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The Chronicles of Mormonia
Posted: 08 October 2006 09:26 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Sunday: October 8th, 2006.  Mormon Sacrament Meeting.

Since I attend church with my wife and kids as a general support structure, I thought I could chronicle some of the wacky things I hear over the pulpit, sermonized as inspiration or motivationals.  I intend to post on this thread when and if a truly worthy gem of a candidate drops into my ears sending shockwaves of disgust into my gut… or perhaps something that sends my eyebrows way over the top of my head.  I will also post general curious and puzzling interactions with supposed members of Christ's only True Church On Earth (c). 

Today's gem of a Sermon:  Adversity

This sermon was given by an mid 50's single lady who I had never seen before at church but who claimed to be a long term member of the congregation.  She felt qualified to address the topic since she had to "go through" losing her son to an illness.

She explained her insights as to how god works in mysterious ways. 

Point #1: She has a nice man in the church who calls her out of the blue every single time she is feeling really low.  God inspires this man to call her up.  This is a miracle.

Point #2: One day years ago, she had a sick child in the car who threw up, then she got a flat tire on the freeway and she pulled over to the side.  This was a serious trial for her, she was weeping hysterically.  She was even wearing a white suit so she was unable to fix the tire. (please).

Insert her miracle: Just then, a state trooper pulls up and fixes her tire and gets her on her way again.  God does work in mysterious ways.

Point #3: As she preached to the choir and congregation, this woman waxed a little more bold with the following statement:

"We have Jesus Christ to raise us up in our trials and tribulations.  If any of you have been coasting along without any trials, you are not living the gospel strictly enough.  God tests his people!  God tries his people!  You need to embrace your struggles and trials!  This is God's way of helping you grow!  If you lived life without any struggle, you would never amount to anything!"

(I don't even need to comment, but I did roll my eyes into the back of my head.)

Point #4: Complete with a wagging finger, and peering over her librarian style glasses she warned us all with the following:

"If you think that you can get through your trials without Jesus Christ, you are a FOOL!"

I sat up at that point.  What tha…?  This lady just called me a fool!  The nerve!  Who does she think she is?  My blood pressure dropped when I realized that she cannot help herself.  Yes, she is in the death grip of a social virus that is killing her softly from the inside. 

She ended her sermon with her testimony that she knows that God lives, Joseph Smith is a true prophet, and the book of Mormon was translated by the power of god as a second witness of Jesus Christ.  She also explained how she knows God sustains each and every one of us through our trials.

That meeting ended.  I take my daughter to the Nursery.  A fellow whom I have not seen in months pops in and notices me.  This is the guy that took 2nd place on NBC's weight TV loss sensation program "The Biggest Loser".  He was all chiseled abs, toned body… last year.  Now he is a dough boy again.  Whatever, I mean, I can't fault the guy, food is highly addictive.  Anyway.  So he has not seen me nor has he made any attempt to befriend me in all the years we have gone to church together.  It has been casual pass in the halls stuff.  You might guess what my next irritation in this Chronicle of Mormonia will be:

Yep.

DoughBoy and I, catching me clueless, are some how best friends today.  How did I miss this blossoming of friendship?  Puzzling… it was very odd to not see this man for months and suddenly here he was, smiling, pumping my arm like a slot machine, really genuinely interested to engage me in conversation.  Slap on the back, how ya doing, Noggin, good tah see ya Noggin… Man how have ya been Noggin!! by the way, what do you do again?  Oh geez that's right.  I thought you bought and sold property for a living?  Well, DoughBoy I do that, but I am also part owner of a family owned roofing/ construction business. 

pause.

You are?  Oh wow!  How did I miss that?

(Oh, I don't know, Dough boy… maybe it's because you and I do not know each other past Hello and Goodbye)

Anyhow.  His eyes actually light up and get really big.  I mean it was practically cartoonish.  Dollar signs in eye balls… cue the ringing sound of a cash register… it was all there.  I kid you not.  This is what comes out of his mouth complete with a really large and enthusiastic grin:

"Ohhhhhh.. then… you have e x p e n s i v e insurance!!"

**said to me with piercing eye contact as he nodded his head "Yes"**

Me? Oh shitsticks!  I wanted to kick him in the nuts.  I also wanted to tell him to wipe the drool off of the left side of his mouth.  What was I, some grade A filet mignon cut of beef?  Jesus.  Believe it or not, he actually pursued his bad taste in social graces.

"Who do you use for Insurance? You know I sell insurance now right?"

