Tag Archives: fearofGod

Children Abused by Religion.

“Lambert defines spiritual abuse as “a type of psychological predomination that could be rightly termed—religious enslavement.”[47] He further identifies “religious enslavement” as being a product of what is termed in the Bible “witchcraft,” or “sorcery.”[48]

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Religious abuse will surely hijack the soul of a child. I left home on my 17th birthday in 1963. But sadly and tragically didn’t have my soul in my backpack. I was also mad as hell at Jesus! A relationship with Jesus Christ was a scary proposition for me then and still is. I was programmed to fear God. The thought of this evil stuff is horrific to live with and damages a young soul forever. This is what happened to me and my family growing up in the 50s. And I didn’t acknowledge it until now…

Religious cult behavior, especially in a profoundly dysfunctional family dynamic, literally kills young souls, like me. This is a family in a perpetual cycle of emotional pain and persistent mental illness, including religous and alcohol abuse. No kidding, this is very serious stuff to have conversations about so that we can help each other.

The baggage follows young adults who suffered at the hands of abusive parents who were sick themselves. Probably, in my life time the most insanely agredious religious cult tragedy was the ‘Jim Jones’ mass suicide long ago. I remember living and working in the Bay Area when it was front page news. It is still sickening, disgusting and disturbing all at once. This is how common folks get a divorce from Jesus and never recover. This kind of trauma is a moral injury, at the evil end of the spectrum.

This side bar research is helping me fill in the blanks and close the door on a traumatic childhood, including adding religious abuse to the tool kit. Kids who leave home without a soul, a moral compass so to speak, make bad choices and too often die too early. We must get smarter on the ‘religous abuse’ implications of our most vulnerable citizens especially kids. The initial interaction with a person suffering from religious abuse, like me, is to feel shivers up the spine, and look for the nearest fire exit when someone in the crowd cries out, “Jesus loves you!” The fear of Jesus Christ is outrageous and causes too much emotional damage to kids of all ages and adults alike. We have to start talking about this…

In my view, the awareness created with Mental Health 1st Aid USA training is a great start. But I see an opportunity add a section dealing with the symptoms of religious abuse.

I have been in denial about religious abuse for most of my life until now, age 73. I can’t say why it took so long to revisit this very important life changing factor in my religious upbringing. I feel the freedom of the challenges of my spirit life now. It is never too late to find renewed faith. It’s hard work, especially when there is so much trash to empty…

My own extensive research, including first book, Reconciliation, A Son’s Story (2011) and in a professional capacity, serves as evidence of my personal journey. In addition, open and honest conversations with family members revealed a consistent pattern of religious abuse making us feel extreme shame over many years. It is akin to brain washing, so you have to go through an extended ‘brain-failure-recovery (BFR1.0)’ process to feel love, trust and faith again. I didn’t know love until much later in life. Religious abuse in my mind is as close to evil I can imagine, if not evil itself.

No child should ever be subjected to this kind of horrific injury to the core of one’s soul. It might take a life time of ‘soul search and rescue’ to find peace of mind, if we are so lucky. As a “Recovering Catholic” I try to look back at my roots to understand that this behavior is not part of the church, it is part of the “tool kit of abuse and maltreatment” in a profoundly dysfunctional home…click here for more…on how the Catholic Church explains…

Thank you for coming with me on my personal healing and spiritual journey…

Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, Mental Health Advocate click here for my author page.