1/03/2010                                                                                       View Comments

Pro-life or Pro-political agenda?

by Jody

"This van was parked outside of the Women...Image via Wikipedia

It was about a year ago that I first posted on this site. At that time it was my de-conversion story. As the layers of Xtian living have been slowly peeling back from my life, there has been some hurt surfaced that, at the time I could not articulate. But, this month being the month that the church likes to flex it's "Pro life" muscles seemed a good one to share more of my story... grab a cup of coffee... it's a long one!

I'm a mom. I make no apologies for the fact that I skipped the whole college trip and instead married young and started having babies -- six to be exact. For reasons I no longer believe, I also chose to home-school my kids (still homeschooling, but for different reasons now), so, as you can see, my life has revolved around the caring of children. Living and loving together has it's rewards, not to mention it's trials. When my fifth child was about two years old, I discovered that I was pregnant with baby number six. OK, I have to admit a slight feeling of being overwhelmed, not sure how I would manage that, but that "god would provide" and we went on living in anticipation of this baby's birth-day. (Oh, did I mention that I am also a childbirth educator and home-birth mom -- a bona-fide, card-carrying member of the mom-cult?!) I adjusted to the idea of having one more child, and started mentally arranging my schedule and the furniture in anticipation of this great day.

I felt that they were saying that somehow my grief wasn't important, because after all it was still just a fetus. Each of my kids is precious to me, and I was just as eager to meet this little guy or girl when the time was right. Well, that time never came. One morning, about 14 weeks into the pregnancy I was going about my usual routine. I had been walking on my treadmill, listening to Xtian radio (ironically it was a talk show highlighting pro-life politics that morning), when something was obviously leaking into my sweats. I went to the bathroom, and found blood. No, this couldn't be happening. Calmly, I tried to rationalize that as an "older" mom I may just be having one of those difficult pregnancies, one where you have to go on bed rest and it would all be OK. But, after calling my husband and doctor I returned to the bathroom just in time to drop several blood clots into the toilet -- the bleeding had become more intense.

I was crying out to God, "Please protect my baby, don't let him die!" At the doctor's office they immediately inserted an IV into my arm and called for an ambulance. I was slipping into a shock-like state. Fortunately the IV worked quickly, and soon I was more stable. At the hospital we waited for what seemed like hours for an available OR, with me lying there bleeding and crying quietly. I just knew that somehow God would rescue us/me, but I was not sure how. HIS ways are higher than ours, right? They wheeled me into surgery, and thankfully the sedation worked quickly. It was not a day I wanted to remember. I woke up in the recovery room, waiting to hear what I already knew. My doctor explained to me that the miscarriage was complete, there was no possible way to keep it from happening, and all he could do was "clean it up inside." There was some abnormalities that would require further testing, for my safety.

My stomach crumpled as the harsh reality hit me. I would not meet this baby. There would be no birth-day, no cozy midnight nursings, no little fingers tugging on my hair. My arms ached to hold this little one; my stomach felt like a tomb. I cannot even describe the grief that settled in my heart like a rock.

Now at this point I realize that many people are wondering why, with five children, would I want one more? Was I just being selfish? Well, maybe. But any woman who has been happily pregnant knows the heart to heart connection that happens during pregnancy, from mom to baby. He/she already felt like part of our family. I couldn't take it, and I felt selfish and sinful for being so grieved. After all, I had five great kids, and some women couldn't even have one.

Here's where the theology gets all caught up in this.

My church was both helpful and hurtful. Yes, they brought meals while I recovered and sent flowers. It was very nice how they tried to support me. And, I would say there were many who tried to be understanding as well. On the other hand, I was told that since we didn't "know" this baby, it wasn't all that bad, right? And, it was still just a "blob" -- just a tiny thing. I felt that they were saying that somehow my grief wasn't important, because after all it was still just a fetus. It was implied, if not outwardly stated, that I needed to pull myself up by my Christian bootstraps and go on, count my blessings, focus on all that is good in my life, and not let myself feel too badly. Of course, at the very next opportunity these same people were showing their "sadness" over the innocent babies whose lives were being taken during an abortion. Lives that would never be lived... songs unsung, etc. But, MY baby was just a blob -- a worthless little bit of tissue not worth grieving over?

Does anyone see the hate in this? The cruelty? The double standard?

Babies who are killed by abortionists are more valuable than babies who die in their mother's belly of natural causes. I felt like I must be being very nonspiritual to not see their side, so I swallowed my grief -- buried it deep inside of me -- almost ashamed that I even felt it. With my "church smile" on my face, I kept going. And going. And going... through two more miscarriages... and more of the same treatment by pious Xtians who think babies who are killed by abortionists are more valuable than babies who die in their mother's belly of natural causes.

Pro-life? How about Pro-political agenda? If they valued life the way they claim, then they would share in the grief of women who experience miscarriages, not just the ones that help promote their political agenda.

83 comments:

webmdave said...

Thank you for your story. Very thought provoking. I am sorry for your loses.

webmdave said...

"The rich, arrogant, prideful Christians would crawl under my skin at our meetings for the youth group that I was a leader in they would tout all their right wing vomit and expect that everyone in the group was like minded. It surprised them when I spoke up. I would say things like: maybe we should sell everything and give it to those on welfare so the government wouldn’t have too, etc. etc. ad nauseum. All they would respond with were the typical talking points from the religious right. Pull yourself up by your boot strats and that kind of crap."

Sooooo typical. I have come to believe xtianity is nothing more than a social club built on/of arrogance, narcissism, and materialism. All that “give everything to j” stuff 1) does not apply to me the xtian or 2) I’ll decide the definition of “all”.

webmdave said...

I would also like to know on what is the bumper sticker statement "God is pro-life" based? Seems like an awful lot of killin' goin' on in that there ot or is that all part of the cherry pickin' game?

webmdave said...

I was "fixed" at age 42, and I know there are some kinds of odds that you COULD get preggos! That's scary! At my age, 51, finding out I was pregnant would be like finding out I had cancer! Those freaks really need to mind their own business. We all know what we can and cannot handle!

webmdave said...

Yahweh is the biggest abortionist...Plus, in Yahweh's Infinite Insanity,a single bald prophet trumps 42 snickering children...A "grown man" cussing at kids and killin' 'em dead:

2:23 And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
2:24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/2kg/2.html

webmdave said...

