A feminist rebellion
I was raised in the Grace Brethren Fundamentalist branch of Protestant Christianity during the 1960s and 70s. I am grateful for a lot of the Bible-based teaching I learned there and from my mother; for the steeping and memorization of Bible passages; for all the wonderful stories that engrossed me; for the hearing the words of Jesus and His pure love. But my rebellious bent began to grow as I reached 15 and became skeptical about the manner of this branch of Christianity and the hypocrisy I witnessed around me and inside me. I wanted nothing to do with youth group. I had a strong dislike of the “saving of souls” that took place at the end of the preaching during particularly sad hymns. I took to sneaking out of the church and driving around in my parents’ car during the service. My absconding intensified when my pastor claimed to know when the world was going to end and picked a day that came and went while he remained at the pulpit.
I left the Brethrens for good at 17 years of age and began propelling myself into nature mysticism and Eastern philosophy. In high school the Tao Te Ch’ing became my bible of sorts. Upon entering college at Ohio State University in 1978, I ran full into all secular philosophy, embracing my newly found “spirituality” in the liberal movements of the 70s and 80s. I fully immersed myself in the new Women’s Studies program, Marxist ideologies, communist, and socialistic philosophies, literature of the empire, and New Age writings. Needless to say, I became an atheist; not a complacent atheist, but one who railed against organized religion of any kind. I was a banshee against Catholicism, in particular, as I considered the supposed suppression of women throughout the last 2,ooo years to be caused by Catholic propaganda and propagation. I — who was steeped in secular academic liberalism and its brainwashing — felt it was my mission as a woman to dismantle a large portion of Christian teaching.
I became a proponent of a woman’s right to choose abortion, even condoning partial birth abortions. I went with a friend who had one and, as hellish as it was, I would not loosen my grip on her “right” to choose death and destruction for the child within. I also went with other friends to abortion clinics to support them and railed at the “right-to-lifers” outside. I was thoroughly in Satan’s disco all throughout my college years. I pursued an English degree with a minor in philosophy and attended Columbus College of Art and Design. We were, after all, enlightened art types and had no tolerance for religion and that old morality imposed on us to maintain “an opium for the masses.” We believed that we should do what we saw fit with our sexuality and, as a result, our minds were to become little deities of our whims, furthering us along the path of destruction at breakneck speeds.
I met my husband at the height of my liberalism and atheism. He was a fallen away, cradle Catholic and he embraced the same liberal ideologies I did (albeit, to a much lesser degree). He was not an atheist, however, and did not rail against religion or the Catholic Church. Even though I thought marriage was an imposition of the Church and State, we decided to get married in 1989. Putting together our wedding ceremony was difficult. I did not want to have the words “God,” “Father” or “Son” in my vows, because it was too patriarchal. My husband did not agree and we went back and forth until we had a ceremony put together. I finally agreed to leave “God” in, but wanted “the Father” left out. The Presbyterian minister (who performed our marriage ceremony at the Unitarian church) was exasperated. I choose a passage from Song of Solomon, which I believed to be a beautiful piece of literature on the subject of love. It seemed to be the last, remaining vestige of my biblical upbringing. After all, I was a spiritual person.
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