Your website is devilish

Saint Wolfgang and the Devil by Michael Pacher).Image via Wikipedia

A letter from jahsgirl

Your website is devilish, u don't know how much damage u are doing to yourself and others. I can't believe that u disrespect the God who created u and gives u the air to breathe every single second of your life. Hopefully u can ask for mercy soon before its too too too late. I will repent if I where you. Man I will sure pray for you; you need it.

Dealing with Family Rejection

A letter from Robin

Pride07 - 20Image by LaMenta3 via Flickr

I'm new on this website and have been lurking around a bit. I generally like the civility here. It feels like a caring and loving place, for the most part. Except for the few trolls, who are not even close to as bad as what I've seen... I'm really liking it here. Hell, I even like reading the troll responses... just so I can keep up on all of the insanity ;). It's rare to find this on anonymous forums. Very "Christ-like." I've felt for a long time that I'm a better "Christian" than they are... if we are gaging it by Christ's words... to help the poor, the sick, the disabled, the unfortunate... to love our neighbors as ourselves. Atheists and agnostics are fucking amazing people!!! But we knew that already, didn't we?

I'm gay, 44 and have been in a loving and committed relationship for over 5 years. I'm an agnostic, but a former fundamentalist Christian. My mother, two sisters and their respective families are all fundamentalist christians. They believe that I'm living an immoral lifestyle and am going to hell. They disowned me for 8 years. About 6 years ago my mother and I reconciled. Shortly after that she was diagnosed with cancer and I reconciled with my sisters and their families. I have been as supportive as I can from a distance. I visit every month or two and I've been helping my mother out financially with monthly checks.

I'm looking for a little advice/input from those who have experienced similar situations and how they've dealt with it. I feel like I've been as supportive as I could through all of the rough times I've had with my family, hoping that after they got to know me, they would accept me. I now realize that this will never happen. I have finally let go of that little bit of hope I've been holding on to for 15 years. They will never see me as anything other than misguided and headed for hell.

A month ago, I got into an argument with my mother and then my sister, about politics, and I hung up on both of them. I haven't spoken to them since. My sister left me an angry ranting phone message that I didn't listen to...raging about liberals (my girlfriend listened). We usually don't talk politics, but my mother was probing me about Obama. She thinks he is the precursor to the Antichrist. She defends Limbaugh and Savage (and others) as loving America. I told her that they love America as long as it is white. If it were up to them, every minority and gay person would be rounded up and exterminated, or deported, at the very least. It disgusts me that they align themselves with these men, who are far from "Christian". Hate is not a Christian value, but they are too blind to see that.

The hypocrisy is what drives me crazy. My mother (and siblings) align themselves with people who are diametrically opposed to their lifestyles . My mother lives on SS, Medicare and lives in subsidized housing, all the while collecting $200/month checks from her gay daughter for the past five years, who she believes doesn't deserve any equal rights. I am not rich by any means, I barely have any savings and almost live month-to-month. I wanted to do the "right" thing... what I thought was "right," anyway. In retrospect, I'm not sure they deserve me.

My family has never met my partner and they don't want to. She is not welcome at any family gatherings. They would rather I not talk about her, but I do anyway. They have not visited me in 15 years. I've probably had one phone call from each of them in that same time span. They do not support or accept me and never really have. I get nothing from them. If I go through hard times, it's because I made this choice and brought it on myself. It's God's retribution... meanwhile my brother has been "living in sin" for the past 12 years, but his girlfriend is welcome at family gatherings and he can do no wrong. I guess the gay thing is too much. What is family for anyway?

I have a large extended family of friends, some that I've known for almost 40 years. I have an aunt, her ex-husband, their two sons and their wives who are very supportive of me and my partner. My partner has two kids and two grandkids. Her grandson and I are crazy about one another!! We're all taking a family vacation at the beach together. I just finished visiting with many old friends in Boston and Cape Cod. I'm going to Atlanta over the December holidays to visit with my extended family.

I've had this pall of sadness hanging over my head for the past 15 years. I'm tired of it. My inclination is to no longer have anything to do with them. I don't need them and their judgments of me. I no longer want to be around people who think I'm living an immoral life. I don't need them for anything, nor do i expect anything from them. They do nothing but cause me pain and misery.