"...a poorly veiled attempt at control over women..."
articulately stated, thank you!

webmdave said...

If there's a heaven, I truly doubt that "christians" like that would go there.

webmdave said...

Thank you for sharing your story, too. It is unfortunate the insane and insensitive things people will do for a "cause"....and somewhere along the line they miss out on the people the person to whom they are trying to reach. wishing you the best!

webmdave said...

I've experienced the same thing. All too often people will act one way about an abortion, but when it comes to a spontaneous abortion (aka miscarriage) they seem to behave totally different about it, as though a natural abortion that the body itself decides to abort is OK and therefore the baby is nothing. I really hated that attitude too. Sorry to hear about your loss. It's 19 years now, but I still miss the one I miscarried years ago. I does get better though.

webmdave said...

I like to think that people are more often stupid than mean, perhaps your church friends really were very sorry about your loss (but I assume all comfort and sympathy is hollow when faced with the loss of an awaited for child) and their "pro-life" sentiments were merely not well thought out. Since they clearly were poorly thought out, maybe we can hope that behind the political/theological regurgitation they were decent human beings.

webmdave said...

I never really believed that the anti abortion movement was "pro life." Their opposition to life saving HIV education and condom distribution makes that really clear to me. The anti choice movement has its roots in opposing women's equality and in trying to force white women to have more white babies. It's really disturbing.

webmdave said...

Yes, I've noticed their obsession with white babies. It is disturbing. They can harbor all the imbecilities they want but when it comes to invading my medical decisions I will fight them.

webmdave said...

I never, EVER understood the pro lifers. They are against abortion, they are against birth control, and women having sex, because if they aren't married they're sluts, though they're fine with the young, outstanding boys to boast about how many girls' pants they got into because that makes them MEN, they are pro death penalty, pro war, pro paying taxes (if you're poor of course, but not them! Don't tax them! Yes one argument I was a part of the prolifer actually said that poor people needed to be forced to have their baby so the baby can grow up to pay taxes and fight in wars! I guess I'll give her one for honesty.), are completely pro In-Vetro Fertilization which kills far more viable cells, and against stem cell research that could soon save millions of people from debilitating illnesses. They want abortion doctors to be murdered, but won't give women the death penalty for abortions or charge women for manslaughter if they have a miscarriage or a period, and now I read that they say it's just a "blob" to someone who actually wanted a baby but lost it? Can you get why I'm confused?
Sorry about your loss. Sorry you had to deal with them.

webmdave said...

I haven't noticed it, but I must admit, I lean towards brown eyes and tannish complexion. ALTHOUGH, looking at this Quiverful Movement... They are mostly if not all White. That I have noticed and find it sick, colour aside that is, that they are pumping out babies like parasites on the earth. Fleas can take down a calf. Human leeches could very well take down the earth as we know it.

webmdave said...

My heart goes out to you. Sadly, it took that kind of experience to actually see the double standards that so many of the religious pro-life crowd have.
I saw that back in the 1980's at Republican meetings. It's just amazing what a wad of money from a PAC and a block of votes from a church can do politically.
I watched politicians flip really quickly and all of the sudden become "Pro Life" Republicans.
Or rather, Pro Political Whore Politicians.
The hypocrisy of the Pro Life movement and it's followers is quite blatant to those who are not a part of their movement.
In short, it's all about POWER.
Power to have control over another human being.
Power to have control over a total stranger.
Power to have control over a women.
Power to have control over a women's body.
Power to have control over life or death.
Having a miscarriage falls outside their scope of influence and power.
An abortion, in reality, is an induced miscarriage.
And as you found out first hand, they had no concept of what you were going through.
They had no concept of the physical feelings or emotional feelings you were having.
Nor did they want too.
Since you didn't fall into their parameters, well, you just didn't "fit" and were treated as such.
I myself an Pro Choice.
You don't need to hear my reasons why I am.
But my heart does go out to you.
Now there are those who would find this strange. An atheist, and a Pro Choice individual feeling sorry for a women whose had a miscarriage. But until recently, since I've become a little active in Atheist and Free Thinker groups, I see first hand people like yourself who have suffered at the hands of various religions, and these religions followers.
Sadly, as you found out, if you don't fit the mold, you just don't matter.

webmdave said...

I would much rather that people take responsibility for prevention of pregnancy than to have abortions after-the-fact. This is where fundies and catholic priests could give a little (I know that catholic people are not all following the no birth control rule).

If they would loosen up on the birth control issue, educate people on the effectiveness and ease of use, and if the government would make birth control cheap and available--there would be far fewer abortions. The number one thing that has to happen is for the religious to stop condemning it. The government is just doing what it thinks the pious voters demand.

webmdave said...

Why would it be strange that a pro-choice atheist can have sympathy for someone who has had a miscarriage? We only gave up imaginary people, we still feel for the real ones. And, to a person who wants the child, a miscarriage is a heavy blow and cause for grief.

webmdave said...

It was an interesting move to write this article....I had been considering it for awhile...not sure if Dave would even post it, considering how emotionally charged the whole issue can be. But I have to say how much I love reading the responses on here. No matter where we are coming from, it seems we all agree that to show love and compassion to someone who is grieving is a simple act of human kindness. Funny it should be us "non" christians who "get it." Jody

webmdave said...

It is is sad that such simple acts of human kindness and morailty seem to be impossible to those who claim to be holding divine absolute truths.

webmdave said...

Thank you for your story. I am sorry that you had to go through that suffering, but it certainly illustrated their double standard.

Another double standard I have noticed, they like the term "Pro-Life" but "Forced Birth" not so much. What is the difference?

webmdave said...

I have often wondered if the gummit is not using the sheeple to push it's own agenda of positive population growth. You know, consumers, taxpayers and soldiers.

webmdave said...

Promoting contraception makes sense only if the goal is to prevent abortions. The fundies and the Catholic leaders aren't interested in results; they're only interested in making sure that people follow The Rules. After all, God said so.

The Catholic church is opposed to condoms even if one spouse has HIV and the other doesn't. Follow the rules, little people, even if it kills someone. The victim, if one came to the bishops' attention, would probably be extolled as someone who gave their life rather than break The Rules--just like they praise women who die because they refused an abortion.

