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Former Conservative Christians Say: 'There's a Way Out!'

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Unhappy Stories of Religious Upbringings
May End with Hope

Compiled by Badpuppy's GayToday
From The Forums on Badpuppy. Com

corporatelogo.jpg - 10.17 KIn revealing bursts of free speech hosted through the Badpuppy web site's Forums, former conservative Christians have been telling how they've wrestled painfully because of orthodox and fundamentalist teachings, attempting desperately to come to terms with judgmental stances that supposedly make conservative Christians "superior" to all outsiders.

These statements, posted by random Forum readers, provide ample evidence that "heavenly" is hardly the mind-state in which anti-gay conservative Christians live. As proclamations, some of the postings read like uncanny reversals of the current spate of full-page anti-gay ads running in mainstream newspapers. A Forum contributor writes:

Toward hope and healing for the Religious Right From Mr. X, Husband, former Conservative Christian

I'm living proof that Truth can set you free. Recently several prominent people have spoken out on the Religious Right, calling its practioners intolerant and hateful. When I was living as a Conservative Christian I didn't like hearing words like that... until I realized that tolerance and understanding were for me.

One Man's Sin and the making of a Conservative Christian

jesus.jpg - 15.56 KI was thirteen years old when I first watched the 700 Club. They warned me that most other people were sinners and that I was going to hell, so I listened to Pat Robertson.

But as I grew, the hatred and intolerance grew inside of me and wouldn't stay quiet. It would shoot when I made friends different from me. It laughed at other people. It told me I was unlovable unless I followed the dictates of Conservative Christianity. But saddest of all, when I wanted to turn to people and make everything all right -- it wouldn't, because they "weren't right."

Being a decent person became a mystery "By the time I hit my teens I was distant... my heart cold. I believed being 'tolerant' and 'humane' meant being weak and vulnerable... so acting vicious and intolerant felt right. I had so thoroughly rejected my own humanity that, even though I had a close friends, I just wasn't able to deal with them openly and honestly. I was isolated, judgmental, and vengeful - just like the God the Religious Right told me about.

There's a hole in the Religious Right's heart. "My inability to deal with people with a tolerant, non-judgmental eye blossomed in High School. I thought of most people as sinners, as less than I was. I longed to be connected to people, but it just wouldn't work as long as my heart was that hard. I realized I had been lied too - I wasn't happier, I was distant, ignorant, and villainous. I looked forward to sinners tortured forever after Judgement days. I lost all my faith as the love I had been told about had turned out to be a lie."

Seek and You Shall Find

But the next step is still yours. Change didn't come overnight. It took months as the worldview so carefully impressed on me by the Religious Right disintegrated. The rituals I had been taught were meaningless. I felt despair, realizing that I had based my life on a lie for years. I found the Bible as preached by my idols to be contradictory and meaningless. The pain was terrible

Answer the call for Truth, and Never Hang Up

I knew I was running from the truth, and one day I decided to figure out what was going on. I began reading, studying, and meditating, determined to enlighten myself. Shortly after that I discovered the religion and philosophy section of my library, and began getting a larger perspective on the world and people and religion. In college I met recovering Conservative Christians, and understood that my mistake had not been uncommon.

Change a Heart. Change a Life.

Leaving Conservative Christianity was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I finally saw the patterns of my religious obsession and came to understand the underlying needs that had sparked my behavior. As I opened my mind and heart to new ideas and to my fellow people, I knew I had changed forever Gone was the hardness. Gone was the hurt. And gone was the shrill, judgmental cry that the world was evil as were its inhabitants. I accepted myself and my fellow people.

There is Another Way Out

Please, if you, or someone you know or love, is struggling with Conservative Christianity, show then this story. If you truly love someone, you'll tell them the truth. And the truth that they can think for themselves and love their fellow human beings.

Thousands of ex-members of the Religious Right like these have walked away from their Conservative Christian identities. While the paths each took into Fundamentalism may vary, they are stories of hope and healing through the transforming power of hope, love, and understanding.

Ex-Fundamentalist ministries throughout the US work daily with members of the Religious Right seeking change, and many provide outreach programs to their families and loved ones. If you really love someone, you'll tell them the truth.

A second reader writes:

I, too, experimented with "Conservative Christianity" during my wild college days. I was free for the first time and eager to explore the world. As a result of this Christian influence, I exposed myself to many hazardous situations, including brainwashing, bigotry, financial exploitation, and even Sudden Personality Change (SPC or "Snapping").

Thanks to a few caring gay friends, I was drawn out of that unhealthy lifestyle and became the person nature meant me to be. As it happened, just three years later I met the man I would come to call my partner, and we have been together ever since.

A third reader suggests:

I think that we should label them a cult. Republicans are smart in using negative words to describe their enemies. I think the "Fundamentalist Cult" or " Cult of the Religious Right" has a nice ring to it.

A fourth replies:

Funny you should mention that word. I've read a lot of literature on cults written by fundamentalist Christians. The terms they use to describe cults, such as "exclusive" (no other way to "salvation"), "fincianially exploitive," and "driven to recruit others" all apply to the fundamentalist Christian religion itself! How can they write this stuff and not realize what they are saying?

And a fifth answers:

They can write it because to them everything BUT their own personal religion is a cult and they are so involved in their own lies and deceit that they no longer know the truth.

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