The thing is, I went to ex gay therapy when I was 12. I know how those people operate. Two things saved me.
1. I simply knew better, on a scientific level, by age 9, that lots of that shit was just not true. I was still a kid, though, so I was still terrified of hell and sin and the like.
2. I am not hard wired to *need* a personal god. Never was. Becoming an atheist was natural.
I know what folks like Kirk Cameron and Ted Haggard believe, though, because I let them brainwash me. It was creepy as hell, the shit I believed about myself after that camp. Took suicide attempts and therapy and all manner of nuttiness to finally realize that this cult like bullshit was killing me.
So glad you saw through that nonsense before doing serious harm to yourself. Honestly, how people can believe what they have to believe to put people through that gay "therapy" is beyond me. How can they not see the real harm they're doing? And if they claim to believe in such a kind, loving god, how can they rationalize doing harm?
The only real harm has been PTSD. Like, when religious people tell me I'm going to hell for being gay, I kind of have flashbacks of being beaten, held in freezing water,etc.
But they seriously see it as saving you from hell, which is, to them, a much worse fate than any physical abuse they might inflict. Anger is the natural reaction to the Ted Haggards of the world, but really, I just feel pity. I know the torture of denying who I am like that. If there is a hell, I can tell you, that's it. They literally run you nuts. For real.
The thing is, I went to ex gay therapy when I was 12.
Eww. Okay, now I know how you ended up in the mental institution where you met your ex. :-p
Meh, as if being 12 years old wasn't already hard enough ...
I was like a little parrot. My mother still has the VHS tapes of me reading from the Bible and professing how I had been healed of those homosexual demons.
the next year, they threw me out briefly because I got caught having sex with a girl in this house. Go figure. That is how so many gays wind up getting caught in back rooms and toilet blocks,etc.
those of us who are out and proud? We don't do stuff like that. We have no reason to go to cruising sites,etc. We know how to have healthy relationships. The ones who can't get past the guilt are the ones they parade in the media. Visit a site called cruisinggays.com sometime. You'll see what I mean.
Aww man. Makes me kind of glad I was raised Catholic. Most of those are some of the most slack buggers (literally, if you're speaking about the priests and altar boys) out there.
At least with Catholics (well, the ones up north) there is none of that BS like tent revivals and church 4 times a week and whatnot. I was raised Baptist/Southern Baptist with some Pentecostal Holiness thrown in. True Holy Rollers. Going up front to get saved, going to see Jim and Tammy Faye at xmas, the whole she- bang.
The level of brainwashing is just crazy.
Yeah, I swear, I think at least half of the Catholic clergy must be atheistic. I get the sense that they believe in the institution far more than the mythology.
Honestly? I think if people weren't so attached to the sense of community that is provided by religion, there would be a lot more atheists. That, and fear of sin, hell, etc. Indoctrination is powerful.
Also, a lot of religious groups are preying on LGBT people seeking their acceptance. I talk about that here.
Thanks for the heads up about "spiritual but not religious". I considered dating people like that because I've had such a hard time finding a childfree atheist in my area. Being in my thirties has made it difficult to find a childfree man alone. Who knew there were so many baby crazy men?