Friday, February 24, 2017

I Hate The Religious Right

I hate the religious right.

So many if you tell a person, I am a Christian, many have a view of what that is.

This doesn't mean I read Sojourners either.

But I hate the religious right and have for years. It was despicable to me as a young atheist reading Freedom from Religion Foundation newsletters in the 80s about scandal ridden TV evangelists as today watching Trump do his phony religious pray-a-thons with false preachers. This is a roomful of snakes in the grass:



 I don't think so much of the left either which abandoned the working class long ago and is now stumping for more immigration ignoring endless unemployed Americans, but the religious right is scary too.  I attended IFB churches for years, and have recently left just a year ago. IFB means independent fundamentalist baptist. Today as you all know I remain a Christian but am church-less. There has been some personal fall-out from leaving fundamentalist churches behind, I am still working through.  Read my experience with Mrs. Curses if you have not. It is hard to explain to people, how I am a Christian but I do not see the world the same way Jerry Falwell did.

Religiously as a new believer in Jesus Christ and in scripture, I wanted to find like-minded people and I remember in my first IFB, while I hated the politics, my church then was more rural and working class and it was a world I was very interested in. I grew up in high achieving suburban/urban households, the idea of a simple "frugal" idealized country life appealed to me. However as the years passed by while my fellow church members in that church were friendly and open to us, unlike the second IFB church I left last year, I realized my life was just not like their own. They owned homes, had extensive family networks, at least several of the families within my church then were long time family farmers.  Some were college educated and well-read but many worked in trades and had family businesses.  They had never lived in big cities. Most had secure employment and the men made enough money to support wives they were adamant about not having work. Many families home-schooled. In some ways, going from the Unitarian Universalists to the IFB was a giant leap. That one shocked more then a few people. I guess it was like a hard core atheist going to join the Amish.

Even in those circles during the years my husband had his newspaper jobs, we were down at least a few notches from others economically.  Later the economic chasm would grow.  I noticed older people in that church were far more established, and this is something I have noted in all the conservative evangelical churches I have visited, people my age were extremely rare.  I am now almost a senior myself and this never changed.

One thing I want to note here, is my husband, while he went to church with me, did not share the same religious beliefs. My church's politics drove him nuts. I remember he would shake his head. Hey I was shaking my head too but more on that later. 

Sure there were still young people living at home who would come to church with their parents, but there was no one of my generation around. Even in my 30s, I was spending most of my time with adults 30 years older then me beyond the younger pastor and his wife. Everyone was my mother's age and above. This remain true of the churches I attended and visited here including one conservative evangelical church, and the cold IFB, everyone there was older too. No one our age existed in the last IFB church outside a few 30 somethings who were the children of the pastor.  One ignored matter is you will see articles on every now and then is how "younger" people are leaving churches. Here is an article for millennials. This one covers Generation X. It is true. The growing economic divide between young and old is showing itself in churches and in politics too. There are poor Baby Boomers too and they probably have dropped out of the whole system as well. Have you noticed our politicians are getting older? I remember when it was a big deal how old Reagan was, and now Trump is even older and its no big deal. Hmm that slogan sure looks familiar.... What's new is old again and all that...



I got the feeling that older people who all voted for Reagan back in the 1980s and prospered, now had voted for Trump. Was this why religious right politics that stressed low taxes and "self-reliance" appealed to them all? In both my IFB churches, Reagan was openly praised, and this was years and years after Reagan had been president. They loved Reagan, was it because they saw the 1980s as their hey day? I was in high school. Reagan didn't do any favors for me. Why was Reagan being shoved down my throat in 2015? The Reagan Revolution was for the generation before me not my own.

I noticed my life did not resemble any of my church members. I had some heartbreak watching their comfortable lives and yes I had less then Christian "envy". Things seemed idealized for them. Their lives were not lonely. They hadn't been forced to try and follow jobs to stay off the streets. Their aunts, uncles, and cousins lived around them. I did notice that for many of them their own adult children were not doing so well. Many were living at home at advanced ages or they simply were not around. Some had gotten on drugs or got pregnant out of wedlock. Many 20 somethings unable to afford college joined the military out of my last IFB. Some were fortunate and able to share in family businesses and trades. I remember hearing a lot talk about "failed" adult children who couldn't seem to "keep" or "get" a job. 

That was a big theme among the babbling bible study locally I had to walk out of, the over 60s there sitting around the table, all talked about how Jessica and Johnny just couldn't seem to "hold jobs" and why couldn't they get themselves "together",. There were some poorer older members too and especially the among the extremely elderly, I noticed they were less political. People in their 70s and 80s when I was in my 30s would just shake their heads and tell me most politicians were crooks. For some reason younger Aspie me seemed to form extremely strong friendships with people in the Silent Generation. It would be remarked on how young me loved far older people. The religious right took over in the 1980s. People don't realize while it had it's Billy Sunday roots in American history back to the 1920s, it's true heyday was the time of the Moral Majority. This is when politics and religion got married in America.