I purposefully grounded my right leg onto the floor… I had to command my foot not to move as the fast twitch fibers were spasmodically begging me to engage them to move the foot to the general direction of his crotch.  I was definately feeling mined, culled, catalogued, filed away.  I was feeling used.

"I dunno, some firm out of San Jose".

"San Jose!! Wow.  We are going to have to talk about that!"

And with that, he made some comment about how I looked like the 49er's quarterback Steve Young and he was gone.  Off to the glories of his god.  I wanted to shout after him…

"No, no, uh, Friend…  I don't think you should bother yourself…"

But he was already mining his next potential client down the hall way somewhere.  He was pumping their arms like slot machines too.  Because that's really all I was to him.  A slot machine.  Lucky Seven!  Come on Lucky Seven!!

Absolutely disgusting.

Noggin

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Posted: 08 October 2006 05:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Thanks for reminding me again why I avoid those places. Thomas may be happy to hear that I do indeed know what faith is. For I have faith that those events play out almost verbatum in every place of worship, and have been for centuries.

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Posted: 08 October 2006 06:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Point #4: Complete with a wagging finger, and peering over her librarian style glasses she warned us all with the following:

“If you think that you can get through your trials without Jesus Christ, you are a FOOL!”

I sat up at that point. What tha…? This lady just called me a fool! The nerve! Who does she think she is? My blood pressure dropped when I realized that she cannot help herself. Yes, she is in the death grip of a social virus that is killing her softly from the inside.

It is a understandable for a gentleman to be inhibited by politeness at such points, but I might be irresistibly tempted to quote Christian scripture to those who profess to believe it: Mat 5:22 “But I say unto you, . . .  whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” (Raca means fool.) Maybe one day you can mention to that lady with the wagging finger and tongue that billions of us get through our trials without Jesus.

On the other hand, I might resist the temptation to quote scripture in order to keep peace in the family but I would, by Jupiter, commit this sin in my heart.

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Posted: 09 October 2006 02:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Always love your stories noggin! smile

I’ve had “miracles” like the one described by the speaker. I’ve been in trouble with my car and low and behold, someone helped me!! :wink:

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Posted: 09 October 2006 03:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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“We have Jesus Christ to raise us up in our trials and tribulations. If any of you have been coasting along without any trials, you are not living the gospel strictly enough. God tests his people! God tries his people! You need to embrace your struggles and trials! This is God’s way of helping you grow! If you lived life without any struggle, you would never amount to anything!”

The whole “struggle brings you closer to god” thing is what mother terri was all about, and why she should have been put on trial for genocide, not given the nobel prize

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Posted: 09 October 2006 04:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Great Post Noggin. I like your writing. I have two brothers who became Mormans somehow. I can’t imagine being cornered by a insurance salesman jesus freak…..you have some serious tolerance my man.

Mormanism is one of the most interesting to study just because it is so contemporary and the entire history is known. Talk about mass memetic infection. Look what happened!

We have a woman who writes for our local paper in the Religion section every Sat. She’s totally neurotic. If the dog barfs on the floor, jesus is testing her, if her friend has a successful birth, jesus is listening to her prayers, etc. The woman is absolutely daffy. She’s written books on it.

Didn’t Ron Hubberd invent scientology on a bet?

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Posted: 04 November 2006 04:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Didn’t know where to post this, but here we go. . .

It’s clear that many Christian sects frown on masturbation, but I hadn’t seen anything specific to Mormonism, until today. What I’m wondering is if it rings true as something that might have been circulated.

Foundling from the fidonet:

A friend a mine who had been a Mormon missionary came across this “guide,” circa 1970, on tattered photocopy.

Anyway, we were so amused by it (esp. “Suggestion 19”), thought it deserved a wider audience. (Note for the irony-challenged: even though this is “real,” it is here for the purpose of ridiculing the Mormon religion and encouraging people to stay away from it. For more information, see Scientology.

Yours forever, Paul C. Preffen

***

STEPS IN OVERCOMING MASTURBATION

Mark E. Petersen
Council of the 12 Apostles


Be assured that you can be cured of your difficulty. Many have been, both male and female, and you can be also if you determine that it must be so.

This determination is the first step. That is where we begin. You must decide that you will end this practice, and when you make that decision, the problem will be greatly reduced at once.

But it must be more than a hope or a wish, more than knowing that it is good for you. It must be actually a DECISION. If you truly make up your mind that you will be cured, then you will have the strength to resist any tendencies which you may have and any temptations which may come to you.

