In Hard to tell on May 1, 2012 at 9:51 pm
Quite a while back, when I just began writing about cults I belong to, the lovely, intelligent, and ever hopeful of converting me KarenO wrote, “I don’t suppose any of the cults you belong to are religious in nature.”
On the contrary, Karen, my sweetie. [If you will forgive the presumptuous familiarity.] Across the street from the the Island Athletic gymnasium where I work out (yet another of the cults, yet undiscussed) stands Trinity Lutheran Church. On the readerboard each week appears an inspiring message. About a week ago, it said something to the effect of, “Skeptic? Doubter? You are welcome here.”
Of course, readerboards do not have enough space for footnotes. If there were, the footnote would say, “Assuming you are at least 80% of the way to faith.”
In my case, I am at about .01% of the way to faith. Nevertheless, I participate in this evangelical Protestant Christian cult.
In Good news, Humor on December 25, 2011 at 5:19 pm
An acquaintance of mine and his wife were raised as evangelical Christians, in one of the Dakotas, if I recall what he old me correctly. He tells me that they are no longer religious believers, and that they sometimes laugh at some of my jokes about cults and believers. (Example: Transition Whidbey is not exactly a “cult” in that it has a leader and a lot of followers [like the semi-cult which my wife and I defeated in a law suit decades ago]; Transition Whidbey – and I presume the other “Transition Towns” – consist of quite a few people who wish to be cult leaders and very few followers for each.)
It is interesting and perhaps a bit eccentric to me that even though these two acquaintances say they are no longer evangelicals, they continue to act like evangelicals in many respects, but with some twists. In other words, “You can take the boy and girl out of the evangelical country, but you can’t take the evangelical out of the boy and girl.”
Some typical evangelical beliefs/traits/characteristics: 1) Have lots of children. 2) Raise your children to believe in God. 3) Home school your children, so they are not too subjected to secular society and hostility to religious belief and other “state/irreligious” controls and influences.
My semi-ex-evangelical acquaintances: 1) Have six children and Mrs. Acquaintance is about to give birth to child #7. 2) They take their children to a (conservative) church most Sundays. [Twists: They move restlessly from church to church, because in part because the churches remind them too much of the churches they attended as children. Also, the churches tend to be not too tolerant of the children attending service with their parents – and acting like children. Thus the churches want to “segregate” the children into “Sunday school” – which my acquaintances dislike.] 3) The acquaintances are home schooling their children. [Side comment – one of my brothers – as secular as I am – mostly home schooled his children.] 4) Not exactly a proto evangelical trait, but the acquaintances are planning to have a home delivery of the next child. [Another side comment – my brother’s wife worked for a number of years as a midwife, then became a nurse and a nurse supervisor, and then went back to being a midwife.]
Final comment by me. My wife and I were products of moderately large families (five children in each). We stopped with one child. Our child “mated” with another woman. My daughter and her partner have one child. Also, from an ideological point of view, I consider the world to be overpopulated, and I think there is much to be said for people limiting the number of children they have to one or two. However, the world is also becoming more tolerant. Thus, I will never say anything critical or judgmental to my acquaintances about their engaging in Mrs. Acquaintance’s addiction to having children.