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Monday, August 26, 2013

Substitutionary Atonement: How It Promotes Dissociation and Empowers Abusers

There was a member of the church I grew up in that was addicted to pornography. We'll call him Bob. Bob was around 30 years of age and was constantly meeting with the pastor and other men in the church for support in his struggle with sexual addiction. The church leaders told Bob that he needed to leave his sinful nature and be satisfied with Christ, singularly defining Bob as the cause of the problem and neglecting to explore childhood trauma producing his sexual addiction. Bob presents the problem: unhealthy sexuality producing sexual addiction. Church leaders present the cure: be satisfied with Christ, read Bible, and pray. Sadly, the cure didn't work. Bob raped an underage girl shortly thereafter, spent time in prison, and came back to the same church. The church welcomed Bob with open arms and celebrated that he had justification in Christ, and that Christ had provided restitution for his sins.

The similarities in application between substitutionary atonement and dissociation are startlingly obvious, yet none of the material that I've interacted with in psychology or religion has portrayed this synchronous relationship. In this post I will show the similarities in practice between substitutionary atonement and dissociation, and present arguments that substitutionary atonement promotes dissociation and is inherently harmful (this should've been my thesis for my religion degree).

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

On Complimentarianism (and a message to John Piper)

Complimentarianism is "the theological view that although men and women are created equal in their being and personhood, they are created to complement each other via different roles and responsibilities as manifested in marriage, family life, religious leadership, and elsewhere"(www.theopedia.com). One of the most important Christian evangelicals of our time, John Piper, is also one of the greatest promoters of complimentarianism. He loves it so much he wrote a book about it--"Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood." Here's an excerpt from the book:
"But it never occurred to me to think of my mother and my father in the same category. Both were strong. Both were bright. Both were kind. Both would kiss me and both would spank me. Both were good with words. Both prayed with fervor and loved the Bible. But unmistakably my father was a man and my mother was a woman. They knew it and I knew it. And it was not mainly a biological fact. It was mainly a matter of personhood and relational dynamics. When my father came home he was clearly the head of the house. He led in prayer at the table. He called the family together for devotions. He got us to Sunday School and worship. He drove the car. He guided the family to where we would sit. He made the decision to go to Howard Johnson’s for lunch. He led us to the table. He called for the waitress. He paid the check. He was the one we knew we would reckon with if we broke a family rule or were disrespectful to Mother. These were the happiest times for Mother. Oh, how she rejoiced to have Daddy home! She loved his leadership. Later I learned that the Bible calls this 'submission.'"

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Top 30 Atheist and Freethinking Resources for Those Recovering from Religion

In an attempt to create a list of "top atheist and freethinking websites for those recovering from religion," I found that there are not very many websites for individuals battling the mythology of religion. I was slightly taken aback by the lack of information and guidance on this subject. Originally, I came up with a "top 10" list, but I didn't feel that this was adequate. I will include the original ten websites,which I have found extremely helpful, and I will expand the criteria from "websites" to "resources," allowing me to create a more comprehensive list of resources that can be digested in a variety of ways. I've created the list with specific categories to help align your exploration with your goals, to make it efficient as possible. I'm just some random dude on the internet, but if you were to check out just one of these resources, I would recommend Stefan Molyneux's Freedomain Radio, specifically in the podcast format. It is my personal favorite and by far the most helpful resource I've found thus far. I want this list to reflect the kind of material that I wish I had been exposed to during the hardest transitional period while recovering from religion. I hope you greatly benefit from this material. Draw deeply from the fountainhead of freedom.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

How Religion Threatens Children with Death

While ridding the flower bed of weeds, I was listening to Stefan Molyneux's podcast "Freedomain Radio." Stefan Molyneux is one of my favorite human beings. I'm extremely thankful for his beautiful mixture of atheism, psychology, and philosophy, creating a nearly perfect listening experience. No joke. It's some of the best stuff I've ever heard. I absolutely love it.

