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A couple of days ago I published a Diary called "They Teach Their Children to Hate"

While I am slowly getting used to living among the Evangelical Religious Right, they still manage to shock me. Today I got another lesson in why it is reasonable to not underestimate the power of the Cult.

In this case, the Cult is the Southern Baptist Convention.

What follows comes straight from the thoughts of a fairly typical teen.

Update: It is worth pointing out that I have been regularly asked what it is like, being liberal, and atheist, and living where we do. This Diary, and those I write that are similar, are aimed squarely at describing that situation.

The details of the story, the example if you like, are rather less important than the issues raised.

The real issue here is how the Southern Baptists are raising their children, where the next generation of Evangelical Christians is being developed, and how Rick Santorum grew up to become ... er ... Rich Santorum!

As a Dad I am fiercely protective of my kids. I do not respond well when they are hurt, and especially when that pain is inflicted by another. Sure the intellectual side of me simply accepts that growing up is not a pain free business. Learning the boundaries of social behaviour is hard. We all went through it and in that experience lies the concerns of a parent. We want to protect them, but we know we can't, and actually, we shouldn't even try.

We have to let them experience some level of distress, and we try to ensure that happens in as controlled an environment as possible, and that we are there to pick them up when they stumble. As stumble they will, and they must.

My daughter's early forays into "affairs of the heart" are, apparently, causing her less distress than they are provoking in me. I hope that is a tribute to the way her Mom and I have always encouraged her to explore, to question, and to be her own person.

But there is more than a simple "boy meets girl, boy dumps girl" thing going on here. What is happening to this boy, so typical of so many in this town worries me. Mackenzie will be fine, but I wonder about the path being followed by many others.

What follows is the transcripts of two Facebook posts lifted directly from the pages of the boy concerned. My daughter showed them to Mrs Twigg, they were posted in full view to anyone who could access the page, which is pretty much everyone who has any contact with this boy's school, friends or Church. All the names have been either removed or disguised, this is for the content, not the identities.

One the one hand this boy is intelligent and thoughtful. I simply worry about what he is thinking. Read it, form a view, then please talk me down:

Listen guys, I've been in deep prayer with God lately. I've seen multiple signs from him and many people just talking about the subject of dating. My Youth Group even started a new study on Wednesday nights for it! I have done alot of research in God's Word, and I've realized having a girlfriend isn't the best for me, or anybody really.

1) It distracts you from God and into the world's ways.

2) God's plan isn't for me to be dating so young. If you want to see a big fraction of my logic here, check out 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8. I hope everybody understands that I cherished my relationship with **, and it was hard for me to let her go. It wasn't done lightly. I questioned God multiple times, begging there had to be another way, but the answer stayed the same. I'm sorry if I've offended anybody with my desicion, but I have a sense of security in my heart that God has led me the right way
For those of you wondering about my life atm (skip to the bottom for my view):

Optimist view: You got to stay at home today! It was a good day of rest, and to top it off you were well enough to be at the NJHS graduation! About your girl problems....there are other fish in the sea.

Pessimist view: You were sick, so make-up work over the weekend. Of course, you THOUGHT you could go to the NJHS graduation, but your face started turning bright red because of your fever right when you were walking up there. Plus, you lost your girl friend. Good job.

Literalist view: You missed a day of school. You lost your girlfriend. You suceeded in learning some new things today musicly though, plus you went to your NJHS ceremony. I'm nuetral.

Critic view: You didn't feel to bad, you should've convinced your mom to let you go to school! And what's up with dumping your girlfriend the week before Valentine's Day? Hmmm? Pretty ignorant I'd say. And what's up with this stupid post with all of these different views....

Aethiest View: You dumped your girl friend because of a God? Dumb.

Christian View: I'm praying for you man :) You seem to have things under control with your sickness, and emotionaly your pretty strong. Congrats on your NJHS, and as long as you stick with God things will be just fine.

Strong Christian View: These guys don't know what they are talking about ^^ You know exactly what you're doing. God is really working in your life right now, and I know you're finding ways right now to evangilise with it. I also respect your desicion on letting your girl off, but lightly. God's plan for your life was NOT to have you dating at 13, and that pretty much goes for everybody reading this post!

MY VIEW: Listen guys, I've been in deep prayer with God lately. I've seen multiple signs from him and many people just talking about the subject of dating. My Youth Group even started a new study on Wednesday nights for it! I have done alot of research in God's Word, and I've realized having a girlfriend isn't the best for me, or anybody really.

1) It distracts you from God and into the world's ways.

2) God's plan isn't for me to be dating so young.

If you want to see a big fraction of my logic here, check out 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8. I hope everybody understands that I cherished my relationship with **, and it was hard for me to let her go. It wasn't done lightly. I questioned God multiple times, begging there had to be another way, but the answer stayed the same. I'm sorry if I've offended anybody with my desicion, but I have a sense of security in my heart that God has led me the right way.

My own thoughts on this are far from clear. First thing that springs to mind is that maybe I should forward it to his English teacher, because the spelling and grammar could use a little work. This is swiftly followed by a growing dismay that a child would create any part of this then post it for everyone in his life to see and comment on. I didn't, comment that is.

Quite frankly I don't know what to say.

"Hey kid, love the introspection but next time pick someone else's daughter will ya".

"Son, you can talk to your imaginary friend until the cows come home, but do that to Mackenzie again and you will be talking to me".


"Young man. It is considered impolite to use girls to work out your relationship with your God".

See ... Lots of potential responses, all of them rubbish.

To anyone out there who is tempted to think that the way organised churches are helping their young people develop (sic) is in any way benign, I urge you to read that again and understand that it is but a small insight into what our children are facing every day. That is today, tomorrow, then next day and all the days after that until they are old enough to either reject it, or be buried under it.

Remember too that in this area, this boy could post that on his Facebook wall and be assured of a very positive reaction or, as in my case, no reaction because .... I feel for him and his entire circle and ...

I am quite lost for words.

It would be easy for me to be reading far too much into this, because I am a Dad, and she is my gorgeous daughter. I would wholly accept that suggestion were it not simply that this is but one example. There are many others.

10:19 AM PT: Guys ... please :)

This Diary is not about the dating habits of my daughter. Please read the first Diary, the one linked in the Intro where the "dating" aspect is made perfectly clear.

This is about the culture and climate in my town. It is about how the children are raised, the thoughts and feeling being grafted on to them and that they then display in School and everywhere else.

This is about how Evangelical Fundamentalism is born and nurtured until one day, in a town near you or a neigboring city, and Abortion Clinic is bombed, or contraception is made illegal.

Read past my daughter, she is just fine :)

Originally posted to Every Part of You Belongs to You on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 09:47 AM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  I know ... Religious Freedoms and all that jazz (134+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ree Zen, penguins4peace, Orinoco, Urza, Clem Yeobright, statsone, kestrel9000, Youffraita, Randomfactor, marykk, jennyp, concernedamerican, Vita Brevis, GreenPA, Crashing Vor, DaveinBremerton, FindingMyVoice, MsGrin, Greenfinches, DEMonrat ankle biter, muddy boots, Bill W, Sychotic1, gramofsam1, CamillesDad1, melpomene1, BoiseBlue, Ice Blue, VA Breeze, old wobbly, Raggedy Ann, Steveningen, Chinton, Horace Boothroyd III, GenXangster, lineatus, palantir, OldDragon, Pinto Pony, Its a New Day, LibertySon, sb, aerie star, asterkitty, jhop7, AnnieR, deha, theunreasonableHUman, mapamp, juca, kevinpdx, Pat K California, commonmass, maggiejean, Byron from Denver, CuriousBoston, mamamorgaine, Eddie L, sawgrass727, mofembot, weatherdude, limeyswife, eeff, DiegoUK, GeorgeXVIII, swampyankee, jlynne, nellgwen, Shockwave, FlyingToaster, cyncynical, Clues, Railfan, freelunch, Anton Bursch, MadRuth, implicate order, skyounkin, allergywoman, jan4insight, adrianrf, SteelerGrrl, zerelda, jayden, greengemini, Setsuna Mudo, soarbird, gypsytoo, glorificus, Keone Michaels, Hear Our Voices, jacey, fayea, Chaddiwicker, La Gitane, BMarshall, martini, janmtairy, regis, Stein, mikeconwell, xaxnar, elziax, RonV, PeterHug, PSzymeczek, Leftcandid, Matt Z, rgjdmls, MA Liberal, dmhlt 66, xynz, flowerfarmer, googie, Mathazar, northsylvania, Kingsmeg, Eric Twocents, Dragon5616, Lonely Texan, War on Error, FarWestGirl, 417els, DvCM, rebel ga, terabytes, boadicea, DJ Rix, Oh Mary Oh, BlackSheep1, JayRaye, blueoasis, splashy, kait

    I have no problems with religion. I have never had problems with allowing folk to freely live in any way they like.

    I just wish they would extend me the same courtesy.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 09:47:48 AM PST

  •  I've run into a couple of girls like this (22+ / 1-)

    Usually hypocritical because they'd be the ones asking to do the things the church disagreed with and then agonizing over the guilt and blaming anyone but themselves for having done it.

  •  Did I see the kids involved were 13? (40+ / 0-)
    God's plan for your life was NOT to have you dating at 13, and that pretty much goes for everybody reading this post!
    I understand the feelings of protectiveness for your child (I am a mother myself, and I have been through it).  

    However, if this boy (and your daughter) were only 13, I think, respectfully, that you are taking this much too seriously.  At 13, they are still children -- fickle, and changing their minds frequently and for a lot of petty and (to us) silly reasons.  At 13, your daughter is likely hurt, but would she be any less hurt if the boy decided that she was a distraction from school?  From football or basketball or soccer?  Of that he wanted to have another girlfriend?  

    If the parties involved were in their 20's, say, I would completely understand the resentment --  it would be fair to say the young man had led your daughter along, on false pretenses, when (for whatever reason) he didn't want a girlfriend.  But at 13, children generally have no clue what they do -- and do not -- want in life, and they are naturally and inevitably fickle.

    My children had hurts from the opposite sex at young ages.  You try to help them through it, discuss the fact that they are young, and a lot of life is ahead.  If this young man comes from a strongly fundamental religious family, your daughter likely was not the right match for him -- or he for her -- at any rate.  ESPECIALLY at 13, when children are often still under the auspices of their parents' beliefs.  Again, perhaps if he and she were in their 20's, finding their own way in life, I would say something different.  

    I kind of think it's a misplacement of energy to try to analyze the romantic motivations of a 13 year old.  

    •  Perhaps .. and I concede that (17+ / 0-)

      But please read the other Diary ... I think I have the correct perspective where I make it clear that, at this stage, dating only amounts to "the boy you are currently going to the movies with".

      In this instance I rather think it is the Baptists who are taking it way too seriously, not me.

      I am perfectly relaxed about my daughter's movie going friends, until they pull shit like this on her.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:08:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This young man's essay says that he is making a (30+ / 0-)

        decision for himself, and what is right for him at 13.  And he mentions that he did consider your daughter (his comment about her was anything but disrespectful), but that, for him, dating wasn't right at 13.  I saw a lot of discussion about God, and if that's what he believes in, I'm not sure what the issue is.  What I did NOT see is "the minister/my parents told me to, so that's why I'm doing this."  The young man is obviously trying to come to terms with what God, and his religion, means to him personally.  That's a search that is not a bad thing for a 13 year old -- no matter what conclusion he ultimately reaches.  I'm not here to express an opion that he should, or should not, decide that an evangelical or fundamentalist Christianity is, or is not, the "right" decision for him.  That's a search that all of us have to go through for ourselves.  

        I kind of admire a 13 year old who is mature enough to make a decision about what is right for him.  If he didn't feel comfortable -- for whatever reason - about "dating" a girl at 13 (yes, I know what it means practically, but to those kids, it also signifies some romantic exclusivity) I don't have any issue with his coming to that conclusion for himself and expressing it in a respectful way.

        If he had trashed your daughter or made this seem like it was something that she did, or some issue with her (as I think many 13 year old boys would have done in a FB posting), I would have had FAR less respect for him.  In fact, I think that in that kind of instance, your anger would have been far more justified.  

        •  Well I don't "kind of admire a 13 year old" (21+ / 0-)

          who is making an important (to him) decision based on some conversation he imagines himself to be having with God. Begging for a different answer, seeing "multiple signs" that God wants him to dump his girlfriend.

          "Mature" is definitely not the adjective I would choose for this behavior.

          •  Maybe he didn't imagine it. (10+ / 0-)

            Maybe he really did converse with god.

            I don't believe in god but a lot of people do. And maybe this kid has a calling and will eventually follow it. Better he find out now and stop dating than break many more girls' hearts.

            13 is such a tough age. If this is how he finds his strength, then who are we to knock it?

            My biggest problem with his line of thought is that he believes everyone should come to his same conclusion... I would rather he understand that he is finding the best answer for himself and that others may find a different solution. Wouldn't that be the progressive response?

          •  Well, Jesus did ask for a different outcome in (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clem Yeobright, CoyoteMarti

            Gethsemane, so you can't really say that asking for an easier way forward doesn't have precedent.

            Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

            by Wee Mama on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:34:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  For me -as a person who has lived in this culture (6+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              twigg, PSzymeczek, Matt Z, xaxnar, cany, terabytes

              That is the point. A 13 year old kid is being encouraged to have a relationship with god that is modeled on biblical examples like the night before Jesus was crucified. There is a perspective gap there. And there is Considerable Pressure applied to these kids. It is not a life or death decision but an eternal one.

              Poverty = politics.

              by Renee on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 01:12:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes (7+ / 0-)

                I was raised in this culture and these diaries don't even skim the surface of the sort of thing we were taught and the way it was influenced. In teen youth group, we were told explicitly that if we wanted to be right with God we should not have friends or date anyone who was not in our religion (preferably only from our church community.) Our leader would lead discussions where we were encouraged to come forward with tales of how we dumped our worldly friends, and if we had to confess we were still hanging out with unbelievers, we had to be "counseled" further. Books and stories for teens talked about how our minds and morals would be poisoned if we didn't "stay apart."

                I don't know how much things have changed, but I can confirm that in my experience in SBC churches, the idea that non-believers are not people you should be associated with was discussed openly and reinforced constantly. It's the doctrinal idea I remember most clearly from the tween/teen years. (along with the weird stuff about sex, which can be summed up as "it's your fault, ladies.")

          •  Maybe he felt scared and pressure from the outside (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AaronInSanDiego, notrouble

            to be in a relationship he didn't want to be in. Maybe this was his way og justifying his feelings to himself.

            The bottom line is these kids do not owe any explanations to anyone about their feelings and they should probably stop publishing these types of essays on the internet for everyone to read.

            AND WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE IN 2011? -- Susan from 29

            by voracious on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 02:20:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I think you are being too kind (23+ / 0-)

          Personally, I concede that the writing is intelligent and has a certain appeal, but I think the boy is completely cynical.

          He knows full well that what he posted on Facebook will play very well in Church this morning.

          So he gets to dump a girl, via text message, then play the hero on Sunday.

          He knew that would be the reaction.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:38:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So you don't think he believes in God or (7+ / 0-)

            the religious beliefs he says?  If you are right, that he doesn't actually BELIEVE a word of what he says, then you would have more of a right to be angry.  

            Instead, I got the sense that he had actually thought about it for himself and decided that, for now at least, he actually believed what he was saying, and that's what upset you -- that he had come to the point where he actually believed and accepted a point of view that you think is complete nonsense.   I got the sense from your diary that you were more angry with the church and/or his parents for instilling in him this belief that you found ridiculous/absurd/offensive, to the point where he actually "bought into" what you considered nonsense, not that this kid was a total liar who didn't believe a word of what he was writing.  

            •  I have no idea (17+ / 0-)

              whether he believes in God or not, I take him at his word on that. Most kids around here do seem to believe in God and he is likely no different.

              However ... pity his mature reflection did not extend as far as telling Mackenzie in person that he had other interests.

              Yeah, I think he is smart, and quite smart enough to realise exactly how his Church Elders would respond to his Facebook page.

              Mack was an afterthought.

              I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
              but I fear we will remain Democrats.

              by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:05:35 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Definitely agree that he should have told her (10+ / 0-)

                first, and in person. He needs to learn to handle pain, both his own and pain he causes in others. Sometimes we do have to do things that will cause pain to another but we dang well should do it in person.

                I had a friend who was fired by department mail, the day her boss left town for a two week vacation.

                Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

                by Wee Mama on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:36:53 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  If you are upset about a text msg break up at 13 (7+ / 0-)

                then brace yourself, you'll  have a LONG, LONG road ahead.  

                I'll give you a hint:  at 13, a lot teens do pretty much everything by text.  My kids' dates were arranged by text -- they don't use the phone any more.  I kind of expect that, at 13, lots of this stuff is done by text.  It's not like at 13, they had some long, serious, invested relationship.

                I get the idea from your title, among other things, that you were upset about the REASON he gave for the "break up" rather than the method.  After all, the diary was focused on "the Boy Who Dumped My Daughter For God" rather than "The Boy Who Dumped My Daughter By Text Message."  The diary was focused on your displeasure with the REASON he gave, rather than the method he used.  

                •  This is my last response to you (9+ / 0-)

                  Because you are clearly not listening to me, but rather simply coming back to "my distress", "my anger".

                  When have you ever known me get angry or distressed at anything here?

                  Every one of your comments refuses to accept my position, which is that I have no problem with what the boy did, in dumping Mackenzie. That wasn't really the issue, ever.

                  My whole concern is the climate around here, the all pervasive religious persecution that they try, while claiming to be victims.

                  You want a religion? Fine, pick one and then keep it out of my life, out of my schools and out of policy making.

                  We are done now, thanks for participating.

                  I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                  but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                  by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:57:52 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, I understand... (4+ / 0-)

                    I was suprised at myself how upset I got over the teaching re abortion and stem cell research, ... in a Catholic school no less.  On top of that some of the teachers were quite open and vocal in their distaste of Obama.  Which pissed me off even more!!!

                    Thank heave my two oldergranddaughters decided on public high school, where they are getting exposed to other ideas.  A 10 year old that adores a teacher has not much judgement .. when she hears that Obama is evil... My daughter is pro-choice, even though she converted to Catholic when she married one.  She just doesn't "talk" about it, and volunteers for things like the sports activities.  

                    I also understand what the diary is trying to say about the culure of the small town.  We used to spend the winter in south Texas, and while the people are nice and probably good people all in all, the way they talked about politics made me want to throw up.   I refused to discuss politics.. and told my husband there was no way I would move there.  

                  •  if you don't have a problem with what the boy did (0+ / 0-)

                    then I think it was a poor example.

                    "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

                    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 03:17:46 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  In this culture, it is the norm to both (0+ / 0-)

              "believe" and be absolutely cynical...for one, to believe it, you have to be somewhat disengaged from your own ideas and feelings, because it is so illogical and hateful.

              And you know that if you do not believe it, you will either burn forever or be ostracized from everyone you know.  Or both.  So you believe it, in the way fear makes you believe.  And yet, the very act of having to swallow the propaganda and walk down the aisle and share, in short, publicly acknowledge your faith, because you will be punished if you don't believe and participate and follow, makes all your acts cynical.

              This is a cult.  Kids are raised in it with no choice about whether to join in or not.  Acceptance is based on participation.

              I think those who argue that he simply wanted an easy way to break up with a girl have little experience with this kind of high pressure low thinking environment.

          •  It's the dumping by text message (14+ / 0-)

            that burns my hide. If he really wanted to make a statement for his God, he could have done it in person, made it a statement of his faith, maybe invited her to the next youth group outing.

            The good news though is that there's still hope -- if he does end up going to college somewhere far away from home, he'll have to deal with people with other viewpoints, and will likely have a change of soul along with the change in heart. Sounds like your daughter's got her head on straight though and can take the bumps in the romantic road in stride.

            Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes (modified)

            by Cali Scribe on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:49:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  These are 13 year olds, for god's sake. They're (7+ / 0-)

              trying to Learn how to be adults.  Can we cut kids some slack on this site at least?  The world in general now judges kids by adult standards, arresting them for doing the things our parents did routinely and received a scolding for.  They're thrown into jails, with never a thought that they'd never had a chance to learn how to be an adult yet.  Do we really have to be getting angry that they aren't thoughtful enough in "breaking up" at age 13??

              "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

              by gustynpip on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:49:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  That's obviously not the point of the diary (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RUSiriusA, VClib

              It's titled "the Boy Who Dumped My Daughter for God" and not "The Boy Who Dumped My Daughter by Text Message."  

              The diarist's complaint was with the reason for the dumping, not so much the method  

              And I don't know if you are the parent of teens, but let me tell you, at that age today, pretty much ALL aspects of their "dating" are done by text message.  They don't use the phone.

              I've seen lots, lots, lots worse by text or FB from 13 year old boys.  Like disrespect of, or trashing, the girl.  

            •  I saw a short film.... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              twigg, rgjdmls, xaxnar

              about a teen "relationship" that happened entirely by texting, as a comment on how much kids text. This was fictional, of course. The girl ends up crashing her car while texting him (or reading his text message) and dies, and the family has heard that he's The Boyfriend, and is looking forward to hearing him speak at the funeral. It was darkly hilarious.

              I agree that breaking up by text is lousy. But honestly, I wonder if this generation of constantly texting teens sees it the same way. I'm an old fogie who never has texted anything, but my nephew seems to be texting 24/7. It's not something I understand, and it's a very different world than what I've always known. It's a different mental space in ways I haven't completely analyzed.

              As for the kid's religious arguments, he's only 13 and just starting to figure things out, and at least he's not venomous, or blaming the evil female for tempting him to sin (which I witnessed from a 20-yr-old "Christian" in college, after they chose to sleep w/ my roommate; it was obviously all her fault, and she was an evil seductress! he was the victim! bastard.)

              Hopefully, if the kid gets anything from religion, what he'll get is the ability to practice compassion and tolerance. With SBC, that could be a challenge, but it's not impossible.

              48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one. - Mother Teresa

              by wasatch on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 12:45:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Surely by now you are aware that kids dump (0+ / 0-)

            each other by text message all the time. They also ask each other out to dances, proms, etc by text message.

            I think you should be relieved about this. It isn't like you were expecting them to get married or anything. This will be the first of many heartbreaks.

            AND WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE IN 2011? -- Susan from 29

            by voracious on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 02:22:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Being familiar with the culture (0+ / 0-)

          he absolutely had this shoved down his throat as part of abstinence training.

      •  Twigg, kids that age all "pull shit like this." (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mmacdDE, Flying Goat, Matt Z, jw1, notrouble

        It's an excuse, just like a bunch of others kids come up with. It's probably kinder than just stopping talking to her at school or something like that, which I recall kids doing when i was 13.

        Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

        by anastasia p on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 01:04:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let me take this to a more mature setting. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clem Yeobright

          In my early-20s at Rice U.-- in 2 separate dating/relationship instances-- I had what I considered 2 very nice young women 'just stop taking my calls'-- no 'sorry'-- no 'thanks it was fun'-- no 'nothing'.

          In both instances, both more than a year after each 'no goodbye'-- I ran into each at public functions.

          Each found me, pulled me aside, and profoundly apologized for having dumped me as they had.

          I guarantee you-- had texting been around in the mid-80s?

          I would've been 'text-dumped' too. Nothing new I suppose. Just that the message is delivered by technology today-- as opposed to not at all.


          “If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” --Peace Pilgrim

          by jw1 on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 02:37:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I wonder if he might (6+ / 0-)

        have started having feelings he doesn't want to deal with.

        That's the age when the hormones start raging. Possibly that scared him, and this is his excuse?

        Kids make up all kinds of excuses for what they do, and I see 'God' as his excuse.

        I used to tell my kids that if they didn't want to do something, use 'my mom won't let me, and she'll find out and kill me' for their excuse. It's not as powerful an excuse as 'God' but still...

      •  indeed, I think this is a heavy-duty analysis (0+ / 0-)

        for a 13-y.o.

      •  I have a 15 year old and 13 year old (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        My thoughts on this are to just let it go. He might have been scared to be dating and decided to rationalize it this way. These kids have got to stop sharing every minute of their lives on the internet for crying out loud.

        My oldest son is going through a break up right now and he is devastated and he cannot seem to end it. The girl will not let him go and he doesn't want to hurt her feelings. It is sad for both of them but they are young and this is part of growing up.

        Selfishly, as a parent I am relieved. You should be relieved too.


        by voracious on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 02:18:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's not about teen angst--but about (35+ / 0-)

      the way relatively intelligent teens turn into Rick Santorum, the SBC version. Most boys who dump a girl don't rationalize it in the name of God (and FWIW, I agree with you that real dating--which these kids weren't actually doing, BTW; more hanging out--is a bit much for 13 year olds), and that is the scary part. I live in GA, and hte brainwashing begins very early. My hsuband ws raised SBC and he ended up being ostracized by hsi Youth Group (which  meant half the people in his high school) because he pointed out to the Youth Minister that anti-Semitic remarks were ironic, considering Jesus, Mary and Joseph were all Jews.

      In the SOuth, like OK, social life revolves around the church.  It ain't just Sunday services. There's Wed. night services, Bible Study classes and Youth Group. Many people never have friends who don't go to their church (or one just like it), and thus never have to deal with the unpleasant fact that not everyone agrees with them.  It's why the SOuth and parts of the West are so heavily Republican--very homogeneous states.  

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:34:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You nailed it. nt (9+ / 0-)

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:39:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I live with it daily. (11+ / 0-)

          All my in-laws....though I do love my MiL dearly, we have had some clashes on this. People who don't live in a Biblethumepr area don't have the experience we've had. And coffeetalk tends to defend religion in a kneejerk way.

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:52:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have avoided the clashes (8+ / 0-)

            with family.

            I learned they serve no purpose, so they let me blather on on Daily Kos (which some of them read, esp. my Diaries), and I ignore the churchy bits.

            We get along okay.

            I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
            but I fear we will remain Democrats.

            by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:07:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, we were living with MiL (7+ / 0-)

              while my hsuband was in college after retiring formt he Navy, and she allwoed us to do so under the agreement that we would not practice our religion (WIcca) anywhere at any time while we lvied under her roof. After a year, I decided what she didn't know wouldn't hurt her and waited till she went to sleep. SHe also tried to get me to read John Hagee's anti-Muslim ranmt, and I tried--but when  had found more than a dozenf actual errors in the intro alone int he first 8 pages, I gave up,a nd tried to explain why.  

              The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

              by irishwitch on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:17:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Disagree completely in your judgement of (0+ / 0-)

            coffeetalk.  I was raised in this atmosphere and the vast majority of my family is still there.  Give the poor 13 year old kid some time.  For god's sake, this isn't even about religion - it's about a 13 year old kid hurting the feelings of another 13 year old kid.  At 13, I actually believed the crap that was spouted, but I can imagine the feelings of that kid.  But it's now been so long since I realized how silly it was.  But I don't denigrate that kid I was then.  I know how sincere I was, how hard I was trying, and why.  I find a bit of humor in the memories, but it wasn't that horrible a thing as is being suggested here - that it's tantamount to child abuse.  Religion is a silly thing, period.  But a kid getting immersed in it at 13 and not being able to see the idiocy is hardly as big a deal as is being made out here - which is what coffeetalk is essentially stating.

            "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

            by gustynpip on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:54:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I totally disagree (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rgjdmls, Lonely Texan

              13 is an age where we begin to formulate meaning in adult situations.

              This kid is starting out in total denial of his own emotions.  It's horrible, IMO.  He has feelings that these dumb ass religious extremists are telling him are wrong.  I can't imagine anything more devastating to a growing teen.

              This is what extreme religions do; they take away your emotions, they tell you anything you feel is wrong.  Then they tell to listen to Pastor X - what he says is what Jesus said and it's right.  And Twigg is right in saying that it teaches nothing but a total lack of responsibility.

              Absolutely offensive and disgusting.  This is not typical 13 year old stuff; this is much more damaging and unhealthy.  Either you were lucky to avoid the brainwashing, or you weren't as immersed in it as this kid is.  Either way, you shouldn't discount the seriousness of it, or give religious extremism any breaks.  It's a cancer on society.

              "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

              by La Gitane on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 01:22:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  LOL as to my not being as immersed in it as this (0+ / 0-)

                kid.  If you only knew how many books of the bible I had memorized at one time in my life.  But you're certainly entitled to your opinion on it.  I've lived it and know exaggerating its "danger" is as silly as the religion itself is.

                "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                by gustynpip on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 02:07:06 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Okay. Maybe I don't understand (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AaronInSanDiego, Lonely Texan

                  your particular experience, but don't put "danger" in snark quotes; threatening to take away my reproductive rights and taking away the rights of gay people is, IMO, pretty fucking dangerous.

                  Obviously this does damage a lot of people; if it didn't we wouldn't have religious whackjobs like Rick Santorum, Focus on the Family and all the anti-choice nuts to worry about, believing that their way is the only right way and that the rest of us have to follow.

                  So while you are lucky to have come out not believing in that claptrap, there are many, many others who are not.

                  I get a little ticked, when I have to spend so much time defending women's health care and gay rights because of these brainwashed, self-righteous assholes, that in a very basic discussion like this so many people are thinking that this is not a big deal.

                  Sorry - I do take religious extremism very seriously, it is dangerous, and this is where it starts.  And I have no idea why you are so quick to defend them.  They're not innocent.

                  "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

                  by La Gitane on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 03:10:27 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't know where to start in the generalizations (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Clem Yeobright, coffeetalk

                    you're making here, so I guess I just won't.

                    I'm not defending anyone except a 13 year old kid who's being treated as some kind of potential danger to society because he made a decision to not date a girl based upon his current interpretation of his religion.

                    It's the total over reaction that's getting to me.  But if you want to interpret that as defending the asshats who are using their religion to try to impose their beliefs on others, then I guess you have the right to do that.

                    "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                    by gustynpip on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 04:02:06 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  I have to say that just because your (0+ / 0-)

                  early religious experience did not scar you for life does not mean it isn't used against kids in much worse ways than you apparently experienced.  Lucky you.

                  I have ptsd from these assholes.  Permanent disability.  Began at four years old.  Repetitive trauma throughout life due to isolation and rejection, constant pressuring to conform to what I hated while knowing not one person besides me who didn't buy it.  It is an impossible life.

                  Please do not insult those who have lived this taken to its extreme.

                  •  How am I insulting anyone? There's an assumption (0+ / 0-)

                    throughout here that this 13 year old is just outrageous because he believes that god doesn't want him dating at age 13.  I don't find that so horrible.

                    You have ptsd from assholes, and I'm very sorry for what you lived through.  But it wasn't, IMO, the religion that made those who did that to you do it; they used religion as their excuse for doing what they wanted to do because they're assholes.

                    I am not going to go around hating every person whose religious because of what some horrible people do nor am I going to assume that every religious person with children is engaging in some form of child abuse.  My refusal to do that is neither an insult to anyone nor a denial that horrible things are sometimes done in the name of religion.  I'm sorry if you see it that way.  I really am.

                    "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                    by gustynpip on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 07:29:56 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  SO was my hsuband, and he got out-- (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rgjdmls, Lonely Texan

              but he's the only one of 4 siblings who did. The rest, if anything, have grown more religious and hidebound and conservative over time.  It's damned hard to escape the culture--because if it's only the church, it's one thing, but the prevailing culture  supports the belief system and encourages it and and discourages it.

              And you've proved my point unintentionally. YOU got out, but the vast majority of your family didn't. Odds are he won't--he may  rebela  little, but if he never develops any curiosity, he'll stay rooted. ANd that's sad.

              The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

              by irishwitch on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 02:01:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ah, but you should see the next generation. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I believe two will be probably remain (out of probably about 20-30) - and one of them is pretty questionable over time.  And of my siblings, not one of them is anywhere close to being either as conservative or as religious as were my parents.  

                But go ahead and make whatever assumptions you want about me and my family, just as you've been doing in regard to coffeetalk.

                One thing Dkos has definitely taught me is that atheists can be as nasty and judgmental as any religious folks.

                "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                by gustynpip on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 02:04:55 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I am not an atheist. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Lonely Texan

                  I am an ex-Catholic who feels let down by her church--and have been a Wiccan for the last 40 years. So I am religious. Or doesn't it count if you're not Christian.

                  Who's making assumptions now?

                  I don't know your family--but I know my in-laws and my neighbors. I talk to a lot of people in my own area, which is GA and rural GA at that.  ALL my nieces and nephews tend to be conservative politically and religiously--except the gay nephew who left at 19 and never comes home for more than three days, and possibly the one kid who wants to be a vintner. The rest are  cast in precisely the same mold as their parents. It also comes from my husband who was the token liberal in his college classes a few years ago--and got Jesus Talk non-stop. Since we've also lived in other, non-fundy parts of the country, we have fairly broad samples to compare here to those places. I wish I agreed with you, but the majority of the kids I talk to here have no urge to leave the area or their church; they're comfortable and happy in their belief in exclusive truth.

