I hope you don’t mind that I write to you directly. I write from the heart with the best of intentions.
For every one person that wrote an unkind word to you there are 20 more who are supporting you. You are not alone.
I am sorry that some people who say they model themselves after Christ would blatantly act in a way opposite of what they say Christ would do. I’m sure that if someone walked up to Jesus and told him that they are being abused that Jesus would not threaten them, put them down or treat them poorly. According to what we’ve read in the Bible Jesus is supposed to help. Anybody calling themselves a Christian and causing you more pain in any way, shape or form, or handing out death threats, is not a Christian.
Even in John 2:15 when Jesus flipped tables and chased the money changers out of the temple with a whip no threats were made and no blood was shed. He saw wrong and according to John he righted the wrong of crookedness in his father’s house.
Christians should be thinking of righting the wrong with resolutions and solutions, and not throwing salt into the wound.
For those who missed the sequel to Karl’s story it is below and here is his twitter address.
First I have a few points to make.
I used to be one! Like most of the Christian population, I had not read the Bible. I sat in church every Sunday and took what was said from the pulpit as the golden word of God. Anyone who dared defied what I was taught was in for a severe tongue lashing. Once I read the Bible and started asking questions I became the victim of other tongue lashers. So I know firsthand what Karl went through.
I was called a blasphemer, atheist, one girl hit me in Sunday school, and I was told not to bother to come back to church as punishment for questioning God. I started doing my own research. I am angry no more. And I still believe in God because it’s my choice.
Whenever someone’s faith is challenged and what they’ve been taught has been brought into question they will become upset. It’s easier to sit and believe than to do extra work to look for the truth. If they get into what’s true and not true then they have to ask, “well if that was wrong, then what else is wrong?” and ultimately admit they have been taught incorrectly through misinterpreted scriptures by their family and church. For some people that’s an impossible pill to swallow.
LIVING BY YOUR STANDARDS AND NOT OTHERS
I ended up in decades of therapy over the child abuse and that gun held to my head. Religion was brought up at every session. I found myself quoting how others told me I should live according to the Bible, God and Country. None of it was working.
The therapist said to me, “That’s their standards. What are your standards? You cannot live your live by other people’s standards. You have to live for what’s acceptable to you. They can’t live for you. Only you can live for you. Now what are your standards?” I didn’t have any!
That was a sad day for me. Once I developed standards and held to them it was WW3, 4, 5 all the way up to WW20 with my family and other Christians. I waded through the judgments, arguments, and ended up cutting ties with some people and stuck to my guns. I have a much happier life than those still trapped by everybody else’s standards.
I am sorry to hear about Karl’s friend having cancer. I am going through something similar. I have tried every remedy, prayer, diet and medication and have done everything humanly possible to detour the illness I have, and nothing has worked. I now require surgery. Some things are the way they are, and it is what it is.
My fellow Christians seem to miss that point quite often. Some things just are. Yes there’s evil in the world but everything cannot be blamed on a devil.
Again Karl thank you for having the courage, strength and presence of mind to share. Much respect to you.
Below is the second part of Karl’s story.
Freedom from Religion
I wrote “Losing My Religion” a scant 48 hours ago. Much has changed since the publication.
The next morning, I walked into the restaurant and was told that my services would no longer be needed.
I am okay with that. I really want to get involved with either a group looking for franchise concepts or a group currently franchising. I love opening new places, researching local markets and adapting a menu, and teaching staff. I am a great teacher. I am available September 7th.
I got seven death threats and several more promising me that their version of god would punish me. I did not contact the police as I don’t think an 85-year-old man from Kentucky is truly going to do god a favor and send me to hell. I think I hit a nerve with a lot of angry believers.
My mother was attacked verbally and in writing. Understand she was battered as well. There were no TV gurus giving advice, no shelters we knew of, and no help from the church for her. She did the best she could until finally a minister told her that divorce was okay in her circumstance and then she turned into a LIONESS.
She literally worked three jobs to make sure her five kids were fed and cared for. I have enormous respect for her and blame her for nothing.
I don’t blame god either, not any god. I could not blame god any more than I could blame Scarlett O’Hara. Though I have to say I have more respect for Scarlett.
If you read the comments you will see attacks, arguments, flame wars and other ugliness in the name of the gods of the commenters. They came on Twitter and email as well.
There was a huge misconception that it was anger at god that caused my lack of belief. It was not; it was education. I read all the Holy books, I visited the Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall and discovered they had a society who just made up answers to everything. How rich must the Watchtower be?
What truly convinced me was the Bible. Read it, cover to cover, and if you can still hold onto ‘faith’ after that, feel free.
I was writing from the perspective at the time. I am not some damaged angry person holding onto hate. I am a happy productive man who has a great life. I worked very hard to get over it, but I never forgot, not entirely.
My big sister came to my defense with some of the commenters. It made me remember how she used to stand up for me when I was younger. She taught me to read before even kindergarten. She was abused too, we all were, save my eldest brother. Yet despite his alignment with the abuser, I doubt he came out of it unscathed. We no longer know each other and have not spent much time together in decades.
I remembered things about my ‘Grandma,’ Bob’s mother. The few times we stayed there I would find money and bank books hidden in the house. She was a bitter and sour woman. She too was a victim of abuse, and I wonder now if the money was her stash, her hope of getting away someday. She never did.
Every person with an alternative religion tried to convert me, they found me on Facebook, Twitter, email and yes, phone. I was even contacted by a vegan who told me removing meat from my life would remove anger… and also I would have clearer skin.
A few Christians tried to bring me ‘back to the fold’ telling me that I would be forgiven for my sins against god… no thanks.
And the love and support came from the non-believers and other abused children. Beautiful comments on Twitter and in social media. You want to know those with empathy and love, they are not likely in church.
Near the end of the day, I got a phone call from a dear friend just diagnosed with cancer. No deity gave him cancer to teach him a lesson. He knew better than to ask me to pray for him, but instead asked for positive thoughts which are equally, if not more effective.
And thus my day ended.
I do not blame, nor am I angry at anyone any longer. My life is my own, and I love it.
Follow Karl Wilder on Twitter: www.twitter.com/fusiononthefly