Freedom of speech is not freedom [from] criticism. Freedom of religion is not freedom to religiously and emotionally abuse your kids. Tolerance is not staying silent while people hurt other people. People need to be aware of what fundamentalism is all about. The more voices that criticize it rationally; the more people who speak out with the consequences fundamentalism has had on their lives, the more maybe hurt people like my parents will think twice before getting involved in it.
“Why do you support such vitrolic blog, Felix? This person is soo bitter, he has so much unforgiveness. The author is too angry. This person needs to let Jesus help him. Christ forgave those who hurted him on the cross, why can’t he be just as forgiving if he’s to receive God’s blessing of eternal life?”
These typically said words of course from, those who are currently in the XCG’s—or believe it or not former XCGers who just want to shut anybody up expressing their feelings about their XCG experience because they still have some kind of emotional attachment to an XCG. They may deny it—but deep down they do. Some of them may think they are trying to help but they are actually being condescending and trying to make themselves feel good at someone else’s expense. I have complained to Douglas Becker, a visitor on this blog here that XCG ministers are not the greatest listeners. For the members, I would say that they are “selective” listeners. Trust me, this is no improvement. in fact, I think it is worse than right out non-listening in which “selective-listeners” DELIBERATELY pick and choose what to hear and totally distort the original context of what anybody meant to say, but that is another story. What I have in common with the blog’s editor who’s pseudonym is Armstrong Survivor (he recently gave out his secret identity, go to his blog to find out) in the sense that we both grew up Worldwide. Believe you me, for those who have grown up in the Worldwide Church of God, we got stories and his story in particular will make you either be very angry and/or make you cry. To feel neither emotion, I am just going to say to you that are simply not human and probably very narcissistic. Strong words, but needed to be said. This young man growing up had to deal with many types of phobias and mental illness which the church systematically brought upon him and his parents in the process, were not making matters any better. Dealt with the sexual frustration and repression that the organization also brought upon him (and I have related to that VERY well). Dealt with loneliness, switching from job to job (and the emotional toll) dealt with those who called themselves “New Covenant Christians” and was intelligent enough to see through the clap-happy shallow PR they presented and so on.
It’s amazing that Armstrongite ministers preached of how anger is a sin. That one should be angry at a minimum and always strive to be happy. Doesn’t work that way. Life is NOT a one big Disneyworld and all must deal with a variety of emotions that are confronted with in everyday situations. Forget that silly semantical phrase “righteous indignation”. It is the same thing: anger. In Worldwide, all emotions were supressed and if any lowly member stood up for him or herself got a real good kicking between the legs. Yes, there are problems with uncontrollable anger in which somebody lashes out at somebody who is not deserving of that anger, let’s say an innocent bystander. That is wrong and is picking on somebody who can’t fight back. In a positive sense, anger can be empowering—that we are going to decide a different course of direction, a firm unshakable resolution to make and we are going to fight vigourously against any injustice and cruelty that was inflicted on ourselves and others. But XCG leadership HATED that! They preferred it’s members to be weak, docile and easily kicked around. They preferred members to be very dependent (and even co-dependent) and dis-empowered.
An authoritarian personality and (or) a bully likes “nice” people. Thus they inflict a tyranny. Which is called “The Tyranny of Niceness”. There is a book by that exact name by Evelyn Sommers. I would highly recommend that you purchase it at amazon.com . I hope to write a book review about it here. Nice people don’t make waves, they prefer security over liberty but in fact, they are repressed with contradictory feelings and emotions that they were trained NOT to do.
Armstrong Survivor is not “nice”. He is authentic. He is original. The language may offend some (but I say some people need to get pass that and see the message behind it, remember my talk about Tony Campolo?), his emotions and feelings are raw but at least he is honest. He is not going to sweeten things up. Like Buckley’s medicine, it tastes awful but it works.
I will in no way, like some other people trapped in their self-righteousness determine the spiritually destiny of Armstrong Survivor. This is strictly and uniquely the jurisdiction of God. Yeah, of course he’s angry at God (well duh! I get very angry at God myself too! Wasn’t King David angry and please do not condescend to me and say, “Felix, that was the Old Testament!”. I ask a lot of theologically incorrect “whys”) and of course he’s questioning the existence of God. Actually we both hate the
“g”od of Armstrong, IMHO he is sure nothing like the merciful God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Armstrong Survivor is just simply on a course himself to ask many questions “why”—because he never had the opportunity to ask why before. His post WCG life,like mine is and adventure with all it’s ups and downs—event things turning sidedways but the adventure is worth it because it is to recapture one’s sanity
Those who are worried that he has influenced other blogs (this one no exception) to be a bit more edgier, I say, “Tough!” Probably Gavin, Aggie,Seeker of Truth, Stan, James Pate, (maybe the cheeful J too),myself and others have been tired of being “nice” to everybody. That is simply not possible. I will try to treat everyone with respect and courtesy and always will –I guess the same goes for my brothers in sisters in the cause but those who just want to be difficult for the sheer joy of it whether they are XCG or a non XCG, your free ride is over. I have been the Dick Cheney pre-9/11 in general and for those who want to play games I will be Dick Cheney POST 9/11. Go ahead trolls, laugh it off, may your arrogant laughter bite you both in the ass and the balls—excruciatingly! Like Billy Joel said,” I hate bullies.” Also I will follow his advice once in awhile, “Take no shit from anybody.” Again, those who take offence: grow up. Thank you Armstrong Survivor—you have become an emerging leader against the tyranny of niceness, you are taking away the shame and stigma of expressing one’s feelings, now matter how blunt and direct they are. You have said that the purpose of your blog was for therepeutic healing and I am hoping it has been doing that in the process. May your blog be around for sometime to come to help those young people like us who are trapped in all the XCG’s. To paraphrase Senator Barack Obama, “Their time has come!”
For those who haven’t looked, Survivor of Armstrongism is under my links but I will give you it here.