In Response to “An Omen of the Mystifying Oracle”

Before reading this post please read this post over here. Just in case you can’t read it, I’ll give you a general summary. This person has gone through the various issues in my life and attributed them to the affects of a demonic haunting caused by the use of a Ouija Board.

Alright. Let’s dive in.

“One time I was with Cara, Chloe, Anne, and Ellie,
and we were messing around with a Ouija board.”

The blogger at “Please Excuse My Vagina: My life as a teenage feminist” will probably notice the trackback, and to her this should be a warning — as it should be to anyone tempted to try “messing around” with the occult. WARNING: EVIL IS REAL.

Maybe you’re not religious. Maybe you think the Bible is just a lot of superstitious nonsense. Nevertheless, evil is real, and even if you think you’re just “messing around” with it, you are in danger.

Those weird coincidences you keep noticing? They’re not coincidences.

Life has a meaning and purpose. We are not random collections of atoms. Human beings have spirits — souls — and our lives are part of something larger than ourselves. Most people do not notice the evidence of this larger meaning and purpose. They lack a spiritual awareness and do not contemplate the relationship between their own mundane existence and the eternal truth of the cosmos. And so they do not notice that seemingly random events aren’t actually random.

 

Actually, for the record, my blog decided that the high amount of links in your post were considered spam and didn’t notify me of the trackback. However, I noticed in my list of referrers (and I’ve been getting quite a bit of traffic from this post, thank you for that by the way) and here we are. I intend to respond to each part of this post and to many of the comments individually.

I am well aware of the fact that evil is real—evil is found in the form of rapists and murderers and abusers. I’m not arguing you there.  However, I tend to disagree with the assertion that evil is found in the form of beings in hell who seek to devour a human’s soul if they touch themselves, or fail to conform to gender roles, or any other number of things. I’m not trying to invalidate your beliefs and I can entirely respect the opinions that you hold, I just want to assert right off the bat that these opinions are not ones I share.

That being said, I too am of the opinion that human beings have souls. It’s a very Pagan belief, actually. And while I don’t worship the Pagan gods or nature rituals or anything of the sort, I do hold a belief in the human soul. I think it’s a beautiful concept. I also agree that humans are far more than just a collection of atoms. Humans are love and light and a beauty that amazes me on a daily basis. I also don’t think events are simply random. I’d love to believe everything happens for a reason.

And, for the record, this “evil board” cost me eleven dollars at Toys R Us and is made from cardboard and plastic.

So you were “messing around with a Ouija board”random.

And your first boyfriend was a manipulative jerkrandom.

Then you were riding home from your dance recital and, for no apparent reason, your dad got angry and started shouting at you.

Is all this random? Just a coincidence?

“I’m a self-righteous bitch. I don’t have any religion. . . .
I was raised in a liberal household, being taught
that everyone’s opinion is equal and valid, and
also being taught to value my own opinions.”

OK, I guess, except that if “everyone’s opinion is equal and valid,” you can’t really have any core foundational beliefs, which might be a problem when you start to fear that you’re going insane

Okay, so, on the subject of Chris. Yeah, he was a manipulative jerk; certainly no arguments from me there. However, I don’t really think that had anything to do with the use of the Ouija board—we had an on-again-off-again thing going on since fifth grade (he was already manipulative then, I just didn’t realize it at the time) which was long before I ever used a Ouija board. And actually, Chris is a good, god-fearing individual just like the person who wrote this post. He services every Sunday, bible study, the whole nine yards. He actually wasn’t allowed to date me at all because I’m neither of the same belief as him nor of the same race as him. So I don’t really think demons (whether they exist or not) had anything to do with his manipulative asshole tendencies.

