sent in by Sunfell
Recruitment Tactics for the Young and Vulnerable
The first time I was exposed to Twice-born Christianity was when I attended high school in the bible belt after my dad got out of the USAF. Until that time, I'd gone to schools with a variety of people and religions, and the subject never came up. Before I got to where I was, my best friends were Buddhist and Jewish.
At that school, I was an outcast from the moment I opened my mouth on day one. I didn't act, dress, or talk like they did, and didn't know any of them. They all knew each other from kindergarten. I was shunned as the oddball geek, and I hid from the bullies, jocks and popular girls behind books.
The first time I was asked if I was 'saved', I didn't really understand the question. Yes, I had savings- why did they want to know about that? I quickly learned that their kind of 'saving' had nothing to do with money. And I'd never been condemned to hell until then, either.
One day one of the popular girls asked me if I wanted to join them for lunch. Hey, why not? I didn't understand why she and her usually snobbish friends were suddenly so nice to me, but I reveled in it. This went on for a few weeks, and then I was asked to come to a party. A party! Normally, I hated parties, but it was so nice to be treated like a human being, that I accepted the invite.
I should have known that something was fishy when the party was held at a church hall. But they had live music, good food, and interesting people and I was actually enjoying myself and my new friends. Then a college age fellow got up on the stage, and started talking to us about Jesus, and I realized that the party was a fake- it was meant to get us to convert and join a church. The sermon went on and on, and I noticed that some kids were starting to cry. When he called on them to go up and get saved, they went. I wasn't moved to tears by the sermon. Instead, it made me very uncomfortable and embarrassed for my friends. Then I noticed that they weren't embarrassed at all. In fact, my new 'friends' urged me to go up too- but I refused.
That was when they dropped the bomb: If I didn't get 'saved', they could no longer be my friends. I still refused- I never could parse the irrational nonsense that was Christianity, and a bunch of popular girls and a persuasive preacher at a fake party weren't going to de-sanitize me. Instead of heeding the altar call, I called home and my mom picked me up. I was in tears when I told her what happened. I think that I was more upset at being faked out than anything. Happily, she understood. She'd given up on trying to drag me to church to please my grandmother, and we'd come to an understanding about religion. I simply was not interested in it except as a social curiosity.
Of course, the 'friendly' girls immediately shunned me the very next school day, and my life returned to its book-bound geekiness. I've been 'love bombed' a few more times, but I've learned to read the signs, and not bite any more. Christianity is a memetically transmitted virus of insanity, and in its own way a kind of mental illness. I mean, how else could anyone explain how young Christians could so callously befriend someone under false pretenses, and then treat them so horridly if they don't convert?
I don't hate Christians- I prefer to avoid them, but I do study the more virulent sects like the Dominionists. I am a TechMage, with over 30 years of metaphysical study and practice under my belt, including an initiatory path of old-school Alexandrian Witchcraft and a long tenure as a Rosicrucian.
I understand that many Christian sects are compelled to spread their mental virus, and that trying to reason with them is fruitless. So is trying to out-zealot them. I've tried both. Today, I keep an uneasy peace with them, understanding that they can break out into a frenzy of Revalation-fueled insanity at any moment. I am watching our hard-fought country, constitution and laws beginning to crumble under the onslaught of the most virulent of their faith- the theonimically oriented Dominionists, and I fear for the future of the US. But I hope that perhaps more will free themselves from their shackles, and keep the Light of reason burning. While there may be a Creator, or even a group of them, I very seriously doubt that Biblegod and Son had anything to do with our existence or our fate.
Became a Christian: 'baptised' Catholic (but very messily rejected my baptism, according to my mom. They had to disinfect the font when I got done with them!)
Ceased being a Christian: About 6
Labels before: Magus and Witch
Labels now: AntagoGnostic TechMage
Why I joined: It was 'forced' on me.
Why I left: I prefer to call it shaking off the shackles. It never 'took' so it wasn't a struggle to shed it.
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)