sent in by anonymous
Practically from day one, I have been brainwashed by Christian schooling. Oh, I don't doubt that they had nothing but the best intentions, but that is beside the point. I went to a Christian elementary school, where I thought I had become saved at a very early age. There was however no joy or feeling of the spirit, etc...a fact which later caused me accept countless more salvations. Saved, not saved, saved, not saved....Let's not even go into the Tulip Principle. After elementary school, I (and of my own decision,unfortunatly) went to another Christian school. The former was Lutheran, this was Mennonite based, but really was a collection of the individual beliefs of each teacher. Upon arrival I noticed the startling difference in their worship,(you know...sappy, emotional music, hands raised, prayers said under the breath. The kind of stuff that sucks you in...you know) and had strong feelings of guilt that I was unable to share their enthusiasm or mentality. I went through junior high and high school being a victim of the beliefs of my teachers and peers. I have always been dangerously impressionable and succeptible to the slightest coercion. I believed almost every word they said, in fact, every word every Christian has ever told me, even when those words conflicted (which is often). In fact, one day one of my bible teachers commented once that we were being brainwashed-day by day being told what to believe and how to think and if you don't you're going to hell. I didn't want to believe him then, but I completely do now.
I flip-flopped back and forth through periods of contentment (when I would completely forget about Christianity and its teachings, we'll call this the recession), through periods of zealousness and a false sense that I had a good relationship with god (basically when I didn't question the crap I was taught), and periods of intense confusion and emotional pain (periods when I would question its teachings and began to realize its startling amount of phliosophical, scientific, logical, and historical flaws). The climax was a couple months ago when after recession I decided to give being saved one last shot;there was always something I'd thought I'd screwed up. But by this time, I had already questioned too much and had a sour taste for the religion. I being more confused and chaotic than ever. I thought that because I had never been happy with the religion before was because I yet agained messed something up, and I needed a literal miracle. I had even begun to believe I might be "possesed". Coincidently, we were trying to sell a house and this real estate agent came along who happened to have this pamphlet that teaches you how to "get a miracle" by basically saying a series of prayers. I thought he must be sent from god because of the coincidence, so I determined to make it work this time. Oh, did you know that confusion and chaos (and pokemon) are sins? Neither did I. Another reason to feel guilty, but that's probably a sin too. --Here's the problem with this religion. It's called the power of suggestion, also known as the placebo affect. If you believe that a healing (or a pill filled with sugar) is working, you will feel it working-even physically. You must believe it's working for it to work. That's how the power of suggestion works. Oddly enough, Christians (and this real estate agent) will tell you that you have to "believe". Well, you know what? I can make my tenitus (ringing of the ears, which according to him was the result of some sin I had to cast off) go away by simply focusing on the sound, imagining that it is leaving. And it does! This same technique is used in eastern religions which they claim are "of the devil".
--Funny story: I work late night shift for a hotel. Nothing usually happens save for the occasional froot loop. Well,a couple weeks ago, a lady came in. At first she seemed just eccentric, overly zealous Christian, but it was later apparent to everyone else excluding me that she was CooCoo for Cocoa Puffs. Mind you, I was, and still am, on the eve of my ex-christianity, so I mostly believed her. She was a schizophrenic who made up imaginary stories in her mind and then played them out. The turning point, however, was when she reached over the counter and told me, "Touch my finger, I'm gonna ZAP you in the name of Jeeesus." WTF?! I, dumbfounded but compliant as usual, obeyed. At that moment I began to feel a "force", which I quickly gained control of. The story ends in my manager...and my mom (who as a nurse has worked with people like this)...and the police coming over and banishing her from the hotel chain.--
Anyway, I tried his methods, and they worked only until I stopped believing them. Duh. Feeling I had failed again, I tried again repetedly at home, at church which also worked momentarily, and even by one of those ridiculous tv healers (send me money, god will send you a miracle, blah, blah, blah...30 more dollars for your miracle...yak, yak...buy my magical healing soap...blubber, blubber, you're miracle is almost here!...) What I needed wasn't a miracle, it was a splash of cold water and someone slapping me in the face shouting, "Snap out of it!"
There are so many denominations, beliefs and interpretations, and they are each convinced that it's their way or the highway.
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)