The Rats At Your Fingertips

When I was in the third or fourth grade we had a visitor at my school. He was a storyteller who was there to share some scary stories at Halloween time. He told a story that I still remember to this day…well at least one part of it. He told us of a man who one night fell asleep drunk in his home. As he slept, his arm dangled over the edge of his bed. Soon rats came and chewed off the tips of his fingers. In his drunken state, he could not tell that a large group of rats had made a meal of his fingers.

Now, what you need to remember is that I was only about 7 or 8 years old when I heard that story. This was traumatizing to me and after that day, I could not allow my hands to hang over the edge of my bed. I don’t mean for just a little while. I don’t mean for just my childhood. Even to this day, when my hand drifts dangerously close to the edge of my bed at night, I pull it back. I’m almost 41 years old now. I am old enough to know that rats are not going to come and gnaw at my fingers as I sleep. Yet the fear instilled in me as a young child still rears its ugly head and despite my better judgement, my reaction is to recoil and protect myself.

Keep in mind that this was just a scary story told to entertain children. It had no real world consequences, although my mind made me fear rats that didn’t reside in my bedroom. What happens when the scary story taught to children isn’t labeled “entertainment” up front but rather labeled as “the truth” or “God’s Word”? What happens when rats are replaced with eternal torment as you are separated forever from a loving God? I will tell you what happens, as I was once a child taught these scary stories.

When you teach a child that anything they do that isn’t absolutely perfect (even something as innocent as a thought in their head) is a sin against God, deserving of Hell, you instill fear in that child that can last a lifetime. They can’t just pull their little hands up under their covers to protect against a rodent’s bite. They know that there is nowhere to hide from a vengeful and constantly disappointed god. What it does is take the innocence away from children and replace it with unnecessary guilt and unending self-loathing. Instead of being parents who can gently correct wrong behavior in our children, some of us choose to tell tour children that everything they do is sinful and without Jesus, they will burn. I can’t begin to explain how much I find that disgusting.

Having a bad thought is not a bad thing. When you act on a bad thought, the action is the bad thing. We cannot always control where our minds go. We can control what we do with our bodies in reaction to our thoughts. Children are even less able to control what they think, say and do. To tell them that they are sinful is repugnant to say the least. My children may do things I don’t always approve of, but they are still innocent in my eyes. Why do we feel the need to take a book of unsubstantiated horror stories with a “God sticker” slapped on the front cover and scare our kids to death with it? Why can’t we teach them truth and discipline them with love and guidance instead of threats of torture and fire?

I have broken free from the prison of religion and no longer give credence to the threat taught to me from the day I was born, but I still have the thoughts and images of a lifetime of indoctrination running through my mind. I know the stories. Every one of them. I know the punishment that the religious say I am deserving of. I know the risks involved if I am wrong and it somehow turns out to be all true. Yet I am unafraid. Why is that? Why am I not concerned one bit about being wrong about God? Why do I go about my days without worrying about offending the god of the universe, yet I can’t sleep without all of my body parts completely within the confines of my bed for fear of rats? Simple. Rats are real. There is undeniable evidence of their existence. There is none for God. NONE. I can put aside my childhood fear of Hell because it is a story based on myths and legends. I still hold onto a fear of rats at night, because rats do exist. I’ve seen them. I’ve found them in my garbage. I’ve seen what their teeth can do. And even though I know it is nearly impossible to fall asleep in my bed and have rats chew on my fingers, I still keep my hands up and safe because I was scared to death as a child.

Look, don’t teach your kids horror stories and claim they are true. The impact on their lives is unsettling. If you do tell scary stories, teach them the difference between the truth and stories meant to entertain. Don’t keep feeding into their fear by insisting that an unprovable story of nonsense is the ultimate truth and that they need to obey or else. Whether a story of rats or a story of Hell, scary stories can terrify a child. Do the right thing and be honest with your children. Tell them that rats will not be biting their fingers as they sleep. And tell them that an invisible, all powerful rat in the sky isn’t waiting for them to mess up again so that he can toss them down into a pit of fire to be tortured forever and ever because of unrealistic rules.