If the fundies, for their part, were interested in results, they'd drop their counterproductive abstinence-only sex ed programs. But nooo, the important thing is to follow the rules. After all, God said so.

webmdave said...

Yeah, sick, isn't it?

webmdave said...

I had never heard the term "forced birth". But I like it.

webmdave said...

The Catholics call this redemptive suffering. Supposedly, it gets you out of purgatory and into heaven sooner. (Hence, Mother Teresa's style of health "care.") Well, it almost makes sense if you have eternity to gain for it. Except that I thought "redemption" already took place on the cross. %(

I don't know the Protestant view on this.

webmdave said...

I think Pat Buchanan's whole take on abortion is racially motivated...He wrote a book about the Decline of the West and referenced abortion in relation to race (if I remember correctly...). They are paranoid...Yes, Quiverfull is sooo disturbing!!!

webmdave said...

I agree w/you....

I'm pro-choice and I definitely would grieve with a woman who had a miscarriage if she was in a state of shock, sorrow, pain and wanted commiseration. I'm simply allowing her needs to flow and I take a back seat....Her needs supersede my politics.

Having said that, I did have an abortion, no regrets, and I resent being told that I MUST grieve my "babies in heaven". I can't stand the phony commiseration over something that I do NOT consider a tragedy for ME!!! When pro-lifers project THEIR issues on ME and dictate how I MUST feel...well, that really puts my panties in a wad. They even come up with a weird "mental illness" not in the DSM-IV: post abortion stress disorder...LOL, LOL, LOL!!!!

webmdave said...

Nice word smithing....I think the term is fitting.

webmdave said...

Responsibility/"sexual literacy" is key but the RCC makes a huge stink and organizes protests at clinics that distribute birth control in my country (Mexico)...I learned the hard way, even vasectomies fail...I thought it was a done deal the first time my husband went under the knife...Poor guy went in for seconds and has had to sit on frozen peas twice in his life (LOL)...Glad I had the option to terminate the pregnancy.

webmdave said...

Yeah, we get those protesters here, too. I just renewed my Planned Parenthood membership. I have never had to use Planned Parenthood (was it even available when I was fertile?) but I like to help make sure it is there for those who need it.

I had my tubes tied right after my second child was born. I was there, it was convenient.

webmdave said...

I am an exchristian myself and am planning on posting a deconversion story here soon. That said, I vehemently oppose abortion for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with religion at all. In fact one of the reasons I left my religion, extremely legalistic fundamental Baptist, was that I eventually became outraged at the way that the absolutely most sacred right an individual can possess was routinely violated. That is: The priceless right of every individual on the face of the earth to LIVE HIS OR HER LIFE in freedom. All of you "pro-choice" exchristians routinely complain about all the ways that religion messed up your life. Rightfully so. And now many of you revel in the newfound freedom that you enjoy now that you are free from. Rightfully so. But guess what?

You couldn't experience ANYTHING if you were'nt BORN first! ALL Pro-choice people WERE BORN. I can understand that there should be a reasonable exception for rape, incest, or to save the mother's life. Thats understandable. But to deprive a human being, especially a fully-devoloped human being of every right and privilege in life by killing him/her at birth for your mere convenience is evil, especially when a good life is so precious to you as an individual.

The fact that a fully-devoloped child in a womb can offer no defence or argument, and can be killed anonymously in a clinic with the rest of the world oblivious to that child's existence does not mitigate the moral depravity of that murder in the least. Might is not right.

We don't support support a religious leader's "choice" to tell us that we can't enjoy our lives. Why support a mother's choice to refuse a child its right to live?

webmdave said...

I am an exchristian, ex fundamental baptist to be precise. I intend to post a deconversion testimony on here soon. That said, I vehemently oppose abortion for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with religion. One of the reasons I left my religion was that it denied my sacred inviolable RIGHT TO LIVE MY LIFE. Now I no longer spend every second of life in god-awful drudgery and fear with only some specious phantom expectation of a better life "hereafter" as compensation. Now that i have my life back, it is sweet and precious and worth every second of it. When my right to live is so very precious to me, how can I possibly in good conscience support the denial of that precious right to another human being? How can anyone?

webmdave said...

I am an exchristian, ex fundamental baptist to be precise. I intend to post a deconversion testimony on here soon. That said, I vehemently oppose abortion for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with religion. One of the reasons I left my religion was that it denied my sacred inviolable RIGHT TO LIVE MY LIFE. Now I no longer spend every second of life in god-awful drudgery and fear with only some specious phantom expectation of a better life "hereafter" as compensation. Now that i have my life back, it is sweet and precious and worth every second of it. When my right to live is so very precious to me, how can I possibly in good conscience support the denial of that precious right to another human being? How can anyone?

webmdave said...

I vehemently oppose abortion for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with religion.

You have posted this same basic comment three times within the past half hour on this thread.

With all due respect, please keep in mind that not all situations are simply black or white. You don't know the details of why many women choose an abortion. Judging them by your own personal standards is a hallmark of fundamentalistic thinking.

Looking forward to your deconversion extimony.

BP

webmdave said...

Oh my God your right, sorry people, I was having connection problems and I didn't think that my first post made it so I reposted. To be fair, I'm not saying dogmatically that there is never a circumstance where an abortion might be an unfortunate tragic necessity, such as to save the mother's life or rape or incest, etc,. But I think that people should be aware of the gravity of the matter and not trivially reduce it to a "right over a woman's body" like the government is outlawing tampons or something.

webmdave said...

"One of the reasons I left my religion was that it denied my sacred inviolable RIGHT TO LIVE MY LIFE."

Your words.

This is all anybody wants, including women.

webmdave said...

Meh. I don't see life as precious. Frankly, it's a colossal pain in the ass. I'd just as soon my parents hadn't bothered. Of course, I realize my view isn't typical - just be aware that not everyone see the world as you do (a mistake made my nearly every fundie!).

webmdave said...

It is interesting that your deconversion came about partly as the result of an experience at a Christian College. And that it was about the pro-life issue. I am glad you now see the "light".....thank you for your kind words, too. It was quite a few years ago, but I have just recently been working on the grief issues that ensued.

webmdave said...

Yes, I found this post by misslissy to be very frightening.

