Indoctrination stories
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26-01-2015, 11:45 AM
Indoctrination stories
I had a thought recently. I was not raised uber religious so I really didn't get the full experience of childhood indoctrination (not that I'm complaining). So I thought I'd shake the tree and see what fell out. So this is what I am interested in:
1) just a quick synopsis of what your indoctrination experience was like
2) are you bitter/angry/sad/etc. about it
3) is your family bitter towards you for where you are now (or perhaps scared)

This isn't about deconversions, just indoctrination.

1) I was raised catholic and went to private catholic school until high school. I genuinely did believe in god and whatnot until I was out of school although I was beginning to doubt it. I had to go to church twice a week and this was in addition to the 1 hour a day religion class we had during the week. This also required my to go through the sacraments in order to graduate grade school. So basically, if I had refused, I would not have a grade school diploma I did attend a youth group but did not hang around for long as I really didn't fit in.
2) I am absolutely not bitter at all.
3) My wife is rather devout and she stops short of saying I'll be in hell but she instead says that she'll be in heaven and I won't be there. My sister has cried openly over my soul once. My mother is actually pretty good about it and said she was not at all surprised when I recently told her I was an atheist. I really have no idea what my dad is, he just avoids the subject like the plague

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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26-01-2015, 12:10 PM
RE: Indoctrination stories
1. I grew up with divorced parents. My mother was Methodist my dad Catholic, though neither were especially devout when I was a kid. I lived with my mom, saw my dad on weekends. We went to church with my mom, my dad didn't want to waste his precious weekend time with us sitting in church. I was always a "skeptic" as far back as I can remember, but I stuck with Methodism through confirmation at age 13 for a few basic reasons:

A. I grew up Irish in the Boston area where EVERYBODY is Catholic. So being a Methodist made me exotic, lol.
B. My dad would've preferred my brother and I were Catholic, so it was a bit of a rebellion on my part.
C. I didn't really believe the stories and the claims, but I DID believe in the pastor of our church. Not that he had "divine" magic powers or anything, just that he was one of the most genuinely nice people I had ever met. Long after I gave up on theism he remained one of my all time favorite people, and his kindness and even temper were a big influence on me.

2. Not bitter at all. My parents tried the best way they knew how to instill in me some morals. I think I would've been a "good person" even if I'd never set foot in a church, but their hearts were in the right place. I was then and remain today a big fan of the fictional character known as Jesus. He's right up there with Atticus Finch, Huckleberry Finn, and Yoda on my list of literary characters I learned some good lessons from. I don't blame people for trying to get me to follow or believe-in Jesus. Jesus is a good shit, as myths go.

3. I don't think there's a lot of bitterness in my family about my atheism. My dad, if he "believes" at all does so only from a Pascal's Wager type of logic, hedging his bets so to speak. My mom became a Methodist minister later in life, and I think she's disappointed; not so much that I don't believe, but that I'm missing out on a community and a belief system that has always been comforting to her. I've told her I don't need that kind of comfort, that I've accepted my insignificant place in the cosmos and don't expect or even desire another life. She's a bit let down that my son wasn't baptized, has no God-parents, etc. But she'll get over it.
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26-01-2015, 01:38 PM
RE: Indoctrination stories
1) I was raised Lutheran and just accepted what I was told as true. During confirmation (12 - 14 years old), I basically accepted what I was told. There were some things that troubled me, but it didn't make me question the beliefs; I just assumed things were sort of crappy. It wasn't until college that I ran into any dissenting points of view. It took me another five years to really start doubting, myself.

2) I'm not mad at my parents for raising me in what they thought was the correct way. I am mad at myself for being so dishonest with myself during college. I made some arguments that I knew were bad to make myself feel better about my beliefs.

3) I don't think so. For the most part, my parents don't talk about it with me, and I'm assuming they'd rather me still be Christian. My dad and I did talk about it once for a while, and I think he's at a point where he respects my beliefs.
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26-01-2015, 02:28 PM
RE: Indoctrination stories
1) if the doors were open, we were there. So, Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, small group night, choir, handbells, etc. Prayers at family functions, before meals, etc. Mission trips. Judgement House. True Love Waits. My first school was a Lutheran school, went to either Methodist or Baptist churches. You don't question god, he knows what's best for you, and if things don't turn out well, it's your fault for not listening or you're being tested.

2) am I bitter? Hell yeh.

3)Atheism doesn't exist to my family - it's just being angry with Gawd - stubborn, terrible people influenced by satan. And I'm in the closet.

"If there's a single thing that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so." - Lev Grossman
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27-01-2015, 08:20 PM
RE: Indoctrination stories
I went to Sunday school when I was four to five, at that point I told my parents I don't want to go anymore. That was the end of my church going days. The rest of my family prays when we get together on holidays, I step outside until they are done. They know I don't pray, and they keep their mouths shut about it, and I keep my mouth shut about their superstitions.
Most of them I think don't really believe, except my retarded hypocritical Baptist stepfather. I really can't understand what my mother ever saw in that leach. He aspired to be a preacher, but he's as eloquent as a donkey with Tourette. I'd rather stick a hot soldering iron in my ears than listen to that douche bag. He has this hang up about seeing someone read a book other than the bible I shit you not. The only book he has ever read cover to cover is the Babel. He is literally the most ignorant bastard I've ever known.
Unfortunately my mother lost my father when I was young. This Asshole took advantage of a lonely middle aged widow and concealed his true colors until it was to late. That motherfucker hasn't had a real job since he married my mom 21 years ago. I don't know how you call yourself a man living off your wife.
Unfortunately he is one in a long list of religious scumbags I've had the displeasure of meeting.
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