                  The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                  by irishwitch on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 03:04:19 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Actually, I'm well aware you're a wican and (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    realized my mistake as I was hitting post.  So I guess in your case, it's a religion other than christianity.  

                    I don't find if a problem is people are content in their religion.  The only time I object to it is when they're trying to force it on me or on society.  As long as they make the decisions for their own lives based on a religion - which is exactly what this kid did - I have no problem.  Now had he written something about how all parents of 13 year olds who let their kids date should be jailed because his god tells him 13 year olds shouldn't date, then I'd find it objectionable.  But what other people want to believe and how they want to live is totally outside my realm of judgement unless they're trying to impose those beliefs on others in some way.

                    And yes, I realize a lot of religious people want to do just that.  But a lot of other religious people - including christians - don't.  I'm just tired of the broad brush that's being used here.

                    "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                    by gustynpip on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 04:07:54 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I am sadly too familiar with this sort of (0+ / 0-)

                      Christianity and its effect on the young.   And it is precisely what fuels anti-gay attitudes and bullying.  I wish I could be nicer but I DO feel it's toxic, because its effect on society cannot be ignored. Does this mean I long to beat up fundamentalist Christians whoa re intolerant of--well, practically everything, it sometimes seems, especially people like me? Not hardly.  I have no urge to burnt heir churches or preach at their kids.  I deliberatley chose a religion which did not force me to tell otehrs their beleifs are wrong and Deity won't love them unless they change.  I believe in reincarnation, and I think at different stages people need different things, like Scott Peck. a psychaitrist and Christian who worked in community building.

                      Here are his four stages of spiritual devt.:(from WIkipedia to avoid copyright issues)

                      Peck postulates that there are four stages of human spiritual development [8][9]:

                          Stage I is chaotic, disordered, and reckless. Very young children are in Stage I. They tend to defy and disobey, and are unwilling to accept a will greater than their own. They are extremely egoistic and lack empathy for others. Many criminals are people who have never grown out of Stage I.
                          Stage II is the stage at which a person has blind faith in authority figures and sees the world as divided simply into good and evil, right and wrong, us and them. Once children learn to obey their parents and other authority figures, often out of fear or shame, they reach Stage II. Many so-called religious people are essentially Stage II people, in the sense that they have blind faith in God, and do not question His existence. With blind faith comes humility and a willingness to obey and serve. The majority of good, law-abiding citizens never move out of Stage II.
                          Stage III is the stage of scientific skepticism and questioning. A Stage III person does not accept things on faith but only accepts them if convinced logically. Many people working in scientific and technological research are in Stage III. They often reject the existence of spiritual or supernatural forces since these are difficult to measure or prove scientifically. Those who do retain their spiritual beliefs move away from the simple, official doctrines of fundamentalism.
                          Stage IV is the stage where an individual starts enjoying the mystery and beauty of nature and existence. While retaining skepticism, he starts perceiving grand patterns in nature and develops a deeper understanding of good and evil, forgiveness and mercy, compassion and love. His religiousness and spirituality differ significantly from that of a Stage II person, in the sense that he does not accept things through blind faith or out of fear, but does so because of genuine belief, and he does not judge people harshly or seek to inflict punishment on them for their transgressions. This is the stage of loving others as yourself, losing your attachment to your ego, and forgiving your enemies. Stage IV people are labeled as Mystics.

                      Peck argues that while transitions from Stage I to Stage II are sharp, transitions from Stage III to Stage IV are gradual. Nonetheless, these changes are very noticeable and mark a significant difference in the personality of the individual.

                      A longer, better explanation  here.

                      I see this kid at either Stage 2.  A lot of fundamentalists are in EVERY faith.  Don't get me going on Fluffy Bunny Wiccans.

                      Of course, evabngelicals don't like it so much because of that LAST stage which doesn't give them ane xclusive stranglehold on truth.:

                      Now, what Peck believes about that those that reach Stage IV would mean, for Christians, a rejection of some of the important tenets of mere Christianity:

                          At Stage IV, "Jesus is my savior" is translated as "Jesus, through his life and death, taught the way, not through virgin births, cosmic ascensions, walking on water and blood sacrifice of reconciliation - man with an external daddy Warbucks that lives in the sky - mythological stories interpreted as literal accounts, but rather as one loving the whole, the outcasts, overcoming prejudices, incorporating inclusiveness and unconditional love, this, with the courage to be as oneself - that is what I must follow for my salvation."

                      Not exactly orthodoxy, I'm afraid, and this part of his analysis I of course have to reject. I don't believe for a moment that anyone who believes that Jesus was born of a virgin, ascended into heaven, walked on water and died for sin is stuck at a low level of spiritual development, and only by becoming apostates can they become enlightened.

                      What is interesting and useful for me in his analysis is that Christians moving beyond small-minded stupid church/Churchianity perspectives can move through a period of questioning and doubt before reaching a final higher spritual level of development


                      I worry and suspect hat without some major life event, this boy may stay stuck at Stage Two.

                      And, honestly, having had go-rounds with some of the more militant atheists here, I understand comments. But  I DO think that atheists (stage 3s) are mroe advanced than the rulebound, authoritarian  Stage twos because when they do the right thing for others, it';s because they recognize  it is the right thing because we're all human beings on the same planet and owe each other protection from the storm--and not out of hope of heaven or fear of hell.  I hope this kid grows up but when you;re surrounded by other Stage  twos who treat even the slightest questioning as rebellion against God--it's less likely to happen than if he lived in a more culturally and religiously diverse area.

                       Sadly the Stage Twos seldom are content with making decisions for themselves. AUthoritarian types seldom are.  Theya re driven to make everyone else Just Like Them, and share their Good News and if that news isnt'a ccepted, to force people to behave as if they accepoted it by making laws to govern behavior.

                      I spent 7 years in J apan.  The Japanese are ceremonially religious, but not very devout.  It was great. On Base, however, I DID run into people who never left the base, never set foot in a Shinto shrine or a Buddhist temple and who went toa  fertility festival (called "The Big DIck Festival" in the travel office brochure for the parade of 30 foot wooden Phalli) and then compl;ained how "dirty" it was.  I think soem Stage Twos just wanna spoiul everyone's fun.

                      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                      by irishwitch on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 08:36:28 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

      •  ok, I can see this. n/t (0+ / 0-)

        48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one. - Mother Teresa

        by wasatch on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 12:47:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think that some people have a far too high (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lonely Texan

        belief in the "Godliness" of the children of Southern Baptists (or any Baptists for that matter). Their parents may drag them to church umpteen times a week, but that doesn't mean they live spotless, Christian  lives.

        We're in a small southern town, full of Southern Baptists, Missionary Baptists, and Free Will Baptists, not to mention a full contingent of Pentecostal churches.

        Our high schools are cesspools of drugs and sex.

        And don't dismiss anything just because the children involved here are only thirteen. Kids become sexually active at far earlier ages these days. So much for the "abstinence only" concept!

      •  "God" gives a lot of people excuses for whatever (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PSzymeczek, rgjdmls

        they already wanted to do.

    •  13 yr old boy sounds adult. Adult, not so much. (6+ / 0-)

      For a 13 year to not want to be dating is perfectly OK.  That he put that much though into it, considered all kinds of different views and feelings showed a lot of adult thinking and empathy.  

      On the other hand, the adult who attacks the kid because of the kid's religious views is disturbing.  Intolerance of religion is as unacceptable as intolerant religion.

    •  13=raging hormones + illogic of fundamentalism. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twigg, rgjdmls, Lonely Texan

      It'll take a few years for this kid to know whether he is on his head or on his feet.

      Empathy is going to change the world.

      by Mayfly on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 12:34:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with you, Coffeetalk (5+ / 0-)

      My reading of this was that the boy felt overwhelmed for a bunch of reasons — his age, his faith, his hormones, what his peers think and do etc et. And God was merely the convenient straw to grasp at to escape a situation he didn't feel mature enough to handle. I think Dad is making way too much of this. At 13, at 15 eve at 18, relationships come and go, and kids make all kinds of excuses to get out of relationships they don't feel comfortable with — often without knowing WHY they don't feel comfortable.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

      by anastasia p on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 01:02:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  your daughter deserves better (7+ / 0-)

    the boy is immature.  He is relying on a group of other people to advise him.  The fact that it is a prayer group is not as relevant as you would think. Same pressure from friends, relatives, parents, etc.

    Make sure you daughter doesn't feel like she is the victim.  There are other boys who I am sure would be more than happy to call her their girlfriend.

    "The only person sure of himself is the man who wishes to leave things as they are, and he dreams of an impossibility" -George M. Wrong.

    by statsone on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:01:33 AM PST

  •  It's seems the boy is rather narcissistic. (26+ / 0-)

    He got on a very public soapbox and crowed about how the creator of the universe has worked out a dating plan just for him.  It sounds to me like he's looking for a way to clothe his decision not to date your daughter any longer in the ermine of divine command.

    Teenage hyperdramatic rubbish.  If "religion" mandates hurting others needlessly, then it is no good at all.

    Scisne me e terra ea naso tolere posse?

    by penguins4peace on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:01:44 AM PST

  •  He did your daughter an enormous favor (41+ / 0-)

    ...I can't imagine how hard it would have been for her to be in a relationship with someone like that.

    Yeah, I'm a dad with daughters.

    America, we can do better than this...

    by Randomfactor on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:02:36 AM PST

  •  I'm sorry for your daughter, but I can't (23+ / 0-)

    find any reason to share your alarm regarding this young man's thoughts. He has decided that his religious beliefs preclude his entering into a romantic relationship. He is allowed to feel that way. (And if he's still 13, I actually AGREE with him that he shouldn't be dating, because he is too young! I don't make any claims that God agrees with me, however...)

    Furthermore, unlike a lot of more obnoxious religious people, he is viewing his religion as something that defines how HE is going to behave, rather than something that allows him to sit on his butt and condemn others for how they live or what they are.

    Finally, I'm not sure how much writing by 13-year old boys you're exposed to, but as far as my experience with it goes, this writing is of comparatively high quality. You should read some of my (agnostic) 14-year old stepson's essays sometime.

    I think your love and affection for your daughter is (understandably) coloring your judgement and is causing you to read something sinister into something that is actually quite benign.

    I support torturous regimes! Also, I kick puppies.

    by eataTREE on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:03:17 AM PST

    •  Well I see the writings of quite a few teens :) (12+ / 0-)

      But push this forward a few years .... and widen your thinking from just this incident.

      I posted this not because I am concerned about this boy or my daughter, but to demonstrate the prevailing climate in many parts of this country.

      These are the future leaders, parents, employers.

      This is how they think .... about everything.

      There are those who see messages like this and think the concern is overblown .... Those people do not live here, and do not have their kids in the local Public Schools.

      A school system where the Principal of the 6th Grade Center feels safe telling kids that homosexuality is a sin.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:13:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think this is my point (7+ / 0-)
        But push this forward a few years
        the point I've tried to make is that he is 13, not 20.  And everybody is entitled, at 13, to conduct their own search for what role, if any, God and religion will play in their lives.

        I understand that this young man, at least for now, reached a decision about the role of God and religion in his life right now that you and your daughter disagree with.  That does not mean that it is a decision he has no right to make.   And it does not mean that it is a lifetime decision, or a decision that  will, or will not, change or evolve as he grows and matures.  

        Whether I agree or disagree with his decision about the role God and religion should play in his life, I think he he handled ending the "relationship" with your daughter (if that is even the right word at 13) more respectfully than many 13 year olds would have done.  Most 13 year olds are pretty cruel and cold-hearted about ending their romantic "relationships" (again, if that is the right word).

        •  The real problem which you don't want to see (10+ / 0-)

          is that in the environment in which he lives, his views, his image of God (a rather poisonous one in my opinion since I;'ve been on the receiving end of this sort of "Christian love' up close and personal) are likely to turn him into an SBC version of RIck Santorum. NOT a happy fate for him or the rest of us.

          But then I live surrounded by people just like him--without being one of them.

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:38:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's a decision that his religion is "wrong" (7+ / 0-)
            is that in the environment in which he lives, his views, his image of God (a rather poisonous one in my opinion
            And that's a whole different discussion -- that's a complaint against fundamental Christianity as a religion itself -- an argument that the young man should not be adhering to that religion in the first place.  
            •  You're being intentionally obtuse. (8+ / 0-)

              And refusing to admit that some versions of Christianity cause more damage than others. I am religious though not Christian--but I LIVE IN THE SOUTH surrounded by people just like him--and it's a very unpleasant place to live if you're not one of them.  Until you've walked in the shoes of someone not a fundy in Jesusland, you are talking theory, not real life.

              But yes, I DO think that religion which teaches you to despise others who don't agree with you, which encourages bullying of gay people and trans people in the name of freedom of religion, and which requires women to submit to their husbands no matter how badly  those men treat them--has serious problems. ANd I DO dare to judge that religion as a problem because Ivhave a brain and can think critically.  AM I also expected to treat the Taliban with respect? Because thsi is the American version thereof--exclusive, hate-filled and cruel.

               And, BTW, I hit the nail on the head according to twigg, so I think you prefer to ignroe the religiosu aspects to concentrate on the "they're just 13"  bit.

              But you and I have gone round and round on this beofer, and we'venevr found common gorund so I m bowing out. Too many other thigns to do to wste my time.

              The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

              by irishwitch on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:27:39 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  irishwitch, you have my sympathy. I'm a northerner (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lonely Texan

                living in the south but in a major metro area. There are the families like Twigg's writing about, but since I attend a gay-friendly church they don't go there.

                Never been a boy of any age, but I do think the Facebook Page is suspicious. God is blamed for many things, but I'm thinking s/he's getting an undeserved knock here.

                Really, just how much of his time was Mackenzie taking? And what will he do with all this extra time anyway? Spend it on his knees praying to God? I'd be surprised if that were so.

                If life gives you melons, you may be dyslexic.

                by glorificus on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 01:03:07 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  My husband who was raised in this area (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  rgjdmls, Lonely Texan, glorificus

                  in the SBC church says that boy's reaction isn't untypical.  In fact, you're raised to think that way.  They DO talk about God in precisely that way.  The kid may be using God as an excuse--but then why  go to some length on his Facebook page unless he's getting some from it? Being that religious is viewed as a plus down here, not a minus.

                  I've heard my niece, aka Thing 2 (after Cat in the Hat) who is likely the most malicious, unpleasant person who wasn't a homicidal maniac, a suicide bomber or a member of the KKK I've ever met, talk precisely the same way.  Being holier-than-thou is a virtue down here--and she's only 23 or so.  

                  Fundygelical Christianity as practiced in many local churches (and I live 45 miles from Atlanta, which means  there are a few reasonable folk, but not a lot)  teaches kids to hate, gays and seeks to get anti-bullying policies banned because it won't let Christian kids walk up to classmates and tell they're going to hell (before beating the shit out of them).  It teaches kids that any religion but theirs is Satanic (and yes, I've had that used against me by in-laws, whoa aren't stupid hicks, but intelligent, educated people) and thus to be disrespected. The Ford dealership had a Praying Hands sign for the last 3 years (it got replaced two months ago) on a large billboard.  

                  And yes, this kid may very well start spending time only other kids like himself--churches have sports teams and Youth Group and various thigns to keep the kdis busy.  ANd I won't be surprised if he eventually announces God had led him to hang out with only kids like himself to preserve his faith--read The Nephew's diaries about growing up in just such a church.

                  The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                  by irishwitch on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 01:57:52 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  irishwitch, sometimes I have to suspect (8+ / 1-)

            that you don't understand that your freedom to practice Wicca is their freedom to practice Christianity. You have no problems calling Christianity "poisonous", but if someone applied that word to your religion we'd be reading another diary from you about anti-Pagan hate speech. I wonder if part of the problem you have with your Christian neighbors isn't rooted in your apparent unwillingness to live and let live.

            (Thought experiment: If the boy in question had decided to end the relationship after talking to his Rabbi and consulting the Talmud, what would your attitude be towards his decision?)

