Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

47 thoughts on “Interlude

  1. That about sums it up.


  2. Sad but true.


  3. Yet there is hope. You, me, and many others have changed our minds 馃檪


    • Thanks for the visit, Sister Christian! 馃槈

      Yes, there is hope. There is a small, but growing, number of formerly closed-minded people that, for one reason or another, are slowly opening up to the realization that the object of our affections was only a figment of our imaginations. If there is a god it isn’t that one. 馃榾


  4. A perfect example of the power of religious indoctrination, and why it should be declared a mental illness, and some form of restriction put in place to protect children.


    • I’m not sure how to accomplish that feat in this country when freedom of religious expression is the foundation of it’s Constitution. Parents here are even granted immunity when they refuse to seek medical treatment for perfectly treatable conditions for their children and they die because the parents decided that prayer trumps medical treatment. I’ve never had children of my own, but I cannot imagine – under any circumstances – forgoing proper medical care for wishful thinking.


  5. Children should most definitely be protected from this mindfuck. I speak from experience. Teaching children about hell is child abuse.


    • I agree with you, but I wonder how this idea could be made mainstream. Got any ideas?


      • Hi Lydia,

        Well, right now children are still considered property for the most part, at least in America. I’m not sure how long it will take for the extensive studies to make the mainstream, but there are plenty of them. I’m quoting from the Center for Disease Control:

        The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations ever conducted to assess associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. The study is a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente’s Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego.

        More than 17,000 Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) members undergoing a comprehensive physical examination chose to provide detailed information about their childhood experience of abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction. To date, more than 50 scientific articles have been published and more than100 conference and workshop presentations have been made.

        The ACE Study findings suggest that certain experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life in the United States. Progress in preventing and recovering from the nation’s worst health and social problems is likely to benefit from understanding that many of these problems arise as a consequence of adverse childhood experiences.

        I should note that my parents didn’t teach me about hell — the RCC did from a very early age. I had night reoccurring night terrors as a result that lasted from age 4 to 10. I guess I was a sensitive kid, but telling children that the people they love are going to burn in hell for eternity, or if you disobey, you are headed that way, yourself, is unforgivable, and such psychological abuse should be criminalized.


      • If a parent, even in America, threatens to burn their child for misbehaving it is considered child abuse. The threat of being burned for all eternity should be considered abuse no less. I have no idea why parents don’t realize, if they were traumatized by hell as children, their children will be no less traumatized. Perhaps that’s what they’re going for? That’ll really put the fear of god into them!


    • Ironically ACE also stands for Advanced Christian Education, Creationist based private schooling that flourishes in the States England Australia and even here in South Africa.
      They even have a text book showing a human riding a dinosaur and this is taught as fact.

      How can this not be considered abuse?

      This chap is a YEC and sees nothing wrong with this.



      • ACE curriculum is used widely here, too. There’s a Christian School who had asked me for an estimate on some work. I overheard some of the staff talking about their curriculum while I was at a meeting one day. I’ve never been so relieved to not get a client.


        • I’ll bet!

          I was flabbergasted to discover they operate here in SA. and over in the UK too.
          Blogger and atheist Jonny Scaramanger and a former ”product” of ACE, is campaigning against it in England and is busy writing a book of his experience.
          Fascinating…and scary!


      • “This chap is a YEC and sees nothing wrong with this. “

        That explains a lot. I’ve been following the debate on V’s blog.

        Also, Jonny has done an incredible job at bringing awareness regarding Accelerated Christian Education. I went to Catholic school for a couple of years while in elementary school, and also had to take CCD classes. I was thoroughly indoctrinated before I reached Jr. High.

        However, I will say that even in public schools, I was being prepared to be a homemaker. I excelled in the sciences and was top in my math class for several years, but my guidance counselor encouraged me to take home-economics, and I did for 5 years. I’m not dissing women (or men) who choose to be stay-at-home parents. That’s a noble profession, but it is also devalued. It won’t get you a job in the outside world, even though you do learn valuable skill sets.


    • Makes me an abuser. 馃槮


      • The intention was to place that comment under Victoria’s @ Mar. 27 5:47 p.m..

        And when the abuser wakes up and gets the hell out it doesn’t change the fact. And living with that is hell.


        • *hugs*

          Those of us who were so indoctrinated have done it. I’m now watching my step-daughter go deeper and deeper into it. I taught her that. It breaks my heart watching her indoctrinate her own children.