On the subject of my dad—well, he had no reason to yell at me from my point of view. He gave plenty of reasons, they just didn’t seem like valid ones to me. And I’m gonna tell you a secret: my dad has, on top of a whole host of other things, bipolar disorder, and has had bipolar disorder long before my use of a Ouija board. To be frank, I find the idea that my use of a Ouija board caused my dad to fly into a manic rage, to be incredibly disrespectful. Whether you’re of the belief that mental illness is caused by demons or not doesn’t change the fact that he is abusive toward me due to his mental illness. It’s the sad fact of the matter, but I strongly disagree with the assertion that my dad’s abuse was caused by me using a Ouija board.

The good news: If you think you’re going crazy, you’re probably not. As long as you have enough self-awareness to recognize these ideas and behaviors as abnormal, you’re not insane . . . yet.

The bad news: If it doesn’t get better, that means it’s getting worse, because the persistence of the symptoms is itself symptomatic.

Anybody can have crazy feelings or spells of depression once in a while. If these things persist, however, the word “chronic” applies, and your morbid obsessions — your irrational death-related ideations — are not encouraging in that regard.

Those irrational, death-related ideations? Yeah, those started when I was eleven years old. Again, long before I ever used a Ouija board. Noticing a pattern here?

So, let’s get back to the reality of evil and that Ouija board incident. Lots of kids try “messing around” with the occult in this manner, without thinking that they thereby make themselves vulnerable to evil. It’s like the concept of marijuana as a “gateway drug”; you start “messing around” with weed, next thing you try LSD or Ecstasy, then prescription pain-killers or meth, and one day a dopehead friend tells you she’s tried heroin and you think, “Hmmm.”

Same deal with “messing around” with the occult. Sure, a Ouija board is a silly child’s game. But will it stop there? Maybe next you’ll be “messing around” with astrology or tarot cards. You’ll find a friend who shares these interests, and that friend will start telling you about paganism and Wicca and if you keep going in that direction, who knows where you’ll end up? People who say they “don’t have any religion” are often the most vulnerable to the occult, without evidently recognizing that such beliefs are also a religion.

Does it seem to you, however, that there could be a connection between your “messing around” with the occult and your recent emotional disturbances? Because I don’t believe in coincidences, and because evil is real, it strikes me that you may be under the influence of evil — and I mean Evil with a capital “E” — without realizing it.

For the record, the Ouija board incident which is referenced here wasn’t anything of a demonic nature. The lights didn’t flicker and I didn’t feel a cold force come over me. Wanna know what did happen? The Ouija board said I would fuck a girl, and my friends got uncomfortable. That’s all.

Again, I realize I am under the influence of something far from Good—and I mean Good with a capital G—because I am under the influence of anxiety. Anyone with anxiety won’t tell you it’s a walk in the park, and mine is comparatively mild. But you know what they will tell you about anxiety? That it’s caused by a malfunction of the amygdala and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. And that’s something that most people are born with. In the mild cases (in the case of yours truly) it sometimes occurs during puberty when the amygdala, which processes fear, develops faster than the prefrontal cortex, which processes the response to fear. So unless the demons I (supposedly) released by my use of a Ouja board went back in time and messed with my puberty to cause my amygdala to develop too fast, I think we can safely say my anxiety wasn’t caused by anything supernatural.

My mom has a deck of Tarot cards and they’re actually pretty damn cool. And I find the fact that you consider astrology capital-E-evil to be pretty funny—if god has a plan for everyone, then I guess his plan was for me to be a Virgo!

Rather than being superstitious, let’s exclude the possibility that the “Mystifying Oracle” of the Ouija board summoned forth the spirits to provide the answer to your inquiry. There were five girls involved in that game — yourself, Cara, Chloe, Anne, and Ellie — and let us suppose that at least one of them deliberately manipulated the result.

Who suggested this game and why? What was their motive? Evil has human agents, after all, and if the Powers of Darkness wished to influence you, wouldn’t your “friends” be an obvious means of exercising such an influence? You see that, even if you don’t attribute any magical power to the Ouija board, it can still be an instrument of evil through which your “friends” act to cause you harm.

“Ellie told me later that they were surprised . . .
that I seemed so casual about it.”

Were they really surprised?