            I support torturous regimes! Also, I kick puppies.

            by eataTREE on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:19:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I think the list of contrasting viewpoints is (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eddie L, twigg, rgjdmls, GAS, Lonely Texan

          quite interesting.  It's as though he's trying on personas, and realizes dating the cool girl from the non-religious family rules out about 3/4 of his potential social networks, while leaving her would at worst bring him some temporary criticism.
             He may have been playing this out online to send the message that he's choosing his religious social networks and safety nets over your daughter, and God might have been the broadest set of shoulders to lay the blame on.  Which leads me to believe that he needs support and friends and help.  13 can be a terrible age.  The potential responses to his decision he runs through show that he's aware and responsive to how others perceive his actions, and that he knows he deserves some flak for it.
             But the "sickness" issue he has, could well be a social anxiety disorder, or something similar.

          ...your face started turning bright red because of your fever right when you were walking up there.
            And that can be excruciating at any age.  At 13?  It makes my stomache churn to think of it.
             Regardless of exactly what reason, this kid chose your daughter for an important personal reason to begin with.  Maybe he feels safe around her, or comfortable, or less judged.  And that's what friends are for.  But your daughter just can't give him all the positive tools he needs at this point.  It wouldn't be fair of him to ask her to try.
              Also consider this: maybe having a girlfriend from outside his church brought too much scrutiny down on him.  This right here is a huge red flag of outside pressure:
          I've seen multiple signs from him and many people just talking about the subject of dating. My Youth Group even started a new study on Wednesday nights for it!
            Just what do you imagine a youth pastor would say to a boy dating outside this type of church community?  And forgive my cynicism, but it sounds like just the thing a church of that type would attack if they suspected kids were finding "outside" spiritual happiness, to chase them back into the herd.
             Please be kind to both kids.  Talk to your daughter about it.  If she really isn't upset, she might have more understanding and compassion for his situation than you could imagine.  And there's a hint of a message in that he doesn't think he should be dating anyone at his age.  It might be his way of telling her there isn't another girl he's "leaving her" for.
             And I would imagine getting a can of whup-ass opened on him by the father of someone who actually cares about more than damning him for being different just might be the door that hits him on the ass as he scurries back into the church for good.
      •  There are many (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rcnewton, gustynpip, eataTREE, twigg, GAS

        of your allies in progressivism and liberalism who do believe in God and adhere to a religion. You sound as though you either don't know that or have forgotten it. By and large, if you adopt an "us/them" attitude toward religious people, you'll find that your tent is not nearly as full as you think.

        I understand that living in the Bible belt, it can seem like you are swimming in a thick viscous ocean of stupidity and ignorance.  But don't let that overwhelming sense of being surrounded by idiocy close your mind to the fact that decent, honest and good people come in all shapes, sizes, colours, races and also CREEDS.


        •  I have posted many times (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lonely Texan

          on religious matters.

          You will not find me ever saying that I am either opposed to, or down on belief.

          What I take exception to is Christians bleating on about religious freedom while doing everything in their power to inflict their beliefs on me and on the laws that govern my freedom to live free of their beliefs.

          I think that view is entirely compatible with the views of liberals who choose to believe.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 02:29:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I agree -- if this is the writing of a 13 year old (9+ / 0-)

      boy, I'm pretty impressed.  Not only is the writing pretty good, but it shows some thoughtfulness (even if you disagree with the outcome) and a level of maturity in recognizing that, at 13, he's too young for a "dating" relationship. I have no problem whatsoever with a 13 year old boy coming to the conclusion that he, at 13, is too young to be "dating" -- I would tend to agree with that.  I understand that you disagree that the notion that "God told him he is too young" is a valid reason, but still, there's a sense of introspection and thoughtfulness that is pretty unusual in 13 year old boys, from my experience.  

      •  My guess is that God is speaking through his (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sb, mmacdDE, Mayfly

        youth pastor and his parents.  He is just using God as his convenient out for the break up.  These days, 13 is too young, kids jump too quickly from dating to sex, no matter what their religious persuasion.  Better they stay friends until they can handle all the adult decisions that get thrust on them through peer pressure.

  •  I'm inclined to agree with coffeetalk (12+ / 0-)

    and there's another possibility:  Don't read too much into this, but perhaps he's conflicted about his sexuality, and this gives him a "graceful" way out.

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:05:27 AM PST

    •  That was my thought, too (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk, twigg, glorificus, ladelfina, Matt Z, GAS

      I'm reading "having a girlfriend is good for me, or anybody really" and my gaydar bells go off. (I'm a straight woman, but sometimes I get gaydar, too)

      20 years from now, this kid is going to be a Congressman who will be outed by in a hotel room with meth. And then there will be a teary press conference with a woman standing behind wearing a pasted on smile/grimace while they all talk about working things out with God.

      My new favorite RIGHT WING website: It's what the RIGHT thinks of Newt! Enjoy!

      by pucklady on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:46:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps not (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GAS, pucklady

        Perhaps he's just not maturing at the same age as his friends. That happens. So they're drooling at pics in Natl Geo and he's not, and he's not sure why.

        He might be gay, or he might be late maturing, or he just might always have a lower libido, but still be straight.

        He's 13. Kids mature at different rates. I remember when my son was in 6th grade there were boys who looked 18 (including facial hair), boys who looked 10, and girls who were the same. There might have been a year or so difference in their ages, but not THAT much. They just mature at different rates.

    •  I thought of that too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      if he doesn't feel the way he thinks he should feel around a girl, it might be a little frightening to him.

      Though God knows what he thinks he's supposed to feel. It sounds like he's not really sure, scared of what he does feel, and that could be because he's more aroused than he thinks he should be, or less so.

      He is 13, after all. A very confused age, for all kids.  

  •  I see a dodged bullet (25+ / 0-)

    When my younger daughter was 13 she began attending a southern baptist church with one of her close friends.  Having seen one of my sisters suffer at least a decade of personal setbacks due to her membership in a fundie church, I was pretty worried about my daughter.

    I let her attend anyway for two reasons:

    (1) I didn't want to be the forbidding parent that drove her toward the church.
    (2) I figured that, given enough time, the natural assholishness of the  church people in a small town in Arkansas would bubble to the surface.  She, being a bright and sensitive young woman, would figure it out for herself.

    Intelligence triumphed over dogma.  She went, she saw, she realized this wasn't her crowd, and she stepped back.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by DaveinBremerton on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:06:26 AM PST

  •  If that's the worst way she gets dumped (10+ / 0-)

    in her life, she will be one lucky girl.  Before I was 30 I'd had relationships end in a dozen painful and frustrating ways, some of them my fault.  This isn't even ego-destroying, it's clearly about him and his stuff, and not about her.  She'll be fine.

    Also, I would not have been ready for dating at 13.  My parents provided structures in my life and ideas about personal priorities that kept me from getting involved with a boy until I was a senior in high school.  My mom worked for PP and the activities I was encouraged into, and the information I was given, were all very secular.  I am so glad I had that structure so I didn't get drawn into the drama and "accidents" that plagued my friends.  "Strong Christianity" kinda scares me, but it could give the kid a structure to distract him until his brain's mature enough to maybe not be totally random with the girls he's involved with.

    Do you not see that it is the grossest idolatry to speak of the market as though it were the rival of God?

    by kismet on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:07:41 AM PST

  •  On the one hand, the boy is in a phase/space (8+ / 0-)

    in his life where he obviously is overtaken by the religious connections/community/influences in his life, and his head and his heart honestly do not seem to be aligned with dating anyone other than biblical teachings and biblically-oriented identity groups.

    On the other hand, he is 13, which, just my personal opinion, is pretty young to be dating with any seriousness.  He's certainly taken his decision to leave off the relationship with your daughter seriously, and he does seem thoughtful.  But young, young, young.

    It sounds like your daughter is moving on and this is good and appropriate.  I am glad for her.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:07:49 AM PST

  •  Some won't agree, I know (8+ / 0-)

    but I kind of like this kid. Right or wrong, he's thinking; I appreciate that he appreciates the dickishness of dumping a girl the week before VD (better spell that out: Valentine's Day).

    13 is quite young to take on an exclusive relationship, and the boy has not set some arbitrary time for when he will feel comfortable dating again. He only knows that he's not comfortable with it now.

    I'm not understanding what better world you are looking for here, twigg. I'm sure that you or someone else here will explain it to me, though.

    Story: Years ago, my two brothers were discussing their tribulations raising their daughters. I thought to contribute by telling some anecdote about one of my sons and both my brothers glared at me and one said: Do you have a daughter? Then shut up!

    Okay, good luck with that!

    Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

    by Clem Yeobright on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:08:36 AM PST

    •  If I thought he was being honest (6+ / 0-)

      I would probably like him too.

      Thing is, this is two very smart kids and he is smart enough to understand that if he needs a public conversation declaring his faith, then he needs a similar conversation with Mackenzie, explaining his decision.

      A text message doesn't cut it.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:21:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I certainly agree with that (0+ / 0-)

        Still, I don't agree that you can blame that on his religion or his church or even his parents. Men (boys) have been doing such - or worse - forever. Watch some Seinfeld, or read some Shakespeare!

        Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

        by Clem Yeobright on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:31:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  A text message "break up" for 13 year olds (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright, gustynpip

        is really not outrageous or even out of the norm.  Teens do everything by text message, and it's not like this was a "relationship" in the mature, invested way where she was "owed" some deep explanation. (if it was some deep, serious, invested relationship at 13, that would be a whole different problem.)  At this age, it's nothing more than "hey, I don't want to be your boyfriend right now."  

        Now, if he had been disrespectful toward your daughter, or had trashed her, or something like that, I'd understand.  

        But somehow, I don't get the sense that this is about the fact that he used a text message.  I get the idea that you are upset with the REASON he gave for ending the "dating" relationship.  

        •  You misunderstand me (5+ / 0-)

          I gave him credit for behaving in a teen way. The text message, normally, wouldn't really be a concern.

          Read the previous Diary, I made no real criticism of that.

          It is the casual dumping taken together with the later stuff that clearly demonstrates that he gave the matter a great deal of thought (well some thought anyway).

          So the boy goes to church, sees a video and realises he needs to give himself to Jesus before Dating. Fine, it's a matter for him.

          But then he makes it plain that he is quite prepared to have a mature discussion, on Facebook, with his peers about how great a Christian he is, yet doesn't even call the girl to explain.

          You will not persuade me that this boy did not act callously, then set about making himself look good.

          He is too smart to get away with that.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:46:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Things like this happen in UT (12+ / 0-)

    all the time. One day your best friend for 8 years will come up to you and say we can't be friends anymore because you are not Mormon.
    8 is when they are Baptized and the get their Choose the Right ring.
    I grew up Catholic and hung around with Mormon girls.
    My friends and I were mature enough to let the other have their faith. I went to their church and laughed. They went to mine and laughed.
    But many other kids did not understand why their best friend couldn't play with them anymore.


    by snoopydawg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:09:03 AM PST

  •  Sounds to me like he needs (6+ / 0-)

    1.  Maturity lessons.  It's obvious he wasn't ready to date.

    2.  A male figure in his life to actually teach him about women.

    I think he's using this as a crutch and an escape from his real issues.  Which is how they suck them in, of course.

    If you know someone who can offer the help he needs that speaks the God language, that will be the best help for him.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:11:44 AM PST

  •  She/he is 13????? Dating? Why? don't they have (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright, Orinoco, rcnewton

    a real life as a young teenager that involves getting older, exploring so many things beyond the sandbox and elementary school and what challenges and interesting things and careers and everything are possible in this world?  Dating as in making a relationship that leads to Romeo and Juliette or trying to impress their friends with how adult they are is so wasted an effort, really.  Why is this such an obsession and so inappropriate and so relentlessly pushed in this culture?

    You are not a person unless you have a "date" and a "steady"   At 13!  

    One consolation here is the conflict between becoming a serious young person with values and the pressures to have a dating life are in collision, and the confusion and the mix up is causing a retreat in the young man.  That is a good thing for him to pause and reflect.  Although there is no explanation for why he would be bewildered and unhappy, if that is the case here, does he even have a clue, even  if he doesn't admit it.

    There is a case for friendship based on shared activities like a school or a club, but taking it beyond that is really getting in over one's head.  This sharing it all with the world on Facebook and getting a ton of meddling advice doesn't help at all.

            Hope there are plenty of activities lined up for your daughter to substitute for the "dating" time, so there are other ways to pass the days besides dating, waiting for a date, obsessing about the date, chattering endlessly after the date and being on hold, on pause in all things until the next "date".

    Hopefully obsession with the date culture -that is not the case here.

    If you think that you and a bunch of other people can just show up on Wall St, camp out and have any effect whatsoever.... well, you will be run off in 20 minutes., you will leave town having wasted your effort 6/18/11.

    by BeeDeeS on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:13:22 AM PST

  •  Somewhat scary... (15+ / 0-)

    I have a 14 y/o granddaughter who I treasure.  She went to Catholic gradeschool, and I must admit I was thrilled when she decided to go to public high school, as did her older sister instead of the private Catholic girls school we always thought they both would go to.  I cannot forget that when she was in eight grade, she told me of a health class at school where they showed films of an abortion and "my friend threw up".  

    I also remember the discussion I had with her and her older sister when the state had a proposition on the ballot trying to ban stem cell research.   there were signs all over the school yard.  I tried to remind them  that they had a young sister, and asked if there was a fire in the house whether they would save her or a petrie dish that had six "eggs" in it, i.e. six babies by what the church teaches. They thought that was a pretty dumb question.    

    I asked the older GD the other day, now a senior, if she was glad that she decided to go to public school and she said yes, that it was a lot more like the real world she would be heading to.  But it was hard for both of them their freshman year, to adjust at first.  

    Yes, they got a wonderful education and learned disipline and how to study at their grade school.  But I'm not at all sure four more years of that kind of education, protected and heavily laced with religion,  would have prepared them for the real "people" world of college, even if they found the acedemics easier.

    Sounds like you raised a pretty darn good daughter.  She will be fine.  Not so sure about that young man.  

    By the way, the older granddaughter told me that she thought stem cell research was fine.  She wants to be a doctor.

    •  Thanks (6+ / 0-)

      Yep ... I am not really concerned about Mackenzie (my daughter), she is just fine.

      She doesn't :date" either ... not at 13, she just occasionally goes to the movies with a crowd, which may or may not include a boy she likes.

      It's pretty normal.

      Being dumped like this isn't normal ... I was 13, I know normal :)

      The Diary is really about the prevailing climate around here, for those who might think that I exaggerate the religious influence.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:23:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm inclined to ignore.... (7+ / 0-)

    the religious aspect of this.  I look at it as a thirteen year old who decided that he's not ready to date.  Yes, it would have been nice if he'd figured that out before someone's feelings got hurt, but that's the way it happened.  

    Whatever his reasons are, he's not comfortable dating, so he's going to wait.  That's actually what we hope kids will do.  

  •  My thought (12+ / 0-)

    is what happens when God decides it is okay for the boy to get back together with your daughter?

    I have an answer for what may happen next, because I think you have supporting your kid down well, and bravo, that is a very hard needle to thread.

    My son broke up with a girl who was pretty much drama 24/7.  When she wanted to get back together, he asked me what I thought. I told him it doesn't matter, it is what HE thinks that matters.

    I said that if it were me, I would ask what I want to put up with from this other person. If he can live with the kind of person he knows she is, and wants to try again, that is his decision alone. He was almost 16 at the time.

    He didn't get back together with her. He did find a girl about 6 months later who is the complete opposite of the drama girl.

    Now, if someone dumped one of my kids for religious reasons, and then came crawling back, my answer would be a bit more decisive - I would say that the kid dumped you already for God; if you get back with him/her, they will likely start trying to push you around, and their argument will always be "God says/Bible says". This will most probably lead to "you aren't good enough in the eyes of the Lord (my eyes, I want to judge you). I would strongly caution against it, knowing that power/control is a serious drawback in organized religions that want to dictate to everyone (while not following the rules themselves). Then I would say, it's up to you what you want to put up with. But keep your own counsel.

    As for the whole mass brainwashing feel here, all I can give you is don't let your kid get tricked by it. Tell her the blunt truth about your view. If she has to be underground about not being a sheep (appearing to go along to avoid ridicule), then she has to go underground. That, unfortunately, can be part of life at times too. In jobs, social settings, as adults we sometimes have to bite our tongues to keep peace.

    Take a deep breath, dad, because this will certainly pass. Hopefully she finds a boy who is worthy of her, and take her mind off this guy. I hope she finds somebody before he comes crawling back, so she can be the one to say "no thanks!". That would be very empowering for her.

    I feel ya! hang in there!

    Tipped and rec'd!

    Equality. It ain't complicated!

    by SueM1121 on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:19:33 AM PST

  •  Better off without him (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, Sychotic1, Orinoco, sb, rgjdmls, Matt Z

    From your post it seems as though you and your daughter are dealing with this just fine.