      • Zoe, I’m with Ruth. *hugs*

        It is intrinsic that we nurture and protect our children. When that doesn’t happen, something is amiss. Any religion that indoctrinates — that sanctions abuse in the name of their god — are responsible and should be held accountable.

        “It’s not the ‘bad’ apples — it’s the barrel.” ~Philip Zimbardo


        • We continued the indoctrination because we, too, were indoctrinated. We were abused and in a sick, twisted way, believed it was love because we were taught that, too.

          Johnny Scaramanga has some great articles and guest posts about this.


          • “We continued the indoctrination because we, too, were indoctrinated.’

            Quite true.

            I’m a great fan and follower of Jonny’s blog, and have contributed often in discourse there over the past year. I was indoctrinated to not spare the rod, and was told over and over that this was tough love, and in the best interest of the child. I only spanked my child once, and didn’t do it in a state of anger.

            Afterwords, I went into my room and wept. I knew from the depths of my being that this was wrong and I never did it again. I also never indoctrinated her about hell, even though (at the time) I believed in hell and was a devout believer.

            Also — I simply could not visualize Jesus abusing children — and perhaps that contributed in overriding my indoctrination.


      • Aw, Zoe, don’t make me cry. I know my kids are younger than yours when I deconverted, but I can relate to some of the pain you’re experiencing. I’ll never forget how much my oldest HATED an Assembly of God church we went to while we lived in southern California. He was just a preschooler and the idea of church, especially our last few months there, just made him nuts! They didn’t receive him well. I knew that to a small degree, but he was continually aware of it. He improved dramatically once we left that brainwashed piece of crap, but you know what we ended up doing? We moved to Tennessee and stayed in Christianity for another 3 years! Both my boys have two (first and middle names) strong, Old Testament names and I ignorantly had them circumcised. I can’t take any of those things back nor can I take back all of those times I spanked them. Both of them have been in Church nurseries while they were babies at different Churches. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve picked them up and their diapers/pull ups were soak and wet. While at that crazy AG Church I mentioned, my oldest boy was consistently wet. It started with just his pullup, then his pants. Then one day my husband and I picked him up and his pull up, pants, shirt and socks were all soak and wet with piss. We made a big deal about it when we picked him up that time and it was as if no one noticed our disgust. We then contacted the pastor who over saw the children’s department in that Church. I know for a fact that we never left our boys at those Church nurseries wet or dirty. In fact, if anything happened between the house and Church we took care of it before the Church service started. That particular AG Church was a 25 mile drive, one way!

        Then there’s all those countless, dumb ass prayer meetings we had with our family, as well as all of those destructive Bible verses we read. DAMN!

        Zoe, you tried, you really did. All you can do now is remind your kids that you love them and will always love them, no matter. Up until very recently, I have apologized to my kids for exposing them to the cult of Christianity, past spankings and their circumcisions. I’m sure more things will come up for me to apologize to them about. I know parenting is like that anyway, but there’s something so damnable about religion, I wonder if I will ever be at the place where I can quit apologizing for the damage it’s done to my children.

        I wish you well, dear Zoe. I do have some understanding about your pain and it REALLY does hurt on this side of faith. As mommies, we just want to right all our wrongs, cuddle our babies and do all that we can to nurture our children.

        Recently, a Baptist children’s pastor in Alabama was arrested for raping children. He’s victimized so many kids that he’s lost count. Someone commented on the article that maybe we need a minimum age requirement for Church, as we have for marriage and gambling. I think that’s a great idea. At the same time too, I know how heavily indoctrinated I was in the Pentecostal home that I grew up in.

        Go with peace, Zoe. Always know that your secular family here in blog world loves you. Often your tears are our tears. We all understand and we all care for you immensely. Seriously, you seem like such a gentle soul, it hurts me to think of you going around beating yourself up for past mistakes that you have tried your best to make up for.


  6. I used to think Christianity finds most of its adherents from the ranks of the poor and I still think this is true as South America and Africa are where the greatest number of conversions are found.

    Indoctrination as we have all discussed before seems to be the glue and it crosses all boundaries, rich vs poor, educated vs illiterate, etc.

    It will take several more generations to overcome this but we have witnessed progress over the past 200 years and I think awareness is growing exponentially .


    • Agreed, Ken. The less educated seem to believe more in witch-doctoring and voodoo and supernatural explanations altogether. Even the well-educated don’t seem to particularly mind plugging God into the gaps where they don’t have answers.