It always bothered me while in my old IFB, how they preached against taking welfare, and spoke of how bad it was to rely on the government. Many seemed to believe in this idealized world of farmers and others able to feed themselves without outside interference. Of course the ideas of freedom appealed but I always had a lot of cognitive dissonance being on disability, while preachers from the pulpit railed against government "moochers". I had one pastor who even preached about how things went wrong with Roosevelt, he was younger then me so probably picked that up from bible college.  At least Roosevelt did something for Americans. For some reason legions of rich Republican politicians who wanted endless tax breaks for their billionaire buddies were seen as "good men".

At the time I became a Christian, politically I was fed up, that hasn't stopped. Both left and right upset me, and I think the main flag is the Green one [money running the show]. I had burned out and tired of extreme leftist politics while in the Unitarian Universalist Association, I starved in Chicago and never got one dime of help from my UU church of 5 years there, nor the one before while they talked about recycling and saving the oppressed in Bali, and collecting money for Lithuanian immigrants, someone like me was definitely off their virtue-signaling radar.

I became a born again Christian in the early years of the Bush era. Problem was I hated Bush. I don't know what someone could describe me as back then or even now. A disaffected populist? I hated Ayn Rand but believed the libertarians were right on civil liberties. I thought Social Security and Medicare were great programs, they had saved my life. Well you get the picture. Anyhow, when I went to church, while theologically I loved scripture and was learning so much, everytime they got on politics I wanted to barf.  It was full support for Bush full sway. Sure my country church, had a few Alex Jones listeners readers before Alex Jones was outed as a shill who became a Republican for Trump, and they talked about how both parties worked behind the scenes together but those folks were rare. One guy who loved listening to Art Bell, and I would have endless conversations about politics. The pastors didn't like those conversations, we learned to have them out of his ear shot.

There were times I had some trouble in my first IFB church because of my differing political stance.

The pastor praised Bush from the pulpit. This was on the eve of Bush II's reelection. I was upset. That was a cringe-worthy one for my Democratic husband. I didn't support the Democrat either then, but I got so upset I wrote the pastor a letter and told him that it was wrong he supported Bush. I've always been an outspoken person. By then Bush had already gotten us into multiple wars in the Middle East, I mentioned those and how I believed the Patriot Act destroyed the Constitution. He responded and we made peace, in a kind of agreeing to disagree way.

The church was not happy about my war protesting. I got rebuked by one church member, the pastor probably stayed out of it given my above letter, for hanging out with "hippies" and "pagans" to war protest. One guy was adamant that I was standing against God's soldiers for the "war on freedom" and was majorly sinning. I told him the "new crusades" were not Gods will. We protested the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. By then I attended a local anti-war group. This was a small town so everyone knew of our activities and would drive by seeing me and my friends with our signs in front of the court house. Things died down and I continued with my anti-war activities, almost to the day I moved away.

I would get lectures on how it was bad to be on "disability" The ex project friend who told me I was a "slave" to disability was not the first time I heard those things. Church members didn't push this one too hard on me, because I was visibly disabled and housebound even in the early 2000s from my lungs but I heard it about others enough. This went along with the things said about people on welfare, how people were "lazy" and "didn't want to work". I would defend people, remember by then I had my years of poverty in Chicago but they were all  very adamant. I would hear about people with food stamps buying lobster, and steaks, all things I never could afford when poor. When the issue came up once about us moving back to my old conservative rural town after my husband lost his job, I wanted to go back, he didn't, we actually discussed what would be the social repercussions in a very evangelical conservative town for people who were once "working class" who slipped down a few notches. Let's just say the social and other climate for people who were very poor wasn't very good. Only two churches had food pantries open to the public and the closest homeless shelter was an hour north in a larger city.

Other issues came up too like the time I was told to read the book, "Me, Obey Him?" which sold an extreme patriarchial vision to women--I think they read that one in the FLDS, and I laughed and said, "Are you crazy?" I got myself in trouble a few times with that topic at women's bible studies. I remember one lady in one of my IFB churches saying that I and my husband were too "egalitarian" between ourselves and that my husband needed to "take charge of me". There was the feeling too culturally as a childless woman, I was less then. Motherhood was the full sum of a woman. That seems to be in a lot of kind of churches. I made a rule to stay home on Mother's Day from any churches even new ones after awhile.

