This is something I have been thinking about lately. Do any of you feel angry? Misled? Or do you feel your upbringing was provided with generally good intentions?

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Yeah, I occasionally get e mail "heads up" or forwards on how Focus on the Family views a movie or set of books my parents fear that my kids might be "involved with". :) (HP, Twilight, Golden Compass)

While we're letting out all our steam, (I'm still smiling at the visual of Dustin flipping the SDA church off every time he drives by!) for the first two years after I left Adventism, the ONLY thing my parents wanted for Christmas or their birthdays was financial contributions to Adventist organizations. I seethingly bit the bullet the first few times, not wanting to rock the boat any further, and the final time I just sent them a check directly with a nice card, even though I knew they would just forward it on to (in this case) the missionaries.

This year they have asked for other things, thankfully. I almost felt like they were trying to get me on as many SDA mailing lists as possible. Also, that they were subtly getting me to pay homage to their belief system as a valid charity.
Today I gave Pacific Press the bird. To complete the visual I was driving on I-84 westbound in my 2009 Dodge Ram with a fellow atheist as we were headed to our local freethought meetup. He was inspired by my example and also gave PP the bird.
LOL. I'm a GSAA alumnist, so yeah, I can picture that exactly!

THIS MAKES ME SMILE!  

love it! haha

Let's start our own charity:  The Dustin Williams Flipping Adventist Churches the Bird Around the World Fund

You know, what is it with the bullying, anyway? I had a very damaging first several years in the Adventist school- and it never really was wholly better - but when I finally left for a larger school, I was at least able to choose my own friends and get away from the people that I was sort of forced to be friends with.

My children go to a small public school- very similar in size to my SDA elementary school- and they just do not tolerate bullying there at all. The teachers are on it- and it doesn't matter who's child is doing the bullying- they ensure it stops.

In my old elementary school, it all had a lot to do with your parents standing in the church. If you were from a newbie family like mine, without a lot of financial resources- well, you were screwed.

I think you hit the nail on the head. It's a small school. If you're in a two grade class with 20 students there aren't very many social options. Had I been going to a large school there would have likely been other nerds that I could have hung out with. The other factor was at least in my school the teachers kept on getting married and moving away. With on exception they were all in their twenties. Young, inexperienced, and clueless.

Fortunately due to the rash of school shootings 10 years ago and the recent suicides of gay students the nation has finally figured out how big of a problem bullying has been and how damaging it is. We've even got the President talking about it.

I'm going to ditto Dustin here...nail on the head. Parents standing in the church had a lot to do with how you were treated in school. I remember being late to school almost every day, crying and begging my mom not to make me go in. It's kind of ironic that I was lucky to have parents who chose to home school me after that. (Obviously, my home school education was very religious.)

 

When they tried to send me back to the SDA school after I'd been in home school, they realized just how very deficient the education was there and I went back home for a few more years. After that I don't think they even considered the SDA elementary school again and when I wanted socialization they put me in public school. It wasn't until high school that I went back to an SDA school.

 

Speaking of which, did anyone here go to WWVA?

No, but I also didn't care too much for the WWVA clique at WWC.
My cousin did and I have a few friends from my WWC years that went there.  I spent some time at Roger's Elementary, but my parents moved away before 6th grade.  Maybe that was a good thing.

" where my social development was completely destroyed by the kind of constant intense bullying that you usually only hear about because it drove the victim to shoot up the school or commit suicide. All of this while the teachers and principal did jack shit"

Holy crap man, sorry to hear that. It sounds like we had a similar childhood in some ways. I was bullied non-stop for much of my 8 years in SDA church school. Constantly picked on, beat up and excluded. Even the younger kids would join in at the prompting of the older ones. To be singled out like that on a daily basis is hell.

When there have been school shootings in the news in recent years, I feel horrible for the victims' families. But I also can't help but wonder what the shooters had been through. I think we all have a breaking point before we do something extreme to change our situation. I look back and feel grateful that somehow things ended differently for me. I just made myself throw up so that I could say home sick when it got to be too much.

I'm glad you made it through that shit Dustin. I've enjoyed your web page, your hosting Chariots of Iron, and of course your posts on here.

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