Hey missy, child abuse is not about you. It is about the child, and getting that child out of an abusive situation as soon as you notice an abusive situation. Then getting the abuser arrested and prosecuted. There is no asking him to be good. You get his a** arrested ASAP before he can do it again or do it to another child.

And if you ever decide to kill someone because god told you to, you will end up in a hospital for the criminally insane so fast your head will spin.

And I meant it when I said that people like you scare me. If you think "god" "tells" you to do anything, you are only hearing yourself in your own head. As long as "yourself" only tells you to do good things, you are not a threat. But, you do not live in the real world. One day god/yourself is going to be upset with somebody and tell you to do something that is not a good thing. That is why you, and people like you, scare me. Give me normal-crazy any day over religious-crazy.

webmdave said...

Hi, misslissy,

You seem to be a xtian who tries very hard to live a godly life. I did, and so did many here. I was a xtian for 20 years. The bitterness that shows itself when talking to xtians here, is because of the inability of xtians to understand that there is no one "truth" out there.

Considering the amount of religions, and that bible experts can't agree on the "truth", and each religion having to use fear to push forward their viewpoints, was enough for me.

I am bitter when I meet xtians I went to church with, and their superiority and self-righteous attitude makes them look down on me, and treat me as less than human. Yes, that does happen. And I hate it. We all have our own ideas of "truth". Who knows what is right. It's decided by who we are as people. I would have less anger towards xtians in general if they were more tolerant of different viewpoints, and stopped thinking of everyone who stopped believing or doesn't believe as defective in some respect.

There is no one religion that can claim to know all. There is no black and white thinking. Please think again about going to a pastor about any counciling at all. Some may have experience in some areas, but the damage they can do, when they are just stupid, is huge. One tried to tell me that my ex cheated on me continually because I wasn't a "good" wife. Sexually I think he meant.

Looking back, I would never go to anyone in the church for any kind of advice. I would look outside the church. If I had a husband that was abusing me or my kids, I would talk to someone who had experience in that field, and could give me honest council. And I guarantee the first answer would be to get out, keep the kids safe, and if you want to work on your marriage, do it apart. Those types of people don't change.

webmdave said...

All right, so after my computer crashed, I will try again to answer. I'm sorry if you found my answer unsatisfactory. Wouldn't you want to consult someone you trusted? You make it seem like it's so black and white, but I would do my best in the situation. First of all, I would need to find resources - I would need support because I guess to me, leaving someone is never an easy thing to do, no matter the circumstances. And I would argue that it's about more than your child, it's about you too, because it's your husband. It's different than if a random stranger were sexually abusing your child. And it's hard for me to extrapolate exactly how things would go down. I've not married yet and I've never had any kids; I'm 19. I haven't thought about situations like that. I know that it can ruin a child's life, but imagine what it would do to you, knowing this person you trusted was doing something like that to your child? I would need support from somewhere. And I trust my God - God told Abraham to kill his son and he trusted and God stopped him before he could go through with it.

And Juan, you look at it that way, but I see it differently. For one thing, the word religion has so many connotations. Everyone has their own thoughts about what that word means. That's why you know the old standard, we don't talk about religion or politics.

And eveningmeadows, I would argue that there is a truth out there somewhere. If there's no one truth out there, what makes anything wrong? To go back to the child abuse situation - if there's no truth out there, what makes that wrong? What if I say that that's how I live? You know what I'm saying? There has to be some level of truth, even if you don't recognize it as so, because otherwise there would be no wrong.

I know it does happen. I'm sorry it happens. It's hard. I will admit to sometimes have thought of non-Christians in a negative light, but I am working hard to change that. If I disagree with you though or think you are wrong, does that mean I think you're defective? I mean, if to make light of it, but I can't think of a better analogy, if you think that the Saints are the best football team, can't I disagree with you and say that the Colts are the best without treating you any worse for it? I try very hard to treat every person with respect whether or not I agree with them. I don't always feel like it's reciprocated back because of the bitterness held. I mean, what if I had experiences with a group on non-Christians that were bad and then I subsequently held it against all non-Christians regardless of how similar or dissimilar they were to those who had done me wrong?

I'm sorry that you had bad experiences with you pastor. I happen to trust mine and I would go to him for counseling. And you're right, they can do damage, but I went to a non-Christian counselor when I was in the 8th grade for a bit and she did damage to me too and now I have a hard time going to any counselors at all. So I would turn to the church and to those I trust and I would hope that if they didn't have the answers, they could direct me to someone who could, that they would have resources.

I am trying my best here to answer your questions honestly. I speak for me, as a Christian, not for all Christians, even if it may seem like that, just as I don't assume that you all speak for all non-Christians, but that you speak only for yourself. I am listening as best I can.

webmdave said...

I am very glad to hear you are so young. When you were talking about getting answers from god and doing whatever god tells you to do (even killing your sister) you scared me. I grew up with christian crazy, and I had visions of your kids cowering in the corner while you talk to god about whether they get to live or not.

So, now I can hope you are just immature and have not been exposed to the real word too much.

I hope you are going to college (NON-christian) for an education and some perspective. I hope you read everything you can get your hands on (including non-christian writers, novels, and the backs of cereal boxes). Education is the key to living in the real world. And you want to live in the real world, even if you remain a christian.

There is certainly a chance for you to mature into a critically-thinking human being.

I wish you well.

webmdave said...

Well, knowing you are 19 changes things a little. You don't have decades worth of investment in the Jesus Brand. Maybe it won't be as difficult for common sense to sink in.

I am going to let the whole "it's a religion" thing go for now; beating that horse will only stir up flies.

With regards to the Abraham tale, I would like to point out that your view of this situation is almost as abhorrent as your view of child rape as a mere defilement of the marriage bed.

The minute you tie a kid up with the intention of sacrificing him to a god, you have crossed every line of human decency. It is not an act that can be salvaged with an "Oh, god was just kidding. He stopped it before it went too far." No, no no, that is not how it works. Human sacrifice is an awful thing, and your religion not only claims several instances of it to it's "credit", but actually claims it is the only hope for mankind. As religions go, christianity is every bit as revolting to me as it's South American counterparts. It is disgusting, and you should feel shame for going along with it. Shame!! Shame upon you!!

webmdave said...

hi again,

I think you have an honest desire to understand where people are coming from, and being so young, I hope you can keep that desire, and let it grow. From my experience, it won't be easy in the church.