So I had a life of being in religious "right" churches while hating the political "religious right". I know that may seem strange to people. Some may ask why didn't you just leave? I did end up leaving. I have no regrets of walking out of that war supporting church.  I left the second IFB church and wrote about mean "Christians" who want the poor to die in the gutter.  The me of today can not handle being in a church that teaches any of these political things. While I may be in agreement on some theological issues, the world view and reactions to the world or even denial of the realities of my own existence, just are too extreme. I have a far less authoritarian view of the world. I am not a believer in the police state. Jesus was crucified by both the state and religious bodies of His time.

I loved scripture, I wanted to study it intensely and that was provided to me. I was trying to learn about life as a newly saved Christian. I did enjoy much of my time in the first IFB church and they were kind people overall, and I remained friends and in touch on Facebook. The politics though definitely were a ball and chain around their feet, and something that always bothered me. It has put a giant blind spot before many Christians as they have been instructed to "fight the liberals".

All my old church friends I kept contact with voted for Trump. They weren't happy when I came out against him and said, he's not going to make life easier for the disabled and he scapegoats minorities. Trump definitely has formed a sad dividing line between me and old church members. It's worse then it was for Bush. They have bought into all his rhetoric, and the church helped with this. He's bringing in Goldman Sachs as much as Hillary. I support less immigration but think a 20 billion dollar wall is absurd and leaving people stranded. If one reads the  Bible there is a constant exhortation to help the poor, there is also warnings about those who oppress the poor, and too many in the churches especially evangelical ones go running to support the latest Republican politician who wants to cut taxes for the ultra-wealthy and push for more wars. I don't get it and never will. I know this world is not perfect and one can't find Utopia here, but I can't get on board with being part of any of it and the cartoon above illustrates completely what I am thinking. 

The Poor and Disabled in Churches

23 comments:

  1. Life can be so lonely. Sometimes I think having nonsuperficial relationships is just a rare thing, even when you're open to and looking for them, though I think most people aren't. I don't know if it's because they just don't have much to give and mostly need something more basic than thoughtful conversation - like they need emotional support and affirmation - I mean who doesn't, but they don't get that from having thoughtful conversation. I don't know. People kind of mystify me, honestly. And kind of repel me as well. Yet I have that same kind of loneliness, like wouldn't it be so wonderful to have a place to land, to find your people. When I was in high school I was very interested in church because I had this idea it would provide a thoughtful, tender, interesting, elevating communal experience - hahahaha, nope! Really, whenever I am in a group of people, I'm more repelled than anything else, usually by how cruel people can be but sometimes just by the sheer boredom. You'd think that would quench the loneliness, but somehow it just makes it worse.

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    1. I agree. People mystify me too, like you I dreamed of the thoughtful, tender, interesting, all the same words you used experience in churches, and well it just didn't happen. The rural IFB was BETTER, there was a few folks to talk to and semi-connect to, but being younger and eager, I know I had my disappointments too regarding the ideals presented and well, realizing later for years I tried fitting into a "culture" outside of the religious beliefs, I didn't really fit into. I wasn't going to have the white-cloth table, with children to homeschool or the farm house with the vase of flowers or the home garden and woodstove. As an Aspie, I have examined this issue, and have wondered if normal people even want close conversation and relationships, or if they are things they take for granted? I certainly meet people online I can talk to, but you are right thoughtful conversation is so rare. I miss it. I know that is one thing I found more of in the old community and the last 10 years here, it's been boring for me. I don't want saving face conversations or "show-off" or so much conformity. In the churches later on, I no longer met the few rare folks that left the Fox News herding station, though I meet them online.

      So I am with you, I am mystified too. I get repeled and disappointed. As I aged, I know I no longer could put as much energy forth, in real life, some would be shocked to meet me, I'm so quiet. Some of my hugest social blunders can come, if one of the "normal" people starts talking about something interesting and I always seem to talk it intellectually and otherwise "too far", it is hard to explain. This is definitely EASY to do in your normal church setting.

      Spiritual abuse in the churches is rampant. I think I was blissfully unaware as a younger Aspie at somethings simmering under the appearances but yes the cruelty is there, and in churches it is displayed usually in a more subtle and less aggressive matter. I learned status counted as much in church as anywhere else. Why wouldn't those who look for it, in daily life, honor the "strong and richest men" the most?

      The boredom is hard too, I relate. Yawning boredown. I lost my interest in group worship. In the last IFB, I honestly was bored a lot. Without real conversation, going through the motions especially with the energy I have to expend just to leave the apt--it takes me 2 hours to get ready from start to finish and I do not wear makeup, I lost interest. I enjoy talking to people online and many one on one relationship. I don't do well in groups, I guess that has been for life from the faux family to churches. I can't conform like they want me to and that applied to the most liberal church in America [the UUs, where back then I was a seeker] to the church, I have visited and attended other evangelical churches, as well as the IFB. I think more people feel like us, and it's one reason people are leaving church especially young people, in the Internet age, going through the motions isn't going to cut it. People want honest and real connections. I hope your life can get less lonely. Marriage saved me from the worse vestiges of it, but we both are isolated people too in day to day life. We tried to be social and connect for years as well. It's hard for so many. I think of the ideals of Christian fellowship, comfort and companionship in the Bible, and it's so rare as practiced in the real world. You find a glimpse here and there. The churches are losing the ability to share it.

