My childhood story
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19-10-2015, 10:44 AM (This post was last modified: 19-10-2015 11:49 AM by Freethinker87.)
My childhood story
Before you read. I'm possitive there are typos. I'm possitive there are grammatical errors. There may even be factual errors as I'm recalling from memory what happened 22 years ago. I'm human, I make mistakes and I don't pretend to know everything. If you can't over look and accept that then don't bother reading.

I would like to share my story with you. This has weighed heavy on my mind for so long. Today I put it out there. For others to read and hear. Partly to help me put these feelings into one cohesive thought and finally let their hold on me go and partly to help others see they are not alone and maybe help them see the light at the other end.

Imagine for a moment you are 6 years old. It is Sunday night and once again you are sitting on the pews in the biggest Pentecostal church in the area. The pastor walks on stage beaming. "We have a special treat tonight." He says. "The drama team is putting on a special production of Heavens Gates and Hells Flames this evening. We ask now that all children 12 and under please exit the sanctuary and head to children's church. This drama may be a bit too much for younger kids. " As you go to stand you overhear your grandmother telling your parents, she thinks it would be good for you to stay and watch. Your parents agree and point for you to sit. Reluctantly, but obediently you climb back up onto the pew and brace yourself for what's coming.
The lights go out and all of a sudden there are flashes of lights and bangs of guns going off all around you. There are men and women in full military gear running up and down the aisles. Screaming and shouting and going on and on about the rapture, the tribulation and how millions of people everywhere have vanished and the earth is in utter chaos. You close your eyes and shun away from the sounds right beside you.
The scene changes now to the left there is a giant wrought iron gate. There are people dressed as demons (all though they look awfully real to you) all around it and giant flames made of cloth and lights and air shooting all over the place. To the right a giant throne sits in a blinding white room behind a white and gold podium. Upon the podium a massive book. The Lamb's book of Life and beside the desk, the Pearly white gates into heaven. Enter God the Father, the angels bow and start speaking in tongues. Jesus acts as an intuputer. Telling you what's about to happen. Everyone is about to be judged. If you have asked the son of God, Jesus Christ for his forgiveness and a place in your heart your name will be in this book. You will be judged by all your actions on earth and then be let into heaven for Christ washed all those sins away. To live forever in a mansion on streets paved with gold. You will never be hungry or thirsty or hurt ever again. But if you are not saved, the Lord your God, we say " Depart from might sight for I know you not" again, you will be judged for your sins and sent to hell. Where you will suffer in agony in the burning flames 7x hotter than the hottest thing known to man. For all of eternity.
You sit petrified un-able to move. Anxiety engulfs you. You must be saved, even if you don't fully understand it you have to be. Burning forever, what torture. You bow your head right then, tears streaming down your face, praying the sinner's prayer. You know it by heart. You say it every Sunday just in case you didn't do it right the first time. Just in case you did something that week to make God angry. Just I'm case, to make sure you go to heaven.
The God on stage starts to speak and you're jolted out of your trembling prayer. There's a slew of people judge over the next few minutes. A mix of people going to either heaven or hell. But then you see a mom, she looks much like yours and a little girl maybe a year or two older than yourself walk up to stand before the Throne. God says come child, faithful and loyal to me, you have been. But the little girl doesn't want to let go of her mommy's hand. God judges the mom while the girl stands there. Devastated when he says "depart, for I knew you not." The little girl starts to scream and cry. A demon starts to make this crawl gallop thing across the stage (looks much like smegol from lord of the rings running on all fours. ) He grabs the mom. She's screaming for her daughter, the daughter is snatched up by an angel and shoved through the white pearly gates. The mom is dragged off through hells flames.
This was torture for me in the cruelest of forms. I suffered so badly with separation anxiety from my mom. I cried to the point of making myself sick when I would get dropped off at school. To watch this, to think of being separated from my mommy forever. It snapped something in my brain. It was the single most awful thing I have ever felt still to this day.
As a child this was the single most defining moment in my life. It didn't matter that I had questions. You shouldn't and if you do, you will burn. Push them out of your head the adults in my life would say..... It didn't matter that I thought, how is it possible for all other religions to be wrong and this one be right. How do we know for sure? No,no! No more questions or I'm going to burn in hell. Forgive me father I will not think of such things I would pray. Thoughts would come to me and I would squash them before I questioned too much.
Every time reason tried to counter such nonsense fear and anxiety overturned it. Looking back, I had questions, I had seen logical faults. I knew in the back of my mind this simply couldn't be true from a very young age. But fear and doubt and family kept me a prisoner in my own mind.
Even as an adult it took some time. I remember watching a documentary and at the end the guy went into the school sanctuary where he had been saved and said something along the lines of here in this church I deny God and the holy spirit, I do not believe they exist. I got goosbumbs and started crying, I didn't think that I would ever be able to say that. To blasphemy the holy ghost .... To commit the unforgivable sin to know that I would burn in hell if I was wrong..... But here I stand two years into my life as an atheist and humanists. Damned by my parents. Constantly judge by those around me. But proudly raising my own children as free thinkers. Trying to be the best mother I can. Never putting the burden on them to believe anything blindly without facts or reason. And I say today with no fear. "I deny the existence of the Holy Ghost, God or Jesus Christ and I no longer let the power and fear I let that belief put on my life control me. I have been shown no proof of such a being, being possible of existence and until/if ever such a proof comes I put my trust in those things tangible and and real. To live my life no longer tied down by oppressive fairy tails. Because even if I'm wrong and such a god exist I want nothing from him. I believe in science and reason and humans! And that's the only "god" I need.
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19-10-2015, 11:07 AM
RE: My childhood story
I remember being around 5 years old and going to a religious happening for children. The man leading the sermon read the passage from the Bible about God killing all the firstborn in Egypt. He read this to young children. I was so scared of God after that and had a lot of trouble sleeping. From that moment on, I did not view God as someone you should cross. Yes, i knew God's split personality of also being loving--but I also learned from that sermon that you'd better watch your step and do what God and the church say...or else.