    Maybe the fact that I'm 67 years old and have been around the world a few times but my advice to you and your daughter is this:  You're better off without this dumbass.

    He sounds to me as though he's an immature kid who jumps on the latest fad.  

  •  Wow! At thirteen, my first boyfriend dumped me (15+ / 0-)

    because he decided my best friend was cuter. I was devastated for about a week until I saw that cute boy at the swimming pool and he splashed me, thus indicating his interest in me as well.
    At least this boy didn't try to get your daughter to join his church and think just like him, that would have been something to worry about.
    I have two grown daughters, it's not easy, so prepare for a bumpy ride. Your daughter is lucky to have you, a "soft place to land" is absolutely necessary.

  •  13 IS too young! (5+ / 0-)

    At least for any meaningful relationship.  Why are you so worried?

    Do you KNOW the kinds of things some 13 year olds are doing?  Be happy this young man has decided he's too young.  

    When one of my sons was 13, I had mothers who would drop their daughters off in the front yard and leave them at my house.  While I'm sure that's not what you were doing, it was scary to me as a parent.  It was too young.  

    If you want to know the real answer: Just ask a Mom.

    by tacklelady on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:23:14 AM PST

    •  I am not worried (3+ / 0-)

      That is not what the Diary is about :) I should be clearer.

      The Diary is a simple metaphor, albeit based in a true story, for life on the Buckle of the Bible Belt.

      This boy put his superstitious garbage on Facebook because he knows it will play very well in Church this morning.

      I think he was being entirely cynical when he wrote what he did.

      That is the world we live in.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:28:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Really? You think he was not sincere (6+ / 0-)

        in what he said?

        I think he was being entirely cynical when he wrote what he did.
        I kind of got the opposite feeling -- that he really believes what he said, whether I agree with that belief or not, whether his parents/church help instill that belief in him or not.  From reading his message, I saw a boy who was trying to figure out if he wanted to accept the religion that his parents/church were trying to teach him, and -- at least for now -- deciding that he would.  In other words, I saw a boy who was  NOT being cynical -- a boy who had heard what others were telling him about God and religion and deciding that, at this point in his life, he believed it and wanted it to guide his actions.  

        If you are correct, and he really does not not believe in God at all, but is just doing what his parents/church say, even though he doesn't believe a word of it, you would be justified in your anger, I think.  

        •  Hey, the kid's more mature than w, isn't he? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          twigg, rcnewton, gustynpip

          Gotta be pleased there's not any mention of Satan,
          no argument about good v. evil, no reference to 'bad thoughts' ...

          Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

          by Clem Yeobright on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:56:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  First ... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CuriousBoston, YsosadisticGOP

          I am not angry, and this Diary has a point which is a bit bigger than "boy meets girl, boy dumps girl".

          I don't sweat that stuff.

          This is about the climate where the Ricjk Santorums of this world are raised.

          A place where folk have all the religious freedoms they want, and they use them to oppress everything they don't agree with, then claim that they are the persecuted.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:25:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't see this issue in this case at all. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gustynpip, VClib
            A place where folk have all the religious freedoms they want, and they use them to oppress everything they don't agree with, then claim that they are the persecuted.
            This boy, in a way that was totally respectful of your daughter, made a decision about how HE wanted to live his life right now.  I don't think that's oppressing or persecuting anybody.  

            Now, if you want to use this as a reason to rant against this boy's religion as a whole, and why nobody should be following that religion, that's an entirely different diary.  

      •  I suspect he sincerely emans it. (5+ / 0-)

        SBC is pretty all-encompassing. I am actually surprised he would even hang out with someone not of hsi brand of faith. That's highly discouraged in MANY churches. Their whole goal is to isolate their community from contact with non-believers--hence the whole "Christian Yellow Pages" crap.  Heaven forbid your toilet should be fixed by a Jewish or atheist plumber--it gives a whole new meaning to the term "holy shit".

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:46:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  highly probable the guy is closeted gay (7+ / 0-)

    I did the whole religious schtick thing when young myself and broke up with girls before things became serious and then explained why I wasn't dating girls because of GAWDDD!  & baby jeebus

    anyway, thank Universe I wised up , came out, and became an atheist.  I am sorry for the girl's hearts that i bruised when younger

    •  Of course, it could just as well be that ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DEMonrat ankle biter

      a girl is hammering the guy for penetration to discard once and for all the 'virginity complex' and he is just not ready to accept that responsibility ... Who knows what evil lurks in the minds of men (and women)?

      Happened to my totally heterosexual son ...

      Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

      by Clem Yeobright on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:11:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's what I know from my life, Twigg (11+ / 0-)

    The Twigglette in question will end up in deeply caring relationships because she has a father who values her.  This primary, parental relationship will teach her to look for people who are honest and reliable and caring, in short, trustworthy.

    "For what profit a man, if he gain the world, but has to pay taxes on it?" -ontheleftcoast, The Book of Paul

    by MsGrin on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:26:02 AM PST

  •  He's 13 and stupid (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Orinoco, rcnewton, gustynpip, Matt Z

    But most of us would probably cringe to read the garbage we wrote when we were 13.

    Hopefully this is just a phase the kid is going through and one day soon he will come to his senses -- probably right about the time he realizes that God won't strike him down with a lightning bolt for his impure thoughts.

  •  1 Thessalonians 4 (8+ / 0-)

    Interesting passage.

    Like most nascent cults, the early Christians were undoubtedly plagued from time to time by intramural sexual antics. Anyone familiar with 70s and 80s self improvement seminars (EST, LifeSpring, Scientology, etc) probably knows how and why that takes place. And the news occaisionally takes note of individuals who build their own little personality cult involving multiple wives, child brides, and other sexual exploitation in the name of WhatEver.

    So it looks like the Thessalonians didn't read between the lines of the first memo, so they had to get a more straightforward warning: stop screwing around! Don't be like those pagan cults with their drunken orgies, or drug-induced orgies, or their plain old run-of-the-mill lust induced orgies. As Breitbart put it: BEHAVE Yourselves!

    The kid is rationalizing his cowardly behavior toward making additional committments to your daughter (the critic nailed it: "And what's up with dumping your girlfriend the week before Valentine's Day?") by ascribing the butterflies in his stomach to messages from God.  He has precedent for that, our former President Bush often talked about communing with god and going with his gut feelings. It's easy to see how the two could be confused by the inexperienced or the profoundly stupid.

    Whatever his other merits, unless he gets his head straigtened out, your daughter is well rid of him.  

    "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

    by Orinoco on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:26:18 AM PST

  •  When my son was 14, he came to me (9+ / 0-)

    and asked me to get him some condoms. I just nodded, then a little later went out to the drugstore, bought them, and left them on his desk.

    Years later, after he graduated from high school - by which time he was 'blatantly' sexually active -, I asked him about it, and he said that the girl had been very aggressive but that he had decided he wasn't ready and had not used them then.

    I don't think a parent can - or should want to - know all that happens in a child's life. Set them on a good path, tell them what they need to know, and then accept their integrity and authenticity. I'm glad my son knew that and felt comfortable coming to me - and using a condom!

    Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

    by Clem Yeobright on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:27:56 AM PST

    •  Fortunately (5+ / 0-)

      Condoms have about a 5 year expiry.

      I can tell you, now I am in my fifties, that my first purchase was more in hope than expectation ... Hope can do terrible things :)

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:33:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh he used them ... eventually (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg, rcnewton, rgjdmls

        Here's what it was like raising kids in California in the '80s (see if you like it better):

        For the prom, my son and two male friends - as was standard at their school - rented a limo and a suite at a hotel. The girl my son would have liked to take was not available, so he took someone he knew only casually. After the dance, the six of them went to the hotel and - as my son told me - two couples would sit in the outer room while one couple used the bedroom, all night long. "You know, dad", he said, "it's kind of gross to fuck someone you don't really know or like."

        That was probably as good a lesson in life as he could have learned at that stage.

        But hey! your daughter is still four (three?) years away from that ... and OK is not CA, right?

        Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

        by Clem Yeobright on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:43:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Your daughter just dodged a bullet. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, DEMonrat ankle biter, Matt Z

    Imagine her married to this jackass.

    "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution." - Emma Goldman

    by CamillesDad1 on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:30:34 AM PST

  •  The 13-year-old version of me deep inside myself (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, sb, adrianrf, Matt Z, rgjdmls, YsosadisticGOP

    is laughing his balls off at this kid.  

    Live by the certainty that nothing can kill you. You'll only be wrong once.

    by Troubadour on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:33:17 AM PST

  •  The good news (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I can't find a way to embed this but it's worth watching.

    Leaving The Church

  •  I guess I disagree that this kid is thinking (7+ / 0-)

    He is actually following.  Of course, he's 13. However, I've known many adults that were important in my life join up with these religious cults and forsake their families in the name of gawd.

    I have a neice that stayed married because she proclaimed her love for gawd.  So, instead of the love she could give her husband, she loves gawd instead.  They are still married, but not because she loves him.

    I have a brother-in-law that became a baptist preacher and proceeded to tell the rest of the family that if we didn't believe what he did, we are all going to hell.

    Finally, when I was in my 20's I had a dear friend.  We had many of the same spriritual beliefs (nothing to do with organized religion).  She got "saved" and then tried to "save" me.  I refused and ended the relationship.  Years later we ran into each other and she apologized to me for her actions and told me that it was a "cult."

    Yes, Twigg, your daughter will be just fine.  I only hope she remembers this life lesson and sees through the multitude of facades she will encounter in people.

    love the fetus, hate the child

    by Raggedy Ann on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:41:31 AM PST

  •  my only concern here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, gustynpip

    is that the young man is missing out a little bit on his childhood with some way too deep thoughts at 13, then again, the teen years are filled with "deep thoughts" of all types.

    His don't seem any more or less "crazy" then any other average just turned teen and thus must figure out all the deep mysteries of life kid his age.

    His just happen to be focused on religion. And he's probably right, a 13 year old boy should probably not be in a "relationship" however it is defined although nothing wrong with a "girlfriend" at that age if such is, as you described it, the girl I go see a movie with, hold hands, and probably kiss a little bit.

    Standard stuff. Standard teen angst too. Nothing to see here from my POV, just happens to involve religion instead of a myriad number of other possibilities.

  •  I'm not the one to talk you down. (9+ / 0-)

    I was raised in Springfield Missouri and this scares me. If you don't live somewhere that this is the prevalent thinking there is no way to understand how alarming this is.

    The Bible Belt is cultish with its religion. And I guess if you fit into that culture then the worst that will happen is you will drink the koolaid (I chose that mindfully) and live a life guided by the groupthink. But lots of people do not fit into that culture. Our own The Nephew is a great example of that. Lots of these brainwashed people when faced with a different person think things like "this person's actions are of the devil". I don't know about anyone else here, but it scares the hell out of me thinking about how mindlessly justified a huge group of people can feel with that framing. What comes next? Well lots of glbt kids get thrown into the streets and that is a Much Better alternative to getting thrown into an abusive program to pray away the gay. It's not just glbt people though. Women are shamed into staying with abusive husbands because god wants them to stay married. Kids are told to STFU about being sexually abused because punishment is in God's control not man's. And these people vote.

    There is no way to understand how intense this is if you have not been exposed to it.

    Poverty = politics.

    by Renee on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 10:47:03 AM PST

    •  I think there is a clear divide (4+ / 0-)

      between those who have experienced the climate in those places, and those who haven't.

      The ones who have simply get it, the ones who never have make comments about "dating at 13", or "mature reflection from this boy".

      In truth, I came here from England, and I was completely unprepared for the all-pervading and destructive influence that is Fundamentalist Christianity.

      I would not have believed it, and it is little wonder that Kossacks don't quite believe it either.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:33:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Something equally frightening is that once you (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        my2petpeeves, bigrivergal, GAS

        experience it you notice it in other places where it is more underground.

        I've spent the last few years really thinking about this. These people formed my early self, even if much of it was in opposition. The idea that we can know what god thinks, or know what happens when we die- I mean literally describing what heaven or hell consist of... It's a mass hysteria. And so many of the people I grew up with were deeply conflicted about money. It was either get rich quick schemes like Amway or shaming money is the root of all evil talk.

        It's deeply irrational but they see themselves as the only possible iteration of mature adult. And because they are believers they see all of society as a sort of chess game between god and the devil. Stuff (like dating for example) that is just a part of life takes on the meaning of eternal salvation or everlasting hellfire. Personally it's pretty clear to me that raising kids in that environment is damaging whether or not anyone wants to acknowledge that.

        So then when I go to something like that Get Motivated "conference" that I mentioned the other day it's possible to see deeply what exactly they are selling. And that was in the Anaheim Convention Center. Lots of southern Ca types you would think would be immune to the hysteria. But there is an unbroken line of tent revival hucksters in this country and they know their marks inside and out.

        Poverty = politics.

        by Renee on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 12:09:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "They Know their marks (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xaxnar, bigrivergal, GAS, Renee

          inside and out" is exactly what I was thinking when I stumbled upon the cable TV channel with the CPAC broadcast.  I could only stomach about 3 minutes of it and it left me really perplexed for awhile.  Jokes like, "What's the difference between us (tea party) and OWS?  Well, soap for one thing. Har,har."  

          What motivates them to stay in that fold and why are they so hateful of us?  Why do they have to dehumanize us?  It's a worldview that requires them to keep a stratum of humanity always on a rung lower than themselves.  If they can't keep a group of humanity lower than themselves, then they might end up being the lowest of the low. It explains why they so often vote against their own self interests.  And what an added bonus if they can define that lower stratum as evil, it's all that much easier to keep them there.

  •  two things: (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, CuriousBoston, adrianrf, Matt Z, GAS

    1. this boy needs serious counseling. he actually believes he's talking directly with god, and that god is answering him. definite case of delusion going on here. unfortunately, in his circle (and yours, by default), this is considered the norm. i fear we'll next hear of this young man as he's being sought for questioning, in a series of bizzare roadside murders, with a religious twist.

    2. sounds like your daughter was lucky, he broke it off with her, and is far less likely to become her stalker. unfortunately, that still leaves all the other kids in town, and their parents, to deal with.

    you're right, as a parent, there is only so much you can (and more importantly, should) do, to protect your children. part of the growing up process is learning how to deal with the downside of interpersonal relationships. you're there to offer advice (mostly ignored), and provide a safe landing zone when they fall, which they will.

    with children of my own (though older), i share your pain. oh, if it will help, it only gets worse!

  •  I was a teenage werewolf... (9+ / 0-)

    Religion was shoved down my throat by my mother when I was 12/13 and my life was falling apart (parents divorcing, my brother and sister moved away, etc.).  Fundmentalist christianity was her salve during difficult times and she wanted it to be the same for me.  I responded at first by trying to be a devout Christian, thinking that that would solve my troubles. Actually, it was a path of self-hate.  Eventually, I shed the religion in favor of being real about myself, about my flesh and bloodness, and about real ethics.

    Your daughter's boyfriend, I am repeating the words of several others, did her a big favor.

    The problem with Christianity as in organized religion is that there is no framework for having reasonable romantic and sexual relationships outside of marriage.  In my opinion, this puts Christians who follow this path at great risk for many dysfunctions related to relationships and sexuality.  In fact, these issues extend beyond the scope of relationships and sexuality, and can be broad-based dysfunctions as a whole.  I suspect that ll religious types might be like this, but I have the most direct experience with Christianity:

    - brutal hypocrisy.  My sanctimonious stepfather severely criticized my cousin for getting a divorce.  It was okay for him whose marriage to my mother was his 4th (he's now on his 5th), but not apparently for anyone else since "it is against God's plan."  He eventually admitted to cheating profligately during his various marriages.

    - related to the first, but worse in a way:  blindness to weak spots within a very rigid morality.   I have had so much experience with this that I've really come to see it as a predictable pathology:  the people most boldly proclaiming their religiosity and devotion to God?  Mark my words: these are the ones who have major character defects to hid.  The bold proclamation of religion seems to be a subconscious way of compensating or maintaining a blind spot.  I had a boss with a tenuous grasp of reality sometimes. He was a devout Christian.  But he was also human and there were people he really liked and others he just didn't.  In his world, though, the people he liked were good and the ones he didn't were evil (I happened to be one he liked, but I saw the suffering of folks he didn't like.) It led to severe authoritarianism with a moralistic, religious fervor.  And he would say that his Lord redeemed him of his imperfections which were many, but his treatment of others indicated he thought his judgments were infallible and that they were godly and just.

