Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Essay: A personal transformation that shocks my family

Gave up #Religion

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A personal transformation that shocks my family

From the book: Chum for Thought: Throwing Ideas into Dangerous Waters by David Satterlee

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Chum For Thought:
Throwing Ideas into Dangerous Waters

A personal transformation that shocks my family

MOST OF YOU DON'T KNOW that my political participation and the tone of my writing is particularly shocking for those who know the deeply conservative evangelical fundamentalist Christian faith in which I was raised.

I was taught to be radically non-political, with the certainty that God is Love and Satan is the false god exercising power over all governments of men and all other religious beliefs. We understood that only Christ's Kingdom could restore humanity to peace, security, and the approval of God.

I deliberately married a woman with these same beliefs and we taught them to our children. I also taught these things inside the congregation and to the public. As my certainty weakened, my family, faith, work, and physical and mental health all unraveled together. Having survived the loss of all that, I pretty-much started from scratch.

It's been over ten years and I'm still fragile but somewhat better now, thank you. Under stress, I have Tourette ticks; I hoot, moo, and chirp. Thankfully,
I don't curse. I write when I can. And, I speak my mind.

I am especially grateful to a loving and supportive friend and companion. She and I just celebrated our 8th anniversary. I am no longer certain that I am absolutely right about everything. And so I feel compelled to keep on trying to read, study, think, and keep getting closer to understanding things.

In the end, my point is that I am a work in progress, just like every other person, culture, and society. 
We all still have considerable growth, development, and maturation ahead of us. The one thing that has not changed in my system of belief is a liberal take on the idea that love is the core value and virtue that can lead us to a better future.