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Turning Point

By Doug ~

I was raised in an extremely pious household. Not to bore you too much with the indoctrination I experienced as a young person, but a little history...

I was raised in an environment that talked freely of heaven, hell, "being saved" etc. As a young boy, it took awhile before I finally asked "saved from what?" to my parents. I can remember the day like it was yesterday. We were at my Grandmothers house, curiosity finally got the better of me and I had to ask my parents what we were being saved from? Obviously, they gave me the "low down" on hell and being born a sinner and the need to accept that we are all sinners and blah, blah, blah...

Now mind you, I was seven, and I thought to myself, "Well of course I don't want to burn in hell for eternity!". Now in retrospect, I don't really blame my parents for their answers, it was heartfelt. But now that I have a 3-year-old of my own, I am at odds internally about how to handle this. I do not want to impart indoctrination of my own, I want my boy to make up his own mind. However, I also have issues with knowing that living in a world that is predominantly "God believing" it is impossible for him to not to be exposed to a society that shuns most (or chastises them) for not associating with a specific religion.

I came to the realization on my own after many years. I suppose the questions started early, but I never really did much self analysis due to the extreme guilt I experienced when I allowed myself to "question" the existence and actions of "God". It didn't make sense, even as a 9-year-old. I rember asking my pastor's wife, "what about the kids in Africa that don't have a bible?" the answer was less than satisfactory. The bottom line with me, came when as a Marine in my early 20's I saw things that defied everything I had been led to believe. The atrocities have helped me to see the hypocrisy of what I was taught as a young boy.

Thanks for listening and allowing me to vent.