I was conveniently ignoring the not so nice stuff in the Bible

Sent in by Sandra

I was raised by my great-grandmother who during my early years taught the small children in the Mormon church we went to. I was a sickly child so she often read the lessons aloud. So I was reading "Little House on the Prairie" when I was five years old. At the age of eight I was reading from the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. I was a voracious reader. The library was my favorite playground and curiosity my playmate. And I had questions by the bucketful. I would read the Old Testament and would feel really confused, so around the age of nine I started pestering Mama with many "Why does the Bible say...?" and "Why do we (Mormons) believe...?" Now here is the answer she gave that put my feet down the path of not accepting vague answers. She looked me square in the eyes and simply replied "I don't know." And then we would look stuff up together.

Fast forward four years and I am living on my own, pregnant and dumped by baby's daddy. The Mormons excommunicate me because I was not going to put the baby up for adoption. Why must I put the baby up for adoption? Because, single moms just can't raise kids up right! What else? Thankfully Mama died a few years before this. After being given the boot I felt relief, but I was still a young, scared, soon-to-be-mom who was a bit wet behind the ears -- an easy mark for the fundies. I ended up going from Mormon to Assembles of God (AoG). Talk about shock! Mormons are usually reserved in worship. AoG the opposite were the opposite!

Thus began the year of jealousy. I had a lovely little girl and the pastor's wife couldn't have children. Needless to say she hated me. So if I had to nurse my baby or she was too "fussy," I had to go in a small side room that had no air conditioning. And it was summer in New Mexico. I spent most of my church time in that room. Well I got fed up with the crap and started going to the Baptist church. I hadn't quit reading the Bible and I was now trying to find a church that went by biblical teachings. I was also unaware of how much I was conveniently ignoring the not so nice stuff in the Bible.

Some friends of mine started going to a Messianic church. I went with them and loved the church. (Must not smack self upside head.) I couldn't get enough. My friends would have weekly Bible studies and I drank it in. But my mind couldn't ignore the "kinder, gentler" things of the Bible. The one that really caught my attention was too lovely (I am being sarcastic here) part where if a girl is raped and the guy is caught (You know if she actually screamed loud enough), and he has to marry her or pay daddy for damage of goods. I couldn't help but look at my daughter and think, "There is no way I would want her to have to live with her attacker for the rest of her life. That was just sick!" Then I started really seeing what was in the Bible. I could no longer lie to myself. It was like a blindfold coming off. The light hurt at first but then it became beautiful.

Now my girl is eight years old and already sees through the manure the is called the "Word of God."

7 comments:

HereticChick said...

That's an awesome story! Welcome to the other side :) Your last paragraph made me chuckle. I immediately thought of the "Claritin Clear" commericial :)

Black Swede said...

"Now my girl is eight years old and already sees through the manure the is called the "Word of God."

I will say that there is one scripture in the bible that I find to be true:

JOHN 8:32 "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Once you read the bible and you learn about the verses that these "Cherry Picking Christians" choose to leave out of their messages, that is when you will learn the truth and the truth shall set you free of the oppression known as "Christianity".

Congratulations Sandra on escaping the miserable cult known as christianity.

Alison said...

Everything evil has something in it that people will always point to and say, "here, it's not so bad, right?" I mean, yeah, Ecclesiastes, the sex stuff in Song of Songs, that's good. But that's like saying, "Hey, the Nazis really brought Germany out of poverty! Why do you always look at the BAD stuff?"

There's just too much in there to ignore, and i'm afraid, friends, it's mostly in the NEW Testament, so no more excuses about the OT being irrelevant. Once the NT talked about eternal torment and suffering in flames, uh-uh. That's it. No more excuses.

Dave8 said...

Sandra, it seems you have had a tough road. I hit the Mormon scene for a short spell myself and asked a lot of questions. Thinking through all the different religions I have attended, the Mormons seemed to have one up on other religions, in terms of providing answers.

When asked about the disconnects in the bible when read literally, they typically replied; there are no disconnects, one must be able to "properly interpret" the bible.

The follow up on that one was; and who can "properly interpret" the bible, and of course, the answer; our Modern Day Prophet. Well, that seemed to beat out any other religion, since they had the equivalent of a modern day apostle who wrote; The Book of Mormon, etc. to fill in the gaps when necessary.

