This is a history of my journey from religious/christian bondage to mental, emotional, and spiritual freedom. I will try to be descriptive so others may get a sense of my journey.
I was reared in a small town in Mississippi. My parents were not really religious but did send us all to the first baptist church(fbc). I am the oldest of 5 children. I am a studious type and enjoyed learning the bible, about god, jesus , etc. My dad's mom was religious and often took us to church. My parents rarely attended church. We were farmed out to fbc from a very early age so my parents could have some peace and quiet to themselves on sundays. I attended regularly for over 16 years.
I accepted it all and jesus as my savior at age 12 and was baptized. I was and am gay and had lots of trauma over god hating me for that and for all my masturbating. I have a high sex drive and was constantly repenting and rededicating my life to god! I had sexual fun with neighborhood boys my age from age ?10 to age 15. We then moved away to the country and I had no friends or play mates. I was active in the church and really believed it all. I witnessed for the lord and was in bible club at high school. I was a sensitive, shy, peace-loving guy. I was ridiculed by members of the f b c youth choir because, on choir tour: I did not stay up late and drink and smoke in the room, I asked them to chill out so I could sleep, I had taken some cuticle remover w me since I had a long time problem with the cuticles growing over my nails, AND ........ well they found it and they started calling me " Mother".
They did this for years and the minister of music never said a thing or corrected them. I turned the other cheek and hoped to be left alone but was always scorned. God knows what would have happened if I had been actively gay at the time and they knew it. It really AMAZED me that they made NO EFFORT TO LIVE BY the teaching of jesus to be loving and caring for your fellow man. I took it all to heart and felt drawn to more prayer, and study etc etc. Ugh ! I went to church every sunday and called others to get them to come to training union, etc.
After graduating high school I went to Calif. where I was on a work study program with campus crusade for christ. It was fun but very frustrating as there were REALLY handsome and friendly men in the group and I was constantly wanting them. I Never did anything with anyone! I was too quilty and terrified of my own human desires. It was hard being in bible class and work situations with these men, some of whom may also have been repressing their sexual orientation due to religious dogma.
I returned to Miss. at age 19, started seeing a chiropractor for my back, and eventually through much study of the holy shit-sures became converted to the world wide church of god. This caused a lot of stress w my parents. I kept the 7th day sabbath and all the so called required holy days and it was too much for them. My dad fired me from working for him since I would not work on the sabbath. I told my mother that I was not going to have him or anyone telling me what to believe.
Little did I know what a piece of cake I had been sold in buying the whole religion/god/christianity mind set. I had asked mom about "was being queer a sin?". Yes, she said. The next night we continued our conversation and she told me that she had had lesbian experiences in college, and that my dad had gay experiences in the navy. ( I was so young, shy, naive, and afraid that I did not question her further regarding dad's experiences and my parents have both been dead for years so I will never know.) Mama was not overly religious but she did believe in jesus as savior, etc and used to sing hymns in the car on road trips....
I attended ambassador college ( associated with the worldwide church of god- wcg) which was in texas and got a liberal arts degree. I dated women, studied the bible, thought about men all the time, counseled w a minister over my " desires" and continued to do without any man to man sex. I eventually proposed to MW who was my best friend. I told her about my past gay sex, but since we both sincerely believed all the church stuff we thought it would be ok. We graduated in '77 and got married. She was my first ( and only ever) female sexual partner. Sex was good/ok but I often thought of men, and had to pray and repent and ask for help, which of course never came. It was stressful being married to someone you loved but were not in love with ! the bible can't make a dog into a cat! :)
I was deeply "in love" with Carl at the time I married MW. He and I were great friends, but never sexual and I thought of him all the time. He and I had been very affectionate and we wrestled together and the feeling of being close to him was awesome. It was really liberating in a way.. and also the source of a lot of guilt. I never said a thing to him about my feelings but I sometimes wondered what some of his looks at me really meant. We were too repressed by biblical mind-control to have any talks on the subject.
My mother-in-law was also in the wcg. She studied the bible all the time like we did. She was however open to studying and believing in the benefit of astrology even though the church said it was of the devil. I too became interested in astrology and this was the first real inkling that I would NOT accept on faith everything a church taught.
MW and I eventually left wcg and joined the assemblies of yahweh because we convinced ourselves that it is essential to call god "yahweh". This was based on much study of the holy god inspired ( man made) scriptures. My mom in law was way upset w us and once again religion caused a division in my life. There was also a very handsome, manly married man in this new church named David and I really was attracted to and wanted him. I don't think he ever knew. I prayed for help. I struggled more with my religion imposed sense of shame and guilt. jesus never did save me from my longings for love and affection from/with a man.
