying to children is outright child abuse.  I don't harbor any ill feelings towards my parents, because they were brainwashed, just as I was.  Being gay made it worse, because I was concerned that I was, in fact, an abomination.  Fun times!  I think the one thing that saved me from the subservient mind set that the other gals have mentioned was my atheist grandmother.  My grandfather was a sailor and she ran the house, so my father grew up with a very strong mother figure and he wanted me to be like her.  Except not the atheist part:)

 

I have worked over the past several years to peel back the puritanical layers that shaped my world view, and I think I am doing pretty well, but in my opinion, it is unjust that I had to work to get to this point at all.  So, yes, harm was done.

If any male thinks repeatedly sticking their tallywhacker into another man's anus/sh_t expunger isn't sick and an abomination, then they must be insane or very sick of mind and it doesn't need any religion to tell you that, blind Freddy could, just as easily!

 

What chu tawkin' bout Willis?

I don't know how this applies to me, since I am a woman.  That being said, man on man sex is totally hot.

Maybe I do participate in anal.  I'm really good with an electroejac.  And I get paid well for it:)

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmZ19Sxab_4

It seems like all of these topics can cast a long shadow on our lives.  But at the breaking point of my faith I felt ecstatic that there's no way for these people who were authority figures to know what they claimed to know.  A gigantic amount of guilt dissipated immediately.  Anyone that judges you has no right to at all.  My former religion taught me to forgive people, but not how to forgive myself.  I've learned the later, for me, is absolutely critical.  After all, the bad things I've done probably aren't that important in the four billion year old scheme of things and maybe 100 or 200 thousand years of humanity.

Although I was raised in a Christian(at least some of the time) home, it really wasn't as negative for me as for some.  If I went to church, it was my own decision.  My mother didn't force me to go, like she did later on with my younger sisters. 

I was basically a good person, with a strong moral compass, so I never bought into the going to hell bit.  I also never had the earth shattering conversion experience that most people I went to church with had.  I guess that was one of the first times I questioned the whole born again thing.  I didn't feel like I changed, or even needed to. I guess that was the beginnings of the doubts that persisted for years for me.

Yes. Religion has done me great harm. 

Believing it was my fault (being a woman and descendent of Eve) that humans were horrible and vile was not good. Being whipped and berated for being a rebellious kid was not good. Being locked in a religious detention facility and having my spirit broken was not good. Choosing my first husband by the way he was dominant (like a good Christian man) was very bad, as he also believed in berating and smacking his wife. Thinking that god was behind all the events of my life was sick, particularly since I would thank him for the adversity and hardships because it was "his will".
Thinking that anybody I did not tell about Jesus would burn in hell and that their blood would drip from my hands on judgement day was traumatic.
The fact I am still subservient and tremble in the presence of men in authority is nerve-wracking.

The reason I left was that I actually read the Bible on my own, rather than with the voice of the preacher in my ears.

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