The caller mentions to Molyneux that some atheists can be militant and aggressive, almost like a fundamentalist atheist. Molyneux asks how the atheists the caller describes as militant show aggression. The caller responds by saying that the "militant atheists" talk to people about their atheism and are very emphatic about gods not existing. Molyneux says that doesn't sound very aggressive and asks if religious people force their beliefs on others. The caller says that fundamentalists force their beliefs on others but that most religious people don't. The caller also mentions that if someone wants to believe in a religion it doesn't hurt anyone as long as they don't push their beliefs on other people. Molyneux makes the point that when children grow up in religious homes, the religion of the parents is literally forced on the children. The caller responds with a tone of new realization.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Evangeical Pastor in Brazil Says His Penis Contains Holy Milk: The Spirit Comes in Mysterious Ways

This is not a joke. One of his church members said, “He has convinced us that only God could come into our lives through our mouth and that’s why he would do what he did.  Often, after worship, Pastor Valdeci would take us to where the funds were kept at the back of the Church and asked us to have oral sex with him until the Holy Spirit would come through ejaculation.”

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Sexual Teachings of a Southern Baptist Preacher: Divine Orgasm


The Southern Baptist preacher began with the normal Christian sex stuff: sex is designed to happen inside the context of marriage, it was created for pleasure, it was created to point us toward Christ, it is a foreshadowing of the future joy and pleasure to be had in Christ, and some scripture was read. What came next was rather surprising. The pastor said that when we get married, we should always pray with our wives before we have sex, like this: "Dear Jesus, thank you for this pleasure that we are going to partake in. May it draw us closer together and closer to you. May it be pure, like your love for your bride, the church." Then the pastor says, "When you are having sex, you should be thinking about Jesus. You should be saying 'thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus.' Keep your mind on him."

Monday, April 8, 2013

All Kinds of Broken Sexuality: A Look at Scotty Smith's Prayer for Parents of Gays

About two years ago, I refused an internship with Christ Community Church. I was going to be working with the youth ministry. I went out on a houseboat with the youth ministry staff for a time of getting to know each other before the scheduled summer activities kicked off. We watched "The Hangover," went over some responsibility details, ate dinner, and spent the rest of the night in two jacuzzis on the roof. Cigars and cigarettes were smoked while we turned into prunes. I was the only person with a pack of cigarettes. The youth leader asked me if I would be smoking when the church's summer schedule started and I said that I would be. I was honest, "I'm a smoker. I'm addicted." He said that some of the parents would have issue with a person in my position being a smoker. I asked him if parents ever had any issues with him. He smiled and said yes. "It's an opportunity to teach," I said. He assured me that neither he nor the church had any issue with smokers, but in the interest of keeping nagging parents off his back, I couldn't smoke in any church oriented context. "Are you serious?" I asked. He was.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

5 Other Biblical Definitions of Marriage

There are so many anti-gay pro-religious memes that have been crowding social media sites and jostling about the interwebs, similar to the meme below.


The phrase "Biblical Definition of Marriage" keeps coming up. It's a tricky fucker. It leads one to believe that the Bible actually lays out the proper form and function of marriage, designed by an omnipotent heavenly being. What it really does, however, is simply describe a variety of marriages found in the Middle East during the time period of the Old Testament and the New Testament. Here's five alternative types of marriage from the Bible that you won't find on a Pro-Bible Pro-Marriage church sign:

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Rob Bell Bulge

Just for fun, I want to show you Rob Bell's bulging junk. Rob Bell is an avant garde-ish Christian author that's been creating some controversy over the existence of Hell (oh shit) in the Christian world with his book, "Love Wins." While he was answering a question about God and gays in the Viper Room, and affirming that gay people exist--he knows one, he sported his rather naughty package, unless, of course, that's an inflatable toy in his pants.

Crane Durham, AFA Radio Host, Is All Hot and Bothered During Anti-GayRadio Broadcast

This is extremely strange. His views are obviously strange, but his mannerisms...I don't even know how to interpret them. I'll just describe it. There's some weird gesticulation, funny head bobs, his hair flies around, his voice cracks, his inflection is wildly peculiar, and, well...I guess just watch the video below.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Gigantic Roman Torture Statues


While Driving to Memphis to visit my brother, I saw three well-illuminated giant white crosses next to the largest church in Tennessee. The blatant imposition of the crosses made me feel strange. They were entirely too large and the lighting caused them to glow. It wasn't the mere presence of the crosses that bothered me. I wasn't exactly sure why they bothered me so much, until I chose the caption for this image on Instagram: "GIGANTIC ROMAN TORTURE STATUES." Seriously, an instrument of torture is the symbol of the Christian church. The message is ridiculously clear. It only seems fitting to leave you with some lyrics from an old Contemporary Christian Music track: "The cross is a radical thing."

