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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I'm sure the archaeologists working at Adventist universities would be hurt by your mom's views. Of course any biblical scholar, theologian, or archaeologist with half a brain can only continue in the church with a high degree of existential cognitive dissonance. 

I'm fortunate that I was heavily involved in extracurriculars (clubs and student government) and worked plenty of jobs  (RA, computer support, dorm chaplain, student dean) so I had some transferable skills. But it still took me over 200 job applications to get 5 interviews and one job offer. 

Try two years of unemployment, go Australia. Sry bit off topic.

I'm not resentful because I think my mother was doing what she thought was best at the time, and I didn't really have a terrible experience like some people might have. I'm only sad that there are things I've only begun to experience the past years that most people get to experience all throughout their lives. 

Yes, I think my mom meant well, but I don't think she knew exactly what to do to make sure we grew up well. Also, since she was raised in this church, she was misled as well. She has changed a lot over the past few years and has become more liberal, so I don't know if she'd make the same choices today as she did back then. I like to think of it as we're both learning and changing for the better. 

Well, I did resent being kicked out because I left the church. I resented having ridiculous lies told about me by my own mom. I resented my dad not standing up for me. He even told me at the time that he didn't have a problem with me but that he didn't want to, "rock the boat with your mother."

Years later I confronted my mom, who I'd still stayed in touch with. She said she didn't remember most of the events. I ended up sort of feeling sorry for her. To go that bonkers over your beliefs and then block out the hurtful things that you had said and done doesn't seem that stable to me.

When I first found out about all of the deception and dirty tactics by the church regarding EGW I was angry. But mostly just angry at people who had been dead for ages. So yes, I guess I do have some level of resentment. But mostly I just feel occasional frustration that people can't see what seems so obvious and knowing that it has and will continue to hurt others.

Kicked out of the house? That's rough. I guess you mom took who Jesus' anti-family values pretty seriously (whoever loves family member x more than me...).

Ah well. She was more old school. She used Deuteronomy 5:14 "But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son..."

I had started working on Saturdays to try saving $ for college. I'd told them around a year prior that I was no longer SDA, but was still Christian. They said they would still help pay for tuition. Then they reneged, so I needed money and had little choice.

Our church was really old. EGW had actually preached at it. The majority of the member were really old and the theology was really old too. I'm not exaggerating when I say that they worshiped the 10 commandments and the Sabbath above all. No they didn't literally bow down to a graven image of the commandments, but that's how they lived. We were taught Jesus, but mostly as a proof that it was possible to keep the commandments, just like he did.

My parents, I feel, did their best with what they knew at the time. However, I do feel angry about the years of wasted time, constant anxiety, guilt and fear, and the flak I got every sabbath for asking questions and pointing out inconsistencies.  I'm angry that my natural curiosity and intelligence were constantly thwarted and I was made to feel ashamed of them, as if having a brain (especially as a female) was some kind of moral failing.  I'm angry that I was taught that my period was the result of Eve's sin and that childbirth was a punishment. I'm angry that my former pastor told me that women could not hold church office and should never "have authority over men".  I remember hiding books about evolution and astronomy under my mattress like they were porn, afraid my parents would catch me reading them.  I grew up in a small, conservative mining town that was mostly Catholic, and not only was I not one of the "cool" Catholic kids, I was a member of a freaky fundagelical "cult" - I'm angry I had to endure that stigma too.  I'm angry at the hypocrisy  and sexual hi-jinks I personally witnessed - to hell with not holding the church responsible for its members.  What else is a church beside its members?  When I was a single parent, the same married elders who ostracized me in church (for having no male head of household and thus living in sin, I guess) later propositioned me when they thought no one was looking.  The church insisted that I refuse to join the union at my place of work, and I had to endure grief at work for that.  Worse, I had to give the money I would have paid in dues to the church.  I was a single mom working for little more than minimum wage, and yet they didn't turn a hair at taking my nickels and dimes.  Yes, I'm angry at all these things...but they're not why I became an atheist.  One day I simply refused to be a victim any longer, and quit.

I became an atheist years later, when, after much study, I realized that there simply was not any evidence for God, and that the bible was a collection of primitive myths.  The members of my former church were just ordinary human beings laboring under a delusion - no better and probably no worse than many other human beings.  It wan't anger at them that freed me, it was education in science and medicine.  In a way, I suppose it was my upbringing that led to my atheism; without the stimulus of that anger, that sense of oppression, I might never have questioned.  I might be like my mother, still wringing her hands over her fear of not having all of her family with her in heaven.  I might still be hiding whatever dim light of intellect and skill I have under the proverbial bushel.  Worse, I might have passed on that mind-numbing conformity, that oppression, to my children and made my anger theirs.  But because of my reaction to my upbringing, they are free today, and so am I. 

Good for you Dorris. I sounds like you're a very strong person.

The sexism in the Bible has always been something that I never bought into, even when I believed that the Bible was 100% inerrant. I knew that the submissive women tripe was there, knew it was total crap, but still believed in the magical book. I think I just ignored that little thorn in the back of my mind. I wasn't a woman, so it wasn't about me. I don't think I've ever been very sexist (mom was pretty dominant when I was growing up). So I probably figured that I wasn't part of the problem. So what if my sacred book is sexists? So what if it demanded genocide? So what if God hates fags? It's not me doing it...

You know what's weird to me?  When I was a churchgoer and bible-reader, I noticed things like the glaring impossibility of the creation story and the Flood, the question of who Cain married in the land of Nod if his parents and brothers and sisters were the only people on earth, the differences in the gospels about the circumstances of Christ's birth and life, and God's preoccupation with inconsequential things like what you ate or how you dressed - but I never noticed that the whole "salvation" story, from start to finish, was completely crazy until I became an atheist!  Like, why does it take innocent, sin-free blood to atone for sin?  How, exactly, does that work?  Who defined sin in the first place?  It seems to be "not paying enough attention to God".  So, how does blood fix that?  God sacrifices himself to himself, and somehow that fixes everything, but only if you believe it.  Why is belief required?  If god is real, why does it matter whether we believe it or not?  What a piece of crap the whole story is.  No book today would ever get published with those kind of continuity problems and gaping plot holes.

Actually that whole blood atonement and sacrifice of a perfect man in place of us was the very first thing that struck me as totally stupid. It was when I was about 9. Every time I tried to bring it up, it was angrily and quickly refuted with "it's obviously God's idea to make it more simple so that humans can understand how bad sin is." My parents whole style of apologetics was made up excuses like that though. When I told Dad when I was 21 that I was sick of making excuses for God he didn't get it whatsoever. Cognitive. Disonance. Much.




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