Rodentius Christus did not die in a giant rat trap for our sins. He was just part of a story designed to scare, intimidate and persuade people. The best thing to do when you have a rat problem is get some d-CON. d-CONverting will stop the rat problem right at its source.dcon

50 thoughts on “The Rats At Your Fingertips

  1. It seems that fear and fairy tales have always gone hand in hand when it comes to teaching kids lessons. But if you have to lie to someone to scare them, in an effort to teach them something, then that’s just wrong on all kinds of levels. Since I got some d-CON, Jebus rat hasn’t been knocking on my door anymore.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Amazing how fast the knocking stops when you use the right stuff.

    Lying to kids and using scare tactics is not the way to teach a lesson. We need to be honest with our kids and not use fear to keep them in line. Kids believe most things you tell them. It’s not right to use misinformation or lies to shape their young minds. The damage that causes can be hard to undo.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I really despise the fear tactics. Kids will believe anything you tell them. Best to be strait with them. I had a guy at my site yesterday saying faith is hard—Yes it is. It is dumiffuct to make enough sense of it. Spending years in cicuitism is hard. Believing something deep down you know is not true is delusional—and difficult.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You are right. Kids will believe anything you tell them…and the church knows it. Kids are easy targets and are often pressured to accept things at a very young age when they aren’t yet capable of rationalizing properly. As adults we are more skeptical and tend to analyze things more carefully. As children, we tend to accept just about anything based on our trust of those who are teaching us.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Rodentius Christus
    Frakking brilliant!

    And on the subject of Gehenna and wotnot.
    This was left for me an hour ago on a thread where I dared suggest there is no evidence for the miracle-working biblical character, JC.

    I am speaking not to you but the spirit of the anti-Christ living inside of you and I command it to leave in the name of the resurrected Jesus Christ. One day you will die and you will face judgment, you need a Savior in Jesus to access eternal life in heaven. If you keep that pride and continue rejecting Jesus, you will burn in hell in complete anguish, a suffering thats forever and theres no getting out of it.

    I kid you not!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Always nice to hear Christians lovingly telling someone else they will burn in anguish forever if they don’t believe in a completely unprovable entity. That’s what they are commanded to do, right? Show the love that Jesus showed them? *Sigh*

      Still amazed that I (or anyone else for that matter) could have believed in a god whose nature is that of a monster. A vain, egotistical, jealous and constantly disappointed god who loves us so much that he’ll send us to eternal torment if we don’t love him back. Can you imagine if people treated relationships like that? You tell someone that you love them and when they don’t reciprocate and instead turn away, you torture them forever. Sounds pretty disgusting to me.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Yo? Bro? Foo Fighters? Yikes. That was rather painful to read. Talking about helping the homeless and abused? What does that have to do with whether or not Jesus was real? Non religious people and organizations help others all the time. That person seemed unstable at best and crazy at worst. Surprised you had as much patience as you did when talking with them.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes. A rather complicated individual I’d say!
        Patience? I consider it more along the lines of :
        Well … I haver some time to kill, maybe there are others reading along?
        In truth, they are all very much the same, whether they come i the guise of Mel Wild or this headcase with his Foo Fighters.
        I might have been more taken with him if he’s recommended Zeppelin.

        Got to disappear for a bit. Client pulled up.
        Catch you later. Have fun

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Oh and I like the “shake the dust off my feet comment” used on you. Nothing sums up Christianity better than “if you don’t completely agree with me, then you are not worth my time…goodbye.”

        Liked by 2 people

      4. I took the time to read this back and forth…. In my opinion the homeless, abused and war torn situations are more likely to disprove Jesus/God. If there were a loving God why would we have to help those situations? They shouldn’t exist. Being part of a relief project and helping those in need is something that should be praised, but credit goes to the individual not to Jesus or God.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Who knew that working in soup kitchens and listening to the Foo Fighters would count as evidence for Jesus?

      I’ll do my bit to exorcise the anti-Christ right out of Ark: “THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU!!!”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. If only we listened to the right music, the world could be a better place. I was never a Foo Fighters fan so I never met Jesus in a Soup kitchen or in areas ravaged by war. I did listen to a lot of Journey over and over but that didn’t work either. All that did was get one of his people to send me a signed copy of the Bible. The inscription read, “To my biggest fan: Don’t Stop Believin’…JC ” It was nice, but it wasn’t the same as meeting him.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Listening to Journey would definitely keep me away, so I can only guess that the Lake Tiberius Pedestrian was just being polite, and I’ll bet he … sorry He didn’t really autograph your holey bibleey

