A, incredibly off the wall/creepy girl I knew in high school (a very fanatical Catholic) once described hallucinations of fire and flowers she would see while walking down the school hallways. Of course, she didn't call them hallucinations, they were "visions" to her. The things she described and her extreme paranoia make me think she was most likely schizophrenic. What's even sadder is the would most likely never seek or receive help for it because she'd been so thoroughly brainwashed by her church and parents into believing that the voices she heard and the things she saw were "messages from god".
One once told me that I valued human life too much....(this was during a debate about god allowing the holocaust)
*Shudder* That to me is when all negotiation breaks down. I so often use violent/genocidal/sexist bible verses to illustrate its amorality. But that assumes that the person really doesn't want to be seen as violent/genocidal/sexist.
Then you run across someone who doesn't mind that label at all.
I was raised in a Mormon family in Utah and have heard plenty of weird and creepy things. I'd have to say one of the creepiest things came from my wife's Uncle, who is odd even by Mormon standards. Uncle Rick was so certain that Armageddon would happen with the new millennium and thus usher in the second coming of Jesus that he was making explosives in preparation for the impending famine and violence. Gotta protect that two year food supply from the godless starving masses ya know.
Well Rick wasn't as careful as he should have been and wound up blowing the backside of his house up and breaking all the neighbors windows. It was "miraculous" that he survived at all, a coincidence that was later lauded (ad nauseum) as "proof" that Holy Undergarments protect the righteous. Rick survived having lost his right arm and most of the fingers of his left hand. His abdominal cavity will never heal over and he has to wear a mesh apparatus that keeps his innards in. Also his face is severely disfigured.
Now for the creepy bit. We had been living out of Utah for a number of years and were visiting for a wedding when Uncle Rick took a shine to my then 4 year old son. I knew enough to stay close and not let anything too creepy happen, but he did cause my son some duress when he told him that Jesus had taken his fingers. LOL I guess its something you'd have to see to get the whole impact of it. But imagine being four years old and having this grizzled image of a man tell you that Jesus collects fingers like a sick soldier collects ears. Fortunately my boy had enough thinking skills to realize how ridiculous that would be. He still mentions it even 10 years later.
I think this was once in the news, but this guy I had just met told me that the market crash was a sign of God for all the wrong things America had done. He said he knew so since there was the number 777 and that's a holy number.
Now, I deserve a prize for not punching him in the face and just smiling back.
Also, then there was this guy I really admired back when I was in high schoool and was catholic. Last thing I knew about him was that he was going to become a priest. We met again via facebook and started talking about stuff. He asked if I still believed in God and I said no. We moved to other stuff, but latter he asked me if I knew why he hadn't say a thing about my non-belief (when I met him years ago, I was a staunch catholic) and I said if it was because he was glad that I had found something that better suit me. He said that it was because it requires bravery to believe in God and if I didn't have it, it was better not to do it.
I didn't knew what to answer, but was a little taken aback. The guy I once admired was this self-righteous douchebag that just called me a coward.
For his birthday, I told him that I wanted to send him a boy, but couldn't, so, just, happy birthday.
Where is the 'bravery' in being a believer? In psychological terms I think this is known as 'projection'. Here he is leaning on an invisible man fairy tale to make his decisions for him and to calm his fears about evil and death and he has the gall to call you(!) a coward? What a douche bag.
Right! What's so brave about following the status quo? According to opinion polls, 80-some odd percent of people consider themselves religious in the United States (and if you are from another country I apologize for Americanizing this), the vast majority of this number Christian, and think it's brave to follow the majority? Hmm...
My Catholic Uncle recently annouced at breakfast last Sunday "Lori needs religion" I sat there stunned. My family consists of mostly agnostics who could care less about religion neither for, nor against it. Luckily my cousin sitting next to me, annouced for the first time in front of the family, he too was anti-religious. I was so happy he did that.