DISCLAIMER: This post is an emotional reaction.
I just stumbled upon and read Bill Zeller's suicide note and was shaken and upset about his description of darkness and anger as a result of childhood sexual abuse. Then I got to the part about fundamentalist Christianity. I will NOT filter it through my own words... but I do ask that you read it for yourself... Please. http://documents.from.bz/note.txt
This post won't scratch the surface of the problem of physical and spiritual and psychological abuse in the world - but I'd rather attempt to make a dent than not. I myself have not ever considered suicide - but I take those who consider suicide very seriously. I also know I can't stop people from hurting themselves - and logic fails sometimes - but I will continue to encourage people to Take Good Care of Themselves.
I learned at Quivering Daughters that January is Spiritual Abuse Awareness Month. I wasn't sure how or when I'd bring that up at Hot4Jesus - because DebbieDowner posts aren't exactly fun to write... but after reading Zeller's letter - which he asked to be copied and read and passed around (yes - i realize the fuzzy ethics of passing on words from someone who takes their own life) I was reminded how, from the beginning of this blog I've wanted to bring awareness to the difficulties of leaving the confines of Fundamentalist Christianity - Evangelical Christianity - Evangelical Fundamentalist Christianity. This is not a rant - this is a plea for YOU - whether you're atheist or agnostic or skeptic or still a believer - to STOP enabling psychological and spiritual abuse - Take it Seriously!
How do you take it seriously?
Help - Don't Judge - Ex-Christians, Former Fundamentalists, Evolving Evangelicals.
Non-believers have a long way to go in offering healthy alternatives to Jesus. What are you doing to help people leaving Christianity? What are you doing to help people find a happy, loving community outside of the Jesus fan-club? What are you doing to help those who are ostracized by their Christian community - people who have been judged and cast out - people who are conditioned to attend church on a regular basis - people who are conditioned to turn to the Bible for answers - people who are conditioned to spin Everything in terms of sin, evil, Jesus' love and sacrifice... only One Way to survive this World? What are you doing?
Need suggestions? Look into what kind of secular organizations and support groups are available in your community. Don't like the options? Consider starting one yourself. Support the efforts of secular organizations that strive to create healthy alternatives to religious communities.
Need help yourself before you reach out to others? Get help. Be willing to make a fool out of yourself in how you explore being Alive right here, right now. Be healthy even when you take risks. Seek emotional support from someone who is not emotionally involved. Work hard on re-defining the source of your strength and identity. Find your boundaries. Find your strengths. Don't fear or judge your weaknesses. Reach out - Listen - Take Good Care of Yourself. Please.
And Thank You.
Related Hot4Jesus posts and links:
Living and Dying for Jesus - 12/10/07
Dead Serious - 12/12/07
Here To Help
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