Indoctrinated as a Child
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21-11-2011, 02:47 PM
Indoctrinated as a Child
I'm sure many share this sort of experience, but I was heavily indoctrinated as a child with the Christian religion, especially in the Baptist denomination. My parents took me to Christian school beginning at the age of four. We attended church and spent some of our time at home talking about Bible stories. When my dad worked at night, he would record cassette tapes of "sermons" for my sister and I to listen to when we got home from school.

Now, I am slowly but surely becoming comfortable with not believing in all of it. It sounds more and more ludicrous by the day, and I feel so much more free.

However, I still can't get the indoctrination out of the back of my mind sometimes. The churches and Christian schools painted a clear picture of what it looked like when "Satan destroys the heart of the believer and takes over his mind."

They told me that people who don't believe in God do all sorts of bad and worldly things only because the devil is in their minds telling them that Christianity is false, and using them.

They, of course, told me that no matter how good a person ever is, if he does not accept Jesus as his personal saviour, he will burn in hell forever and the torture will never, ever stop.

They told me that because the Bible says to train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it, that no matter how far I ever stray, I would always be pulled back into "the truth"-- which was meant as Christianity.

I'm just wondering if anyone else out there can offer any encouragement? Is anyone else still being haunted by childhood indoctrination?
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21-11-2011, 03:08 PM
RE: Indoctrinated as a Child
I was not indoctrinated, instead I sought out religion to answer questions that it obviously failed to do. But I have a sort of funny story I could share with you that a friend told me just yesterday. My friend has two sisters and when they were growing up their parents were very religious but later on in life they sort of woke up out of it. I can attest to how religious as I had his dad as a teacher two years in a row and would constantly get shouted at and sent out of class for interrupting his religious dogma. Public school. Anyways one of my friends sisters has three kids. All cute little girls. I guess somehow religion came up as a topic of discussion for her and the parents. She expressed the fact that she had no intention of introducing religion into their lives ( at least not as a lesson to life or as a truth I am sure she will be forced to deal with it in some way) and her parents said " how do you expect them to learn right from wrong" he looked at them both and laughed. "what?" she asked, the idea that religion could effectively teach anyone right from wrong being laughable. Her parents both started laughing too I guess realizing that the many years of brainwashing hadn't completely worn off. They apologized and told her she was right.

If you take anything from this story let it be that it will eventually go away but it will be a long hard road. To clarify my friends parents haven't been religious for roughly ten years.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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21-11-2011, 06:58 PM
RE: Indoctrinated as a Child
My indoctrination as a child was in how to take a beating. Takes a while to get over childhood trauma.

But for what it is worth, I have reduced all scripture to the number 4; and what did I get outta the deal? The self-entitlement of Lucifer. I mean, it's all in there. Satan is just entitlement, not name, and it means Adversary. The agenda of the church is to suppress thought, creative thinking, asking questions; but when one cuts through all the bullshit, it is Job 38 - to stand before the universe as a man, rather than hide in the safety of the flock like a sheep.

But some people like herds, safety in numbers, not thinking for themselves. This unit is always thinking... seems a lot of the thought coming out of this unit is only for itself, with alla comments of obscurity I get. Big Grin

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21-11-2011, 07:53 PM
RE: Indoctrinated as a Child
You will get over this fear, it's simply a hurdle that has to be overcome. But what helped me was things like this forum and watching youtube videos of Hitchens, Harris, Dennet, and Dawkins. Always remember that you're putting your dreams into this life, rather than waiting for the next.

And if you've got time, watch the Symphony of Science on youtube. It gave me a sense of wonder that churches never could.

Of all the ideas put forth by science, it is the principle of Superposition that can undo any power of the gods. For the accumulation of smaller actions has the ability to create, destroy, and move the world.

"I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." -W. E. Henley
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21-11-2011, 08:22 PM
RE: Indoctrinated as a Child
Kristen, I can't say I know exactly how YOU feel, but I do know what it's like to deal with those Baptist doctrines. I took those to the extreme and became a pastor so I could pass that pablum onto future generations.

I've been out of the active ministry for almost 8 years, but I've only just recently began to identify myself as an atheist. But not all the childhood ghosts have been exorcised. I fear that I'll one day re-convert and I'll have all these great sermons about how I became an atheist until Jesus found me again and rescued me from my satan worshiping ways. But I fixed this once and for all. I committed the "Unpardonable Sin" and blasphemed the Holy Spirit, so there's not much I can go back to now. I'm doomed to be eternally damned. Or not.

You'll get there. I don't know of anyone who was a hardcore True Believer who left it all behind over night. This is all a long journey and you've come to the right place to find others to support you.

Oh, and therapy can be helpful too. I told my therapist tonight that she has become my higher power. When I'm falling asleep at night I no longer pray and talk to God about this and that. Now in my head I'm talking to my therapist and thinking of all the things I want to talk about the next time I see her. At least she answers back when I see her. God never did that for me.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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22-11-2011, 07:02 AM
RE: Indoctrinated as a Child
For me, both school (public) and my family have tried to indoctrinate me. And they did.

Orthodox Christianity has, like the Baptist Church, the 'If you don't believe, you'll go to hell forever, but Jesus loves you and he is love' etcetera etcetera.

It was a real struggle with myself to 'come out of the confessional'. Hey, I could either kiss Jessie's arse for the rest of my life like my colleagues and be "happy" or I could look at the facts and see that it's crap, but suffer an eternity in Hell.
I chose the latter a few years ago, and I've been having struggles and arguments with my family ever since.

It's a real pain to see kids that are in love with people like Attenborough and pro-evolution to be also pro-church and up its arse.

I like radishes.
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23-11-2011, 02:37 PM
RE: Indoctrinated as a Child
My dad's side of the family is pretty religious but I wasn't exactly indoctrinated. All I can say is that knowledge is power. Seems to me that your concern or worry is that it could all be true and you might actually go to hell. This is the same fear that keeps religion alive. I can't say whether or not there is a hell. I don't believe there is becasue I have no reason to but I can say that given what I know of the Christian god, I'd almost rather be in hell than heaven. Also, I find it hard to beleive that an all loving god would punish someone ETERNALLY for simply using the brain that he supposedly gave us.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect.”

-Mark Twain
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