Sunday, February 14, 2010

My deconversion story Pt 7 - And he fails



It wasn’t long before the school districts started hiring again. But I really didn’t bother to apply for any positions. Even though money was tight, we knew that with the husband training to get a job at one of the local hospitals, it wouldn’t last forever. We became followers of the work of Elizabeth Ann Warren and decided that we wanted to stay out of what we called the two-income trap. We were actually managing to save money, which never happened when we were both working, and we were both growing much healthier. And along the way we found the Patriocentric Christian movement, and with it the idea of Homeschooling.

Perhaps I should say it found us. I had finally began dressing and presenting myself in a way that overcompensated for the way I had been treated in the past. I let my curly hair grow long, started wearing wide headbands, hats, and other head coverings to hide the bald spots, found that long skirts and denim jumpers look the best on my large, admittedly masculine frame, and sewed most of what I wore out of calico, to give it that feminine, floral edge. And my husband favors khaki pants, polos, and hats. In other words, we look like the quintessential Patriocentric couple, and so, when out in public, people from the local Patriocentric churches gravitated toward us. I found myself being called “sister”, and asked to watch everything from shopping carts to children, and then being asked to pray with the women once they returned from the rest room. Naturally, I started asking questions.

I also found my way to Ladies Against Feminism. As much as I considered myself a feminist still, it was the only place on the web where I found support for being a stay-at-home-wife without children. For a brief time, we thought we might have found a home.

For a very brief time.

The more we read the less we liked it. Paganisim is a Matriocentric religion, I used to joke that I had to stop calling myself a Pagan when I got to know my husband, and realized I could only consider him my equal. Going all the way from one extreme to the other simply would not work for us, we were what most people would call egalitarian, and that was that. Also, the inherent theonomy and the homophobia and the near rejection of the idea that parents can be abusers offended us. So while we thought it a very pretty thing, with perhaps a good idea or two, we rejected the idea of joining any sort of Patriocentric movement.

We flirted with other Christian churches. I believe we looked at the Presbyterians and the Lutherans, and I know we attended the Episcopalian church a few times. But by then the husband was working at the local Catholic hospital, and he admired the good work and charity care they offered the community. I had been raised Catholic, of course, and his parents had recently converted to the Catholic Church from the formerly Methodist membership. So we tool the path of least resistance and signed my husband up for the RCIA program. He eventually joined the church, with his immensely proud father as his sponsor, and we spent a number of years there as out church home. I joined a social group, he joined the choir, and we began doing volunteer work in the community. I had a number of long discussions with Fr. M, where he reassured me that the Church attitude toward blaming the victim in cases of abuse was long gone, and even the inherent homophobia wasn’t as bad as the press made out. We thought life was good.

But….more and more, I began to feel like there was a problem, with God.

Every time we went to mass we were surrounded by small flocks of children. It tore at my heart every time, because I so wanted to be a Mother, to be able to walk in with a baby or child that was mine. The last straw was this one time we went to mass, the 5pm on Saturday that was usually mostly older adults. This family sat in front of us, a young couple with this perfect, rosy cheeked, and laughing little girl. She couldn’t have been more than a year, all decked out in a white dress with pink roses and ribbons. She was utterly perfect, exactly how I hoped my daughter would be. When my husband looked over and saw the tears running down my cheeks he led me back to the car and asked me what was wrong. I told him it felt like God was taunting me, rubbing my nose in what I couldn’t have. If God wanted me in mass so badly, why couldn’t he at least have one mass that was mostly adults?

Why, God? Why are you making this more painful than it needs to be?

My husband agreed, he had been feeling the same way. When he went to work that night he put in for a switch to the day shift. Within a few weeks he was working during every mass service, and we never went back.