        And, any way you want it, you ended up going separate ways.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You are correct. Any way I wanted it, that’s the way I needed it. And I needed to go on a different path. I tried to make it work, but relationships take two. One love feeds the fire. One heart burns desire… But anyway, I’m better now than I was with religion so I wonder “who’s crying now?” 🙂

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  5. There is a quote attributed to the Jesuits that goes something like: “give me your child until he is seven and I’ll give you the man.” Exactly who said it first doesn’t matter. The knowledge that if one can influence a child’s education then one also influences that child’s behavior as an adult has been known for thousands of years. Children instinctively want to trust the adults around them, want to learn from them. It is an evolutionary imperative, really. The child needs to learn from the parents and adults in the group in order to learn how to survive. And what they learn as children stays with them for their entire lives.

    That’s why a lot of the extremist religious groups and individuals, and even a lot of the main stream ones, want to desperately get control of schools, control the curriculum, permit parents to opt out of the public school system and “home school” children, or funnel tax money to religious institutions under the guise of tuition vouchers, all to gain control of children’s education so they can be taught to think the “right way”.

    I know I am going to sound like some kind of conspiracy theorist, but here in Wisconsin and in a lot of other states there has been a concerted effort to denigrate the public school system, starve it of funds, while at the same time permitting the funneling of tax money to the religious school systems in the form of tuition vouchers to permit parents to send kids to religious schools. The claim is that the religious schools provide a better education, which study after study has proven to be false. But it doesn’t matter, it seems, because they “know” that the religious schools do a better job because someone told them. There is a claim that the kids who go to these schools will get a secular education but that is pure nonsense. The entire curriculum of most of these religious schools incorporates their religious beliefs into the core curriculum. There is no way religious matters can be avoided in these schools.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My wife and I homeschooled our oldest son for 6 years, thinking we were doing the right thing. All we were doing was depriving him of friendships, socialization and the preparedness for living in the real world. We thought we were doing the right thing because we were told that the public school systems were inferior, mostly due to removing God from the curriculum. So instead, he got a Christian education where every subject involved God, including math. Yes, even the math books were filled with indoctrinating quotes mixed in.

      I still have the textbooks we used. I have written about some of the subject matter in some old posts. I may share some more in the future as some of it is ridiculously absurd. I regret exposing my son to this type of brainwashing. We didn’t know we were part of the problem when we were doing it, as we were brainwashed ourselves. My other three children will not be exposed to it so I am happy about that.

      It’s a prison that you don’t know you are in. The church convinces you that’s it’s a fancy hotel. You pay to be there and they pamper you by filling your head with promises of eternal bliss and reward. They don’t tell you that they hold the keys to get out and you need to go through them if you wish to leave. Breaking out is the only way as they don’t allow volunteer checkouts. The people at the front desk can be very persuasive and their threats of damnation might make you turn around and head back to your room. But there is always a way out if you are determined to have freedom.

      Liked by 4 people

  6. Nice write up, Ben, on an excellent point that goes largely unattended. Of all the atrocities committed in the name of religion – and there are countless – this is one of the most egregious. “Guilting” people into compliance is no way to run a spirituality of any kind. And frightening children into belief is especially malevolent. Childhoods have been destroyed, but also marriages ruined, entire lives decimated, all in the name of a “loving God.” I’m sure that like me, it took some time for you to free yourself from what Daniel Boorstin called “the Prison of Christian Dogma.” It is not easy. My family were devout Catholics, active in the Church and the school system. My sister went into the convent for some years so we were well indoctrinated. I am now unburdened by the albatross of religious doctrine and belief but it took some time. As I frequently say, the best thing that happened to me in this context was a serious inquiry into a “true religion” which, you may have guessed resulted in my summarily dismissing all religions, of any and all kinds. I do what I can to help others that wish to discuss their own queries or doubts about their religion, at least to the extent that I can. But we have bitter enemies; enemies that will do just about anything in order to preserve this mythological nonsense. And have no doubt, they are enemies.

    Continue to fight the good fight!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks. I too try to help others if I can. I have lived in religion and I am living now without it. I know a lot of what people are going through and want to share as much as I can to let people know that they are not alone.

