My brother and I were raised by a single mother.  We were raised in Christian Science, with a minor in Judaism but we were also taught to question, think freely and to keep our minds open.  My mother, having been raised in what people commonly think of as a cult, was insistent on being kind and tolerant of other people's beliefs.  She accepts my atheism fully and is incredibly supportive of my husband and I.

 

My brother married a fundie.

 

My sister-in-law is a mostly lovely person, but she belongs to one of those mega-churches - or as mega as a church can be in a teeny, rural town.  Their church believes that they can heal you by smacking you in the forehead.  They don't believe in evolution.  They believe in blanket training.  They believe that falling to the floor, flailing and speaking in tongues is a rite of passage.  They believe that giving a girl a purity ring and abstinence-only sex-ed is the way to go.

 

They have this thing called Honor Stars, which is a coming of age thing - sort of like Confirmation or a Bat Mitzvah.  And when my niece turned twelve, she had one.  And because we go to all of that stuff for all of our nieces and nephews, we packed up the car and drove nine hours to rural Kansas. 

 

I didn't realize that the "thingy" was part of their church service.  Blech.  But we powered through...or I should say *I* powered through.  My daughter was unusually fussy and my husband dutifully kept her out in the lobby most of the time.  I swear he must have been pinching her legs or something.

 

At one point in the service, the pastor said "How many of you are having money problems?"  And most of the congregation raised their hands.  "How many of you are having problems with your spouse?"  Many of them raised their hands...hell, I almost raised mine because I was miffed at being deserted with the weirdos rolling around on the floor.  "How many of you are having problems with your job?  How many of you are having problems with your children?  You need to give that to God!"

 

And I'm thinking to myself...Isn't it funny that the only two people in the place who aren't having these problems are the atheist and the agnostic?  Give it to God?  NO!  Do something about it!  Get some NON religious marriage counseling.  Your wife doesn't HAVE to be a stay at home mother if you can't afford it just because she has a vagina.  If you hate your job, look for something else!  Maybe if you hadn't brutalized your children with blanket training and that spare the rod bullshit, they wouldn't be seething with hatred for you and acting like assholes.  God isn't going to help you.  Be the ruler of your life.  Don't give it to the Sky Man and hope something happens.  Get off your knees and help yourself.

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Comment by Joy Cody on May 16, 2011 at 4:58pm
@Pixie - that was one of the nicer things I've read on blanket training. It's truly ugly. It makes me so glad my brother and his wife didn't know about it when my niece was a baby. They seem to do whatever their church says.
Comment by Monica S. on May 16, 2011 at 1:13pm
And...wow..um..anyone want to make a rage comic out of that?
Comment by pixie on May 16, 2011 at 1:07pm

For those asking what blanket training is, I was curious and did a Google search. It may have ruined my day. Here is one blogger who had my blood boiling: http://liftmynoise.blogspot.com/2008/01/blanket-training-essie.html It's not the "official" explanation, but it does give insight into the how and why of the practice.

 

 

Comment by Monica S. on May 16, 2011 at 11:31am
The best quote I ever heard was by Fredrick Douglass. To paraphrase it, "I prayed for 20 years but didn't get any results until I did the work my damn self."
Comment by Joy Cody on May 16, 2011 at 10:40am
Oh blanket training is just lovely. It's where you put a baby on a blanket and spank them if they try to get off. Like if their toy rolls off the blanket, it's gone unless the parent retrieves it. It's basically church-sanctioned abuse. My brother and his wife didn't do it, but there are people from their church who swear by it.
Comment by Jim DePaulo on May 16, 2011 at 10:28am
WTF is blanket training?
Comment by Joseph Breton on May 16, 2011 at 9:43am

"Get off your knees and help yourself."

 

I like that. Kinda catchy. It sounds like a good phrase for a T-shirt.

Comment by Meddlesome on May 16, 2011 at 8:21am

They believe in blanket training.

 

What is that ?

M.

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