We had been reading more about the Patriocentic movement, learning about the Ezzos and Babywise, about the Pearls, about Gothard and ATI. We were horrified at the thought of some of the tortures they were advocating, locking children in “prayer closets”, beating them with plumber’s line and glue sticks, letting babies scream with hunger to get them on a schedule. Back in our alternative sexuality days we had both allowed ourselves to be beaten with sticks, and we knew how much that had hurt on adult bodies. Who in their right minds would do that to a child? I remember reading Doug Phillip’s blog, and an off hand comment about how they had beaten one of their girls, who turned and screamed through her tears that she was going to “tell Jesus on them.” He proudly recounted how he and his wife laughed about it as they beat her again.

Why, God? Why?

At the same time, the Patriocentrics, and more and more of Christianity as a whole embraced the Quiverfull movement. The idea of the virtue of a stay-at-home wife fell away as Motherhood became the only “normative” goal, and what did you do that God is punishing you with infertility? We sat there and watched these families have baby after baby, eight, ten, twelve, all the while beating and tormenting them in the name of God.

Why God? You know we’d never harm a child, we’d only teach them your love. Why do you keep giving those families children and not us? Why?

For all that Fr. M had reassured me that the Catholic church no longer blamed the victim, under the new Pope that seemed to change. He showed support of the priests and sisters accused and convicted of sexual and physical abuse in the US and Ireland, and chose to excommunicate the people who helped a 9 year old girl in Peru who had been raped, and would not survive bearing twins, while not saying a word against the man who had raped her.

Why, God? Where is the mercy and justice here?


I think the FLDS was the last straw for me. Back when I was working three jobs and going to college, one of those jobs was an aid with Child Protective Services. I knew that there was no way any county would pony up the budget money for an operation as big as the raid on the FLDS compound without firm evidence that children were being raped and abused. Finally, I thought, God is using the state to step in and save children. All of the “good Christians” around the net who are screaming that this is nothing but persecution, who are making death threats against the people who are trying to help these girls, will see the truth. I mean, most of the men refused DNA tests, to me a clear sign that they were guilty of something.

A couple of weeks later the children went back, before the few DNA tests they had been able to pull were back from the lab. I was horrified.

Why God? Why are you allowing these girls to be raped in your name? Why? Why?


I never did get an answer. Ever.

It was becoming clear to me, that either God was the biggest bastard in the universe, a monster who loved to watch children suffer, who savored the tears of the forsaken, who encouraged the rape of young girls. Or else there was no God.

There was no such thing as God.

6 comments:

JaneDoeThreads said...

Annie,

you and I really need to talk. I just answered all your questions on the other blog, this is Jane--on Judges, etc., for some reason [I posted like three times] I clicked your name, saw this, thought, wow that's weird because I've been going through some 'similar' questions,

what Blew me away though, I scrolled down, read a few other things you wrote, about being Italian- so am I, being raised Catholic, so was I for long time before my mother went Protestant, after some years between in Sorcery/her and my uncle [both raised in Catholic school/deep history of strong Catholics in my family], your experience with Paganism [one of the horrors of my childhood was Venus--long story],

so that was another reason I did do a lot of digging into ancient religions, pagan and Judaic, to get answers.

Been where you are, still am in some points but the opposite is happening for me, I am finding more to prove God, not disprove--

maybe though because I wasn't like a 'good' Christian, for years I was on the other side, literally, die hard Marxist-Leninist, serious revolutionary, loved war/theory and all--wanted revenge, walked in that darkness from the Core of my being--feeding hatred,

and what it did to Me, and the damage to my girls--long history of abusive relationships [got into that whole sex positive crap too, been there, in feminism still am radical feminist, militant there]--

I asked too, Why God did I always have to hook up with horrid men or wind up pregnant--been homeless-PTSD and the whole lot--blamed God for years, hated Him, literally,

you are looking for like I did, for God in externals--Annie you Won't find Him there. As for the not having a child--that's hard, you are right, it Isn't fair, why in this messed up world with assholes spewing Christ do they have children whom they horribly abuse and those who wouldn't can't [or temporarily can't}, legit question--why are there Voids that are never filled? And the 'cliche answers do NOT wash',

there Is, a reason I think, I posted on there today...Jane

JaneDoeThreads said...

cont...[word count you know], anyway, there Is a reason, I didn't know why--see I am in process of working to get OUT of a bad marriage, long story, financial debt and well he's, long story--not good, put it That way, not physically no but emotional it's hell, but a reason I hit that blog today, I don't often go out there, and seeing that bottom post on the Pearls and child abuse just triggered in a Huge way--so I just started writing.