Okay, let’s get something straight right now.  I don’t know what surprise you thought I was referring to (the surprise of the fact the board worked, maybe?) but I was referring to the surprise that I’m bi. So, yeah, my friends were in fact really surprised, because they’re homophobes who are terrified of girls being in love with them. Just wanted to clear that up for ya.

And actually, using the Ouija board was my idea that night—Cara and I bought it in the eighth grade from Toys R Us and we split the cost. All of us are very firm in our belief that the Ouija board is bullshit. It’s just a fun way to spend time, and I’ve read these theories that the answers are actually subconsciously projected by the people in the room by something called the ideomotor effect—the responses you recieve from the board are actually what you think, want, or hope to be true. And I think that’s pretty cool.

If you’ve never read the book The Exorcist, you might want to do that, because it is actually quite a profound meditation on the nature of evil, and our vulnerability to evil. What we call “mental illness” was understood by the ancients as demonic possession, and I’m not sure that modern science is more accurate than the ancient understanding. Psychiatrists keep telling us it’s all neurochemistry — serotonin and synapses, blah, blah, blah — but is insanity always organic? Do crazy people just have bad brains? Isn’t our belief in the omnipotence of science a sort of religion?

Is it not possible that there are things beyond human explanation? Are we who believe in cosmic truth just stupid and ignorant? And what about your own search for answers?

I have, in fact, read The Exorcist (although I’m not allowed to see the movie because rated R horror movies are a no-no for me). And I find it to be so incredibly immature that you’ve cited it as one of your sources. It’s a novel from the 70s, not a scientific journal.

Speaking of science, I actually kind of like the idea that we look to science as a kind of religion. It’s a cool concept. However, and I cannot stress this enough, mental illness is not and was never caused by demonic possession. It wasn’t “understood” so much as misinterpreted. Along with the toxic belief that demonic possession is the cause for mental illness came the horrible mistreatment of those who were mentally ill up until very recently. Although, I’m sure you’re of the mindset that mental illness is as simple as “praying the gay away” so I’m not going to go on because it wouldn’t be worth it.

In regards to my own search for answers? I’m still figuring that out. I would love, and I mean love, to give myself over to religion. But blind faith is something I’ve never been able to possess. People like you who try to tell me I’m possessed by demons are, sadly, only serving to push me further away from the religion you hold so dear. Apart from the other hateful actions of the church, I just really don’t want to be a part of a group of people who think I’m possessed and need to be cleansed. Sorry.

WARNING: Evil is real. If you “don’t know who or what [you’re] praying to,” don’t you think Satan may be listening? Yes, “terrible things happen to people on a daily basis,” but why do think that is? Don’t you think that Evil and Death are partners? And if you surrender to the influence of Evil, what do you think happens next?

Hadn’t you better see if Good and Life are within reach?

As I said, I agree with you that evil is real. However, I don’t agree with your assertion that evil comes in the form of a children’s toy made from cardboard. And you know what? If Satan is listening when I pray then it doesn’t really matter, because it’s not like my prayers are ever answered.

(Also, for the record, the post referred to in this paragraph was written before the “Ouija board incident.” Just saying.)

Darkness still does not comprehend the light.

By the way, Miss Teenage Feminist, isn’t it kind of weird that I found your blog this morning? I’ve been researching radical feminism — a mental illness in its own right — and it is admittedly weird to discover a high school kid writing about “heteronormativity.”

Probably just another random coincidence, eh?

If I or my friends are the darkness to which you refer and you’re the supposed light—then, yeah, I don’t comprehend the light. I don’t comprehend an institution that enforces rigid gender roles, and hates gay people, and demonizes sex (which, by the way, is human nature), and seeks to punish people for simply being born with abnormal brains. I do not and will not comprehend a god whose followers’ thoughts and actions are hateful and vitriolic. What I will comprehend and even embrace is the god who loves all of his creations, and instills love and kindness in those who follow him. That is the god that modern Christians and Catholics tend to speak of but, in my experience, fail to emulate.