      Guilt is a heinous tool to use on children. But it is used because of its effectiveness. Religion uses it to get believers at a young age and do so while claiming it is done out of love. Guilt and love are not compatible. Guilt is what people use when love and kindness don’t get them what they want. You can tell someone Jesus loves them, but when they still don’t believe, telling them that Hell awaits might do the trick. It’s wrong, but it still reels in new fish all the time.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey Ben. I have a very honest question. What do you believe in now, if anything? I have been on a journey to get rid of the lies (based in fear of hell fire and damnation), but I don’t want to throw the whole baby out (Jesus) with the bad bathwater He was made to soak in.

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    1. I will do my best to answer this question, but it’s a sort of odd question to ask someone who has lost their faith. I think there is a misconception out there by people who have faith. I too wondered this when I was a Christian. The misconception is that every person must believe in something. The fact is, I don’t. I see the world around me and accept it as is.

      Now I know there are many questions that believers like to ask unbelievers such as “if God didn’t create everything, then how’d it happen?” The honest answer, for me, is I don’t know. I don’t believe in one thing or another just because I don’t have all of the answers. If I can’t come up with a better answer for our existence than “God did it”, that doesn’t mean that God actually did it or did anything. I know that there are scientists out there working to find answers to our origin and that’s fine. I’m not one of them. How we got here makes no difference to me. If it was natural or by a creator, the result is the same; we are on our own here on earth. If there is a creator, the evidence we have points to a creator that doesn’t interfere whatsoever with its creation. So natural or creator-made, this earth is full of people who need other people to enjoy life and fill it with purpose. That’s all we can infer from our existence. Any suggestion that God is real and does interfere requires evidence which as of now does not exist other than people’s personal interpretation of events. Actual tangible and observable evidence does not exist.

      The story of Jesus has many holes in it and is unbelievably inconsistent. There is much debate about whether or not he actually existed, but that isn’t the point. Even if we all agreed that a man named Jesus once lived because of the Bible’s accounts, combined with extra-biblical accounts that mention either him or his followers, that doesn’t mean that he is divine at all. There is nothing outside of the Bible that speaks of his divinity or any of his miracles. NOTHING. If he was who the Bible said he was, you’d think that someone who wrote of him would have mentioned some of his miracles. But no one, not Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Josephus or anyone else from that time mentioned that even once. Not only that, his resurrection is not mentioned anywhere outside of the Bible. That would be quite the story to tell, yet no one thought to share that story? The Bible is one source with stories that cannot be corroborated, so I’m not inclined to believe that Jesus was any more than just a man.

      The Bible has a plethora of known errors (both scientific and historic), contradictions and known changes. It is not a book that I trust to be from competent writers, let alone a god. I tried to hang onto Jesus even though I had issues with the Bible and with church. After much time passed with much research, I found evidence to be lacking or rather, nonexistent. Not to mention a lifetime of unanswered prayer to both God the Father and Jesus. Prayers for understanding, guidance and stronger faith fell on deaf ears. We are told that anything asked in Jesus’ name will be given to us, but when my faith wavered and doubt crept in, Jesus’ name did nothing to draw me closer to God.

      So again, I don’t “believe” in anything. At least not in a spiritual sense. I don’t see the need to. I believe in my family and I believe in what my five senses tell me. If my five senses cannot detect anything more than they do, such as God, then maybe I should have been given at least one more. I tried to believe and I prayed constantly for stronger faith. I did everything the Bible commanded me to do in order to have faith and I lost it anyway. If God wants to bring me back to faith, he’d have to first convince me that he exists and then show me the path he wants me to be on. I am always open to new information but I don’t feel the need to believe in something just because I once believed in the Christian story. I was clinging to hope even after I explored my doubts, but after I prayed and prayed and prayed to no avail, I let go and put it in Gods hands. If he exists, then he knows what will change my mind. I did all I could do with the information available to me. If God exists, it’s now his turn.

      Hope that helped answer your question.

      Liked by 7 people

    2. @ Esther

      With all due respect, the ”whole baby” is the problem, as the character you find in the bible – that miracle-working, walking-on-water, died and came back from the dead is simply not a ”real baby” at all.
      And once you chuck put the bath water you will chuck out all the problems as well.
      Try it.

      Liked by 3 people

    3. Hi Esther,

      I know you asked Ben that question, but I’d like to give my own answer too.

      I ditched Christianity a bit over ten years ago now, and the question of “what do I believe now?” is one I had to address for myself.

      The honest answer is, there is no need to replace Christian belief with anything else. One of the more insidious lies that come from religion (not just Christianity) is that there is a belief that everyone must have. This doesn’t have to be true.

