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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There's plenty in my upbringing to be angry about, but I've more or less arrived at a place in which I acknowledge that it it what it is. There's nothing about it that I can change. I could wish to have had a better education and more books, and I could wish to have had a different family life. What I have instead is crazy stories and fuel for more. I have compassion for people who've been in similar circumstances. And because I'm still surrounded by SDAs, I understand that people are still people even when they're spiritualizing the circumstances of their lives up the wazoo. Because I've learned that, I'm able to extend that same grace to the people of my childhood.
I am not resentful, I think my parents did the best they knew. I am just glad that I figured out " the truth" and did not subject my children to Church School, Academy, and the rest of SDAism.
not a lick, growing up sevy was fun, lots of rules to break, really easy to rebel, like reading the back of the cereal box on saturday morning or going to the movies

No, I do not feel resentful for how I was raised.  My parents did well, and went to great lengths to provide a SDA education 1 thru 16 years for me.  This was done primarily by moving to Adventist ghettos where I could live at home and still participate in the educational environment.  Fortunately, especially in high school and college, I gravitated to a crowd of some wonderful, high achieving kids and they were a very positive influence on my life . . . me as a nobody commoner within the denominational hierarchy.


It wasn't until much later in life that I realized how utterly lacking my exposure to and knowledge of the traditional liberal arts subjects were.  I didn't read novels or the classics.  I knew as much about them as what little I knew about fairy tales.  Even though I graduated with minors in both chemistry and biology, my knowledge was miniscule and steeped in nothing but contempt for any evidence that refuted a YEC/YLC Genesis model. 


Now, in my 7th decade of life, and seeing how the liberal arts curriculums have changed in SDA schools from the 60's, and for certain,  seeing how students in the public education sector are exposed to these prohibited subjects.   I do have resentment for my missing out on that.  I am just now trying to catch up with the great classics.


As a trivial example, it took a young pen-pal friend in Belgrade, Serbia to introduce me to Henry David Thoreau about 5 years ago now.  Also, it was the total accidental discovery of Thomas Paine and "The Age of Reason,"  a book I had absolutely no idea was in existence, that pushed me toward Deism. 


I had read only books from SDA publishers.  No other religious thought or philosophy at all.  I believed they were the work of Satan and would cause me to lose my way.


An aspect of my upbringing that I do regret was that I was isolated from competing ideologies.  It was drilled into me that it was the Adventist way or the death way.


In that respect, I have wasted so many years of my life on nonsense.

What's interesting is my mom went to Gem State in the 1960s and they actually taught her the fundamentals of evolution as found in the text book, granted they included the disclaimer that they thought it was false, but they at least taught it. I took biology at the Jr Academy in Grants Pass, OR in 1999 and the teacher skipped the chapter on evolution and piled on enough homework to make it so that none of us would have time to look at the chapter (I still flipped through it).

Yes, I feel bitter.  My parents are both quite intelligent people and I feel like they could have come to a more reasonable conclusion if they had bothered to take a look.  Even if they had decided to continue to be Adventist and raise my siblings and me that way, it could have been done with more actual discussion.  One of the things that bothers me the most is that I was never asked what I thought - I was told what I thought.  This left me very confused for several years or possibly more.  My upbringing was done with good intentions and I had a happy childhood, but good intentions only count for so much.  I imagine that people act in all kinds of awful ways with "good intentions."


If I could change one thing about my childhood it would be being raised Adventist (although I wouldn't mind it so much if it was less of a rule based Adventism - yes there are a few people out there like that).  I could have gone to schools with actual libraries, taken AP classes, maybe joined clubs at school.  My relationship with my mom would have been much better as she was the one always enforcing the Sabbath and other religious rules.  Maybe I could have actually met people with similar interests to mine.  The most that I can do now is try to bring some modicum of critical thinking to kids in my extended family and possibly some adults.  With the adults I would test the waters first.  I don't want anything to turn into an argument. 

Would have been nice to go to a legit school, no? The library at my school had no librarian and was permanently locked for three years, until I as a junior in high school got permission to open it up and serve as a volunteer librarian so kids could use it. It was only about 4 hours a week, but it was better than nothing!

Which was exactly what we had for AP classes, of course. I independently arranged to take some classes at the local junior college, but enrollment there required special permission from my high school, which you can only imagine was easy to get.

The only club I was in was the newspaper, which again, I started from scratch after the school had gone several years without one. But as crumby as all that was, it certainly cemented my inclinations as a self starter! Though, if all you can say for your school is that you learned to teach yourself, that is a far cry from high praise!

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I feel the same disappointment, my parents had me believe that all they knew was all that was needed to know. From people of seemingly average intelligence the lack of effort to actually bother to listen or look and their emotional absence and complete laziness in general with regard to their lives was just... beyond me. It's like Seventh-Day Adventism is just a script to live by if you're too lazy to live or think, yourself.

I wouldn't say I am resentful or angry because I feel my family was trying to do what they genuinely felt was right. I do feel misled and deprived as it was out of the question to even express the slightest doubt about Adventist doctrine and I wasn't allowed to explore any scientific concept that dared contradict with a strictly fundamentalist teaching of the Bible or Ellen White's teachings. Later in life, upon exploring scientific and philosophical concepts I was never introduced to I was initially angry that I had been raised in such a "bubble" and deprived of other points of view but over time I realized that they were just doing what they felt was right for my "soul" and it was rooted in love but I still felt deprived. I suppose if I believed in Hell now I would do anything in my power to protect my children.

I feel like I've been playing catch up since I was kept from many concepts but in a positive way I use it as a  motivating factor.

My wife and I were talking about this the other night. She is a fairly recent atheist and said that yes she was angry that she wasted so much of her youth on religion. She feels so silly now that she spent nights begging God for forgiveness for having a slice of pepperoni pizza. She was resentful that instead of pursuing and actual legitimate education, she was compelled to go to school to be a missionary which gave her few transferable skills.

Sorry to hear that. It's never too late to go back to school though. Yes years were wasted though and I know how that feels.

My mom told me I couldn't be a lawyer because I'd have to work on Saturdays. She also told me I couldn't be an archeologist because I'd have to learn "EvilSolution." But I left the church my senior year of high school, so I only have myself to blame for not going into law or archeology. But I'm happy with software design.

What does your wife want to do?




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