Hey Hey, We’re the Fundies!

I spent the formative years of my life being forced to attend, a minimum of three times every week, a church that was so far right it believed that Southern Baptists were evil, liberal heathens. Yeah, you read that right.

Ever heard of Bob Jones University? We believed that fine institution was too liberal.

No kidding. It was an evangelical, premillenial, independent Baptist church. Theologically and socially, it was somewhere to the right of Rick Santorum. This week, when I was thinking about the lessons I learned from The Monkees, I also pondered the lessons I learned in church. It wasn’t all bad. There were some truly sweet people and at least three people that I actually considered to be Christians. But the lessons I learned from all those years in the fundamentalist tent have haunted me ever since.

* Obey authority without question. All authority. Always.

* Do what you’re told.

* Don’t ask questions. (This was a big one.)

* Accept your fate.

* Do what you’re told.

* Any personal dreams or hopes you might have don’t  matter.

* Movies and TV are godless and Satanic, but it’s perfectly okay for preachers to deliver sermons that cause nightmares for weeks. Yes, this happened, more than once. The one I *still* have nightmares about now and then is the one where communists arrest my mom and make me watch while they stick needles in her eyes and nails in her ears. Yes, this was a sermon. I was maybe 10 or 11 years old.

* Do what you’re told.

* The best sermons/testimonials are the ones where the person spends 9/10s of the time talking about their lives of sin, in detail, and then wrap it up with a little bit of praise God I got saved. Those were almost as good as TV/movies.

* It’s possible for a preacher to break my Daddy’s heart.

* “Mean Girls” have nothing on Christian girls.

* Do what you’re told.

* Two-faced is normal.

* Sly hypocrisy and underhanded meanness are apparently Christian acts.

* Do what you’re told.

I was about 25 years old before I finally managed to break free of that quicksand horseshit, and it’s the reason I’m as liberal as I am today. I’m not anti-Christian: I just don’t see many of them around. I just see way too many hypocritical Pharisees.

In some ways, I miss church. It’s nice having that church family around. But I won’t go there again. Until I find a church that preaches love, compassion and acceptance, I won’t be darkening any church doors. I doubt that God minds. If He does, She’s never mentioned it to me and we talk all the time.

Hey Hey, I’m Free!


Filed under personal

7 responses to “Hey Hey, We’re the Fundies!

  1. Brenda Waldrop

    This sums up exactly how I feel ….I just cannot get it on paper as you can. I haven’t attended church in many years…the last time I did, the pastor felt compelled to sit in judgement on my choice of clothing (white Nursing uniform) for mid week service….& very casual attire to come after service was over to turn all the lights out…….I was tolerating all the crap until he demanded a financial statement from his congregation….to make sure we
    were tithing enough…. ok …nuff said….I understand where you are coming from….I talk to him many times a day too…I don’t feel that I have to be in a church building to worship…..thanks for letting me vent.


    • Rain

      Consider this a safe place to vent. Those of us who have been damaged by this kind of bitter, controlling religion are the only ones who can truly understand how liberating it is to escape.

      I miss the singing, y’know? But that’s about all I miss.

  2. Trisha Kirkpatrick Cummings

    Judy, you know we grew up the same way. I felt guilty all of my young years because I knew I would never measure up to what was preached. Once I moved to Nashville and found a church, I found that the guilt wasn’t quite as tramatic……but I will say that once I joined the Methodist church, I realized that there are people like me!!!!

    I am not the really bad person that I was always made to feel like.

    • Rain

      Indeed you aren’t a bad person, and you never were. I have a hard time forgiving that harsh religion for heaping all that useless and wrong guilt on us.

      You turned out just fine. ;D Got a pretty good son, too. I saw him on the news a couple weeks ago and thought you must be so proud.

  3. Belinda Best

    I hate that this is what you grew up with. It does sound like it was religion, not a relationship with a loving God that was taught. Sister, there is a big difference. Jesus loves you and wants that relationship with you. He is there to answer those questions you were told not to ask. He is there to help us show love to others who need a relationship with Him. As Christians were are not perfect people, and never will be in this life. Jesus forgives and even shows us those things He does and doesn’t want in our lives. Trust Him and ask Him to show you truth, and not man’s thought on what truth is. BB

    • Rain

      My relationship with Jesus is personal and just fine. It’s just a lot of the people misusing His name and His words that causes me irritation.

      I’ve found a level of spirituality that keeps me loving the day, the world and the people it in, and not fearing death or anything after. I figure that’s pretty much the best anyone can hope for.

      Thanks for commenting, Belinda. Miss seeing you every week… April won’t be here soon enough. ;D

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