I’m totally with you on the idea that radical feminism is a fucking disease which needs to be eradicated. It’s what gives feminism a bad name and is quite frankly bullshit. Glad we could find something that we really agree on. However, I’m not a radfem. I don’t think penile-vaginal intercourse is rape. I don’t think men are inherently evil, and I don’t think women are inherently good.

You know what I find weird? That you found my blog and took the time to not only read several of my most important posts, but to then write a 1600 word article warning me not to use a Ouija board, all based on an offhanded comment that I once used one with my friends (although, I then wrote an even lengthier response, so I won’t even bother going to the stable to get my high horse because I’m just as weird here).

Now, onto the comments.

Satanist, Democrats, Communists; they are all the same. Only a Satanist could come up with the term “heteronormativity. Heterosexuality is normal because of sexual reproduction. Science tell us this, it is an expression of the natural law, and it is reveal to us as well through His law, which is expressed through His will and in the order of His creation. Heteronormativity is an expression of nature and Nature’s God.

I am thinking this vagina will be a suicide statistic soon, or a Democrat Party activist. One is brain dead, the other just dead.

Are you saying I’m going to kill myself because I used a word like heteronormativity? (which, by the way, is totally a thing) You know what, I’m going to make sure I live a good, long, liberal life just to piss you off.

Please…it’s the Catholic Church that put forth the idea that the “occult” was evil because they want to be in control. Occult knowledge, and divination put the individual back in the drivers seat. Even our Founding Fathers were occultists through the practice of Freemasonry. The occult offers what Christianity cant, and that’s power, and intellectual freedom.

Goddess bless you, and all of the people defending me. Although, for the record, I don’t consider myself an occultist—Satanism is an actual religion with an actual church, just in case no one was aware of that. I can’t repeat this enough, my Ouija board is a children’s toy made out of cardboard with cartoon ghosts drawn on it. Hardly occult, I’d say.

I’ve known plenty of new age, wiccan, crystal-gazing, spell magic with a -k at the end ladies over the years. And every single one has had major problems. Which came first the chicken or the egg? Interesting that society went from saying the devil oppressed them to the patriarchy. Nice little trick.

Someone should tell that troubled feminist blogger there is a magic spell that can cure her ills: PATER NOSTER, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

Darling, doesn’t everyone have major problems? Also, I find it hilarious that you’re all talking about the evils of the magic Ouija board and then giving me magic Latin spells. Seriously, I said that “spell” out loud just for the hell of it and you know what? I’m still the same feminist bitch I was a minute ago.

…and before you know it you’re fighting with all sorts of sexual deviancy in your life, as you struggle with your personal (and not so personal) demons. Then, rather than continue the fight, you give in and start advocating for your mental illness as normality, because that’s what everybody else is doing and you just want to belong.

I’ve actually been intending to write a post for a while on the toxic r0manticization of mental illness. I will never, ever romanticize what I believe to be my personal hell. And I’m not fighting sexual deviancy so much as embracing it.

are you ACTUALLY kidding me? i was diagnosed with depression. oh shit, is it because i’m an atheist? am i part of the occult? the person who runs that blog is an actual person. you don’t seem to think so. she has feelings. how ungodly. shove your “beliefs” up your ass.

Thank you, Captain Howdy.

thank you, republican uneducated catholic scum. i guess i have the devil inside me.

Full disclosure, PJ is my bestest friend in the whole world and while I did not ask her to comment on this post, I’m pretty happy that she did. To those saying she’s possessed by demons—fuck you. To those offering sincere help and hope for her recovery—thank you so much. (also, calling her Captain Howdy was pretty immature and not very Christian of you. Just saying.)

I hope you get over your depression…and your atheism.

I laughed so hard that I almost peed myself. You, my friend, have a fabulous sense of humor.

Hey, good thing she was raised by liberal weenies!

A more conservative Dad might take exception to your detailed dissection of his daughter’s vagina, mental health, and spiritual condition on the innerwebs.