I'm really sorry you had to go through that as a child--I'm sure it was very frightening watching that. I am glad you are free now Hug
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19-10-2015, 11:12 AM
RE: My childhood story
Gasp

Yikes. That would have been soooooo scary. Sorry man.

"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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19-10-2015, 11:16 AM
RE: My childhood story
One of the Pentecostal churches I attended for many years puts on something similar every Halloween. I think they call it "trip to hell." Still to this day they perform the play and always brag about how people are saved and commit their lives to Christ because of it. I now find it morally repugnant and can barely believe that just a few short years ago I felt this was a wonderful way to win souls for jebus. What a joke.

Nevertheless, I appreciate you sharing your story. It does help to collect your thoughts and put them out into the world for people to see them and learn from them. And...even for you to go back at some point to review what you have said to help affirm yourself.

Best wishes!

**Crickets** -- God
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19-10-2015, 11:30 AM
RE: My childhood story
Just. Wow!

Such a strong message of hope at the last, there. Thank you.

And how anyone can deny that this is child abuse is beyond me. It pisses me off ... seriously pisses me off.

Sad

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19-10-2015, 11:47 AM
RE: My childhood story
Welcome. Thank you for sharing your story. I can't imagine what it must have been like for you with those horrible memories. I am happy for you that you have found your strength and direction and that you have chosen to not do the same to your children. You should be an inspiration for people who like you have been subjected to religious emotional abuse. Stories like yours bring out the angry atheist in me. My fists are just clenched as I think what the f**k were your parents thinking. I am with Tonecasher. This is morally repugnant and that is to put it mildly.
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19-10-2015, 12:08 PM
RE: My childhood story
Congratulations for escaping insanity. The best revenge for this kind of abuse is to live your life without fear, to teach your kids knowledge instead of fear, to stop fear from propagating anymore and refuse to be silent when this awful mythology throws fear in people's faces.

I was raised in a Pentecostal household and saw similar things in the church I went to. The idea that a human could agree with such a belief that would literally burn people for eternity for not believing, that would effortlessly rip a child from their parent's arms to throw them in hell.

It still pisses me off.Angry

You see this callous and horrific attitude with the theists that are on this forum, they boast about how we'll be tortured and threaten us with hell. It's truly the worst side of humanity on display, while they actually think they have something to offer, all they do is demonstrate how religion debases a person.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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19-10-2015, 12:43 PM
RE: My childhood story
Thanks for all the comments. Today is one of those days where life just seems a little bit harderd than normal. Knowing there are people out there who have been through it makes it easier to cope with.

Sadly, this was just one incident out of many. But the one that was the most difficult even after adulthood. Being raised penacostal is no joke. The things that were said around me just awful. My parents refuse to speak with me which is fine by me. I'm shy and don't like confrontation, so it's just easier for us not to talk.

I live in Alabama in the deep south and well around here.....Global warming is fake, dinosaur bones are just a scientific conspiracy, Trump and Carson are the shit and I'm a satanic baby eater who should have my children taken away so they don't burn. So it's nice to have found a place to talk to some like minded individuals.
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20-10-2015, 12:53 PM
RE: My childhood story
Wow!!!!

I am so glad you survived that. The horrors that religion inflicts on young minds is almost unimaginable to me now. It is in my opinion the most blatant form of child abuse.
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20-10-2015, 01:19 PM
RE: My childhood story
For starters welcome Freethinker.

And wow. What a story. I feel bad that you would go threw such a traumatic event early in life. When I was a Catholic I don't recall any big productions to that extent. I do remember plays but the years that have passed have made these memories fade. That and the fact that most Catholic Masses would run about 2 hours long. I remember day dreaming more then paying attention. I recall being in one where I got to dress up as a sheep. And one of the older kids acted out as Jesus telling us where to go, and to keep us safe from the dangers of the world.

Anyway if you ever need to vent this is a good place to do it.

Don't Live each day like it's your last. Live each day like you have 541 days after that one where every choice you make will have lasting implications to you and the world around you. ~ Tim Minchin
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