    In the worst, most extreme cases, there are people like Dennis Rader, a famous serial killer who maintained the very weird duality of being leader of his church while he committed to the most viciously terrifying murders.  I'm not saying Christianity caused his homocidal mania in any way, but religion and religious institutions can become refuge for people with very twisted behavior who need to feel they are good and that they want a sense of moral superiority.

    -- inability to deal with basic sexual feelings.   This is really tough in the Christian framework.  I had what was probably a normal teenage boy sex drive, but convinced myself to submerge it.  I was almost like two people walking in one body in the sense that I lived completely abstracted from myself.  When people are so unaware of themselves and their own appetites is when bad things can happen all the way around, in my opinion; naive behavior leading to pregnancy, people getting hurt, etc..  Over time my basic need for sex won out and pulled me away from religion actually, or was the first step in that direction.  

    Oh, and the irony was, I worked at church camp one summer when I was 14 or 15 with a lot of Christian folks' my age.  There were at least two girls that were ready to get very sexual with me very quickly -- and I didn't know how to deal with it.  Good Christian girls that they were growing up in good Christian households, they had learned early on how a lot of things that are said don't really have a lot to do with what actually happens in real life.  I was much more fervent and a fault.

  •  My $0.02, armed with the only info I have (6+ / 0-)

    Which is what you've told us so far....

    I think he sounds like a good kid, just suffering from the confusion that's inevitable for a 13 year old. What I hear, and I'm sorry, twigg, please don't take offense, but what I truly hear is a kid who simply didn't want to date your daughter and found an out through his faith.

    We all do this. We're with someone who's nice and wonderful and who we enjoy, but it's just not there, so we have an excuse. Or, rather, we give ourselves an out. We say, ok, I have to find a way to explain this.

    Maybe this kid just didn't want to date your daughter anymore, and he can't put his finger on why, so he concludes that it's God telling him not to. And not just her, but all girls.

    I've noticed other comments that speculate he may be gay. I don't think that's an unreasonable speculation, but, again, we have limited info.

    But I think he just didn't want to date her, for whatever reason, and he concluded that his discomfort with it was faith-based, because his religion is an important part of his life, and he probably does think that his emotions/thoughts come from a divine being. Not hormones or nonsense like that :/

    I guess what I hear when I read this letter is a little bit of myself, dumping people with a tortured explanation of "I just need to find myself, be alone for a while." And that was sort of true, but what it really meant was either

    A) you're a guy and I'm gay but don't want to come out yet


    B) You're a great girl but I am just not into you.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:00:17 AM PST

    •  All well made points (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CuriousBoston, BoiseBlue, rgjdmls, GAS

      However ... Whichever way the situation is parsed, the kid doesn't look too good.

      Either he wanted out ... read the previous Diary, there wasn't much to get out of anyway, and he simply said so, then no problem.

      But he didn't do that.

      He watched a video in Church, then sent a text message dumping her. That sponsored the first Diary and it would have ended there. A sad tale about how young Christians are brainwashed, and not much else.

      But then he went and spilled his guts on Facebook, for all the world to see. A world that knows the real people involved, both of them.

      This young man is smart. He is National Junior Honors Society, and successful in Band and Choir.

      He posted that stuff on Facebook in the full knowledge that it would be cheered from the rafters in church this morning.

      He watched a video, dumped his gf without so much as a phonecall, then played the hero to his local community and he doesn't get the benefit of the doubt that would come from him just being ignorant. He is too smart for that.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:40:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I did read the original diary (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg, my2petpeeves

        And I empathized with living in a "flyover" state where religion dominates everything.

        As far as the text message goes, yeah, that's pretty shitty, but it's kind of how things are done now, or so my nephews tell me. They're all in the 13-18 year range, and they've all dumped and/or been dumped via text or facebook.

        Maybe it was a calculated move on his part to win the praise of his church. Or maybe he just wanted an out and he got one.

        These are 13 year old kids we're talking about. If he got the benefit of getting out while also scoring brownie points with the church, well, bravo. Well played.

        As for brainwashing, that is what church is for. I still don't think he did this out of religious conviction, though. I think that may have just been the easiest explanation.

        And, twigg, I'd like to ask you. What if he is gay? How would that change your perception of what he did?

        P.S. I am not a crackpot.

        by BoiseBlue on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:54:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Most wise commenters (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          would generally resist answering such a hypothetical question:

          And, twigg, I'd like to ask you. What if he is gay? How would that change your perception of what he did?
          This is really rather complex. Sexuality is not an issue in this house, but I wouldn't be happy with a boy using my daughter, or anyone else's daughter, to work out his issues in this way.

          Here is the thing .... I would respect anyone who reognised that they were experiencing feelings of confusion, and sought help to understand them. If the boy was conflicted about religion, and genuinely concerned about the girl, then going and talking to parents, the Pastor, a teacher .... all would be perfectly fine.

          However, dumping the girl then going public in a manner that he must have known would gain him approval in his community, whether that be church or elsewhere .... That is something I am less comfortable with.

          In truth though, the somple story that this Diary hangs around is not really the point.

          We end up getting stuck in debating the detail of the example, rather than the wider points that were raised.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 12:14:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  My only point in asking was because (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jayden, twigg

            I think you would have some sympathy for him, being a kid who is struggling with his sexual identity in an atmosphere that would be dangerous for him to do so openly.

            But instead, we're in this diary discussing how his religion has brainwashed him into dumping your daughter.

            So, yes, we can say that it's sad that his religion did this to him either way.

            My objection is that, again, he is 13 years old. He may be smart, but his brain is still far from being fully developed, and he still does not have a clear grasp on the consequences of his actions.

            In light of that, I'm inclined to cut him some slack. I still remember what it was like to be 13 and questioning everything.  

            And I still think that the simplest answer is usually the best one. He just wanted out and used this as his excuse. I don't blame you for being perturbed by it, but it is what it is.

            P.S. I am not a crackpot.

            by BoiseBlue on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 12:41:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You really should (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              read what I have actually said about the kid.

              Honestly, there has been very little direct criticism, most has simply been descriptive.

              In truth, I have a great deal of sympathy not just for him, but for all the kids around here who cannot get reasoned responses to their problems, because all they get is "talk to God".

              It sickens me that the children are so neglected.

              I do describe his actions as "cynical", and I stand by that. The reasons he felt compelled to behave this way are another matter entirely, and really, that is the point of the Diary.

              I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
              but I fear we will remain Democrats.

              by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 01:01:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I HAVE read what you've said (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I don't know why you think that I haven't.

                And I agree with a lot of what you're saying- it sickens me too that kids are neglected in that way.

                I was simply offering my own opinion of the situation, which is that he's 13 years old. I understand that you think it cynical, and you can stand by that.

                I just stand by my opinion that he's a 13 year old kid and acting like one. He may be book smart but that doesn't mean he plotted this out from the beginning. I guess I think that if he was cynical enough to plot breaking up with your daughter to impress the church, he's probably got enough critical thinking skills to see past their bullshit.

                I don't think that he does. That is sad, and I share your dismay at that particular aspect. But to me, it honestly doesn't sound like anything all that different than what I see happening with my nephews and their peers on their fb pages (yes, I snoop on them, a lot).

                And they're not religious in any sense of the world. This is just what happens these days. Kids break up then post about it on fb, usually in a way that gets them sympathy or pats on the back.

                In light of that, I simply can't put any larger meaning to it. It seems pretty damn normal. But I understand that it's your daughter so it's a bigger deal, and I completely understand why you're upset by it- the whole thing, not just the break up.

                In other words, brace yourself, because this is going to keep happening, and it will play out on fb each and every time.

                P.S. I am not a crackpot.

                by BoiseBlue on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 01:13:37 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Here is the thing (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Lonely Texan

                  There is a wider point, and it is about religion.

                  Not a belief in God, that is a very private and personal thing about which I have very little to say.

                  You can choose to see the Diary as simply a story about a Dad berating a kid for dumping his daughter, then making a meal of a Facebook post ... I can see where that might come from.

                  But if you can't, or won't see the wider points raised then I suggest that you simply do not understand what it is like to try to raise open-minded kids in an atmosphere as poisonous as exists here.

                  Ten years ago, I wouldn't have believed it either. I thought that the Bible Belt was like England, with more churches, but that those churches were just bigger versions of the English ones I am familiar with.

                  The reality is very different.

                  My eight year old daughter wonders why she doesn't get to go to the morning prayer meetings held in her school, because those kids get donuts.

                  "Donuts for Jesus" is a powerful message to an Elementary kid. Especially when she isn't getting one.

                  I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                  but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                  by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 01:21:22 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Sigh (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Twigg, I like and respect you, but I'm checking out of this diary.

                    But if you can't, or won't see the wider points raised then I suggest that you simply do not understand what it is like to try to raise open-minded kids in an atmosphere as poisonous as exists here.
                    I have addressed those points; we simply don't agree on them. Disagreement does not mean ignorance. I heartily agreed with your first diary. This one, not so much. I understand the wider point you're trying to make, I merely disagree with it. That you won't offer me the respect of accepting that is something I don't need to involve myself with any further.

                    I live in IDAHO. I was raised in a town that is more Mormon than Salt Lake City. If you think I'm ignorant to the wider points that you raise, you are sorely mistaken.

                    I just don't think that this particular diary, this story, is a good illustration of what you claim to be your wider points. I feel that way because it's a pretty mundane incident.

                    Your first diary on the subject was thoughtful and made great points. This one I don't agree with.

                    And you have apparently decided that because I disagree with you on this one point, I am ignorant or failing to see the "wider point." That is not accurate, at all.

                    So, I'm out of this diary.

                    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

                    by BoiseBlue on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 01:52:09 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Okay. (0+ / 0-)

                      I have no problem with any of this :)

                      It is very clear that this particular Diary has raised some very divided opinions.

                      Some see and agree with the "wider point", and some clearly don't.

                      I'm fine with that.

                      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                      by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 02:00:56 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I never said I didn't see or agree with the (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        "wider point," only that this is a poor illustration of it. My problem was the portion of your comment that I blockquoted.

                        I can see a point and not agree with it, and maybe it's just because I'm having a bad day already, but I'm offended that you seem to think that disagreement is the same as not being able to see. That you have the audacity to say that just because I don't agree with you, I don't understand.

                        That's offensive to me on a very personal level, one which I do not fault you for being aware of, but on a personal level nonetheless. I'm a gay excommunicated mormon. So, again, this:

                        But if you can't, or won't see the wider points raised then I suggest that you simply do not understand what it is like to try to raise open-minded kids in an atmosphere as poisonous as exists here.
                        I suggest you simply do not understand that people can disagree with you without being ignoramuses, and I hope you keep that in mind next time someone disagrees with you.

                        And, again, I'm sorry if you take offense to my offense. I am having a very bad day. But I do not take kindly to being told I don't understand something that I understand on a far more intimate level than most people can comprehend.

                        P.S. I am not a crackpot.

                        by BoiseBlue on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 02:11:22 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I almost never (0+ / 0-)

                          take offense here. You would have to try much harder :)

                          I am trying to say that I am fine, relaxed, enjoying the debate and don't mind the disagreement in the slightest.

                          This forum is sometimes a bit too "one-dimensional" when we try to discuss emotive topics.

                          I knew that when I wrote the Diary ... I actually expected opposition to the first one, and was surprised when it didn't happen.

                          So I pushed it, because I was asked to and while I think that the Diary does a good job in explaining the community I live in, I fully accept that not everyone will see it the way I do.

                          I am disappointed that so many actually see the Diary as little more than an adult being down on a kid. I do not think you see it that way, and I do understand that you feel that it is just not a good example :)

                          I hope your day improves and really .... I really value the input of those who take this amount of time to explain their position .... Agreement with me is not required!

                          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                          by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 02:20:25 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

      •  He's 13 fricking years old. Cut him some fricking (0+ / 0-)


        "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

        by gustynpip on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 12:07:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's tough to diagnose a malady at a distance... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, adrianrf, Matt Z, rgjdmls, GAS

    ...but you daughter's ex may be suffering from the early stages of Conservative Personality Disorder, perhaps with a little schizophrenia thrown in for good measure (he admitted to hearing voices, after all).

    I've realized having a girlfriend isn't the best for me....
    Okay. But...
    ...or anybody really.
    Whoa! Hold on a goddamned minute!! Just because non-loverboy heard a voice in his head telling him to avoid female companionship, he immediately jumps to the conclusion that everybody should?


    I realize Young Santorum is only 13, but this is how it starts: one minute he's confused about the opposite sex; the next he's running for President on the "Masturbation is Sperm Murder" platform.

    If she's lucky, your daughter will enjoy many happy relationships in her life. And chances are she'll encounter more duds like this dumper. But I imagine that, lesson learned, she'll leave a wide berth as she avoids the next one of his type...

    The "Right" thing is almost always the wrong thing.

    by Neapolitan on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:00:20 AM PST

  •  I hear this kind of talk all the time (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, Matt Z, rgjdmls, Lonely Texan

    I have a number of family and friends on Facebook who are Southern evangelicals. To them, everything is controlled by god. If something good happens in their lives, god likes them. If something bad happens, god just hasn't heard their prayers, so they go on Facebook and ask everyone to pray for them.

    I have one friend from high school whose mother just died. Her comments were so strange. In her mind, her mother had moved to a "better place" and she was really happy for her mother to be done with this life.  Honestly, I didn't know how to express my condolences because I simply couldn't use the language of her religious reality.

    These people sound brainwashed to me. I grew up in a Presbyterian Church in North Carolina. But, the religion expressed by these friends of mine bears no resemblance to the religion I knew.

    Your daughter is better off not having to deal with the boy. But, you know that.

    " a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy." Matt Taibbi

    by Getreal1246 on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:02:39 AM PST

  •  I don't think Religious Boy likes girls (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DEMonrat ankle biter, twigg, Matt Z

       and can't find a "manly" way out of convincing himself he isn't gay, so poor God gets stuck with the rap.

        Tell your daughter to find a boy who likes girls, to move on and forget it.  Religious Boy is seriously confused.

       I am the father of several daughters.

  •  I understand, Twigg. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    asterkitty, mamamorgaine, twigg, rgjdmls

    I'm an atheist. I would be relieved that my daughter is away from this jerk and also hurt that she's heartbroken. I completely get that you feel torn.

    I imagined what I would say if it was my own daughter;

    "I think that if there is a God, he/she sees nothing wrong with loving relationships, even for young people. If this young man's interpretation of it is different, it's his right to feel that way, but he's the one missing out on his young life. Don't you make the same mistake. Live your life, be young and have a good time. That stupid boy is gonna be sitting at home on Friday night reading a bible while you're out having a blast with someone who understands that liking to be with you isn't a sin and an abomination."

    I don't know how else to put it. Life is too short and youth is fleeting. It's hard to understand that when you're young but you've gotta hammer that point home. Don't even worry about that stupid boy. Let him go on with his dull, robotic life while your daughter lives hers like young people are supposed to. ;-)

    "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

    by GenXangster on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:06:47 AM PST

  •  Your daughter will think twice about hanging (6+ / 0-)

    out with guys that go to fundamentalist churches. In the long run, he has done her a huge favor.

    I have my own thirteen year old son. He hangs out with other kids and goes to the movies. He does not date. If he wanted to, I think I would be a little worried. It just doesn't fit his personality.

    My other son at thirteen did have a girlfriend but he was afraid to tell me. I found out after they broke up. I think he realizes that he stepped into things a little too soon. He was trying to grow up too fast. But, it did fit his personality so I it wasn't a big surprise, just a little one. He didn't tell me because she was afraid to tell her mother and we moms knew each other. He was protecting the young lady.

    My point is that all thirteen year olds are different and all of them are learning how to be who they are. They are bound to hurt other people's feelings as they do so. It's not possible to grow up without doing so. I'm sure you did it. I know I did. Sometimes we did it without even realizing it at the time; we only discovered it much later.

    If I were you, I would give your daughter a big hug and encourage her to hang out with her group of friends. Tell her that you love her and let it go from there. If her dad loves her for who she is at thirteen years old, she can't help but be a success later in life. She doesn't need to hear your opinion about this kid. She is smart enough to figure that one out on her own.

    And don't share any more of her friends' facebook conversations... your daughter might stop sharing them with you. That is the last thing that you want. As long as you have open lines of communication, life will be hunky dory!

    •  I rather think (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angelajean, Matt Z

      that reading the two Diaries, and the comment threads, with me and her Mom there to explain them to her, would be a great education.

      Not yet, it's not the time, but she is a sensible girl who will readily see that nothing has been made public in a way that could ever embarrass either her or her ex.