After you have made this decision, then observe the following specific guidelines:

A Guide to Self-Control:

1. Never touch the intimate parts of your body except during normal toilet processes.

2. Avoid being alone as much as possible. Find good company and stay in this good company.

3. If you are associated with other persons having this same problem, YOU MUST BREAK OFF THEIR FRIENDSHIP. Never associate with other people having the same weakness. Don’t suppose that two of you will quit together, you never will. You must get away from people of that kind. Just to be in their presence will keep your problem foremost in your mind. The problem must be taken OUT OF YOUR MIND for that is where it really exists. Your mind must be on other and more wholesome things.

4. When you bathe, do not admire yourself in a mirror. Never stay in the bath more than five or six minutes—just long enough to bathe and dry and dress AND THEN GET OUT OF THE BATHROOM into a room where you will have some member of your family present.

5. When in bed, if that is where you have your problem for the most part, dress yourself for the night so securely that you cannot easily touch your vital parts, and so that it would be difficult and time consuming for you to remove those clothes. By the time you started to remove protective clothing you would have sufficiently controlled your thinking that the temptation would leave you.

6. If the temptation seems overpowering while you are in bed, GET OUT OF BED AND GO INTO THE KITCHEN AND FIX YOURSELF A SNACK, even if it is in the middle of the night, and even if you are not hungry, and despite your fears of gaining weight. The purpose behind this suggestion is that you GET YOUR MIND ON SOMETHING ELSE. You are the subject of your thoughts, so to speak.

7. Never read pornographic material. Never read about your problem. Keep it out of mind. Remember—“First a thought, then an act.”

The thought pattern must be changed. You must not allow this problem to remain in your mind. When you accomplish that, you soon will be free of the act.

8. Put wholesome thoughts into your mind at all times. Read good books—Church books—Scriptures—Sermons of the Brethern [sic, Cistern too?]. Make a daily habit of reading at least one chapter of Scripture, preferably from one of the four Gospels in the New Testament, or the Book of Mormon. The four Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—above anything else in the Bible can be helpful because of their uplifting qualities.

9. Pray. But when you pray, don’t pray about this problem, for that will tend to keep [it] in your mind more than ever. Pray for faith, pray for understanding of the Scriptures, pray for the Missionaries, the General Authorities, your friends, your families, BUT KEEP THE PROBLEM OUT OF YOUR MIND BY NOT MENTIONING IT EVER—NOT IN CONVERSATION WITH OTHERS, NOT IN YOUR PRAYERS. KEEP IT _OUT_ of your mind! The attitude of a person toward his problem has an affect on how easy it is to overcome. It is essential that a firm commitment be made to control the habit. As a person understands his reasons for the behavior, and is sensitive to the conditions or situations that may trigger a desire for the act, he develops the power to control it.

As one meets with his Priesthood Leader, a program for overcoming masturbation can be implemented using some of these suggestions. Remember it is essential that a regular report program be agreed on, so progress can be recognized and failures understood and eliminated.

Suggestions:

1. Pray daily, ask for the gifts of the Spirit, that which will strengthen you against temptation. Pray fervently and out loud when the temptations are the strongest.

2. Follow a program of vigorous daily exercise. The exercises reduce emotional tension and depression and are absolutely basic to the solution of this problem. Double your physical activity when you feel stress increasing.

3. When the temptation to masturbate is strong, yell STOP to those thoughts as loudly as you can in your mind and then recite a prechosen Scripture or sing an inspirational hymn. It is important to turn your thoughts away from the selfish need to indulge.

4. Set goals of abstinence, begin with a day, then a week, month, year and finally commit to never doing it again. Until you commit yourself to never again you will always be open to temptation.

5. Change in behavior and attitude is most easily achieved through a changed self-image. Spend time every day imagining yourself strong and in control, easily overcoming tempting situations.

6. Begin to work daily on a self-improvement program. Relate this plan to improving your Church service, to improving your relationships with your family, God and others. Strive to enhance your strengths and talents.

7. Be outgoing and friendly. Force yourself to be with others and learn to enjoy working and talking to them. Use principles of developing friendships found in books such as How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

8. Be aware of situations that depress you or that cause you to feel lonely, bored, frustrated or discouraged. These emotional states can trigger the desire to masturbate as a way of escape. Plan in advance to counter these low periods through various activities, such as reading a book, visiting a friend, doing something athletic, etc.