And when you answered about who can answer these questions, questions I had it out with God over and in prayer, I got a lot of answers too but I do have those moments of doubt--flesh and spirit, hard to explain but there ARE externals, that do point, to Him, but they are not the religious kind, you'll find them more in down to earth--I found many, just in nature and watching/listening, and reading and just telling God, my doubts--taking it To Him, though I raged a lot to others too. I don't know if they'll post the reply to you, it was rather long and I didn't even go into the full depth, of just the answers I found, but love is key--not the romantic [from Rome btw] love or the cliches from culture-religion that is Euro-centric or a false love--but love, like how you feel about those children at Mass, the ache you feel--That love, God feels that too, more than you might think--or understand. Religion won't say that because religion is about People's goodness, which, really if people look in side, really look and let God show them, ain't so good, but them I was/am rotten to the core, that nature. I say it cuzz I've seen it--think that is crazy, just try to go one week, telling God you won't do one sin, that you have habit of, and See just how strong that 'pull' inside you will be. It's that pull, where and What is it, and it's not just psychology either, it's a Force. IF you get quiet, ask Him to show you, and get still in heart and wait to see--Keep searching,

but, ask Him, say Prove it, I did--and He DID. Needless to say because of my rebellion when He did prove it to me it wasn't so nice--but that didn't last long and He showed me why--it's NOT been an easy transformation, still isn't--but there IS something, that I am sure of. Just--take all those questions, to Him, as stupid as it feels and Keep doing that--it takes time.

JaneDoeThreads said...

You know, Annie, image, made in His image--there are Two things, it says [Genesis], image and likeness, let us make--but the second time it say made male and female in Image, NOT LIKENESS, only when Seth was born I believe, it later says in Adam's likeness-image means mirror. Likeness is more in nature, so, when does humans become in His Likeness? [read what Paul says, in NT]

The Bible, yes, was written by many men, sure--but we have our Being in Him, His 'breath' is in all of us--[Romans], Job says, IF God was to come down and deal with oppression ALL FLESH would vaporize due to the breath, of Him, being taken away--think about that, for a while....

image, mirror, and likeness...

forget religion, forget looking at people--people, all have that nature, including you--take it to Him, read just what Jesus said, ask Him to show you--ask Him to show you who the Holy Spirit is. He will--if you really want to Know Who He is. But, be warned, though you'll think this is totally bat sh*t crazy--there is another force, inside that nature, and outside/external, Satan, not some red demon with a pitch fork--one who Knows the laws of the spiritual realm, who knows all about humanity, who hates us, who hates God, but is still under the rule of God, hard to explain that one--he will work too, and he uses knowledge, logic, every dirty trick including rubbing it in, your pain/ache, and wants...because he knows just how to work us...like a roaring lion--so you may not get answers right off the bat. But keep asking, knocking, seeking--God does Love you--I know that. Proof is, He brought me to the blog and in the horrid mood/situ I'm in today, I wrote and wasn't until After I wrote--I read your blog and saw--God works through imperfect people, and I am really struggling with some things in Me right now. BTW, I crossed a lot of those same things off with God too--so many times, funny thing is though, Jesus said, the Spirit will lead you into all truth,

not the Bible, not Religion, not People, not Pastors, Not prayer--the Holy Spirit.

Write me, if you see my blog, you can sort of tell I have those same questions, I do wrestle--but I have been finding answers.