I read the bad passages as well in the bible, and the ones that didn't seem too off the mark with something decent.

While we all have our own perspective on how to read the bible and view it, it only made sense to me in analogy.

While I can stare at a pixel (biblical passage) on the painting (bible) and marvel at it's texture, beauty and truth - I have to stay focused on that "one" pixel, because if I honestly place that pixel back into the picture by moving back a little, it becomes “re-defined” by its surrounding pixels/picture form, and becomes indiscernible and blurred in the overall scheme/message.

I thought to myself, if I pull or extract the pixel out of the picture, so that it can shine and not be blurred/corrupted, then the pixel no longer exists as part of the original picture.

Can I then, refer to the pixel as part of the original picture, without tainting the pixel? I tend to think no, because it forces one to pull in the rest of the picture, around the pixel and place it back into its original context.

Here's a quote from another source that seems to hold good truth.

"Worst of all, however, is the devastation wrought by the misuse of religious conviction for political ends. In truth, we cannot sharply enough attack those wretched crooks who would like to make religion an implement to perform political or rather business services for them."

Sounds honorable, until we seek the source and find it written in Hitler's Mein Kampf. It seems to take on a whole new meaning at that point; at least for me.

I'm reminded of the quote, "Stop mixing crap and chocolate. The mix always tastes like crap."

If one bakes a cake with crap chunks, it's hard for me to imagine the cake as something less than a crap cake. It's also impossible to "unbake" the cake.

Once a bible passage is removed from the bible as part of the baked cake, it no longer holds the same meaning; it holds an entirely "new" contextual meaning, for the reader as they apply new context... according to their more "optimistic", world-view and limited by their knowledge and experience.

So, it's not the "bible" that makes such a passage, perceivably valuable, it's the person who has "chosen" to "extract" a passage from the bible... and give it an "entirely" different meaning.

It's the difference between "conversion" and "translation".

There is no change in contextual meaning when direct translation occurs, however, in conversion, there is.

I tend to think that many times, when we see the "religiously" affiliated, let's call them "apologists", involved with picking out the pearls, we are witnessing whole text and passage "conversions", not "translations".

We can go further, and suggest that a text/passage can be converted to basically mean "anything" we want it to. We can even test this theory, by placing the original passage back into its original context, and pulling it out again to see if meaning has changed.

I conveniently ignored the not so nice parts of the bible for many years, and reflect back on how I converted passages to take on the isolated meaning I wanted them to, with limited knowledge and experience.

What I learned, is that I can take a "vile" message (literal bible, both NT & OT) apart, and with enough "effort", new experience and knowledge, on my part; I could artistically make it pleasant through extraction and conversion.

That's more a compliment to "me", than it is to the disgusting source from whence it came.

When I am approached by someone who says there are “gems” in the bible, I marvel at the person, who was able to take a piece of “coal”, and with enough effort, restructure/redefine the coal to become a gem.

While citing the coal-mine (bible) as a necessary source in such an endeavor, I tend to want to ensure we understand that “coal” was the resource provided – not the gem.

Thanks for your anti-testimony; it’s great to hear you are enjoying the light without wincing. Hope to see you on the site. Take care.

umlando said...

Thank you for sharing your story.

I think particular attention should be paid to your great-grandmother's role. Her honesty and willingness to learn alongside you made a strong impression on me.

When I was teaching, I found that many of my best moments were when I answered a student with "I don't know. Let's find out together."

As someone who was raised atheist, I don't want to congratulate you for finding your way to the correct worldview. That always strikes me as self-righteous and smarmy.

I'll just keep it to myself how pleased I am that your mind is free.

Rincewind said...

Hi Sandra,

Thanks for your post, I agree with you totally about people selecting the more palatable sections of the bible and ingnoring the rest. This morning my christian wife was reading a storybook to our sons about how loving god is, and how he gives everlasting life in heaven to those who follow him. When I asked if it mentioned the lake of burning sulphur and weeping and gnashing of teeth she gave me an angry look. To me that's intellectual dishonesty at the very least, but that's how brainwashing works.

good to hear you've broken away from all of that, hope things go well.

R.

Black Swede said...

Rincewind Said:
"When I asked if it mentioned the lake of burning sulphur and weeping and gnashing of teeth she gave me an angry look."

LMAO!!!!

I guesss the truth hurts.

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