      For me, my worldview is that for something to be accepted (I don’t like the word belief in this context) it needs to be evidenced first. This also implies that I am prepared to change my mind when new evidence is known. It is this latter part that I think is important. Once someone has tied themselves to a belief, their ideas become harder to shift with evidence, It think this is a bad thing.

      So, with that introduction out of the way, what do I believe now the Christianity is gone? Nothing, because I didn’t replace Christianity with anything, it was just a list of things I believed but I can no longer accept because I can’t justify them with evidence.

      I hope that’s useful.

      Liked by 4 people

    4. Contrary to what other ex-believers have written, I have found something that it is impossible not to believe in. It just depends on how you approach it.
      I believe in life. Without life there is nothing, dead space. Only with life is anything, and everything, even possible.
      The thing is, nobody has to teach you about life, you either find it in yourself, or you do not exist.
      And when you look around you, 99.9% of what you see is more life, other life, separate, but yet astonishingly similar. Not necessarily in body, or even forms (viruses, bacteria, one-celled plants and animals (meaning self-motivating beings, or beings that can move of their own free will!), multi-celled beings such as plants, insects, birds, egg-laying animals, life-birth animals including humans, and on and on, all of us are equal in that we all have life. Even love bows down to life, we cannot love if we do not live!
      Life is not a religion, something you can choose to believe in or not, something that controls how you live or conduct your life from birth to death, all life really asks is that you live as long as you can, that u
      If possible you procreate, and above all, that you keep life alive. Anything else is black matter, the detritus of life.
      Could any God or other superbeing exist without life. No.
      Life is what is. What we do with it, or for it, is up to us.
      That is my experience. I’m betting it is also yours, once you come to recognize that you are truly alive.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Rodentius Christus did not die in a giant rat trap for our sins. He was just part of a story designed to scare, intimidate and persuade people. The best thing to do when you have a rat problem is get some d-CON. d-CONverting will stop the rat problem right at its source.

    Hahaha, what an excellent analogy and post Ben of the power of manufactured fear. Well done. 🙂

    I’ve been reading more about the Hellenistic period of 1st and 2nd century Rome and its most Hellenic provinces, including of course Anatolia (Asia Minor), Syro-Palestina (Jerusalem), Arabia-Nabatea, and one of the prevalent literary styles of Hellenic Rome — which of course heavily influenced those aforementioned provinces prior to but MORE SO after 70 and 74 CE — and what archaeologists, philologists, historians, etc, have learned is that the recorders of “history” at that time almost always wrote their version of events that their superiors and leader, emperor, king or queen would also approve of. Those records that typically survive are those sociopolitical histories that Victors want to survive/remain as their legacy and that of their kingdom/Empire. And most of the time those “histories” are not factual, but embellished. This was a commonly accepted and now KNOWN style of story-telling.

    Thank GOoDness for modern critical-analysis, thinking, and freedom of expression to scrutinize everything, huh!? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. Thank goodness. I’d much rather know the truth than be fed lies about promises that will never come true. I am quite the skeptic now which is completely different than the person I was as a Christian. I agreed with people who died thousands of years before me or who never existed at all because I was taught to. I trusted stories based on stories with no evidence to back those stories up besides even more stories.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Excellent posture and mentality Ben! And don’t be too hesitant to hear MULTIPLE viewpoints either; the more the better so that YOU can make a very informed decision/opinion/reaction all on your own! 😉

        Again, great post Sir!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Ben, Ark, Nan, Jim, and all of you that have always pointed out the risks and horrors of indoctrination of children at early ages, malleable and ready to believe ANYTHING for acceptance or approval by parents, authority, etc. This is an incredibly profound documentary of what I consider the exact same type of (fearful) indoctrination of Islam and Christian brain-washing…

    https://www.offathersandsons.com/

    Be sure to watch the trailer! Thanks Ben. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fervent Zionism in Israel (since 1947) does essentially the same thing for modern radical Judaism in Palestine and the West Bank with Israel having used the U.S. Christian sympathies to commit atrocities against any Arab non-Jews. What’s the difference in all of this child indoctrination of fear and hate?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. That trailer was unbelievably disturbing. Just seeing how kids are so willing to follow in their murderous father’s footsteps is alarming. But when they are taught that what they are doing is right and for God from the very beginning, it is not any different than what we teach our own kids about Christianity or any other religion. Islamic extremists might be more violent, but the principle is the same. Terrorists beget terrorists just like bigoted Christians beget bigoted Christians. The cycle doesn’t end unless we stand up and put a stop to it.