9. Make a pocket calendar for a month on a small card. Carry it with you, but show it to no one. If you have a lapse of self control, color the day black. Your goal will be to have no black days. The calendar becomes a strong visual reminder of self control and should be looked at when you are tempted to add another black day. Keep your calendar up until you have at least three clear months.

10. A careful study will indicate you have had the problem at certain times and under certain conditions. Try and recall, in detail, what your particular times and conditions were. Now that you understand how it happens, plan to break the pattern through counter activities.

11. In the field of psychotherapy there is a very effective technique called aversion therapy. When we associate or think of something very distasteful with something which has been pleasurable, but undesirable, the distasteful thought and feeling will begin to cancel out that which was pleasurable. If you associate something very distasteful with your loss of self-control it will help you to stop the act. For example, if you are tempted to masturbate, think of having to bathe in a tub of worms, and eat several of them as you do the act.

12. During your toileting and shower activities leave the bathroom door or shower curtain partly open, to discourage being alone in total privacy. Take cool brief showers.

13. Arise immediately in the mornings. Do not lie in bed awake, no matter what time of day it is. Get up and do something. Start each day with an enthusiastic activity.

14. Keep your bladder empty. Refrain from drinking large amounts of fluids before retiring.

15. Reduce the amount of spices and condiments in your food. Eat as lightly as possible at night.

16. Wear pajamas that are difficult to open, yet loose and not binding.

17. Avoid people, situations, pictures or reading materials that might create sexual excitement.

18. It is sometimes helpful to have a physical object to use in overcoming this problem. A Book of Mormon, firmly held in hand, even in bed at night has proven helpful in extreme cases.

19. In very severe cases it may be necessary to tie a hand to the bed frame with a tie in order that the habit of masturbating in a semi-sleep condition can be broken. This can also be accomplished by wearing several layers of clothing which would be difficult to remove while half asleep.

20. Set up a reward system for your successes. It does not have to be a big reward. A quarter in a receptacle each time you overcome or reach a goal. Spend it on something which delights you and will be a continuing reminder of your progress.

21. Do not let yourself return to any past habit or attitude patterns which were part of your problem. Satan Never Gives Up. Be calmly and confidently on guard. Keep a positive mental attitude. You can win this fight! The joy and strength you will feel when you do will give your whole life a radiant and spiritual glow of satisfaction and fulfillment.

http://www.moonmac.com/Mormon_masturbation.html

 

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Posted: 04 November 2006 06:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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These read like a Saturday Night Live skit.  Too damned funny Mia.  Only someone with a thoroughly malignant imagination could come up with something as absurd as this list.

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Posted: 04 November 2006 09:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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And yet it appears to be legit :shock:. He’s referenced on religioustolerance.org, and a number of other sites referring to similar topics (chastity, for instance).  Mr. Petersen indeed seems to have been one of the “Council of the 12 Apostles”, whatever that might be.


Tell you what, though. . . we can certainly rest assured that he knows the ins and outs involved in avoiding this particular act. Poor man. Case in point:

”. . . tie a hand to the bed frame with a tie. . . ”

raspberry

Wouldn’t anyone  be rolling in giggles after reading that? Are there men (or women) who could actually read that soberly, never succumbing to hysterics?

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Posted: 04 November 2006 09:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Mia’s quote on mastrubation.

Cue laughter

Priceless

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Posted: 05 November 2006 03:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Thanks for the laugh, Mia!

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Posted: 05 November 2006 04:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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All I can say is this

1.  it is funny, I grant you that.  Especially if you are an outsider reading that.

2.  this advice and tons more like it is what hundreds of thousands of young teen males in the 70’s and 80’s had doled out to them.  I was one of them.

3.  the emotional scarring, the social stunting, the frequent self-loathing, the devisive manipulation of a young guy’s self-esteem is not funny.

Yes, I read that pamphlet as a teen.  Yes I felt so wretched for being guilty.  I admit my eyes popped out of my head when I took in that an apostle of Jesus Christ actually suggested that I tie my hand to the bed frame to quell the urge.  But he was an apostle, and I was just a guy so what did I know? 

No, I never tied my hand to any bed. 

Another apostle Boyd K. Packer has his own more modern pamphlet that young men read these days.  He calls the male sex drive a “little factory” and explains how to shut the factory down etc.

