4/19/2015 | Share this article: View Commentsby Carl S. ~
One ExChristian post, of May 29, 2014, made a special impression on me. It was entitled, “A ‘Providential’ Encounter at a Pub," by Rev. Ex-Evangelist. It involves two women who are ex-Assembly of God members. At the end, the author says of one of the woman, “She is still angry about being so misinformed about so many things, such as science, history, the bible, etc., by her church pastors and teachers." Misinformed, we might ask, on purpose or through ignorance? Misinformed by those who are victims/pawns themselves? For whatever reason, the damage has been done.
Let me use the local Assembly church I know as an example. It's a representative of all religious institutions. Does any member really know all that's being told to the kids there? I've been informed by a member that there are some beliefs listed in their "Statement of Faith," published every Sunday that some members don't believe themselves. I can't help but conclude that those listed "statements" are taught to their kids as absolute truths.
Regular attendees to the church pay money to support missionaries, not knowing what they are telling those kids either. Nevertheless, each statement in the Statement of Faith (and there are many of them), begins with the words, "We believe..." and never with, "This is true." A big difference, which the believers seem to have no problem ignoring.
Every Sunday, I drop my wife off for her Assembly of God church service. I have seen its posted sign which includes "Christian education" times. The attendees don't understand the difference between education and indoctrination. More likely, they don't want to.
The majority of people visiting and testifying on this site (typically those who have suffered and struggled and are now Ex) are here because of indoctrination. Maybe most of us decided not to become that kind of person who makes a habit of lying to himself about believing things to the extent that he ends up believing his own lies.
Doesn't real education exist to teach the essentials of understanding nature, history, and societies, and how these facts apply in the real world for us? Isn't science itself the practice of finding out reality as it is revealed through scientific, disciplined, methodology? In contrast, indoctrination is the method used to permeate minds with a partisan point of view. There is no respect for evidence in this "education."
Doesn't religious "education" affect all of us? For one thing, children are raised in it to believe things without evidence as having the same or more importance as facts in evidence. They are taught that what is emotionally believed is equal to what is true. (If you watch TV’s Judge Judy, you know what she means when she tells the defendant, "I don't care what you believe!") This attitude of believing in feelings as being superior to reason and evidence "justifies" most crime. As murder investigator Joe Kenda says, “Emotion pulls the trigger." Unshakable faith in feelings is a foundation for much humor about, and apologies from, politicians, clergy, and other "experts."
Christian indoctrination teaches religious confirmation bias as a way of thinking of, and relating to, others. The doctrine of original sin, for example, teaches that all humans are by nature bad, and need to be held in check by religion. This leads the indoctrinated to find examples of this doctrine's "truth" everywhere.
Dogmas teach that it isn't such a bad thing to be unjust to others, as long as one repents afterwards, even decades later. These beliefs become second nature, since they are arrived at, not from the method of using the mind for careful thought and consideration, but because they are the thoughtless easy way out of responsibilities. This bias is elevated by the indoctrinators to the status of "faith." And, sadly, that faith often has serious consequences for the innocent, including the children who are its indoctrinated victims.
As one of the ex-Assembly women at the pub said, "I think what we went through as kids in our church... was a total mind f**k. It took us a long time to sort things out." Sad. "The truth shall make you free," as someone once said, "but first it will piss you off." I used to feel sad and even to mourn for those abused by Christian indoctrination and pedophile clergy. Then I became very angry. Angry enough to act. You don't want to challenge my faith in that emotion.
Free yourself by reversing the process of indoctrination. Education is the only way out of indoctrination. Facts, proof, evidence, whatever words apply for you. Become able to see other points of view, different beliefs and unbelief, the histories of dogmas, etc., etc. Question authority. Embrace the Enlightenment methods indoctrinators hate because they are contrary to their ends. Open one's mind and be honest: there is no such thing as one source which will give you all the answers. No bibles, no doctrines, no authority figures, or charismatic leaders, either. Find those answers by yourself and with other seekers.
Read and keep reading. The truth is not easy to find (else why would we need tons of researchers?), but keep going. Make a habit of reading about all the subjects forbidden to you, including pornography, blasphemy, and the beliefs of others. Rebel. Grow up. Enjoy. Compare notes with the ex's on this site about what they were taught to believe, such as: if you're in pain it's because of sin (Christian). Or, if you are in pain, you are participating in the suffering of Christ (Catholic). But the pain itself is telling you: "Do something to end this goddamned suffering!" (Reality). Knowledge is power.