But don't be intimidated by those who consider themselves more "mature." I was surprised when I left the church, how the "world" saw xtians. We saw ourselves as having a message that would save people from hell, and give them a purposeful life. But, that wasn't the case with non xtians. They didn't like us because of our "love for jesus", and compassion for mankind. They hated us because of our arrogance and self righteous attitude. And for our narrowmindedness. Please keep that in mind if you desire to continue in your xtian journey.

I always felt that if we really had something in our church that met the needs of people in our community, those people would be knocking the doors down! That never happened, we were encouraged to beg and plead for people to accept our message. And what did my church offer to me that was any better than any other church? Great potlucks, and fun programs for my kids.

Remember, there are plenty of lonely, hurting people that are looking for a place to just fellowship. We always had to stuff this stupid gospel message down anyones throat whenever we had an "ourreach" program. People hate that. I believe people need compassion, and I would have loved to see suppers, after church socials, where there was no religious agenda. I believe that can be done without religion altogether. We don't need a jesus, or a super church, we need us as people to care for each other, and just that. And to accept each other for what and who we are.

I have hope that you will be able to grow and be a positive influence in your church.

Hope you the best

webmdave said...

eveningmeadows, I thank you very much for respecting me. As far as your comment goes, lisa, I want to know who gets to decide who the real world is. And why the world I live in is any less real. You are taking a few of my comments and seeing what you want to see. I don't think God talks to me farther than beyond what it says in the Bible. When I have kids someday, I'm going to do my best to raise them, showing them the love of Christ. You're creating a picture that fits your view of who I am.

Just because I said child rape is a defilement of the marriage bed, doesn't mean that is all it is. Child rape is an awful, awful thing. Just because I was choosing to look at one of the consequences and results, doesn't mean that I don't think it's awful. I won't feel shame for what I believe and I won't let you make me think that I should no more than you would believe it if I told you that you should feel shame for what you believe in.

eveningmeadows, thank you for treating me with respect. I do have a genuine desire to understand or I wouldn't be here and I wouldn't have stayed and kept talking. I know how the world sees Christians; I am confronted with it, usually in my every day life. I try very hard not to be arrogant and not to have a self-righteous attitude partially for that reason. And sometimes yes, I have been accused of being narrowminded, but I never understood that argument. If people are refusing to listen to me just as much as they claim I am refusing to listen to them, why am I the only narrowminded person?

It is a tricky balance that churches have to find. At the one hand, if they were all about community, then why bring in the religion at all? It would just be a community center. At the same time, you don't want to shove it down people's throats so that they are turned away. I am working on finding this balance myself and on caring for all people, even when I disagree with them. However, I feel that if I disagree with someone, I should be able to point that out, unless the society we lived in has morphed in such a way that we are no longer able to say and hear that. I have hope that I too will be a positive influence on my church and will help them to find the way to best serve the community while still being true to the faith. I hope you the best as well and am truly sorry to all of you that you have been treated so poorly by other Christians.

webmdave said...

The real world/the reality-based world:

This is the world in which a person takes responsibility for his own decisions.

When I found out that you were 19, I realized that you may not have yet had the opportunity to live in that world. I was a sophomore in college at 19 and still very much under the influence of my crazy-christian mother. Not only did I NOT make decisions for myself; I was almost afraid to have an independent thought lest she somehow decipher it and jump all over me for it.

I expected at any time to turn a corner at school and see my mother walking toward me, though the college was 3 hours away from my home. Indeed, one spring break, when she was supposed to pick me up at noon and take my boyfriend and me to lunch before we dropped him at the airport and headed for home, she was banging on my door before 6 a.m. I am sure she was trying to catch me in some unchristian, compromising position. It surely would have strengthened her power over me and my fear of her and her god. Didn't happen. She just woke me up.

So, I was not able to enter the reality-based, superstition-free, fear of the all powerful/all-seeing mother-god-free world till I had married and moved far away. And even then, it was hard.

I don't know your situation. I only know that you are young and have a world of experiences awaiting you. You may change your mind about a lot of things when you are older and have explored things outside your comfort-zone. People do.

I wish you well.

webmdave said...

I definitely think that I take responsibility for my actions, even if you don't think I do. I admit when I do wrong. I make decisions for myself - I haven't lived with my parents since I was 17. My parents are not like your parents. I live my own life and my own experience and I would like to believe that I do know the real world. I'm glad you recognize that you don't know my situation, but at the same time, you can't say for sure that I will ever change my mind. I have experienced, already, many things outside of my comfort zone. Even posting here is outside of my comfort zone.

I wish you well as well, even if we may disagree.

webmdave said...

Misslissy,

Sorry, as you, I have other responsibilities as well...

Well, just because you've divulged some information and you seem sincere, let me tell you a little bit about my xtian experience as I was developing 'self' value.

On my 18th birthday, I began my training to kill anyone defiant of this Christian Nation, I was in training much sooner than that, but... that's another story, and contracted at the age of 17. Killing without conscience, anyone identified, if deemed a threat ‘against Christian Values’...

It isn’t a metaphor in my life; I was truly a Killer for Christian Values… and, not wanting to go too far off-topic here, but, why this is important, is because… while I lived in that psychological state, I thought I knew who I was, I thought I had a self-identity with self-based values…

And so, let me just ask you a final question… one that I think I would have had a hard time answering without a self-identity, when I was young, and employed as a Killer for Christ…

Misslissy: "I have value because of Christianity.”

What are you… without xtianity?

webmdave said...

You said, "I definitely think that I take responsibility for my actions, even if you don't think I do. I admit when I do wrong. I make decisions for myself."

But you also say, "I answer to God first before I answer to my preacher. If God told me to kill my sister, I would listen to him and know that he held reason to it. But God telling me to do something is different than a religious leader telling me to do something. I value God above everything."

You can't have it both ways. If you think god talks to you and tells you what to do and how to think, you are not thinking for yourself and making your own decisions. You are listening to your own thoughts in your own head, yes, but giving god the credit (and the blame) for the things you do. And these decisions might be different than the ones you would make if you did not think god was watching your every move.

When god talks to you, whose voice do you hear? Your preacher's, Your mother's? Another authority figure's? Your own?

