I was brought up in a fundamentalist family.
Anyone still dealing with any issues from religion?
Do you fear the result of coming out Atheist to your family?
Any thoughts are welcome.
Wow, Steph, I was just writing about this very topic, editing my eBook, High School With Rudy Giuliani, A National Problem.
Here’s the very paragraph I was working on. See if you agree.
Later on when I became an atheist writer I became troubled by the very idea of “original sin.” Many families are forced to send their kids to Christian school to avoid tough public schools, even at their children’s most tender, impressionable stage. This gives the clerics a chance to write anything they want on the child’s innocent “belief space,” as an incompetent teacher would write on a blank blackboard with indelible chalk. In return, teachers instill pernicious concepts which stay with young students their entire lives, no matter how free thinking and independent minded they may become. Elementary school kids become indoctrinated with thought that they are naturally evil and if they don’t obey God’s commandments they will suffer unimaginable, unbearable, eternal hellfire. Christian school kids become hadephobes, subconsciously fearing God’s wraith their entire adult lives. Kids are even afraid to think freely, fearful that God might intercept some “covetous” thoughts.
That’s basically the national problem referred to in the title. Clerics are indoctrinating children at a tender age and leaving indelible fears and traumas which stay with the victims their entire lives no matter how liberated they may become as adults.
The national problem is that many city public schools are so tough and violent, concerned parents are forced to send their kids to parochial schools just to avoid the gangs and malevolent people.
It needs a better title, the one you have gives people no idea what the book is about.
Laura, my main idea was to bring attention to the national problem and my own life was an example of it. And I was in the high school class of 1962. The national problem is as troublesome now as then.
Precisely: the public school system is so inept, dangerous, and anti-intellectual, that parents rather send their kids to parochial schools, even at the cost of letting kooky oddball clerics indoctrinate their kids with bizarre superstition, as well as have to pay hard-earned cash.
The only answer is to improve the public school system. Otherwise, many people will have Steph's complain that they were indoctrinated as children.
"Forced into religion by our public high schools". Something like that, would give people the gist of what it's about.
For me, I didn't really fear coming out but I did put it off completely until my Baptist preacher father died. They all know that I don't go to church, so I just left it at that. I actually want everyone to know that I'm Atheist, but I still haven't used that word with family members and I'm now 67 years old. My excuse is that Mom is still alive. When she's gone, I might just make a big announcement on facebook. In the mean time, my brothers and sisters are getting book recommendations from me and a few other hints. It won't be a big surprise when the time comes.
I came from a Baptist family too Roy. I too have those same issues you have. My mom is alive too - so now would not be the right time to come out completely. One day I will be completely out.
My mother just went into an assisted living facility a couple of weeks ago. Hate to see that happen, but I do feel a little more at ease about telling family members that I'm Atheist.
I can only speak for myself.
Recovering from religion isn't something that just goes away.I would like for it to disappear but, this is my wishful thinking.
I live with it 24/7.
Sometimes its very painful.
I fear coming out Atheist.It is very lonely being an Atheist.Even here I find it painful.There is no one thing to point a finger.
I think of myself as a Spiritual Omnivore/cultivator.I love Humanism.Plain & Simple.
This is all I wish to share at this point.
Thank you Richard. I agree that recovering from religion is not something that just goes away. You do have to live with it. I am glad you are on the site and we are here for you.
In reply to Steph and Richard's above, "There is no one thing to point a finger at" and "you do have to live with it", I think we're uncovered a serious problem with the educational system. A sinister and horrible legacy of Christian education is hadephobia which stays in the subconscious even as we write these pages on A/N.
It resides in the deep recesses of the brain like a dormant virus that causes neurosis, unrest and fear of the unknown. Injected at a tender kindergarden age it never completely goes away.
Just think, with all the sick, deranged serial killers this country produced over the years, not one of them even comes close to the perversion and sadism of the concept of an eternal hell. Hopelessness forever, just unending torture and pain. Pretty sick.
At our moment of death, I'd bet it returns to haunt us, no matter how much education we've accumulated to ward it off.
Purgatory was invented by the Vatican to provide priests with another stop in the indulgences journey. When a priest asked a poor peasant in Mexico why he wept and the peon said, "For my mother. She died. And she was a cruel woman." The priest: "Well, perhaps she was a good mother but had faults. She sinned. Perhaps she is not in Hell but in Purgatory. For a small contribution [to the priest's vacation fund] I will say a prayer to Dios to get her out of Purgatory and into Heaven." Christopher Hitchens, Chance bless His name, wrote a fine essay on the subject of indulgences.
Thank you James