As regular readers may be a aware, there is an ongoing disagreement between myself and my ex-husband regarding my children’s church attendance. He is still a member of that perfidious cult that we were sucked into in our late teens and twenties. I don’t believe that my children should be forced, coerced or manipulated into attendance in a meeting where they’ll be screamed at by an un-medicated, aging paranoid schizophrenic for hours at a time.
It’s a so called independent pentecostal church, the Minister being ex-Brethren and probably not even ordained, certainly not supervised or approved by any religious group in Australia. But those who aren’t properly acredited generally get together and invent their own organisation. The whole pentecostal movement started out like that. Come to think of it, that covers Christendom since the Roman Empire.
When you’re young and/or innocent (possibly stupid), if you go to a church meeting and they talk about being better people and making the world a better place, it doesn’t occur to you that they might actually be a festering hive of psycho-pathology, breeding abuse and sadistic control issues in a cult environment riddled with the same pathological roles as the families of a raging alcoholics. You sort of take things at face value until you learn the hard way and by then you’re so indoctrinated yourself that getting out involves a full blown psycho-spiritual crisis.
It’s like coming out of Plato’s cave. The “born again” they talk about is really what happens after you flee, have your breakdown and years of grief counselling, when you eventually salvage some semblance of self-worth and read about personal boundaries in a book.
These independent Christian cults are pretty popular in Australia these days. It might be in part because their leadership is based on a kind of perverted super sales technique and so called “charisma”, that attracts people gifted in manipulating the emotions of others. If they weren’t doing it for religious prestige they’d be called con-artists. well, they are anyway.
Australia’s ex Prime Minister, the one who was voted out of his own electorate in preference for a left-leaning woman journalist, was well known for being in cahoots with deceitful religious power mongers. While Australian voters were sighing with relief and hoping he’d crawled away in shame to die under a rotten log somewhere, he was busy donning a lurid polyester nightie and fluffing the pillows for US Republican knee-bending devotees. In an arousing pre nuptial speech “shorn of political tact” according to reporters, Howard referred to his government giving “faith-based groups direct involvement in policy making and execution”. Maybe the speech was in Texas?
He also criticised those who would like to slow global warming and consider a more rational, sustainable approach to life on earth: “The same intellectual bullying and moralising, used in other debates, now dominates what passes for serious dialogue on this issue”. He of course being the expert in bullying, domination and moralising. Of serious dialogue not so much.
These “faith based groups” he was so in favour of are the kind who tell children they’re going to hell if they study evolution. His Government gave billions of dollars to church based schools all over our nation, to institute a generation of emotionally abused, ideologically distorted young people. Some of us are wondering who’s going to fund the mental health facilities needed to help the graduates and their families.
Meanwhile, my ex is on the phone to my daughter asking why she doesn’t come to church, doesn’t she love him? Won’t she go just once as a birthday present for him? She’s 14 years old. Last time he rang to speak to me he asked why I wasn’t standing up for him as their father. Possibly because I divorced him 12 years ago after he threatened to belt me and kicked me out for not submitting… No, I feel no obligation to defend him and is ridiculous religious beliefs at all. Particularly not at the expense of my children’s personal development. This is the same man who withholds child support, mainly because I’m a child of Satan. Also because financial abuse is another great symptom of male privilege in noxious religious hives.
A week after he was told his former wife was under no obligation to support his control agenda, said zealot started directly on the children. This suggests he’s had some inside support, probably from other devotees who fear the kids’ imminent demise and eternal torture in a lake of fire on account of their mother having a spine.
Why on earth would you want your teenage daughter sitting in a room full of black suited syncophants nodding and mumbling “Amen” as some deranged old fat guy in a suit screams about how women have to submit and there’s no such thing as rape in marriage because a woman’s body belongs to her husband? Why would you want your children, or yourself for that matter, subjected to endless tirades about how a woman who won’t submit should be publicly shamed in front of her friends in order to bring her into line? And why doesn’t someone shout the poor bastard a trip to a brothel?
Seriously, what sort of person believes that this is an appropriate way to conduct a relationship or to encourage children to grow up sane and well-adjusted with any sense of personal boundaries and trustworthy judgment? Okay, other than diagnosed narcissists and control freaks.
Exactly what kind of political policy should such malignant despots be introducing into our society? Who in their right mind thought a class society based on religious abuse and emotional trauma was a good idea for Australia? Who stands to profit from this situation and who believes that such profit is acceptable in the community? This is another one of the problems with money and work being attached to personal honour and self-esteem as we have in post-convict Australia, there is no honour.
Ever notice how the same political party that welcomed the input of “faith-based groups” was the same one whose State level iterations reduced the mental health system to a pile of rubble?
While personal liberty may be the hallmark characteristic of civilisation, and the freedom of individuals to speak their minds is a necessary human right, those who cross the line into emotional abuse and malicious psychological manipulation of children shouldn’t really be out on the streets, let alone the think tank for Government policy.
Perhaps the constitutional clause that provides Australians with freedom of religion ought to be revised in the 21st century to give us freedom FROM religion.