I deny not the first spark of life, the first carbon that forms a reproductive system. The beginning may have been a bolt of lightning. If so, from where did the bolt of lightning come? It came from chemical processes that developed as the stars exploded and produced the various elements. From where did the elements come? I don't know.

What I do know is the god that comes into my life is through the teachings of my family and community. They told me that god is good even as they also describe god killing all the firstborn, Death of firstborn: Ex. 11:1–12:36 - The Plagues of Egypt in the story of the Exodus. You may say that god has a reason for which we do not know. I say that is an outrageous response.

My family and community told me god loved us so much he raped a young woman without her consent, she bore a son who grew and was crucified for our sins. Are you serious? There can be no such redemption and you insult my intelligence to say my family and community taught me well.

My family and community taught me that Homo sapiens are to multiply. If god is so wise, did she not know that there would come a time of exponential growth that will destroy human life and much of life forms on Earth. Ignorance is no excuse for stupid ideas.

My family and community taught me that I should yield, pray, obey, turn the other cheek, that when I am being beaten by my husband I am living my life in imitation of the crucified christ and of all women, I am most blessed. This ignorance is not only disrespectful but it leads to the suffering of untold numbers of women and their children and even men. Don't be absurd! My family, my community, my religion all taught me things that lead to unnecessary suffering and make no sense whatsoever.

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I think there are many here with the same experience, Joan. Misinformed, kept ignorant, neglected, treated as a non-entity, all because of a legendary woman who preferred knowledge above obedience and was punished for it. Who let the light in? A stranger who made a casual remark that turned the family teachings upside down. I hope many people try to let the light in for all the children kept in darkness.

Plinius, your story is a powerful one and your way out of ignorance inspires me and others to move beyond the lies into positive, productive living. 

The same questions continue to come to me and I rewrite my answers each time. I should keep track of what I have written before and send copies. Is that what you do? 

No Joan, I don't keep track of what I've written. I may repeat myself but people won't mind very much, I think. Rewriting my answers shows a shift in focus after some time - shows me I keep changing.

Thank you Joan Denoo. The perfect combination of words really expressed my thoughts. I'm not sure if it was meant to read the way I understood it but it felt freeing.

Meri, I am happy that sharing my experiences gave you a feeling of freedom. 

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