Really? Really? “Liberal weenies?” That’s so immature that I can’t even formulate a response.

Also, the fact that my dad is liberal isn’t what makes him a shitty parent, the fact that he’s mentally ill is what does. And to be honest, if he knew about my blog he’d be pretty pissed off despite his left-wing tendencies. Liberal dads don’t usually like their daughters’ sexuality any more than conservative ones do. If he had his way, I wouldn’t even talk to boys. It’s just a dad thing.

She is posting publicly. That invites commentary. And he did not bash her, he warned her. How would you feel if I went to her blog and called her names, never having met her, for talking about her vagina and “fucking” all the time? It’s ok for her to “force” her beliefs on others?

I am a teenager. Teenagers swear. Fucking (or intercourse if you’d like me to be clinical about it) is a natural part of human nature and is, or so I’ve heard, pretty damn awesome. And to be frank with you, I’m a virgin. I’ve actually never talked about my vagina or really about the physical aspect of my sexuality beyond mentioning my period once in a post about eating disorders. My blog is titled the way it is because it’s catchy and, based on the reactions to it, tends to be attention-grabbing. I’m not forcing my beliefs onto anyone—if you don’t want to read my blog, then by all means, don’t.

~~~

So, this concludes what is officially my longest post ever. I got a bit bitchy (or more bitchy than before, at least) toward the end there, but I really and truly want to extend my thanks to the author of this post for trying to warn me. Just because a belief system is different from my own doesn’t make it invalid, and part of my struggle as a person trying to embrace social justice is realizing that other people aren’t ridiculous just because they believe in things that I don’t personally believe in. I think it’s a beautiful thing that we live in a country where we’re given such amazing religious freedom.

That being said, I think this is ample representation of the polarization of Western Society at large. A lot of people seem to believe you have the radfems on one side and the fundamentalists on the other with no in-between. But there is an in-between and that is what makes our society great (probably one of the only things, to be honest). Your assumption that I’m a radfem kind of stung—although maybe my assumption that you’re a fundamentalist served to do the same. I really do hope we can find some common ground. Not as Christians or feminists or whatever else we may identify as—but as human beings, living on the same planet and breathing in the same air and basking in the same sunshine.

Then again, I also think the world would probably be a better place if everyone was a puppy instead. So take that hope with a grain of salt if you’d like 😉

 

EDIT: Part 2 of what may or may not be a very short saga

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6 comments

  1. If you would permit me, I would like to cut through the accidents and get to the the substance. I used to be a lot like you. High school was perhaps a bit different in the late 80’s, but not terribly so. I was a bit of a strange breed. An obsessive/compulsive overachiever who was highly focused on weekdays but partied like mad on Fri/Sat nights. I was a National Merit Scholar and practical agnostic, even if I “prayed” when I was scared, lonely, or wanted something.

    As I grew older, finished college and started a career and marriage, all the things I was supposed to do, I could not escape the slowly growing, gnawing sense of emptiness and loneliness. I was an empty shell. I had focused for so long on what the world, parents, etc told me was good and right, I missed the big picture. But I didn’t know what I was looking for. So I cast about trying to fill that emptinesd with sex, drugs, kinks, and all the rest. I slept around a lot. That only made me more miserable and made me fall into drugs and booze more and more.

    Eventually I developed full blown addiction, to everything. I inflicted enormous on myself and everyone around me. Because I still did not know peace, or truth, or what was really important.

    By some miracle, I got clean. I wasnt really even wanting to, but it happened. My wife is very religious, and so is most of her family. They were praying for me. My wife was doing a great deal to get me better, as she knew how. And I can only believe that it was that prayer that got me clean and led to all that followed. Because I had tried to quit on my own many times and failed, miserably, and, as I said, I was really not even in a place where I wanted to quit. As I think any addict could tell, that in itself was and is a miracle.

    And what followed was even more so. I began to change. I had always gone through the motions of going to church with my family growing up (think about that regarding your former bf, as with everything, I went to church and youth group and all that, and was very convincing even though I believed NOTHING), and with my wife, but now it began to move me.