      And hey .... do not think that we are not careful parents. Our daughter has a Facebook account, and we have the password. It was part of the deal :)

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 12:19:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's frightening how some of them are (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sb, mamamorgaine, twigg, Matt Z, Lonely Texan

    accepting of the brainwashing going on in church (some churches that is - not all).  Thank goodness your daughter got out of this one without him messing with her head, because frankly this is kind of sick.  We have religion that no longer guides young people to be the best that they can be, but makes them feel ashamed and holds them back from becoming who they should be.  Honestly, it makes my skin crawl.

    "They love the founding fathers so much they will destroy everything they created and remake it in Rush Limbaughs image." MinistryofTruth, 9/29/11

    by AnnieR on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:09:55 AM PST

  •  When I was a senior in high school (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sb, twigg, jayden, Matt Z, rgjdmls

    I lost a boyfriend, the first one I really loved, to some religious vision he had with god. My heart was completely shattered at the time.

    But as it turned out, he was so not the guy for me. It would never have worked. Your daughter will find a much better boyfriend in time.

    curious portal - to a world of paintings, lyric-poems, art writing, and graphic and web design

    by asterkitty on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:10:48 AM PST

  •  I read his Facebook post and it (6+ / 0-)

    scares the shit out of me. Sorry, but this kid is being turned into a religious zealot. Literal interpretation of the bible to justify one's own action is dangerous- period. Your daughter is better off, but I fear for the future of our country.

  •  You might need to lighten up (7+ / 0-)

    At that age, there is so much angst and self importance that it is not really worth much.

    At that age, I was much more self righteous than this dude.  Maybe this guy is gay and this is the only reason he can think of for staying away from all the dating thing and still seem all so holy.  Maybe he got scared of wanting intimacy. Maybe he just needs a fall guy.  He was not dissing your daughter in any way ... except making this public. When my daughter was in high school, she would ask me to ground her when her friends were going to do something she did not want to do ... then it wasn't her fault.

    We don't help anything by over reacting -- as you said, this is your issue, not your daughter's.   And who knows what will happen.

    Even as self righteous as I was, I was still dumped for God.  He went off to seminary to become a priest ... then decided that was not for him, got married and is the proud father of 10 ... and a good labor lawyer to boot.

    Kids say the darnest things.

  •  A propos of nothing, except for a laugh (7+ / 0-)

    This diary brings to mind several years ago when my 30-year-old daughter-in-law and I drove past a large Methodist complex: church, school, gymnasium, broad expanse of lawn in front ...

    DIL, who is (nominally now, not so then) Russian Orthodox Catholic, born and raised in NoVa DC suburbs, shook her head and sighed with disgust

    All that money for a false religion
    I had great difficulty not guffawing. Methodists????

    It's a funny world, twigg!

    Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

    by Clem Yeobright on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:14:38 AM PST

  •  As mom to a just-14 y/o son... (8+ / 0-)

    My first reaction was "ew - that's weird". But then I stopped, because my son has said much the same to me, although for slightly different reasons. We're Catholic. He's pretty profoundly so - he's the one who makes sure that our Sunday schedules work out so we make it to Mass, who always volunteers to help out with liturgies at his school.  He's definitely squarely in the Dorothy Day/Catholic Worker side of things, has a very deep faith but a quite healthy critical analysis of the Church these days, and it's definitely a guiding principle in his life.

    He's indicated, though, that he doesn't really want to have much to do with the whole "dating" scene in 8th grade, where girls and boys are expected to pair up and "hang out", even in Catholic school. He doesn't want to go to the 8th grade dance. And yes, he ascribes much of this to his beliefs, including the belief that people need to be more mature before "dating". But he doesn't preach on it or anything - it's just how he chooses to live his life. Indeed, he doesn't talk much about faith and religion at all, but I know it influences his decisions.

    It's not peer pressure, youth group pressure (he's not in one), or Church pressure. If asked, I strongly suspect that he'd cite his faith & religious beliefs as a reason to not be "dating" at 14, but also the fact that he doesn't feel mature enough to be making those sorts of decisions.

    BUT - he sure wouldn't be talking about it on Facebook. Hell, he's not even on Facebook, because he's heard too much about stupid stuff his classmates have done there, and he doesn't want to deal with that. (It's funny - I'm the one pushing him to get on FB, so I can send him various things I see posted that I know he'll enjoy. He's not interested. ;) )

    The public nature of all of this is what seems most creepy to me. If this situation is between this 13 y/o, your daughter, and (as he says) God,  then why is he broadcasting it? The bit when the kid is going through different "views" and mentions one ("Strong Christian View" - oh, whatever) where he says perhaps it can be used as a tool to evangelize - that's just obnoxious. He's showing the world that he can be a juvenile ass with little respect for your daughter in doing so. I don't think that's the "evangelization" he's thinking about.

    For whatever reason, I respect the kid's decision that dating's not right for him at this time. I just think publicizing it all via Facebook is supremely tacky and juvenile. Your daughter doesn't need that in her life.

    "I like to go into Marshall Field's in Chicago just to see all the things there are in the world that I do not want." M. Madeleva, C.S.C.

    by paxpdx on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:23:10 AM PST

    •  Ach. Kids talk about Everything on Facebook. At (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      13, they're definintely not getting that their not in a direct communication with their friends.  Eveyone is, IMHO, waaaay too freaked out over this.  Like reacting to it on a totally emotional level, rather than with any real thought.  Which is supposedly what he's being accused of.

      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

      by gustynpip on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 12:10:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nah - (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        my2petpeeves, rgjdmls

        I'm applying thought. Rational thought, even. And just because kids do all sorts of crap on FB these days, doesn't make it good or right.

        For the record, I've taught workshops at schools and to community groups and parents, English & Spanish-speaking both, about social media. I've seen stuff on kids' FB pages that's quite possibly legally actionable against their parents. I've talked to dozens of parents who believe that because they're their child's "Friend" on FB that they see everything that's going on. I've also talked to a handful of kids whose FB walls I've seen about how comments like "That's so gay" really are thoroughly uncool, and that if I can see that stuff, the admissions folks at the high schools they're applying to attend can see it, too.

        Kids say all sorts of racist & homophobic things. Just because "they all do it" doesn't make it right. Nor does violating the privacy of another young person, just because "everyone does it". Sorry. We can expect better of our kids.

        "I like to go into Marshall Field's in Chicago just to see all the things there are in the world that I do not want." M. Madeleva, C.S.C.

        by paxpdx on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 12:55:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You simply made my point. Kids don't recognize (0+ / 0-)

          or understand the broad swath social media includes.  

          There was nothing "wrong" with what the kid said.  He stated his opinions and beliefs and while I might personally think they're silly, they certainly weren't putting anyone else down or in any other way "bad".

          "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

          by gustynpip on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 01:12:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  It IS about your daughter. Her and you. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CorinaR, gustynpip, twigg

    If you find yourself hating your neighbors and feel threatened at some point you need to leave. If you can't leave then work on being a better person yourself so you can protect your daughter.

    I am atheist with a spiritual practice - this stuff is simply about human relationships. The god talk is just a placeholder for personal opinion. Faith is nothing more than a strong opinion.

    I see value in all religions - they all share certain core values. We are all created equal. We need to care for each other. The other person matters at least as much as me.

    It seems to me YOU are being tested here. Not by god - by your daughter. You feel the need to do what is best for her, and by extension all the kids in your community. I think this is really healthy and if you do it right you will demonstrate to your daughter how it can be done, and perhaps some others in the community will also see you cope.

    First forgive them. The kid is a product of his community. At least he is inquiring. His parents are a product of theirs. You are also a member of this community. All of you can work to make it better.

    They like to quote bible verse. Personally I never read it and never will. I get a few extracts that seem OK and I might stick with those, but I would never accept the bible as inerrant. I would stand in front of a mega church and make that statement and feel just fine with it.

    I am a very strong atheist but I don't have any interest in preaching it. My interest is only in being a better person and encouraging others on the same path regardless of their religious thinking. For me religion has nothing to offer so I just ignore it. Religious arguments are simply ignorant. As Sam Harris asks, name one, just one, question where we used to have a scientific answer but now find a religious one is better.

    And if all that is too much then as I said - leave. I think this is what you really want, reading the other diary. I think you should look at what is stopping you.

  •  Wait until he starts reading "Song of... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, rgjdmls


    Oh wait, they don't. I guess even the Bible can be too dirty for the believers.

    "There's room at the top they're telling you still...A working class hero is something to be If you want to be a hero well just follow me." Working Class Hero-John Lennon

    by p a roberson on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:36:09 AM PST

  •  Coming from a not-religious point of view, I (7+ / 0-)

    think that the "signs from God" he saw were what he wanted to see/hear. You can read anything into any event and twist the outcome to fit your worldview.

    For instance...the other day I decided to skip class to take a mental health day. I woke up, turned on the computer, and it crashed with the BSoD (Blue Screen of Death).

    If I were religious, I would read that as a sign from God not to skip class.

    If I were a computer guy, I would read that as a sign that something is wrong with my computer.

    If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would think that it was something the FBI put in my computer to hide The Truth.™

    If I were a pessimist, I would think it was an omen to a shitty day ahead.

    If I were an optimist, I would think that the computer crashing was a gift that gave me a chance to clean my desk while I waited for it to restart.


    Also, the thought that having a girlfriend distracts you from God is just a clever way to raise kids to be scared shitless. Just another form of control.

    Sorry that she has to go through that with hyperfundies. Sadly it's all too common down here.

  •  he's destined to be 13 forever (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, jayden, my2petpeeves, Lonely Texan

    you can't grow emotionally if God gets to make every choice in your life - especially when God is so conveniently risk averse.  

    "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

    by jlynne on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:49:22 AM PST

  •  That whackjob did you/your daughter a huge favor! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, rgjdmls, Lonely Texan

    Do you really want your daughter hanging out with delusional nutjobs?  Fuuuuuuck no you don't!  This is the best thing that could've happened, heartbreak notwithstanding.

    I remember when I was a kid, my older sister (she was 16/17) got involved with an evangelical douche bag.  She got sucked into their fucked up little death cult for about a year and it caused all sorts of havoc.  I was young, but she had convinced me that all of us were going to hell.  I was terrified.  Fortunately, she snapped out of it, but it was awful while it lasted.

    Count you and your daughter lucky that he let her go.  Hallelujah, praise  JEEBUS!

    "Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself." - Robert G. Ingersoll

    by Apost8 on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:51:20 AM PST

  •  As your neighbor down the road a bit (6+ / 0-)

    I can totally relate, but I have some hope that things may change. I grew up here, but came to reject the dominant religious culture by the time I was in my mid-teens and had to keep it to myself to avoid being ostracized. I see my teenaged granddaughters negotiating their own rejection of the culture somewhat better as far as not having to pretend or pay lip service the way I had to, but we live in one of the few somewhat bluer towns and they don't have as much trouble as I did finding kindred spirits. The eldest did have a boyfriend/bible problem once, but she got over it quickly enough and knows now to find out in advance precisely where on the bible-thumping scale future boyfriends are situated.

    Purely anecdotal, but I've noticed over the decade I've taught at a state university here that students in general are gradually becoming a bit more open-minded and less dogmatic, a little more willing to consider alternative points of view than earlier cohorts. My colleagues who've been around a while recount the same. The hardline evangelical kids seem much less visible, with most of the professed Christians embracing a more progressive interpretation of their faith.

    They're starting to lose the youth, and they know it. The churches are getting nervous, so they're trying to tighten their grip before all the young'uns get away. I'm hoping they fail. Too bad kids like ours have to suffer in the meantime.

    I wish your daughter well. She sounds like a terrific kid who will be just fine.


    A little blue dot in a vast sea of red.

    by deha on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 11:53:24 AM PST

  •  This former cult member has some words; (6+ / 0-)

    I come from deep red East Texas.
    I was a lot like this kid thirty years ago.
    I imagine him to be a decent boy wanting to make his parents proud. I also imagine his father having a talk about girls with him and brought up Apostle Pauls words that men should not seek a relationship with women,
    ICorinth 7.
    I also imagine the boy was not really all that into your daughter, so breaking up with her for God was an easy out for him. It also made him seem spiritually superior in the eyes of his facebook friends. So it was a win/win for the boy.
    Never doubt the selfishness of the 'devoute'. They are deeply flawed people looking for acceptance within the local society.
    I should know, I'm was one.

  •  Creepy (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, rgjdmls, GAS, Lonely Texan

    That's the only word I have for a church that encourages already emotional teenagers to become romantically mystical and hysterical in groups in order to acknowledge god.

    If there's one thing teenagers need at this time it's calmness, common sense, and a vision of their own worth and strength.

    Any church that induces 13 year olds to weepily beeseech their god for a sign that's it's ok to see a movie with a person of the opposite sex is manipulative and creepy.

    On the other hand, teenaged boys are famous for breaking up with girls right before Valentine's Day.  (and Christmas)  So possibly this is a clever boy's excuse and one that he feels leaves no openings for reproach.  If so, he'll be back, and I hope your daughter laughs in his face.

  •  Atheist View (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aethiest [sic] View: You dumped your girl friend because of a God? Dumb.
    Yep.  Too bad that religious views ruin so many otherwise intelligent people.

    We're all just monkeys burning in hell.

    by smokeymonkey on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 12:13:32 PM PST

    •  Yeah, seriously. (0+ / 0-)

      It's a real tragedy that otherwise intelligent people are ruined by religious views. If only they'd had an enlightened atheist around to set them straight and show them the truth, those people might have done something useful with their lives.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 03:10:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with you, Twigg. (5+ / 0-)

    This is disturbing behavior, and sad.  This boy has been brainwashed already.  Of course, churches know they have to get children young.  In about 4th grade, my daughter was invited to a summer "camp" at a nearby Baptist church.  It was pure indoctrination.  For the kids doing the inviting it was a contest with prizes for bringing in new guests (spreading the word).

    The boy in question sounds intelligent and thoughtful-- what disturbs me is that the church is obviously telling these kids not to let life "distract" them from God. This boy clearly felt guilt for having a relationship that is part of normal teen life and he is a bit preachy, telling his friends that they are too young as well.

    However, talking to God doesn't stop this boy from sounding conceited and cruel. He makes several references to dumping his girlfriend and letting her off lightly. He thinks he is doing what God wants and is patting himself on the back, but this sounds pretty mean to me.

    The kid is confused-- as most teens are to some degree-- I just wonder if he will ever see life with clear eyes.

  •  I've been talking with my dog. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glorificus, GAS, gsenski

    He thinks this guy is nuts.

    Santorum 2012 - Life Begins At Erection

    by kitebro on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 12:23:49 PM PST

  •  that happened a bunch of times to our (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BoiseBlue, my2petpeeves, GAS, Lonely Texan

    oldest daughter and her other non-LDS friends. (altho not discussed on facebook!) They were  dumped by LDS guys when things got too intense and the girls weren't LDS.

     We chalked it up to life's lessons. our oldest daughter went off, formed many good relationships and has been in one for a long time with a guy who shares her feminist/political views. So she survived and is great!

    And when having 'talks' with our younger daughter, we tell her that this is a very real concern if she dates LDS guys. they may break if off since she is not. We let her choose whom to date.

    Fact of life when you are the rogue atheists/democrats in a 'sea of red'. On the upside, they learn to handle the demise of a relationship and they never get too serious too soon. worse things kids could have happen to them. hang in there dad. she will be fine.

    "You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan." final words of R Holbrooke

    by UTvoter on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 12:44:31 PM PST

  •  Anyone who posts this private (4+ / 0-)

    Struggle so publicly to prove what a godly person he is and how God has a (oh, please) special plan with His Holy Scorecard and all, on who is dating whom is looking for a pat on the back. All that begging and sacrificing hooey is a tasteless public display of what should, if he were a gentleman, have been left private between him and your daughter.  Now he just wants to be congratulated.  I say, forget it.  It's time to move on.

  •  This strikes me as a good analysis: your words (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mariken, AaronInSanDiego
    It would be easy for me to be reading far too much into this, because I am a Dad,
  •  Glad your daughter is okay... (7+ / 0-)

    and I share your dismay with not only his spelling and grammar, but the way that some people, and crazy-fundy churches, raise their children. I think it's absolute rubbish, and if they weren't cherry-picking the Bible (or as I lately have started thinking about it "Abraham/Moses/Jesus fan-fiction") for convenient excuses for their behaviour, bullshit explanations for their hate, and absolute bollocks justifications for their "Christian" conservative views, they might realise that if the god in whom they believes exists, he would be sorely disappointed in them.

