Religion is pure poison disguised as hope. How has religion harmed you?

I personally haven't been harmed by religion. I have been an Atheist all my life, but didn't have the label Atheist till I was an adult. I have heard many stories where Atheists were harmed because of their lack of belief in the supernatural. I was wondering how many of you here have been harmed by religion and how you were harmed?

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Comment by Michael Penn on February 8, 2018 at 7:49am

I have no religious convictions whatsoever and I do not believe those who claim that they do. I never believe politicians who claim them and their wives are "praying for us" and other such claims just as ridiculous. Who exactly is "us?" Even in religion they put all the letters and cards in a big bin by the bag full and claim they are "praying over them." Everyone believes it. How is this possible? In other words, they isolate the cards and letters, bow their heads and mumble, then simply forget the cards and letters. Casper has control of them now.

That's just one example of me having no religious convictions whatsoever.

Comment by Tom Sarbeck on February 8, 2018 at 2:45am

@Bert on Jan 18 at 7:39 pm: "...[Trump] has no religious convictions whatsoever, and that scares the crap out of me."

I have no religious convictions whatsoever, Bert.

But don't let that scare the crap out of you; I have a traffic court conviction, LOL

I might have a few moral convictions. I'll check my closets and drawers.

I haven't seen Trump's police record. His conviction that he is #1 might not be his only.

I quit religion in 1957, before it did me the harm it had done my observant Catholic dad.

Comment by Cane Kostovski on January 19, 2018 at 8:18pm

I think that book would be banned by the religious.

Comment by Cane Kostovski on January 19, 2018 at 8:17pm

I think it would be a best seller if someone would take this idea of writing down how people have been harmed  by religion and share it with the world. It would be a very hard thing to do to sift through all that pain and have to present it to the world in an educational manner if an educational manner would sell. How do you present a book like that is filled with the personal pain of many? How many would share their pain in order to be put in a book?

Comment by Compelledunbeliever on January 19, 2018 at 6:57pm

For me it caused much depression when I was young. So much depression I was committed to a mental hospital at 14 years of age.  I was told lies about Jesus working in my life and obviously that was my fault. I thought I was such a sorry piece of crap that even God who loved everyone did not care to bother with me.   

Had I not been fed religion it would not have had those horrific experiences.  I really did truly believe as i had been indoctrinated into fundamentalism from birth. It was not intentional but it was child abuse.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on January 19, 2018 at 9:12am

. . . when the high wall between priest

and politics is wrecked by frenzied mobs

screaming Hallelujah,

then the godly ones will lead us again--

our ears sliced off,

our tongues slit through,

our foreheads branded--

they will lead us triumphantly back,

back through our hazy memories,

to burn again

in an Age of Faith.

--Phillip Appleman

Comment by Michael Penn on January 19, 2018 at 9:06am

Religion harms in the fact that it wants you to continue believing in Santa and the Easter Bunny long after your belief in them has stopped. How so? Religion simply changes the name and the "Santa creator" of all things will reward you according to whether you were naughty or nice.In the end he might even burn you up. Great people control.

I was harmed in so much that the adult Santa came into my life in my teens and I was going to be a preacher for him. This is great until you get out of the fold. Your friends seem sensible and then they start talking nonsense that is all made up again. They start lying and they tell you how great Santa is and what he has done in their lives. They hold out hope for you that in the end (your end) you might come back so you don't have to burn in "hell fire."

They are all so very afraid and think you should be too. It doesn't stop them from lying and doing bad things personally, but they build excuses around it. They no longer understand me because I am going to be cremated when I die. It still reminds them so much of "hell fire."

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 19, 2018 at 1:22am

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My ancestry includes Puritans who came to the Americas in 1632 and that heritage survived and influenced my upbringing. I now name that influence, "The Passive Gospel," which means women are to yield, submit, pray, obey, turn the other cheek, crucify themselves daily in imitation of the Crucified Christ, and rejoice in their crucifixion. 

I am ashamed to say that I lived under that imperative until I was 37 years old; I ran out of an abusive marriage, created a new life with what I call the "Responsible Life," meaning I am responsible for my safety, security, stability, health, and happiness.

A Chinese woman that I interviewed in China helped me realize what happened to her and to me. She was an elderly woman being treated in a hospital for back pain. In that location, the families took full care of a patient, including supplying meals, change of bedding and clothing, and keeping the patient clean. The patients were lined up in beds on each side of a long room. Families sat on benches beside each bed and that was where the provisions for the patient were stored.

The old woman's feet were bound when she was four years old, resulting in distortions to her back in an attempt to walk on her deformed feet. We talked for a while through an interpreter and she began to be irritated, she shook her finger at her daughter-in-law and screamed at her. Her son tried to calm her, to no avail, and she screamed louder as his attempts to quiet her became more intense. Suddenly, he sat down with a look of helplessness and silent fury. We quieted her, thanked the family for allowing us to visit with them, and we left. 

The interpreter told me that when the old lady was four years old, her mother and aunties broke the toes in her feet, bound them in long strips of cotton dipped in alum to stop the bleeding, and kept them bound until she had reached her full development. She was an adult woman with feet the size of a four-year old's feet. She had to work in the fields standing on those deliberately crippled feet. Why? It was the custom to bind a female child's feet so she would be more attractive to a man and she could be sold for a higher price. The belief was that men experienced sexual stimulation by sucking on women's feet. 

The interpreter explained further that she painfully described her mother and aunties caused her the deliberate crippling of her feet, her father and community agreed with the crippling, and she spent a lifetime of excruciating pain in order to give pleasure to another person without regard for her wellbeing. She pointed to her daughter-in-law screaming to her to not let that happen to her. She was angry at her D.I.L. for being submissive.

She said her family committed a crime against her body and the worst crime was to cripple her mind so that she would submit to that ancient tradition.

I wrote about her in "Footbinding/Minding." Loved ones and society cripple people's physical and mental health through Attitudes, Beliefs, Customs, Traditions, and Values (ABCTVs) of a culture. The damage does not stop because loved ones and society see their error and change their ABCTVs, the individual has to stand up in defiance and refuse to submit.

Sadly, a four-year old child has no power. Mothers, grandmothers, aunties, and the women of the community can speak for the little girls of their families and refuse to cripple their bodies and minds. 

Comment by Loren Miller on January 18, 2018 at 10:12pm

If I was harmed by religion in any substantial manner, it was definitely in the business of coming to understand and accept my sexual identity.  Anything other than heterosexuality back when was problematic at best and verboten at worst.  To add insult to injury, the bible never explains or justifies Leviticus 18:22 or 20:13.  It just lays that out as the supposed law of the land, to be accepted without question.

Well, sorry, but I question it ... and at THIS current point, anyone who wants to challenge who I think I am or any aspect of it will find themselves on the business end of a buzz saw.  Trust me when I say: I apologize about who I am to NO ONE.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on January 18, 2018 at 7:39pm

Hear, hear. Trump is pandering like mad to the dominionists, even though he has no religious convictions whatsoever, and that scares the crap out of me.

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