Love and Peace,

Jane

JaneDoeThreads said...

OH, one more thing, today, I respond to you, don't know you, never met you, I'm probably the farthest thing from a traditional Christian and am messed up with my own issues--but I know, God is good, I know that, I'm not, but HE is--

here's a little something else for you to think about--you say, deconversion Part 7--

I wrote/reply to you also answered your questions on other blog [I saved them copied them in case they don't post them], anyway--Seven,

has Spiritual meaning with God, Seventh Degree--

I responded, on your '7' post, part 7.

Coincidence? Just a freak coincidence of nature? Wasn't 'planned' by no means...

oh, there is more relation between Catholicism and Paganism, btw, some history there that goes way back--found some interesting things when researching the child abuse, Venus, etc., the witch-hunts--they go further back than before Catholics, in Rome--found that out by accident--the Vestas. Some interesting stuff there--that 'thread', the things you are seeing in regards to child abuse/the church, it's in the Bible--predicted years and years ago--Paul said, before he died, the wolves are at the door...already, Jude warned too. Jesus also warned, woe to women in that day...like the days of Noah. Now, get this, the son of perdition will be revealed sitting in the Temple. You will hear that is Jerusalem--funny thing is though Annie, the Temple in New Testament, is human beings--so what does That mean?

Maybe those in the pulpit? Many? See--maybe God IS answering you--you just not aware of it but I think He is Annie, and He is saving you from getting sucked into the 'lies' and there are many of them. Part 7, yea...7 has a huge meaning, spiritually where God is concerned--coincidence?

Only you, can question and get answers to that one.

Peace, Jane

JaneDoeThreads said...

Annie,

maybe it's what we Want to see, that really is the answer.

What if, it's not who God is or what He is, or Why things happen, what if, it's what We, in our hearts really want to See from deep in the core gut, to reason comfort to ourselves for not doing something, or another or not to believe, if we don't believe, then we don't have the look within and change what we know, is there? Nagging at us, that we can't get away from--always there?

What if?

What if, when it says, light came into the world but they didn't come to the light lest their evil deeds be exposed--What if, what Jesus said about the blind leading the blind--the darkness, What if, the darkness is comfortable--it's what we know, we feel home in, maybe what is in us--and what we see because of past experiences and maybe, what if, if we see Light, we're afraid that what we know to be real, we will never have justice? Can we have real justice? Can we get what is gone, back?

What if, the thing we don't want to see is the answer to that? Because as long as we hold onto it, it give us reason--to exist, it's what we put our Faith in. We do all have faith, in what our hearts believe,

either in a God who is not like us, who gave us free will--to choose, OR we don't believe in God, we choose our sight, and reject, then look for reasons to back that up--What if?

It's still faith, we don't Know there ISN'T a God, that takes Faith, because it hasn't been Proven beyond shadow of doubt--and we don't know IF there is a God--both, rely on Faith--so,

what, really, is our Faith from? Inside of us, what we Want---what we really Want..

question is, Why do we want the Faith we have? Maybe that is more the question we should ask ourselves...Jesus asked the man at the pool who couldn't walk, Do you Want to be Healed? Why would He ask that? Do you Want to be Healed?

Do you Want to believe? Or do you want your faith, in unbelief? There are hundreds of reasons, to support that unbelief...if that, is what a person, chooses to have Faith in.

Just thinking out loud here...it came to me. [about myself, on some things, not just to you]

Jane

Annie C said...

Jane -

I leave peoples posts up because I believe their words reflect on them, not on me. So even thought I think you are very long winded I'm leaving this here.

I am going to finish my story and address the question of rape in the bible this week-end, I swear.

What you ought to know is that I'm not looking for god, any god, or any spiritual deity. Anywhere. For any reason. I'm an atheist and I'm happy and healthy now. I'm glad your faith brings you comfort, but don't bother trying to convince me, I'm good where I am.