    I’m sure you can see where I am going with this. I shall not belabor the point. I came to know the Truth is not a thing to be learned, a philosophy to hold, or a series of acts to check off. It is a Person, Jesus Christ.

    He is also peace, contentment, joy, and solace. If you know Him and His Church, you will know why there us suffering in the world, and that suffering is not the worst evil. It can and did, in fact, produce the greatest good the world has ever known or ever will, through the greatest act of evil ever perpetrated, the unspeakable murder of the God-Man for the salvation of souls. Millions, hundreds of millions noe enjoy eternal bliss through this perfect act of suffering. It is a mystery only God fully understands, but suffering exists that good may come of it. But to understand that, you have to accept that this illusory life is not the be all and end all, but is only a short – so short, wait till you are a little older! -trial, a time of preparation for our eternal destiny.

    As a Christian, I cannot, I must not, pretend that all beliefs are OK and we should all just go along to get along. If you were utterly convinced you knew the secret to perfect happiness and fulfillment, could you just idly by as others ruined themselves? If you knew the absolute Truth that led to eternal salvation, could you in good conscience allow others tobremain in error, an error with unimaginably destructive consequences, in this lufe and the next? Even if you could be so, our Blessed Lord commands that we go forth and spread the Good News, thst God so loves us He suffered the most painful, tortuous death possible to save us from ourselves.

    That is why Christians have to be so confounded obstinate. It is actually a form of charity. The greatest charity. We have found the pearl of great price, and supernatural Grace so fills our souls with zeal that we feel compellef to share this revelation the world and its master have always laughed at and rejected.

    I am so sorry you were scandalized by RSM. He means well, but blogs are toxic for talking across cultures like this. Blogs tend to become so focused on winning the argument that charity and true concern for souls gets lost and rhetoric goes to extremes. I was wven more saddened by your friend lashing out at Christians as judgmental monsters. I thought that very unfair, even if it becoming an increasingly popular view, especially among the young. I can say, definitively, that your friend is wrong. Blogs are just not the best place to experience Christian virtue.

    You have said you feel empty, depressed, and apathetic. You feel at times that life seems pointless. It is a pity that someone so young should feel that way! I know how troubled you feel. As I said, I have been there! Have mercy on yourself! Don’t learn the hard way as I did! Life can be so glorious when you know Jesus Christ. You dont have to feel depressed andcdevoid of purpose. Your whole upbringing and most every social influence may way against faith, but if you open your heart He can overcome anything I know I sound like another annoying holy roller, I am tired and cannot find the words.

    E-mail me if you like. God bless you, you have a good heart. Just know there is so much JOY available if you just ask for it. I would try to help in any piddling way I can.

    Again, God bless you! He knows you and loves you more than you or I are capable of imagining.

    I could add a million more words but it all comes down to Grace. God wills that all be saved but we have to cooperatevwith Grace. I pray you will. Sorry in advance for all spelling/grammar mistakes, I are tired.

    1. I want to thank you so much for this. You are the type of Christian whom I truly admire. That was a beautiful story, and your faith is to me a beautiful thing. I am so happy to hear that you found peace and overcame your addictions.

      I honestly don’t feel scandalized by him; I find the whole thing incredibly interesting and engaging. Maybe he sees it as winning an argument (although I’m not sure he does) but I see it as a way to promote discussion and maybe find some common ground (maybe like the way we were able to talk just now 🙂 )

      I want to thank you again for this. I can’t say that I will never turn to religion in my life. My problem with the Christian church has never been the faith itself. I have loads of friends who are Christian and Catholic (they are, however, all “progressive” Christians or Catholics, so…) and they’re some of the kindest people I know. My one friend Lana, whom I mention in a few of my posts, is a Catholic and one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. She believes that everyone, no matter what religion, prays to and sees the same god—they just perceive that god differently. And I think that’s a beautiful belief.