Men's Bible Study

Men's Bible Study--Get together with other men and cry about how horny you are. Also, talk about America and maybe the military too, but mostly how horny you are. End with prayer.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Before the Lights Go Out

In the house I grew up in, there was a ritual before the lights went out. "Sorry for the bad things I did to you today. Will you forgive me?" These words were repeated between my siblings and I, nearly every night, for years. My mother had told us that the Bible said that one shouldn't go to bed angry and that we shouldn't go to bed with sin not dealt with. "What would happen if Jesus came back tonight and you had sin in your life?" she would ask, before turning off the lights. "You won't be with Jesus. You'll be in Hell."

Communion

Communion, how it works. You get on your knees and receive the body of a man in your mouth. As seen on Catholic television.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Deliver Us from Evil

I watched a documentary that investigates an extensive sexual abuse legacy left by an Irish priest in California. Father O' Grady's rape and misuse of children, with occasional parental sex triangles, is explored with grueling intensity. Shockingly, the rapist in question, O' Grady, agrees to multiple interviews. The psychopathy displayed is more than disturbing. He is alien. So foreign to human capacities is the way he tells the strategies and stories of rapes, that one is lost inside of how his specie has not been obviously misclassified. Oh, and then there's footage of ecclesiastical depositions and you'll want to throw up. I definitely recommend this documentary. It will stir your empathy and encourage thought to the variety of traumas manufactured by the church. Watch "Deliver Us from Evil." (It's on Netflix)

Friday, March 15, 2013

"Atheism" Is a Misnomer

I'm unaware of flying dogs. To separate myself from people that believe in the existence of flying dogs, I don't describe myself as an anti-aerocanine. Rather, I review my experience with and knowledge of dogs and everything I've read about mammals, and I make a statement: "Flying dogs do not exist." If a friend were to say, "I believe in flying dogs" or "I believe that dogs have the physical capacity of flight," first, I would imagine that the friend is joking and if joking is eliminated as a motivation for the aerocaninite, I would make my exodus in the conversation.

Saying that a flying dog exists would require overwhelming evidence to support such a wild assertion. The aerocaninite would rightly bear the burden of proof if he/she were trying to prove the existence of flying dogs because there is factual evidence that denies his/her claim. The question "Why do you not believe in flying dogs?" to any rational person would be seen as completely absurd. The question "Why do you not believe in god/s?" is exponentially more absurd. Dogs can be studied. Dogs can't fly. Gods cannot be studied.

Also, the word Believe is a tricky word. Watch it closely.

Dealing with the habits

"Thank you God for warmth," I say to myself while walking into the kitchen with bags of wood in my hands intended for the fire place. Then I think to myself, "I'm addressing a non-existent being." To this, I reassure myself and address 'god' again: "You will exist as long as I need you to exist."

Going cold turkey with god isn't a viable option for me. I grew up in a Christian family, faithfully went to church until two years ago, lead group Bible studies, managed other Bible study leaders, and the list goes on. Religion was an essential part of my life. It was even going to be my vocation. I canceled going to seminary because of issues I had with the application of ministry. It never seemed to achieve the goals. It just stated the goals over and over again, maybe in hopes that the goals would become realized. I would make statements like, "Christianity is the greatest impetus by which to become fully human." Seriously, all of my cards were on the table.

How long will it take to wean myself off of the mystical? I haven't the slightest clue. I tend to think that pieces will remain with me until the day I die. A quarter of my life has been built in the artificial bubble of Christian equity. I'm hoping for a bust.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Displaying Some Impropriety

There is a well-bred internal god-centered consciousness that is clinging on for dear life. Up until recently, it provided the lens through which I saw reality. It was cultivated, loved, and encouraged. What changed? It's no longer welcome. What's the problem? It still remains, even after being asked to get the fuck out. The paradigm change from religious to non-religious is a very recent personal occurrence, and a very painful one. In the very short time that I have not been a Christian (maybe a month or two), the pain and extreme difficulty that I've experienced is unimaginably gratuitous.

Post Traumatic God Disorder is for the purpose of exploring the trauma caused by Chrisitianity, doctrinal critique, and commentary of Christianity in popular culture...okay, and it's for pointing out some crazy fucking Christian shit...and making fun of it, because it deserves to be shamed (this claim will be supported). Hopefully, the content produced will encourage dialogue--I'd like that.