Who Was That Masked Man? Part 1

by Calulu

This is a new series that I’m starting. I actually started writing about my history with the one person that impacted me the most during my days at the old church. I’m flip, I’m sarcastic in this series but mostly I am processing what happened to me because it seems like a plot straight out of the recently cancelled series GCB (Good Christian Bitches). After telling my therapy years ago about this man I was encouraged to write it all down. I did and if I didn’t laugh and poke fun I’d be crying right now. It was the most corrosive relationship I’ve ever been in and I didn’t even have the common sense to run from it. I’ve changed names and some small details because until recently this person still stalked me in an effort to make me return to my old beliefs. I have to believe his extreme inner hurt drove his behavior.

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If there was one person that affected my journey both into and out of a Patriarchal Fundigelical church that man would be Tom Smith. He was there at the start and he still haunts me like a cackling insano Captain Ahab chasing Moby Dick around an endless ecclesiastical sea. He has a monomaniacal desire to either force me back into our old borderline fundamentalist way of life replete with a submissive attitude or to hound me about going to hell. Sometimes he seems to spit at me “ … to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee. “ but it sounds more like, “You are going to HELL for going to THAT church with homosexual abortionists and unGodly UNSAVED!!!!” Eleventy1111111!!!!

Back when the husband and I were new believers we ended up going to the same church as he back in 1995, PCC. He and his wife pounced upon us at once, inviting us over to watch movies, play cards, or share a meal. We didn’t know anyone else in the church at that time and they, Tom and Tina, had four boys ranging from just older than our son to the same age as our daughter. The kids loved to get together.

From the first I was put off by Tom’s fake-seeming Jesus Freak persona. He would do things like stop in the middle of a movie or game to lecture about Jesus. He prayed very publicly in almost a showy fashion at the drop of a hat and constantly had Christian rock and roll playing at full blast. These things set off my internal bullshit detector but since we were newly minted kool aid drinkers I thought I was the wacky one.

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Cult of Personality – Adventures in Recovery

by Calulu

A few weeks ago I took my daughter out for an celebratory lunch at her favorite Greek restaurant. She’s gotten acceptance letters from all of the colleges she’s applied to plus we really needed to touch base, take a time out together from the busy of our lives. Over sovlaki and hummus she started talking about what she would say to our former pastor Patrick if she ran into him again. She had run into him an few months ago and had been so surprised she’d just hurriedly muttered out pleasantries before leaving him as rapidly as a man with his pants on fire would run for the lawn sprinklers.

I had to ask her what she would say to Patrick if they were face to face. She blurted out something like “F**k you, motherf**ker and thanks for ruining my f**king childhood!” before laughing. We both laughed imaging the faces of those sycophants and hanger on-ers Patrick was always surrounded by if she let the F word fly.

That’s one big marker of a cult-like unhealthy church atmosphere, if everyone treats the pastor as if he is either the world’s most famous rockstar or the big toe of Jesus touching down on the earth to be adored. We saw that, participated in the pastor-pleasing behaviors too, perhaps not to the depth that many did but we did it as a family. It’s dangerous business for the most part. When everyone is busy kissing the rear end of the pastor or bowing down to his every whim and word it starts to look like a one man show with no real room for the Lord or anyone else. Plus the pastor starts to think he’s in control or assumes control. It also breeds unhealthy competition among the members all vying for the attention and favor of the pastor.

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Quiverfull and the Introvert: Where Do You Get Your Energy?

by Barbie Getzreal

“Where do you get your energy?!”

This is a question which is frequently asked of Quiverfull moms by amazed and admiring onlookers who cannot imagine being able to keep up with the exponential demands of “biblical womanhood” including: perpetual pregnancy, child-bearing, adopting sibling groups, breastfeeding, baby wearing, chronic sleep deprivation, raising half a dozen or more closely-spaced, “stair-step” children, homeschoolingyear round through chronic illness, child-training, character training, tomato-staking, discipling children, homemaking, penny-pinching, organic gardening, baking from scratch, once-a-month cooking, homesteading, sewing modest clothing, showing hospitality, operating a “cottage” business, staying trim, fit and healthy, and of course, serving as loving helpmeet … all without the modern woman’s “village” of helpers: daycare, preschool, play dates, public school, the boob-tube babysitter, pre-packaged and frozen foods, day spas, “me time,” credit cards, government assistance, “allopathic” medicine, Sunday School, youth group, therapists, Ritalin for the kids, or Xanax for mom.

Even a cursory perusal of the above-linked Quiverfull blogs will leave a woman feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. “Where do you get your energy?” is the obvious and unavoidable question.

The most flippant, unprofitable, guilt-inducing, and insincere responses often sound the most spiritual:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

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Karma Will Run Over Your Dogma & Squash It

by Calulu

(Editorial note: What follows below is my own personal thoughts on this, no one elses, I’m not speaking for the group, just me. I cannot stay silent to this. If you’re offended or triggered I’m so sorry. Warning if you are triggered by scriptures or the like.)

This morning several of us at NLQ were directed to look at “Women’s Prayer Group Praying That the Women at MRFF All Get Incurable Breast Cancer” posting on Free Thought Blogs.

Apparently there is a group of ladies calling themselves Christians who’ve decided to make praying for the death of anyone connected with the Military Religious Freedom Foundation their number one priority. And why is that? Perhaps because the MRFF is a watchdog organization that keeps the the Dominionist evangelical Christians in the military from discriminating, harassing or intimidating people that believe or don’t believe differently than them. Yes, the MRFF protects the religious FREEDOM our country was founded upon. Oh how very evil!

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A Tomboy in Christian Patriarchy

by Latebloomer

I was not the type of daughter that my mother wanted. I was a tomboy.

My hair was very short and I preferred blue clothes. I wanted to run faster and climb higher than anyone. I wasn’t afraid of slimy frogs and worms, and I could kill a spider without batting an eye. I looked with confusion and disdain at the passive little girls with their hair-bows, sitting and talking about clothes and boys. If I had known the term “badass” back then, I would have applied it to myself with pride.

When I was young, my mom was more tolerant of this. After all, in the early days, there were mostly boys in my age group in our small homeschooling community. So I was free to run wild with the boys and join their sports games during our weekly park days.

However, puberty was looming, and it signaled the end of my adventurous life. It was time for me to learn to act like a “lady”, and the means of teaching was through one sentence: “That’s not very ladylike”.

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