      However, what I cannot and will not ever subscribe to is the institution itself of the Christian or Catholic church. The idea that God loves all his creatures, but that those creatures (humans, in this case) who were born gay or transgendered or mentally ill or any other number of things are actually ravaged by the devil.

      I can believe in and embrace a god who loves and accepts all humans. I can not believe in nor can I embrace an institution that does not.

      1. Why was God Incarnate on earth? Why did Jesus Christ come? It wasn’t to found a philosophy. It wasn’t to say a bunch of great things that people could accept or not. It wasn’t even, stricly speaking, to found a religion.

        No, He came to earth with one specific purpose in mind – to found a Church. And that is what He did. This is made plain throughout the New Testament, in all the Gospels. Christ came to establish a Church that would actualize His New Covenant for mankind. So to try to separate Christ from His Church is a non sequitur. It literally makes no sense. As do completely novel assertions, conceived only in the past century or so, that all religions pray to the same God. Hindus desire self-annhilation, as do Buddhists, and Islam…..well, that’s a case entirely by itself. Yes there are phrases in the Koran that seem similar to those in the Bible, but there are others that are not found in any other religion, anywhere (beyond the most primitive of tribes). Fundamentally, none of these religions have the huge stream of miracles from inception to today that attest to their supernatural reality.

        Sadly, the Church has always been riven by heresy and division. From its earliest days, there were heretical sects – the followers of Simon Magus, the Gnostics, Arians, Pelagians, Monophysites, etc. It was not until 1054 – over halfway into the Christian era, at least as it stands now – when the unthinkable happened and the Eastern Church, under the dire influence of the Byzantine emperors, went into permanent (to date) schism. Then the unity of Christendom was truly sundered with the protestant revolt of the 16th century. The world has never recovered.

        I don’t know how much philosophy you’ve studied, but you seem quite bright, I would highly encourage you read Plato, Aristotle, Saint Augustine, and Saint Thomas Aquinas. All prove from first principles the existence of God, but the idea of a classical education that would give understanding of such proofs to the average “educated” person is today a sad joke. Modern philosophy is an intellectual abattoir, if you ask me. Much of it has been dedicated almost single-mindedly to the attempt to destroy God in the minds of men. It is perfectly false, but has also been devastatingly effective.

        Why do I say the above? Because you are a product of your environment. We all are. I was once in a very similar environment, although one that admittedly at least exposed me to Christianity through much of my youth even if I more or less rejected all of it. It is exceedingly difficult to overcome the mores in which we are raised. I had to go through some truly horrifying experiences to begin to question my own assumptions. I pray you don’t have to go through the same.

        I really can’t put it any better than I did in my original comment – there is Truth, it is not a thing to be learned or a philosophy to adopt, but a Person to know and accept. That Person said “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.” He preached a totally exclusivist religion that had to be adopted in order to be saved. And how are we saved? “By observing all that the Commandments.” It’s really as simple as that.

        You may think, this guy is just a fundamentalist. He’s just a crazy Christofascist. You may also think that we are much more modern and sophisticated now, that we know better than to believe such absolutist bunk. But that was always the reason why Christianity was hated, from its inception till now. The Romans did not care that the Christians posited a “new” God, they were only offended that they believed He was the ONLY God. And so they persecuted the Church with grim abandon. The Enlightenment philosphes were violently opposed to the Church for the same reason, as were Hobbes and Locke. Throughout the past 2000 years, Christianity has always been a religion of polarization and division, because it posits beliefs that are both so true, but also so exclusionary.

        I will not say I am sorry if you find this offensive or troubling. It is what it is. That’s what I mean about overcoming all the myriad influences that have formed the very strong beliefs you have now. In my experience, and that of many others, those beliefs contain kernels of errors that may cause you much pain later in life. I know this all seems incredible, even annoying, but it is something millions, myself included, can attest to. If you want true peace, happiness, fulfillment, and all the rest, there is only one real way to attain it. Of course I would say that, you may think, but it’s really the truth that I can attest to from experience.

