The Famous Ones

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsThere are big names out there in the spiritual abuse world.  Big name perpetrators.  Big name authors of blogs and books and Twitter feeds.  Big names whose social media accounts explode regularly over big names.  Big names getting the word out about big names who have committed outrageous acts of abuse.  And, of course, any time those outrageous acts are committed with any hint of ties to churchianity, we recognize them as not just sexual or domestic or physical abuse, but as spiritual abuse. … [Read more...]

Revisiting Generation Gaps and the Moral Imperative of Totalitarian Niceness

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from Under Much GraceThe following list describes the desired traits that non-Christian young people desire to see in Christians, particularly among their elders as compiled by the authors of “unChristian: What A New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity....And Why It Matters.” When I presented quotes from this book on my blog last year, I suggested that we as believers should extend the same considerations to those who follow patriarchy as well as to young unbelievers. I would like to use this list (from pp 194-5 of the book) as a point of departure for relating to young adults in general. Those interviewed suggested that these considerations would imp … [Read more...]

Learning to Be Human Again After a Lifetime of Self-Denial

by Bruce Gerencser cross posted from his blog The Life and Times of Bruce GerencserOriginally written in 2009. Edited for grammar and clarity.Evangelical Christianity teaches that followers of Jesus must practice lives of self-denial. Self is the problem — the flesh wars against the spirit, the spirit wars against the flesh. Far too many Christians, thanks to this teaching, live guilt-ridden lives. Guilt over giving in to the flesh, guilt over letting self have control.It goes something like this… … [Read more...]

Confessing to That Which I Did Not Do

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsI was watching one of those real life crime drama shows recently.  I can’t remember if it was Dateline or 20/20 or 48 Hours, but the story was about a young woman who was interrogated bullied by the police for hours on end until she agreed with them that she had slammed a baby to the floor causing a head injury that led to his death.  She was convicted and in prison when the fact that the child had suffered a concussion weeks before that had caused his death.  Over and over, the reporter asked, “Why did you confess to something you didn’t do?”  And it was that question that brought revelation to me. … [Read more...]

Christmas: A Plea To Evangelicals Who Evangelize Non-Christian Family Members

by Bruce Gerencser cross posted from his blog The Life and Times of Bruce GerencserChristmas: it’s that time of year.  Joy to the World. Handel’s Messiah. Cookies and fudge. Eggnog. Shopping. Evergreen trees decked with ornaments and lights. Cards. Presents. Ugly sweaters. Family gatherings. Excited grandchildren.  Ah, the wonders of the Christmas season.But there’s one aspect of Christmas hated by non-Christians, and that’s their Evangelical relatives and friends using the holiday as an opportunity to evangelize those they deem lost and headed for hell. … [Read more...]

You Are Beautiful

by AJ cross posted from her blog I Am Phoenix(Editor's note: Not precisely related to QF or religion but something important to remember in recovery. So many of us coming out of high demand religions have such a down negative view of ourselves that it's worthwhile to sometimes stop an realize we are all beautiful. It's a message that can never be repeated too often. We need to keep hearing this message as we recover.)Can you really fully experience being you if you never get outside of yourself?Do you really know who you are if you've never experienced yourself through the eyes of others? … [Read more...]

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsWe are approaching our second anniversary of being told that we were not to return to the church.  Whenever I think about that day (which isn’t often), I remember calling my (former) friend, whom I will call “Martha,” and telling her, “We are going to lose all of our friends.”“No, you won’t!” she insisted.  “There are lots of people who love you and they aren’t going to abandon you.” … [Read more...]

Open Thread: How Has Thanksgiving & Other Holidays Changed For You?

Yesterday it seemed like Facebook was filled with all sorts of tales of hostile Thanksgiving pasts and worries about how sideways the holiday could go due to the presence of fundamentalist Christian relatives or your loud uncle Larry that drinks a little bit and then proceeds to yell out his love for the most awful politicians ever. Turkey Day's filled with pumpkin pie and indigestion.Benjamin L. Corey has a very funny Formerly Fundy Bingo card up on his Facebook page that suits what some have to deal with from friends and relatives during the holidays. … [Read more...]

Shame Based and Immature Parenting Creates Victims of Circumstance and Dependency on Self (External Locus of Control)

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceOriginally published January 2012. This is part of a series on Understanding How Emotional Development in Childhood Affects Adults: Fostering Spiritual Abuse via the “Roots of Victimization” All images originals from Under Much More Grace.We've now considered the two primary ways that a damaged or immature parent takes from their child (unloading shame and by siphoning back nurture) which we understand results from a parent's disrespect for the child's characteristics (and needs). With that background, we can now better understand how adults, both parents and grown children, cope with the sense of emptiness that they face. … [Read more...]

The Upper Hand

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsI just have to say I had the best time yesterday!  I and my family went to an auction.  One of our former church’s plants has bought an old building in the town where I teach and they were selling off old (and I mean OLD) doors, windows, cabinets, trim, etc.Now, you have to understand that my husband and I were repurposing long before repurposing was cool.  We live in a 103-year-old prairie-mission style home on an acre in the middle of mid-west farmland.  We completely returned our home to it’s original style (it had been “updated” back in the 70’s) using old trim and doors from the local city hall when they renovated, as well as v … [Read more...]


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