MW and I got tired of this boring, historically-oriented and not practical church, and quit going. We continued our search for the truth, hoping to find the way to serve god. We attended unity church and later religious science services in Atlanta and we more and more took religion and the bible less and less seriously. AFTER extensive study and much doubt (at first) we both abandoned the idea of sin, guilt, salvation, and serving god. WOW what freedom.
We continued to have sex together as we had during all of our marriage, about once every month or so. It was good, but not satisfying. When you are gay you are gay!
I had my first man to man sexual encounter with Daniel , who was a friend of mine. ( I had denied acting on my true sexual orientation from age 15 to 35 !!! ). The next day I told MW about my experience with Daniel. I also told her that : I was no longer going to deny myself, it is not her fault, there is no discussing my stopping this new freedom, and If you wish to, we can can get a divorce. We remained married for another 5 years. We had less and less sex together until we had no sex together the last 3 years of our marriage.
I and she were both free from guilt over our actions and we only had to deal with our emotional ups and downs of being in this type of relationship. Our daughter was born in 1985. We never had sex again after that. MW dated 2 men and had affairs . I dated numerous men and enjoyed my sexual self.
I began an ongoing in-depth study of: religion, health, sex, relationships, homosexuality, history, etc. I gradually came to know and understand the truth that guilt is a man-made construction created for control. The people who are controlled have no idea that they are controlled and most of the time there is very little that can be done for them. One of my fundy sisters prays for me not to go to hell. Little does she know that hell is a myth and she unfortunately is also living in a type of hell because she is unable to think outside her little box.
She of course has never studied any thing beyond the narrow rigid, unthinking mind-set of christianity.
My daughter has been brought up free from the hellish teachings of religion. She is widely read, intelligent, loving, open and definitely more moral than many children of christian parents. AND she is not afraid of the widely believed fable of going to hell for her sins or lack of belief in a savior. She reads constantly and enjoys learning. She also knows how to use www.google.com to find information! :) You might want to do an advanced search yourself for "why I am not a christian".... that is how I found THIS site.
I was married for 14 years, we have been divorced for 12 years. My brother discovered me having sex with a friend and told all my siblings and aunt and uncle. My parents were already deceased at the time. My aunt and uncle disowned me and also my daughter ( their former "favorite niece").
They are good christians and were doing god's will, can't you see?! :)
Such bullshit...... I am so glad to be free of all that mental bull.
I eventually introduced MW to the man who is now her husband. They are very happy together. We are all good friends. We got a no fault divorce, which we wrote ourselves and was granted by the judge.
My daugher has friends that are: christian, unitarian universalist, hindu, atheists, and also agnostics. Religion is not a very big deal to any except the fundys.
Years after my mother died of alcoholism I was talking to a good friend of hers. She told me that she and my mother had been lovers the last few years of mom's life and they both felt that most people would be more bisexual if it were not for the teaching of churches and christian religion.
As of this date in October 2003 I am single, free, available, and consider myself an educated free thinker..
I recommend these sites for informational assistance if you want/need it:
- www.emofree.com - simple techniques to clear emotional stuff
- www.curezone.com - health and healing and cleansing site
- www.amazon.com - books to EDUCATE YOURSELF on the fallacy and myth of most religion - see some titles below
- www.susiebright.com - sexual freedom site by female educator
Some books you might want to read to enhance your freedom:
The Secret Origins of the Bible by Tim Callahan
The Christ Conspiracy:The greatest story ever sold by Acharya S
Losing faith in faith: From preacher to atheist by Dan Barker
2000 Years of Disbelief: Famous People With the Courage to Doubt by James A. Haught
The Book Your Church Doesn't Want You To Read
by Tim C. Leedom
The Jesus Puzzle. Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ? : Challenging the Existence of an Historical Jesus by Earl Doherty
The Dark Side of Christian History by Helen Ellerbe
The Jesus Mysteries: Was the "Original Jesus" a Pagan God? by Timothy Freke
The Born Again Skeptic's Guide To The Bible by Ruth Hurmence Green
You Are Being Lied To Russ Kick, editor
Is It God's Word: An Exposition of the Fables & Mythology of the Bible & the Fallacies of Theology
by Joseph Wheless
Books on physical/sexual freedom and pleasure:
Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin by Ashley Montagu
The Erotic Mind by Jack Morin
Sex for One by Betty Dodson
Anal Pleasure and Health A Guide for Men by Jack Morin
Became a Christian: ?12
Ceased being a Christian: 31 to 34
Labels before: Southern baptist worldwide church of god assemblies of yahweh unity
Labels now: educated free thinker gay single father happy to have a free mind