    PS: I know most teen relationships don't last, but still...she dodged a bullet with this one.

    Best wishes to you and your family from the other side of the pond!

    Hwær cwom mearg? Hwær cwom mago? Hwær cwom maþþumgyfa? Hwær cwom symbla gesetu? Hwær sindon seledreamas?
    Eala beorht bune! Eala byrnwiga! Eala þeodnes þrym!

    by Alea iacta est on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 12:52:35 PM PST

    •  I would like to ask them a simple question: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GAS, Lonely Texan

      "You describe the Bible as the literal word of God. If that is the case, and it is, then why do you selectively accept God's word? For example ... Why did Jesus "turn the water into wine" for you to later describe alcohol as an evil, and use non-fermented grape juice in your services?".

      That is several questions I know.

      The thing is, the whole "non-fermented grape juice" malarky was simply a response to Prohibition. Prior to that Baptists drank wine.

      Why did they support Prohibition, when Jesus apparently thought wine to be "a good thing"?

      Ask them questions like that and all that happens is that they "tut", then, when you are gone talk about you as not being "one of them".

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 03:13:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The jury is still out on this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In the overwhelming majority of cases where a man dumps a woman with the "I'm not ready for a relationship" excuse it really means "I'm just not that in to you and I've found someone better".  Assuming this boy stays true to his word and doesn't date anyone else for awhile, it will automatically put his maturity index in the top 1%  of  of all men (regardless of age)  who have used the "I'm not ready" excuse to end a relationship.  He loses a few style points in my book for not doing a F2F but a lot of  kids today see other forms of communications as being equivalent to F2F.  It's a lot easier comforting your daughter when the guy actually means it when he says that he's not ready for a relationship - a lot of parents are faced with having to comfort their child when  "I'm not ready for a relationship" really means "I've found someone I like more" . Not only does the poor child have to endure being dumped but they also have to deal with seeing their ex with someone else on their arm. Until the guy does something to show that he was lying about not being ready,  we should give him the benefit of the doubt.

  •  My thoughts? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright

    Just let it go. You can't change them. For what it's worth when I was just a little younger than these kids, I thought I wanted to become a nun. I outgrew it. I outgrew all of it. Science is so much more fun. Mysticism is also awesome. Organized religions that involve imagined conversation with a sky god and are based on snippets taken out of context from a bronze age text in translation are not.

    The sad news is that the end for these people is coming and it's coming soon. And not the end of the world they are all waiting for but the complete collapse of our global economic system based on fossil fuel, endless consumption, pollution and climate change. It's going to get really ugly really soon and they're not even going to know what hit them. All that they believe will be shown to be illusion. The sky fairy isn't going to save them. They'd be better off believing in Santa Claus.

    I know which side I am on: the one that does the math.

    by Grassroots Mom on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 01:26:56 PM PST

  •  Honestly, the only thing that bothers me (4+ / 0-)

    here is a grown up man posting a facebook post of a 13 year old with no public role at all on a public discussion board, and reading comments from other grown ups calling the young boy narcissistic, inmature etc.

    Just leave the boy alone. It´s none of our business. He isn´t a public figure.

    "Walking into someone's diary is like walking into someone's home. You are a guest. Act accordingly." Kos

    by Mariken on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 01:27:42 PM PST

    •  You entirely missed the point! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, rgjdmls, Lonely Texan

      See the comment posted directly after yours:

      You tell me:

      Just leave the boy alone. It´s none of our business. He isn´t a public figure.
      In what way have I exposed this boy? What is certain is that the whole school and community knows exactly who he dumped for God.

      I, for my part, have preserved his anonymity and merely used the example to demonstrate a much wider point ... One you missed.

      But the comment I refer you to puts it rather better than I can.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 01:54:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don´t think his anonymity is 100% (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        when you post direct quotes from his facebook page. Some people may make the connnection.

        And there is something very unsympathetic about a lot of grown ups making critical remarks of a young boy on a public site. People calling him narcissitic, jackass etc.

        I was not defending extremist religion in the above comment, just saying go after other grown ups, not kids/youths.

        "Walking into someone's diary is like walking into someone's home. You are a guest. Act accordingly." Kos

        by Mariken on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 02:25:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No one who posts on FB (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GAS, Lonely Texan

          has 100% anonimity, but it would take a determined person to get from my Diarie to a relatively anonymous teen, and why o earth would they want to.

          I agree about some of the comments. My criticisms of the boy are actually fairly minor and specific, and I don't think ascribing characteristics to him are helpful.

          The Diary is not about the boy, he is as much a victim of Evangelism as anyone else.

          I did try to make that clear ..... Simply that the story serves only to demonstrate the point.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 03:06:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I am really surprised at all (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, rgjdmls, GAS, Lonely Texan

    the apologizing going on here for extremist religion.

    Screw that - any religion that tells you, that shames you, into thinking that your emotions are wrong is very damaging.  This kid is being set up for a lifetime of weakness and self doubt.

    That weakness then transforms itself into the irrational fear and hatred that all of us fight against every day here on dKos!  This is how it starts!

    Stop defending it, stop preaching religious tolerance.  This crap is nothing short of cultish brainwashing, and it is a cancer on our society.  There is nothing wholesome or deserving of my respect in telling a young man that his innocent affection for a fellow teenage girl is wrong.

    I'm shocked at the apologists in this thread.

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 01:28:39 PM PST

    •  Thank you! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rgjdmls, La Gitane, Lonely Texan

      I guess I should not have been surprised that so many have missed the point.

      A few years ago I would probably have been among them.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 01:56:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't understand the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lonely Texan

        disconnect; why fellow Kossacks, who fight every day against religious extremism, whose founder wrote a freaking book called American Taliban, for pete's sake....   would suddenly rush to these religious nuts' defense?

        I think that maybe with some it hits too close to home...?  Don't get it...

        But no worries, Twigg - I hear you, and I hope this kid finds the strength to resist this claptrap before it's too late.

        "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

        by La Gitane on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 03:15:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Live Your Life As Best You Can (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, Lonely Texan

    That's all you can do. That's all anyone can try to do.

    You never know who is watching, or what difference you may be making in someone's life just by your example.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 01:56:11 PM PST

    •  One More Thing You need to see on this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twigg, my2petpeeves, Lonely Texan

      The world is a scary place, and a lot of people cope with it by locking themselves into rigid patterns of thought - that way they always have answers, and leaders to tell them what to do.

      But it's not irreversible. Sometimes they can overcome it. A while back Sara Robinson wrote up a series of essays on her own experiences growing up in the kind of community you describe. It's possible to develop escape routes for these people - if and when they ever begin to question what they've been taught. Check out the first part: Cracks In The Wall, Part I: Defining the Authoritarian Personality and the follow up series Tunnels and Bridges, Part I: Divide and Conquer. You can find the links to the rest of both series on the left hand side of the web page by scrolling down for Sara Robinson's articles.  See if this passage from part 2 of Cracks in the Wall sounds familiar:

      Fundamentalist parents work overtime to keep their children from "the things of this world." Your average Yuppie helicopter parent is a slacker compared to these people, who obsessively vet all incoming media, homeschool, seek out Christian colleges, chaperone all "courtship" activities, and otherwise ensure that their children receive no information about the world that doesn't support their belief system.

      This willful narrow-mindedness continues on into adulthood and right through life. Church members spy on each other with the enthusiasm of Stasi informants; deacons call miscreants in for disciplinary meetings to keep the faithful on the path of righteousness. One wonders if Jesus intended them to take the metaphor of shepherd and sheep quite so literally, but they do.

      This anti-intellectualism appears on Dean's list in several guises: Moderate to little education, narrow-minded, intolerant, dogmatic, uncritical, inconsistent and contradictory, prone to panic. They are precisely what you'd expect from people who've had minimal exposure to the world, and hence lack the basic skills -- including flexibility, risk-taking, and spontaneity -- that most of us rely on to deal with it.

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 02:18:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Comment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, Lonely Texan

    Normally, I'd advise you (as a parent whose daughter is now into adulthood) to let it go -- girl meets "inappropriate" boy, girl dumps/gets dumped by "inappropriate" boy is a common thing and you deal with it as part of growing up.  The biggest test of your parental support skills will come when she becomes a young adult and gets dumped by someone who isn't "inappropriate."

    And I really don't feel any particular disdain toward the kid who posted this, just a lot of pity.  He's intellectually stunted and independent of any cultural wars related views I might have, this will not serve him well in adult life.

    But the stuff that the kid is spouting is the ideology of the human puppy mill.  That is not a good comment about the culture in your home town.

    •  When I write on this subject (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lonely Texan

      this is the point:

      But the stuff that the kid is spouting is the ideology of the human puppy mill.  That is not a good comment about the culture in your home town.
      The boy/girl thing isn't really relevant. What I am driving at is the root of the conventional thinking, the way the Evangelicals raise the next generation of haters.

      Our house is filled with more open-minded, inclusive people and we are in the minority.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 02:58:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A great way to weed out the wrong boys (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This could just as easily happen if you lived in a major city near a neighborhood of orthodox religious people of any stripe.

    It could also happen if you lived where other ethnic divisions exist.

    And it could also happen if the boy's parents had a personal beef against your daughter, you, your political beliefs, your business, whatever.

    It wouldn't surprise me if your daughter's very protective dad didn't try to impose his judgment on some of her suitors, based on his own firmly held beliefs and regardless of how irrational, arbitrary, or foreign they might seem to others.

    There's just about no way you can significantly affect the lives and beliefs of the religious kids in your community (you'll be working a miracle if you can affect your daughters'). They'll have to figure it out for themselves. The world is filled with people who have turned their back on their parents' religion, values, dreams, etc. -- and with people who have lived fulfilling lives in full embrace of the values they learned as children.  

    It sounds as if your daughter is doing okay. If, however, she begins encountering significant trauma, exclusion, or abuse because your family's beliefs/non-beliefs conflict too dramatically with community values, I think you have to consider moving elsewhere.

  •  Is there something wrong with his decision (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to stop dating, or is it only wrong because he did it for religious reasons?

    "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 03:09:43 PM PST

    •  There is nothing wrong (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lonely Texan

      with his decision to quit dating.

      The reasons he gives may, or may not be wrong, they are a matter for him.

      What is wrong is the climate that causes this amount of religious fervour to take hold of teens.

      People want to know why and how the Evangelicals get that way .... Well here they don't need to wonder, it is happening all around.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 03:17:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  From what you've posted, I don't see that. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I don't think this experience makes that case very well.

        "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 03:34:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Take the two Diaries together (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lonely Texan

          and the resulting discussions seem to suggest that it makes the case perfectly.

          The problem that has come out time and again is that there are many who have not lived this life, and they simply don't accept it.

          I understand that view, a few years ago I would have been one of them.

          Plenty of commenters get what I am saying, and some don't. I am okay with that, it is an emotive issue.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 03:53:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Many of the commenters who get what you're saying (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            twigg, Lonely Texan

            seem to have experiences of their own which they can point to. I have my own experiences with religious bigotry, but it differs sufficiently from yours that I can't use it to support your point, so I only have what you've written.

            The first diary was fine, although I didn't read it until having seen this one, but it didn't seem to attempt to go as deep into the subject as this one. I think you provide here a small piece of the picture, but taken by itself, this piece could fit into a number of different pictures.

            "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

            by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 04:10:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  As a guy who was a closeted, gay Catholic teen... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronInSanDiego, twigg, BoiseBlue

    I can tell you, I used pretty much the same language to explain why I was not dating girls when I was a teenager.

    For a gay teenager, homophobia doesn't come entirely from religious institutions. It also comes from the institution of masculinity; the football jocks who would go on about how "messed up" and "weak" gay people are but in the same breath brag about how many girls they've had sex with in the last year.

    And for me, religion was a great refuge where I could excuse myself for not being one of those guys.  I told people I couldn't date girls because that would increase the pressure to have sex before marriage, and because I thought perhaps I was being called to the priesthood.

    Of course when I got a little older, and approached the point where I'd be ready to come out (but was still gay, obviously), my attachment to religion really bit me in the ass. It eventually got to the point where the hate and disdain I got from "the fallen world" paled in comparison to the hate and disdain I got from within the church itself.

    Still, something to chew on ... if a 13-year-old kid, whether he is gay or straight, is using religion to fill a narrative void in why he should be able to take charge of his own sexual development, then it means there is a gap in the narrative in society at large. Give kids better tools and more freedom to slow down and I think they will stop resorting to religion as the source of all answers.

  •  Send the lad to reality . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Chock full of stories of super duper Christians totally wrapped up in talking to their imaginary friend until one day it just all looked hollow.

    This is the most likely path this young man will follow -- the Southern Baptist Convention is going through hell, internally, over the 80% dropout rate of their young people.

    They turn 18, and they go to college or they get the hell out of whatever small town they grew up in and they lose their faith right quick.

    Eight out of ten drop it.

    Send the boy the above link so he can move more quickly along the path he is on.

  •  The conditions you describe (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright, twigg

    may produce Santorum voters (only because the alternative is Mormon or, worse yet, Obama), but they did not produce Santorum. Perhaps a better example is Huckabee?

    From what I understand of Santorum's upbringing and religious beliefs, they actually don't track well with the SBC culture you're in now. That his political positions do is a function of opportunism common to all politicians/parties. The RCC and the Christian right are in an uneasy alliance now, but there was no such alliance in Santorum's formative years. American Catholicism in his lifetime has not been particularly evangelical or fundamentalist. That may change with the current or next wave of immigrants -- the American Catholic church has always reflected its immigrant roots -- but as far as shaping him, no.

    None of that is to diminish your perception of the effects of the local culture, of course.

  •  I grew up (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twigg, Lonely Texan

    in just that sort of environment.  It's emotionally-stunting, and frankly an extremely selfish way to live your life. Not to mention the ingrained hypocrisy, because it's impossible to live your life this way without a serious case of double standards and selective blindness (IMHO, after seeing what fundie xtianity has done to my family).

    The selfishness is there, is encouraged, because nothing else matters except his personal salvation.  Give him a choice between running into a burning building and saving 100 people, or worrying about his eternal soul, he's supposed to go for 'B'.  Now I'm sure he could reconcile that choice by saying "god's plan is for me to run into that building....", but that sort of reconciliation is usually not apparent to the person making the choice (unless they're a bigger than average hypocrite).   Choosing between a gf and god, especially if said gf is not of his church, or worse yet! a heathen, well he doesn't even have to worry about reconciliation, much less your daughter's feelings.  

    I think this is the only phrase you've used that might reach him: "Young man. It is considered impolite to use girls to work out your relationship with your God".

    But I honestly don't think it would help, and it has a very good chance of making things worse by hurting his pride, which will make him go public.  Especially if you post that in public on his facebook page, which will show all the world (well, his world) what you think of him and that he has hurt someone with his sanctimonious drivel.

    Perhaps your daughter could find a nice atheist boy to date next time?  If she tries with fundies, I don't think she'll ever be able to live with this sort of emotional roller-coaster, and again IMHO all fundie xtians put their kids through the wringer with this sort of guilt trip.  It's not worth the effort unless the person has already taken concrete steps to leave the insanity behind.

    190 milliseconds....

    by Kingsmeg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 04:16:28 PM PST

  •  To me, the problem with the Religious Right is... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GAS, twigg

    ...that they have either forgotten or chosen to ignore Matthew 6:1-8:

    1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

       2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

        5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

    Now, after reading through the comments, there is something else I think needs to be said:

    Southern Baptist churches are NOT "led by" their state or national conventions.

    I was raised in SBC churches, and was ordained as a deacon by an SBC church.  Those churches taught from the verses quoted above; they emphasized the importance of humility to our faith.  Those churches taught the all-important notion that faith is a deeply personal matter, not something to blast at every opportunity.  Let me put it in terms of this particular diary - you aren't likely to see kids from those SBC churches pulling stunts of that sort on Facebook.

    Please don't tar us all with the same brush.

    •  I don't tar all the members (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lonely Texan

      I do tar the leadership unless and until I hear them speak out against some of the practises.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Sun Feb 12, 2012 at 06:23:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, just realize that... (0+ / 0-) Southern Baptist practice, the "leadership" is the pastor (and, usually, deacons) of the local church.  That's it; no SBC official speaks for all the churches.  Richard Land CERTAINLY DOESN'T speak for my SBC church...

  •  The fact that he's looking at different ways (0+ / 0-)

    To look at the situation is good, but telling everyone and anyone is a bit much.

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