      I’d be interested in seeing the whole documentary, but for now the trailer will suffice. Thank you so much for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Ben, Apparently I read this post when Nan first recommended it, and I cannot believe I did not comment on it then. It is right up my alley.
    For all the things you and your readers have said above, and though they might have touched on it in other words, or even indirectly, I feel the need to state in my own terms, from experience, religion, in particular Christianity, is just another form of child abuse, and is something that is perpetuated from generation to generation by the old adage, my parents harmed me, so I am going harm my children in my turn.
    It does not matter whether the abuse is physical, mental, sexual, or spiritual, when it comes to children abuse is the worst thing we can possibly do to them. Yet these cycles, including the Christian cycle, has been perpetuated for thousands of years.
    And it needs to be stopped!
    As a child I was physically and mentally abused by a hate-filled father. My mother could only console me (and my many siblings), but she herself was abused, and could not stop what he was doing to us. She died early, the only way she knew to escape his clutches, leaving us without even her love. Needless to say, once she was gone, my so-called father started to sexually abuse my sisters.
    What has this to do with Christianity? I don’t think he was Christian, I never saw him go to church, but he forced us to go to Sunday School, where we all became spiritually abused. I never had kids. I made sure the cycle stopped with me. One brother and one sister had no children either; they were afraid of what they too might do to children. The others, a couple became decent parents, but the rest perpetuated the cycle. And now their children are also perpetuating it. How much longer can this world continue to exist with parents like these–they tend to have more children than good parents, though obviously not always.
    Religion is spiritual abuse, which leaks down into other forms of abuse, including the sexual. One must be very conscious of this abuse in order to stop it. Because of what religions teach, people do not realize it is abuse. Even as you used to do to your children, you thought you were helping them. That’s the Christian way. But that does not make it right.
    This is what I wanted to say. Thank you for the opportunity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I too now look at religion as abuse. I don’t have to look any further than my year old son. We never meant to hurt him but it happened. We pulled him from public school after kindergarten to give him a “proper” education. We took him to church and taught him curriculum from Christian Liberty Academy. He did well academically but suffered socially. Other church parents were always too busy to have getogethers for the kids. Finding other homeschooled kids in the area was not an option as they were pretty scarce as well. Once we came to our senses and put him back in school, the damage had already been done. What was once an outgoing talkative kid was now shy and socially awkward. He’s gotten better over the years but it’s been tough.

      We gave him a rough start because we thought it was the best thing for him. We thought it was best because that’s how we were raised and we didn’t know any better. These cycles lead to all sorts of problems. Abuse of all kinds stem from the original abuse…being lied to. Or being so grossly misinformed that we were unable to think there was any other option.

      This is why I don’t think anyone should feel like they can teach kids unproven things as truth and then tell them having faith is better than evidence.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it goes a lot deeper than unproven things, especially unknown lies. There is something in humans that wants to get vengeance for harms done, known or unknown. You had no idea that you had been harmed by your religious upbringing, you accepted it’s tenets as truth, and you passed them on. But once you realized what your experience had actually been, you stopped, and tried to make things better for your children. There are things we humans just do not realize.
        My father was abused as a child, so he thought it normal to abuse us. He was paying his pain forward, since he had been unable to pay back the person who had abused him. Myself and two siblings saw through that. We had no need for vengeance, of any kind, though I had to fight for years to overcome an instant anger which my father had taught us. I only let it turn into violence three times in my life, but even that was three times too many. My doctors told me I made myself physically sick–colitis–by learning to swallow my anger, but better that than abusing someone else who was totally innocent.
        The thing is, unless we learn to understand what we suffer through as children, especially spiritually, we are hard-wired to recreate similarly later in life. The fears I grew up with, parental and religious authoritive, taught me to examine my actions. I grew up a pacifist, because I hated being bullied, and saw no sense in violence. But it wasn’t till I examined my own upbringing that I realized my motivation. That made the changes a whole lot easier to accept.
        Rereading this comment, I’m not sure I really succeeded in expressing what I want to say, but I will keep struggling with that. Practice makes perfect, so they say, lol.

        Like

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