Letter: Religious PTSD
Concerning Roland McLean’s column regarding Christianity:
I am a 53-year-old white man living in Carbondale. I was raised on a southern/central Illinois hog farm of about 500 acres. We drove, with the rest of our family and tribe, twice every Sunday and once on Wednesdays to Nortonville, (population 12 or so in the 1960s, ’70s and still today). Our family church was, and still is, Youngblood Baptist Church.
I have known Romans 3:23 and 6:23 since about the age of 5. Pleasant teachings for children. Makes one wonder what the parents and elders were thinking.
My father was a Southern Baptist minister.
I was “saved” at the age of 11 during a revival. I am not Southern Baptist and haven’t been for years after leaving the farm and moving far away and becoming exposed and aware of the vast richness of this whole world and its inhabitants — and asking myself and God repeatedly how God could curse all of the rest of the world as much as my elder family members espoused that He does when the whole world that He created is so beautiful and full of wonderful experiences and diverse people.
“Stupid” is likely shorthand used by an entire generation(s) and Midwest demographic of people suffering from religious PTSD bordering on mental and emotional abuse. I know I have undergone decades of recovery and healing to come back from that very dark place taught to me at Youngblood Baptist Church and in the hypocritical confines of the family farm.
This article pretty much defines the entire thing — at least from my very experienced perspective: http://tinyurl.com/BrogdonLink.
A ton of fear is generated in the minds and hearts of educated people when Christian dogma aggressively insinuates itself into public life. Self-preservation unfortunately shorthands that fear to the term “stupid” because it is a given that there is no hope of fundamentalists ever becoming enlightened in any way. And no one really cares what Christians believe except that Christian belief intrinsically denies the well-being of anyone who isn’t Christian.
When this basic tenet of Christianity begins guiding public policy, we have a problem. One of the founding tenets of our country is religious freedom — without any qualifier. Billions of people on the planet do not agree that they are worthless and full of sin just because they have a different, non-Christian relationship with the Creator.