  7. Having been at one time in my life a fundamentalist Christian, and having lived among them my whole life (up to now, I mean!), I think I can safely say that first item represents only the public face of the fundy Christian. I have heard too many anguished doubts and soulful lamentations from bewildered and disappointed believers to accept most never have doubts. I had mine and they proved fatal to my fundamentalist faith. And I haven’t been back since.


    • I think that the pinnacle of faith of Christians is to be able to say that if faced with certain death over their convictions they would continue to hold them. Their religious indoctrination(I know mine did) tells them so. It’s really not that far of a leap, then, to suicide bombers dying for their religious cause. It’s not so far a stretch to be able to understand the mind of a person who would murder and abortion doctor or blow up a clinic.

      I know that at one point in my faith I would have said much the same thing as what is posited in the meme. I wasn’t certain I could declare it outright, but I did hope that if ever faced with the situation I wouldn’t buckle and deny Christ.

      So, yes, I do see what you’re saying about this only representing the public face of fundy Christianity. At the same time, I know many people who are so frightened by their doubts that they only dig deeper in instead of living out the doubts. For many, many, their doubts only serve to prove their faith. Their belief in hell makes them fear their doubts instead of breathing through them. To them their doubts, and the doubts of others, is evil – the spawn of Satan himself. They plug their ears and sing ‘la-la-la’ as loud as they can. Those are the ones for whom business is closed.


  8. Because most Christians believe that the only way the can possibly change their mind is if their beliefs are either ridiculed or beaten out of them. Education or reason is never a factor. Their persecution complex demands that we just want to wash ourselves of the Christian nuisance by, well, by persecuting them!


  9. One of Christianity’s fundamental problems is that it considers doggedly clinging to a belief system (come hell or high water) to be a virtue. To me it is a shortcoming


  10. Ruth, Victoria, and Charity 鉂 鉂 <3.

    It's difficult when a new generation comes along.

    I wish it had happened earlier in my life and I wish I'd had women like you around to help work through it.

    I think who I am as a person and how I'm wired makes my suffering prolonged. I could actually do with some crying, some deep mourning, might be good for me. Thank you all. And Charity . . . oh the stories we could tell eh?


    • 鉂 Zoe — because of my own personal experiences as a child with corporal punishment, I had a trigger after reading your first comment to me. My parents spanked me, even using a belt and switches; but I was psychologically and physically abused by nuns and priests in Catholic church and school. I wanted to reach out to you, but things have been intense in my life (no thanks to Christians), and I've been on edge lately. I'm so sorry for what you've felt. And I'm sorry if what i posted caused a trigger for you.


      • Shoot. I’m sorry NeuroNotes. Yes, I could see how that would be a trigger. I was agreeing with you. Was hoping my follow-up comment explained a bit. I’ll likely never let myself off the hook. The whole thing is one big trigger for me. I even read a post today on WordPress where they are discussing *triggers* and it triggered me.

        Things are very tense for me too so I can understand. No I wasn’t triggered by your comment at all because I already carry that burden of feeling/knowing that I abused our children though I don’t think they’d say I did, but I think I did by teaching them Bible crap which did include hell and Satan and well, we’ll leave it at that.

        My heart aches for other reasons too that I’ve written about in private password posts. I can’t remember if you’ve read them but reading here about your Catholic experiences I know you’d understand.

        Thanks for letting me know. May we both find some peace soon.


        • Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Zoe. I’m in the middle of writing a very intense post about some of my experiences during and after deconversion, and the fallout, so my emotions have been raw lately. Doing research has really helped me through a lot — and has given me a unique perspective about ‘human nature’. I think that has been my saving grace, but I still have my moments and holding all this stuff in for years has only recently come to the surface since I joined WP.

          I have read several of your blog posts, but I’m not sure I’ve read your password protected posts. I remember you mentioning something about that when you switched back over to your other blog. I promise that when things settle down for me, hopefully soon, I’ll get over there and catch up. I do think I have come to terms with everything that has happened — and like I mentioned, research has helped me much. But I’m dealing with the one thing I didn’t allow myself feel fully — anger. I’ve been letting it out little by little. However, my next post will be an explosion. 馃榾 Fuck diplomacy.


    • “I wish it had happened earlier in my life and I wish I’d had women like you around to help work through it.”

      I wish I had wised-up a lot sooner, too. But when I started having doubts and questions it surely was a relief to find bloggers like you, Zoe. *more hugs*


  11. I’m baaaaack!

    Check out my conversation with DagoodS on the subject if any Jews were expecting a suffering/dead messiah:



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