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8/19/05                                                                                       View Comments

Fundamentalism drove my Dad insane

sent in by Kay

Christian fundamentalism does not mix well with alcoholism. My 72-yr old father in Southern California has been an abusive alcoholic all his life; he used to attack my mother on a regular basis and emotionally abuse us three kids. He would get drunk all the time, cheat on my mother, and try to bring prostitutes home. That was my childhood.

Then my mother died and my father suddenly became a Born Again Christian to help assuage his great guilt over abusing my mother. (It hasn't helped).

My father has been driven literally insane by Chuck Smith Sr.'s teachings, and by fundamentalists and evangelists on TV. One reason why I know this is that he calls up people and does phone exorcisms on them, often in the middle of the night, in order to catch them off guard. After he did one to me on the phone, I asked him where he thought that got him. He said he truly believed that his phone exorcisms work and chase out demons.

You can imagine what they sound like. "Ouuuttt in the name of Jesus Christ, I command, you, demon, come ouuutttt."

I believe he got this idea from Chuck Smith Sr. at Calvary Chapel with the laying-on of hands by elders there. Pastor Chuck believes in demon possession, and even preaches that it could happen to a person who has "backsliden" enough (stopped praying and reading the bible long enough) to have committed the Sin Against the Holy Spirit. Since Calvary Chapel believes that a Christian cannot be demon possessed, my father feels that I qualify for possession because I have rejected his religion.

My Dad has a college degree major in Psychology and a minor in Philosophy. And yet, he has thrown ALL of that previous education out the window in favor of the non-thinking, non-analytical attitude of fundamental Christianity.

He is really into anxiously awaiting the rapture and Second Coming of Christ. When the huge, destructive Tsunami recently hit an island, I was on the phone with my Dad as he watched it on FOX news, and his Christian girlfriend was over there. Immediately there was joyous jumping up and down and clapping and celebrating! No expression of concern over the Tsunami victims, because to them, this was just more confirmation that Jesus was coming even sooner. This, to me, is insane.

I went to Calvary back in the '70s, and I watched Chuck Smith go through a series of false predictions about the Second Coming. First, he predicted it "had" to be 1975, then I heard later he made the same prediction for the early '80s. Well, we are still here and the non-thinkers, blind-obeyers have egg on their face but they won't admit it.

Sometimes being a thinking adult and using your brain can keep you from getting a mental illness or chronic personality disorder. When I tell you that my own father has been driven literally insane by fundamentalism, it is, very sadly, the truth. And the truth will set you free.

West Coast
USA
How old were you when you became a christian? 17
How old were you when you ceased being a christian? 30
What churches or organizations or labels have applied to you? Jesus Freak, Jesus Person, Born Again Christian
What labels, if any, would you apply to yourself now? Tibetan Buddhist
Why did you become a christian?The "love" at Calvary Chapel
Why did you de-convert? I got educated; started using my brain.
email: heart_focus at yahoo dot com