I am very curious about that since god never said one word to me. My mother told me what god thought of me, but god---not so much

webmdave said...

All right, trying again, to answer a lot in one comment. eveningmeadows, I do genuinely want to know why. I want to be able to understand even that with which I do not agree. It's important to me to understand. And I guess I wasn't just talking about why ex Christians won't listen, but because I guess in my experience, with anyone who I have disagreed with, I have automatically been labeled narrowminded because of my Christianity, even by those who have never believed, even though sometimes I feel as though I am never really listened to either. I try very hard to understand. Guess my church is different because we value that fellowship - even if no one is coming to Christ, it is important to be together, to strengthen one another and to encourage each other and that is just as important as spreading the gospel. And I guess, I don't see what I do as dumping it on people. I want to tell people, yes, but part of the reason why not everyone believes is because God gave us freewill. I can tell you what I believe but you have the choice to reject that belief as truth. Will I still think you're wrong? Yes, but I can't make you think it's right and I know that. You have freewill.

And I guess I speak out because at the same time, I want others to know this truth. Christianity to me isn't about fear; I live it joyfully and without fear. And I do my best to live out what I believe. And I ask my questions. I feel fortunate in that I have been able to ask questions within my church without feeling criticized for them.

And I guess, I would argue what you're thinking of isn't the most Biblical. Because I know that no matter what I do, God could never want me. I live the way I live out of thanks for saving him, because none of my works can earn me salvation - that's what makes salvation a gift.

God hasn't talked to me, at least not in the sense that you're thinking Lisa. God talks to me through His word. If it's not in the Bible I don't believe it. And just because God tells me something doesn't mean I go through with it. I have the choice whether or not to go through with it.

And finally, as for what I am without Christianity. I am a student, I am a daughter, I am a sister. I love to read and I try my best to help people. I care about my friends and my family. I work hard. I stress too much even when I don't try to. I make mistakes and I own up to them. There is a thousand things I am and a thousand things I am not. I don't know if that's a sufficient enough answer for you, but it's a sufficient enough answer for me.

As always, I hope I have touched on everything and I have answered to the best of my ability.

webmdave said...

Misslissy: "And just because God tells me something doesn't mean I go through with it. I have the choice whether or not to go through with it."

Then, you are your gods' equal, e.g., you're a god.

Misslissy: "I am a student, I am a daughter, I am a sister. I love to read and I try my best to help people. I care about my friends and my family. I work hard. I stress too much even when I don't try to. I make mistakes and I own up to them."

Occupation: Student
Genetic Relationship: Daughter & Sister
Hobby: Reading
Habits/Behavior: Helps others, good work ethic, perfectionist, honest.

So, your 'self' is the sum of your job, genetic relationship, hobbies, habits and behaviors?

And, if this is what you think, are you all of that 'because' you are a xtian, or... despite the fact you are a xtian?

Peace

webmdave said...

I know that it can ruin a child's life, but imagine what it would do to you, knowing this person you trusted was doing something like that to your child? I would need support from somewhere. And I trust my God - God told Abraham to kill his son and he trusted and God stopped him before he could go through with it.

That was a very poor answer, but being 19 and never been married, you have no clue. However, in essence, you basically said you would sacrifice your child, unless God sent something else. You do not need any god concept to know that sexual abuse is wrong and like wise, sacrificing a child is wrong too.

If there's no one truth out there, what makes anything wrong? To go back to the child abuse situation - if there's no truth out there, what makes that wrong? What if I say that that's how I live? You know what I'm saying? There has to be some level of truth, even if you don't recognize it as so, because otherwise there would be no wrong.

You have a lot to learn about religious and secular morality.

webmdave said...

That doesn't mean I am God's equal, but that God gave me free will. If God wanted us to obey Him because we have to then He wouldn't give us a choice in the matter. He wants us to obey Him because we want to.

I guess that's how I would define myself. I'm all of that and I am a Christian and that shapes how I am all those things. How I act as a daughter is determined by my faith. What kind of student I am is determined by my faith. I could be all those things without my faith, but because I have faith, it changes how I am all those things. I think that makes sense, but sometimes I say stuff outloud and not everything from my head gets put down on the paper that makes sense.

As always, I have tried to answer my best.

webmdave said...

You don't need any God concept to know that sexual abuse is wrong, you're right. And I recognize that as wrong. But at the same time, I guess, you never really answered my question about what makes anything wrong. Because if everyone truly believed that child abuse was really wrong, then we wouldn't have any child abusers. They obviously have to justify it somehow. So I didn't answer the perfect answer - it's hard to just put myself in the shoes of a situation I've never been in and I never even thought about and give a thorough answer. Also, I guess to some my reaction may have implied that I thought it was okay - but I don't think it was okay, but one of my first reactions would be to go to someone else for advice on how to get out of the situation, and yes, that person would happen to be my pastor.

webmdave said...

In this situation, I would pray about it a lot

That's not going to do a damn thing.

and I would go to someone else that I trust, probably a pastor, and ask for what I should do.

That may or may not be helpful either for various reasons.


I would confront him (my husband) about it and based on his reaction, would determine what I would do?

They lie their a**es off! Just to save their butts.

If he absolutely refused to change, I would divorce him. I see sexual abuse of kids as being unfaithful to the marriage bed - a sick form of adultery if you will.

Sexual abuser, esp pedophiles do not change, as a rule. There is no god that will help them change either. I hate to say this, but you really do have a lot to learn.

However, praying and talking to a pastor does little to save and protect your child from such harm.

webmdave said...

I found it worse than frightening. I found it contemptible, because misslissy has NO CLUE how it ruins a child's life. She also has no clue about the reality of any of it. Which means, given she is 19, young, naive, and obviously never been in that position, she has a WHOLE LOT to learn.

webmdave said...

So no one can change then. I wasn't saying I would pray to change the situation - you can pray for a lot of reasons. Maybe I would pray for the courage to leave. Obviously if leaving is just as easy as you say, there wouldn't be any women who stay in abusive situations where either them or their children are being abused.

All right, you can say I have a lot to learn. You can call me whatever you want, but I'm leaving at this point. To those who I felt respected me, thank you. To the others, I guess you "win". I tried my best to act in respect to you, but I guess that can't be reciprocated.

webmdave said...