Young Mormon males (and even females) are routinely questioned in quarterly reviews with Mormon authority as to whether or not they are having sex or masturbating or drinking beer or smoking.  You could be the all-star football player and 4.0 gpa, but if you masturbated, you were in gross error and heinous sin is your companion.  I seriously do not get how any Mormon teens walk around with their head held high.  Oh—and if you wanted to go to the temple with the youth group, you had to be free from all sin.

90% of males masturbate… so what do you think the emphasis on this is all about, really?

c   o   n   t   r   o   l

They want to own you.  and you know, they really do.  I don’t even believe in god any more and I still feel the tendrels of Mormonism reaching after me from time to time.

Noggin

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Posted: 05 November 2006 07:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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I know I shouldn’t laugh at this, but to me, it’s like reading about a society where people hit themselves in the head with mallets once a day. It’s like the monks with wodden boards in “Monty Python’s Holy Grail”. I understand that there is real pain, but it’s so bizarre I can’t help but smile at it all.

That some guy accually spend time and energy writing down guidelines on how to avoid mastrubation, through trial and error perhaps, just cracks me up. That he accually believes that it matters at all what you do with your privat parts. Like a creator of the UNIVERSE would care about your ejaculation. Talk about micromanagement.

It is about control as you say. To control people you need to own and control one or all of three things. Money, violence and knowledge. The church, and many others, has always strived to control these things. Still do. Knowledge of course is the most important factor to control.

I’m sorry you had to go through that as a young man, Noggin. Just make sure your kids don’t have to.

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Posted: 05 November 2006 08:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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Wow. It’s funny but scary when you realize that it’s real. They openly seek and have that much control. They seek control over peoples very thoughts.

I note that the reasoning behind why one wants to eliminate masturbation seems already predetermined. No doubt there is some scripture that identifys it as sinful. I guess the catholics see it as wasteful, murder even. One can’t help but be reminded of Woody Allen playing the reluctant sperm in Everything you wanted to know about sex.

Imagine people walking around actually trying to follow that advice. Especially teenagers. When I was much younger man, I think that sex occured to me about a bizillion times a day, more, if I wasn’t getting any. If I felt guilty every time I thought about sex…..I’d be alot more confused and screwed up than I already am.

Imagine being questioned by the sex police. I recall that the one time I went to confession when I was little, it occurred to me that they wanted me to tell them about my masturbation. I don’t think I did though. I do recall telling them about the bad words though :oops: What noggin describes as quarterly reviews and frank discussions with your mormon preist about your masturbatory habits sounds like something right out of The HandMaids Tale. (Margaret Atwood)

I suppose that is why they, mormons, marry so young and then breed like rabbits. And of course we’re talking about a religion that was founded on polygamy.

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Posted: 05 November 2006 08:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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[quote author=“eucaryote”]What noggin describes as quarterly reviews and frank discussions with your mormon preist about your masturbatory habits sounds like something right out of The HandMaids Tale. (Margaret Atwood)

Furthermore it sounds like the author of that advice should just

get a grip

! rolleyes

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Posted: 05 November 2006 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Laughter is great therapy.  It’s helped me poke fun at what I used to believe and go through.  I have since learned that many religious institutions require sexual purity.

I’ll be the first to admit that is a really bad idea.

I think that young people should wait until they are emotionally mature before they have sex, but certainly not wait until marriage.  Then you have people like me marrying the first person they happen to fall in love with (my first wife and I lasted, through severe incompatability, five years).

Just because you love someone, does not mean you should marry them.  In fact, love is one of the worst reasons to get married.  It is merely one cog in the wheel of reasons, but taken as THE reason, uh, nope.  If you love someone, but cannot have anything else in common… run the hell away.

Remind me to tell the tales of dating at BYU.  It’s so twisted, it is hilarious.  Youngsters getting engaged on the 3rd or 4th date, after knowing each other 3 or 4 weeks.  Routinely marrying from 1st date to the altar in 6 months or less.

How?

I’ll save it for another post.  But sexual absitinence is a key factor in it.

Noggin

post script:  The reason, imo, that religious folk are made to feel so shitty about their sexuality is for that control that the church needs over the mind and heart.  If they can make you feel as shitty as possible, get you caught in the lie that you are a worthless piece of fecal matter, in need of some fantasy god to save your wretched state, then they have you for life… or at least at the formidable years as you develop into an adult.. and they know, that if they can get you from teen to adult, you will not likely leave them.  And what does that mean usually?  Ca Ching.  Cash Cow baby.  10% of all you earn for the rest of your miserable fucked up theist existence.

Nogs, somewhat embittered by reflecting on what I used to believe… at the moment.

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