Justice is No Lady: Chapter 11: Jack, the One I Lost

by Tess WilloughbyWhen Jack was just a baby, Nate had rejected Jack’s personality, and had set out to beat and berate it out of him. When Jack reached middle school age, or perhaps a little bit before, the seeds that his father had planted suddenly sprouted. Jack began to come unraveled. “Something is wrong with me,” he said. “I’m messed up.”Jack began to abuse his little sisters. His grades slipped. He had been my comedian, making jokes about everything all day. Now, he moped. He refused to play sports. He would not bathe.If anyone touched Jack, even to restrain him or remove dangerous objects from his hands, Nate took Jack to magistrates to swear out warrants that Jack was being … [Read more...]

Rebuilding

by Bruce GerencserNine years have passed since I preached my last sermon, since my wife was called the “pastor’s wife.” Almost four years have passed since my wife and I determined to stop attending church. We are now among the “unchurched”, casualties of a life spent in Evangelical Christianity. Worse yet, at least according to our critics, we are now enemies of Christ and his church.You see, we not only left the Church, we left Jesus. Regardless of how some Christians parse our lives through their peculiar theological system, we are indeed two people who once were devoted, committed followers of Jesus, who are now described as an atheist husband and his agnostic wife. … [Read more...]

Who Was That Masked Man? Part 6

by CaluluWhen we last left the Smiths they had reconciled and were determined to make everyone be best friends forever again. Nothing doing.Things ratchet up a few new levels of tension. 9/11 happens. I'm sitting in front of the television having coffee and folding clothes when CNN shows the coverage of the first tower getting hit and I'm still watching when the second plane hits the other one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. By the time the plane hits the Pentagon and there are rumors on television of another plane being spotted on the way to Capital Hill where my husband works I was pretty wrung up. My phone kept ringing off the hook from friends and relatives wanting … [Read more...]

Snipped! Part 5 Theoretical Visitation

by Incongruous CircumspectionFor those of my readers keeping track, you might remember that I have six siblings. Seven kids and one father with visitation rights. My mother had won full custody and my father was given every other weekend with his kids and four weeks in the summer. Again, there were seven of us. This meant that he had to split us up in sets of two and three so we could fit into his apartment. Thus, I ended up going with him about every six weeks – in theory.My mother played every game in the book to keep us away from our dad. He would call Friday night to tell her who he wanted to pick up the next morning and she would go through a long laundry list of excuses a … [Read more...]

Who Was That Masked Man? Part 5

by CaluluSo when we left off Tina was still believing that Tom was coming home. We were having nothing to do with the Smiths and Tom doesn't come home.What he does do is go to my husband and ask him to talk to me about working a few mornings a week at his office to transfer all his paper documents into digital on his new computer system. I don't want to do it but it's a little slow that spring in my job so I grit my teeth, bite my tongue and start going into his office for four hours every morning. I know this is a mistake but hey, there's not much going on to prevent me and Tom isn't going to be there at the same time as me, win-win. I'm such a sap. Plus I'd quit working at the … [Read more...]

Millipede: Part 5

by Millipede Peevish men, wives who watched every word and worse they really embraced the submission beliefs. The wives would gripe very rarely about their husbands and the work and if they did they were sure to say that they weren't in disagreement with the system, ,merely letting off a little steam.The women were just as much true believers. This isn't as I first thought/hoped in that Patriarchy can be a humane system for women. Instead I realized that there will always be those who for varying reasons, become ardent followers of movements which harm them. There are women who will accept or even come to love degradation if it comes approval and "love". Look at people in … [Read more...]

Who Was That Masked Man? Part 4

by Calulu When we last left this story every couple in our little circle of friends from church had been exposed as having at least one cheater.  Things don't get any better~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Months pass , everything, everyone continues in a warped state of stalemate. Tom has been dumped by Alice but doesn't come home to Tina. He moves on to a series of girlfriends picked up in karaoke bars after he starts spending all his night time hours at karaoke. He starts drinking heavily before moving on to smoking reefer. All the while singing really bad songs from the early and mid 60s every night at the local karaoke bars.Tina serenely states that he will come … [Read more...]

Who Was That Masked Man? Part 3

by CaluluWhen we last left everyone Tom was in and out of his home with Tina. Tina was determined to wait out his infidelity and we were trying to rally around Tina since she was disabled and alone. Things are about to get beyond strange, with the ripples affecting a number of families at church.During this super awkward time frame Hubby and I start getting regular visits from Alice, Sam and their six kids. The visits go like this. We get a call or they just show up at dinner time and announce that they have no food at the house and no money.The visits created stress because obviously we couldn't be around or have over the Smiths at the same time. So it felt like the worlds … [Read more...]

Who Was That Masked Man: Part 2

by CaluluWhen we last left off Tom was in love with another woman and defiant to criticism. Says he has a right to be happy, he feels no sorrow for the affair and he's not going to stop. God approves, according to Tom even though the Bible clearly states otherwise. I responded by doing the bad thing, doing what any good fundigelical pearl clutcher feels obligated to do, I go to our mutual Pastor. Now Pastor already knows and says he is going to 'deal' with the feckless frolicking fornicators. He goes to both to confront them and gets mixed responses, Alice still swears there was no actual sex going on and tells the Pastor this is no ones business.Tom tells Pastor pretty much the same … [Read more...]

Millipede: Part Two

by MillipedeEventually, the church building materialized. At first, we had a larger group. Soon however, there was a falling out with a group which had comprised most of those from the Patriot group. Part of it was personality and some of it was viewpoint. Some wanted to the place to be a patriot type meeting house while some wanted it to be a church. This belied a rift that plays itself over again and again in this end of the spectrum.On one hand there are what I would call the "political types". This is simply for lack of a better term and is not indicative of a lack of Faith. People within this group were most often led into church via ideological means. Their religious views are … [Read more...]


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