        I see from some of your other posts you have a lot of anger towards people in your life. Perhaps you have been hurt a great deal. Again, Christ shows the way to overcome all that, to have peace and not pain.

        I wish you well. I pray you can open your heart just a little, to at least examine the possibility that the views you’ve come to hold so strongly may not be right. That is a fundamental aspect of a well-ordered Christian existence, too, constant examination of conscience. I have been through the process of critically examining all the Church’s beliefs and I have found them all to be true. But there is always an ongoing process of comparing oneself against the ideal, and finding areas where really bad things need to be excised and others where improvement is necessary.

        God bless you, “Sophia.” I don’t ask or expect a reply, I just hope you can consider perhaps a little of what I’ve said.

        1. Thank you for taking the time to write such a long, respectful, and thought-provoking response.

          When I say the church, I mean the church as an institution, not necessarily the church as part of the faith itself. I understand that you do not see the two as separate from one another, but I do. Christianity is a religion that has been around for a long time—maybe not a long time as far as religions go, but for a long time as far as I’m concerned. Compared to the amount of years Christianity has existed, my lifetime is barely blip on the radar.

          That being said, I’ve spent a lot of time studying (among other things) both Christianity and philosophy. (fun Sophia fact: when we were little, my grandma would give my cousins and I philosophy lessons out of a college textbook and we weren’t allowed to have desert unless we answered all of the questions pertaining to that particular topic) From the time I could talk, I’ve been considering the existence of a god and the role that being may play in my life.

          I have no trouble, honestly, believing in a higher power. What I have trouble with is putting time and energy and faith into an institution which (in some cases but not all) is quite frankly behind the times. We can debate the Biblical merits (or lack thereof) of homosexuality or transsexuality or…well, whatever, but the fact of the matter remains that until the Christian church (if it ever does) becomes more accepting and stops demonizing identities which are held by some of the people closest to me, I cannot and will not even consider becoming a part of it.

          It literally makes no sense. As do completely novel assertions, conceived only in the past century or so, that all religions pray to the same God. Hindus desire self-annhilation, as do Buddhists, and Islam…..well, that’s a case entirely by itself.

          Okay. Disagree. My friend Lana is a devout Christian and she personally believes that people of all religions are in fact praying to the same god, just different perceptions of that god. She’s also one of the sweetest people I’ve ever known and would never want to create a conflict, so I’m sure that has something to do with it. Just food for thought.

          You may think, this guy is just a fundamentalist. He’s just a crazy Christofascist. You may also think that we are much more modern and sophisticated now, that we know better than to believe such absolutist bunk. But that was always the reason why Christianity was hated, from its inception till now.

          I’m going to say what I’ve been saying to everyone who hasn’t been an ass to me on here—I’m totally happy to engage in discussion and debate about the nature of religion and god and all that. My issue comes in when people are treating me like I’m subhuman for not subscribing to their beliefs. I don’t hate Christianity in the slightest (I have an issue with the institution itself but that’s, in my mind, a different matter).

          Thank you again for taking the time to post such a respectful and thought-provoking comment. I hope to hear from you again to continue the discussion 🙂

  2. Hey Sophia!

    Good to hear from you in my blog inbox yesterday. I just wanted to say I’m proud of you for being brave and mature about all of this! I have so many thoughts about all of it that I can’t even collect them, but I know when I was your age I probably wouldn’t have responded so well. Frankly, the fact that some stodgy middle aged white male sits and writes a post laden with typos and logical fallacies (essentially the entire premise is a fucking fallacy) attacking a 14 year old with a mental disordering is utterly appalling to me. A ouija board led to all of the evils and problems in your life? Well, damn don’t you wish it could be that simple to explain why life is shit sometimes?

    Glad to hear he’s getting your blog traffic though! Sounds like that ouija board isn’t bringing only bad things your way, right? Now more people get to hear your perspective- lord knows some of the people reading a blog like that need to hear it!

    xx
    Heartbreaker

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