Ministers don't always help. Sometimes they are enablers.

webmdave said...

So no one can change then.

No, I did not say that. I said, as a rule, pedophiles don't change.

Obviously if leaving is just as easy as you say, there wouldn't be any women who stay in abusive situations where either them or their children are being abused.

Depends on the woman as to how easy it is.

webmdave said...

As for respect, calling you naive was neither an insult or disrespect. Just a fact, for you are obviously venturing into territory you have no clue about.

Ah, but if you left, just because I called you naive, then obviously it is not that hard to leave, whatever your reason maybe.

webmdave said...

Guest: "That doesn't mean I am God's equal, but that God gave me free will. If God wanted us to obey Him because we have to then He wouldn't give us a choice in the matter. He wants us to obey Him because we want to."

So, God doesn’t impose his Will on humanity, because that would negate free-will?

So… this would suggest, that ‘no preacher’ on the earth, today, or any religious leader, today, has godly or divine interference leading them to persuade and influence followers…

So… no one has divine guidance on terra, each xtian has their own interpretation of the bible, e.g., each xtian is their own xtian sub-culture?

If God is directing, we have no free-will… if God is not directing as deists believe… then there is no revelation, religious guidance, or ‘knowledge’ in regard to ‘anything’ divine, to include what you should, or should not do – what ‘on-earth’ would be the value of religion then, other than a social club?

Guest/Misslissy: “I could be all those things without my faith, but because I have faith, it changes how I am all those things.”

Faith, dearest Guest/Misslissy, is the belief in something without/against ‘knowledge’… you are quite aware, it would seem, of what you perceive your-self as… and thus, ‘faith’ is not required.

If you wanted to believe you were ‘not’ a student… that would require ‘faith’.

Faith without works; is dreaming. Works without faith; is accomplishment.

I think you sell yourself short on your self-identity, actually, your self-identity is missing about 1/3 (and, the most important in my opinion), of what I would consider a solid grasp of ‘self’… and it is because of your need to cling to ‘faith’, et al., that you will lack that part of knowing you… I think you’re trying to be as autonomous as you can be, such that you establish independent belief, but… it appears you have a deep desire to cling to ‘faith’, as it secures your group-identity.

And, you are right, you are a thousand things and a thousand things you are not… but there is only ‘one’ you – not the thousand either way… It goes against my ethics, to tell someone what to do (in such matters), unless I’m being sarcastic… I don’t believe we mature, by someone handing us an easy-button, nor would we respect it… good luck.

Peace

webmdave said...

I really don't see the "Pro-life" agenda being for life at all. However, there are Xian groups, such as Lutherans are Pro-Choice. Tiller came out of the Lutheran Church, so I wouldn't go around saying, "As Christians" this and that. Not all Xians thinking like you.

webmdave said...

"Yes, we do try and stop homosexual couples from adopting, for the chief reason that homosexuality is against the will of God. You cannot naturally have children as a homosexual couple, you should not be able to adopt."

I didn't get to read any farther because this steamed me so much. First of all, if there was a god, he made homosexuals as they are, so they are not against the will of god--you fool.

Second, my daughter and her husband cannot naturally have children. They cannot even unnaturally have children (frozen embryos and artificial insemination). But they are about to adopt their second unwanted child who will be born in May. How does this square with your theory that people who cannot naturally have children should not be able to adopt?

You don't put much thought into what you say, do you? Just repeat what you are told, do you?

webmdave said...

"In wiping out these women and the children they were sacrificing, God removed a massive form of murder from that time."

Don't you mean god performed a massive murder? And he did this many times in the bible. He was quite the thrower of massive hissy fits when he didn't like something, wasn't he? Stamping his creation out like a child who is frustrated by something he has built with his blocks.

As for birth control, do you know that women who are allowed to have fewer children can take care of the ones they have better? That they are more likely to become educated and not continue the vicious circle of poverty, lots of kids, poor education and few opportunities for all--over and over again. I am not a fan of abortion. I would like to reduce abortion by promoting the use of birth control and making it cheap or free and available to all. All kinds of birth control--whatever a man or woman will use to prevent unwanted pregnancies and the poverty, pregnancy, lost opportunity circle.

And, about sex for the marital bed only, there is so much unmarried sex going on in the bible (including incest and rape) that I cannot understand how sex got to be the great bugaboo of the christian nation.

Sex is natural and people are going to have sex. The best we can do is reduce the chances of passing on STDs and reduce the unwanted pregnancies. THAT is within our power. Making people stop having sex is not within our power and it is ridiculously dangerous to just preach to people to stop it. In developing countries, the women often don't get a choice (evidently in some christian homes as well). So sex is going to happen. Get over it. And let's prevent some of the more preventable consequences.

And, by the way, birth control should not just be a women's issue, but it is. Women give up education, jobs, family, etc. to raise unexpected children. These children usually do not get the advantages of wanted children and they and their mothers usually live below the poverty line. Men have no consequences for making babies. I am pretty sure that if men had babies, we would not have any controversy over preventing unwanted pregnancy. Birth control would be handed out like candy.

webmdave said...

Nick, your hypocritical views are obvious to anyone who can think critically.

For one thing, your elaborate dissertation on the technicalities of murder is a joke, considering that the god you believe in brags quite openly about killing innocents.

Homosexuality is against the will of your god? My my, give yourself a big pat on the back. Focus your attentions on those homosexuals, it should keep you from pondering the anti-heterosexual verses in the bible.

The marriage bed, the flood, sodom and gomorrah...your indoctrination appears to be complete. I don't think you can ever be deprogrammed. Reading your post has filled me with grief; I grew up among people like you, and I have a pretty good idea how common your perverse views are.

Christianity socially and intellectually retards people. You are living proof of this fact.

webmdave said...

I am sorry your emotions got in the way of reading the rest of this. Yes homosexuality is against the will of God. He wiped out two of the most prominent cities of the time (Sodom and Gomorrah) for that exact sin. Think about this for a second. God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and increase in number. You cannot increase in number without having one male and one female. Homosexuality is a sin.

You are right, I did leave this next section a little undefined. By unnatural I mean a couple who do not possess both proper sets of organs to reproduce. I am glad that your daughter and her husband are adopting, it is something I wish to do later in my life as well. I speak only of homosexual couples.

webmdave said...