As a side-note, for those of you who are anti-marriage, this is one of the biggest reasons I would like to marry my partner... so these wackos have no say in what happens at the end of my life.

I'm conflicted over my mother and how to move forward. Part of me thinks I should call her but the other part of me is completely disgusted with her. I don't know what to say and don't even want to talk to her... but she probably won't live that much longer....

I understand intellectually that they're all brainwashed and that's how I've been treating them. Emotionally, I can't get beyond the hurt...

I've given this my best effort out of love and loyalty, I no longer think any of it is good for me. Are they worth it? What do all of you think?

Warmest regards.

My thoughts for the day

From Jackie27

cuffed ankles and toesImage via Wikipedia

I have a few thoughts that I want to share with everyone. We've all heard of the term "Freedom in Christ." Basically this means you have all the freedom you want, as long as you stick to the rules. You're not free to ask the difficult questions, not free to doubt, not free to think for your self, not free to do what you want (you should be doing what god wants). It's kind of like being put in jail and being told you have all the freedom you want to roam the grounds, but you don't have real freedom because you can't actually leave the 4 walls of the jail.

There's another Christianese term "Freedom from the bondage of sin." Now that I'm an ex-Christian, I've realised that the only people that are "slaves to sin" are Christians themselves. They are the ones who are constantly asking god for forgiveness for their latest sin, or constantly trying to avoid sin and temptation. If you have unanswered prayer or lack of faith, then it's probably because you have sin in your life. Well we all know that there is no such thing as sin, so aren't we the ones who are truly free from it?

Once you've ditched religion it's truly amazing how much freedom you now have. I can do, feel, think, dream whatever I want now. Nothing is holding me back now, and I am so grateful for it, because I know what it's like not to have real freedom.

My other thought is the concept of being *saved*. Christians say they are saved by grace. But saved from what? Saved from going to hell? (the hell god created and decided that it was a just punishment for simply being human). Saved from sin? In fact Christians are not *saved* from anything. We are the ones who are saved. We have been saved by REASON from the bondage of Christianity. I really feel like I have been truly saved! I feel very lucky that I managed to reason my way out of the insane religion that is Christianity. I shudder to think what the rest of my life would be like if I remained a Christian.

Shackled by guilt

A letter from Carleen

locked and chainedImage by Darwin Bell via Flickr

OK, so I realize that I might be as bad as his parents say that I am. They are just scared that he will be influenced by me away from his fundamental Christian Church. Originally I had no intention of doing anything of the kind, because I believed that no one person can fully understand "God," therefore no one person can be sure that they have the only "truth."

After I had been with him for awhile, he was kicked out of his family's business and told that he should fear God because of his choice to date me -- as I stood there, looking on, silently.

He has been told that by dating me he is is tainting his own and their names. All because (as far as they know) I am a liberal Christian. I was raised in a Methodist church, and that is how I answered the question of my faith when asked the first week of knowing Tim.

Tim and I had many many conversations about religion, and he explained that he did not believe exactly as they do, and that it was OK that I did not believe exactly as they do either. For instance: we have friends that are homosexual; we did normal things; he behaved in a typical manor in social situations; he did not display behavior that he was constantly thinking and living the life that Jesus commanded so as to avoid going to Hell. Now it has all changed. After going to a long dinner alone with his parents (He is 25... old enough I would think... but...), he has decided that he needs to love God more than me, and he agrees with his parents that the Bible clearly states in many places (especially 2 Corinthians 6), that he is not to date a non-believer.

He said that he loves me and that this is the hardest thing that he has had to do. He really thinks that the words in the Bible are the words of God, and he has to do everything he can to try to follow it even though he knows that he is flawed and will be a sinner over and over again. He says he can't date me knowing that the Bible is clear on this topic. However, he still continues to text me and contact me, saying that he misses me and cares about me.

I know he is struggling. I want to help him along his way to see that he does not have to live this way, but not just so that I may have a chance of being with him, but to help free him from the pain of guilt and control that he will probably experience for the rest of his life. His older brother is a great example. He is 35 and has never dated and spends most nights at his parent’s house for dinner.

Anyway, it is Tim's choice to do and be who he wants to be. I think he is shackled by guilt and by his parent’s conditional love. What can I do, what would you recommend if I could get him to read just ONE book?


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