>DM> Growing up surrounded by Christians does wonders for
>DM> one's outlook. Out of revulsion, I managed an equally
>DM> "cynical" view by my teens and have seen no evidence
>DM> in thirty-odd years since to tempt me to change my
>DM> opinion. Indeed, the continued asininities of the
>DM> faithful tend more to reinforce it, particularly as
>DM> they seek to imbed their beliefs into our law.
JS> the most stable relationship of any of the my 6 siblings) I am
JS> interested in knowing what was it that redressed you so.
Redressed? As in "grievance"? Or do you mean what revolted me about Christian behavior? If the latter, it was mostly the orchestrated attempt to frighten children into belief, exemplified by, among numerous other instances, one Rev putting three kitchen matches, heads out, between the fingers of a six-year-old girl, holding her hand in a fist, lighting those three matches with a fourth and screaming into her face, "you'll BURN LIKE THIS IN HELL if you don't confess to me today."
The little girl went into hysterics. I was about four years older than she, and I couldn't figure out why the other adults around let this bastard get away with this sort of shit. I still can't figure it out. It amounts to a conspiracy of silence to permit such bullying, leaving the kid ganged up upon by the entire adult community and some divine boogeyman to boot. The reverend asshole in question ought to have been disembowelled with a rusty buttonhook; happily, he was killed in a car wreck in Seattle in 1955, though he died too quickly to have received any real moral improvement from the experience.
Since that time, I have observed that the most powerful arguments Christians have at their disposal are precisely such scare tactics. We see the same thing around here just about daily. I have further observed that none of them have any evidence for the existence of their divine boogeyman. So long as they cannot terrify or convince, their efforts have little impact, yet they continue trying to inject organized prayer into the public schools, close abortion clinic by mob action and otherwise attempt to include the unaffected in their schemes as though that conspiracy of silence still obtained. Hopefully, it never shall in any community where I dwell.