Massive murder? How so? These people had broken the law by murdering their children in sacrifice to false gods. Therefore God handed them the death penalty, for killing someone in cold blood.

I have nothing against the idea of birth control. I (and the Bible) have issues with killing a fetus. If you had taken the time to finish reading my post, you would have seen that there are birth control methods out there that are acceptable, they just happen to be the barrier methods (in my opinion, the most cost effective method as well).

I realize there was so much unmarried sex going on in the bible, and everyone received their just reward. None of the pre-marital sex went unpunished in God's eyes, again pointing to the fact that we are sinful humans and we make mistakes of all kinds. This leads to the need for forgiveness.

Yes, sex is natural and people are going to have sex. Sex is a great thing, one of the most intimate bonds between one man and one woman. Meant to stay that way, meant only for the marriage bed. Any man who forces a woman to have sex with him, both in and out of marriage, is not someone who is walking the path the Bible defines as the Christian path. Yes, let us prevent preventable consequences by keeping sex where it is supposed to be, in the marriage bed.

I never said that birth control was ever solely a woman's issue. Birth control is supposed to be discussed and decided upon by the couple. Again, any man who has sex with a woman, and a child results from that sexual encounter, and he leaves her, is not what the Bible defines as someone acting as Christ would, aka being a Christian. My own biological father is an example of this. However, I have forgiven the man, realized he made a huge mistake, and forgiven him for it, and so has my mother.

webmdave said...

I am having trouble seeing where God openly brags about killing innocents. Where do you find this? If there is something I have missed, please, tell me as I have as much a desire to learn about the truth as you do.

Again, where does the bible speak against heterosexuality? Don't just say it, support it.

webmdave said...

I thought I had very clearly defined the fact that I do not speak for all "Christians" merely those who believe wholly in the Word of the Lord given in the Bible. And define Lutheran, as there is more than one Lutheran denomination, due to so much straying from the Word of God.

webmdave said...

Yeah, I would say there is definitely something you have missed. If you are truly unaware of the issues I raised, then sounds like you missed about 95% of your own goddam holy book.

I don't play scripture wars anymore, so if you are looking to refute a chapter and verse with another chapter and verse, you can look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you are truly looking to learn (something I find highly suspect), then may I suggest you spend the next several months exploring http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/

webmdave said...

Yes, mriana, this good fellow doesn't speak for all christians, just the "true" christians.

PTHTHTHTHTHBBBBBB!!!!

webmdave said...

lax4ever :

Joshua 10:28
With God's approval, Joshua put the city of Makkedah " TO THE SWORD AND TOTALLY DESTROYED EVERYONE IN IT. HE LEFT NO SURVIVORS."

Joshua 10:32-33
God gave his approval as Joshua killed EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD in Lachish with the sword.

Exodus 17:13
Moses held out the staff of God, allowing Joshua to kill the Amalekites. ( women & children included )

Your "God" certainly is a splendid fellow ! !

webmdave said...

"...you would have seen that there are birth control methods out there that are acceptable"

Acceptable to whom? They do not have to be acceptable to you or to your biblegod.

For unmarried, unpunished sex, read Genesis.

You: "Yes, let us prevent preventable consequences by keeping sex where it is supposed to be, in the marriage bed."

And you've seen how well that works. Birth control is necessary and christians should stop forcing their particular brand of morality on others. And, whether you say so or not, birth control IS a women's issue. Women get to decide whether or not to use birth control or to have an abortion. You don't get to decide. Sorry. That's real life.

As for your own life, you do get to decide whom to forgive. Certainly up to you. And it's certainly up to you how you deal with your own sexuality. But you do not get to decide birth control, adoption, marriage, or pre-marital sex issues for others.

webmdave said...

Spot on, Summerbreeze.

webmdave said...

"I speak only of homosexual couples." Why? Why do you speak of homosexual couples at all? What gives you the right to decide who gets to adopt or marry? And don't say the bible does. Nowhere does it say, "lax4ever gets to decide the fate of everyone who does or does not believe the same crap he does."

webmdave said...

Exodus 34:7
"Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation"

webmdave said...

Exodus 34:7
"Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation"

webmdave said...

Yes, we do try and stop homosexual couples from adopting, for the chief reason that homosexuality is against the will of God.

That sounds like hatefulness, discrimination, dehumanizing, bigotry, and a slew of other things.

You are partially right in saying we fight against birth control methods. We fight certain ones, namely those that work by killing the joined (joined meaning where the sperm has joined with the egg) fetus.

So you want to assist God in destroying a whole bunch of cells? That is all the joined sperm egg are AND most of those are spontaneously aborted, AKA miscarriage. That means, according you, your god aborts them. Most aborted pregnancies happen in this manner and around this time. Not only that, these cells are not even a child yet. They look like nothing BUT cells. After that, they might look like a tadpole, then much similar to an unborn cat or dog. It takes at least 4 to 5 months before it even LOOKS human.

Sigh. It never ceases to amaze just how little some Xians know about such things.

webmdave said...

Sodom and Gomorrah is a MYTH. It never actually existed.

webmdave said...

I think I did when I mention that Dr. Tiller was a Lutheran. Not only that, The ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) was pro-choice and suspect still is.

webmdave said...

lisa, Thanks ! It felt good!

webmdave said...

juan, " a jealous God "....now isn't that just the sweetest thing you ever heard ?...must make christians so proud to be affiliated with "him" !

webmdave said...

lax4ever: "Homosexuality is a sin."

Just wondering there lax4ever... isn't it true, that some of the xtian sub-cults believe that everyone is born sinful at birth?

I mean, let's be honest here, it is xtian training, to adopt the mind-set that all of humanity is 'born' sinful, to self-identity as filthy rags and worms, and only have value by the measure of their 'faith' in their unworthiness...

A xtian has just as much 'faith' that they are degenerates as 'faith' in their belief in the xtian God...

And, so... it makes one sit back and ponder... If everyone is born sinful degenerates... then do-tell, what is an xtian basing moral judgment on... someone who has 'faith' in their degenerate state, can only speak from an immoral and 'degenerate' point of view...

Do you understand this? Asking an xtian a moral question, is like asking an insane person, for advice on becoming sane.