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    2. I was thinking today - you know this feeling of loneliness - maybe it's a loneliness for oneself? Maybe that's ridiculous, but like you I have a happy home situation now. I feel supported and understood. But I still feel lonely a lot. I wonder if MN parents - by constantly berating the child make the child never feel comfortable in their own skin, always feeling WRONG, and in self judgment, and wishing for some kind of decrease in the emotional pain of existing. So maybe if you're very busy self-loathing, like loathing your own company, it's going to be tough to ever feel in good company, because there you'll always be. Too simplistic? It feels kind of right to me that I'm lonely for something that doesn't have to actually do with anyone else. I don't know. It's a thought.

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    3. I was always afraid to be alone when I was younger and I know my abuse had a lot to do with it. Now I do not mind and like being alone though I never want to live alone, that is too much isolation for me but I think you are on to something here. For me there is the feeling that I just do not measure up and I am always doing something "wrong" and like I better be watching for the next shoe to drop or Ill get squished so yes that feeling of self-judgement is one heavy heavy burden. I think others can pick up on the anxiety and self judgement, I know I just do not feel relaxed or spontaneous and that is a turn off to people. Also these inside things others can't fix or fill. I had to admit, that no other person was ever going to be the family I never got that I needed from the start. I have given myself permission recently saying it is okay to be alone, and if you only have long distant and online friends that is okay too. I "gave up" on the social pressures and it calmed me down a lot more. Not sure if that will help. I know I want to come more out of the self judgement, and feelings I am doing everything wrong. I know those monsters set me up for that.

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    4. my husband when I talk to him about us being socially isolated doesn't seem bothered about it. He seemed to escape feeling that idea of self-blame over it that those of us with these severe narcs ended up with. Also too, I am thinking their constant pressures for us to be pleasing to others, also messed us up. I am telling myself now it is okay to please myself and as a disabled person I got to take care of me.

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  2. Better watch out for those hippies & pagans! LOL Religion and politics is an illogical, unholy union, indeed. Agendas galore, confusing sentimental myths about "The Holy Land" with contemporary realities. Even though I consider myself a pagan, just the other day I was yearning for the experience of sitting in a church once more - the sense of sanctuary, the polished wood, the healing colours of stained glass, the exhaulted proportions that mirror our reach for the sublime. The dream ended with the realization I'd be subjected to dogma and the small minds of a small town. And yes, they all seem to have grabbed the brass ring - prosperity and social standing which summons the witch archetype in me like nothing else! Lol But, it's no better with the New Agey/Law of Attraction crowd. These competitive, self-identified goddesses aren't going to cut me some slack, pick up the cheque or offer me a ride to an event anytime soon. (As usual I seem to be the poorest woman in any social group.) So, congratulations on your faith & integrity! We all need something to keep us going! :)

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    1. Thanks for your post. I did feel more relaxed around all those hippies and pagans. I meet Christians like me too but I have realized I am never going to fit in with the church crowd in most cases and have given it up. So I am a Christian and I miss the feeling of church too, but don't want to deal with what I had to within the places. Yes they love that brass ring, and well I did see the same status seeking in the UU so the left side of the equation can be bowing before mammon and popularity just as much. There was less rules and women go obey your men garbage but some of the edicts there could be just as rough. I was told I was poor because I had "bad karma" and/or was a bad person in a previous life, so been down that road too. Where are the other poor women to meet? Maybe they are all hiding after putting up with all the BS. Thanks I appreciate it. :)

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  3. I knew this couple once who went off their disability, they said it was God telling them to do so. At my church, at that time, it was hard for disabled people, and they wouldn't get treated as well as the others. But I think going off the disability was hard on them, shortly after they split up, I don't know why, maybe they had problems, and were never counselled on how to deal with the real problems they had.

    And that is the problem I have with churches nowadays, they don't deal with the real issues. I even heard how one woman was a "saint" for how she endured an abusive husband. Or how women are to be quiet all the time, not even engaging in being "expressive" or having feelings, which are things that are paramount for women.

    Now, I know, I had a few abusive marriages, but I was taught how to communicate now, and that didn't come from any church. I know what I learned had to come from the bible, I'm sure, but I'll not find it, so I had gleaned it from other sources.

    And moochers, well, I never was a mooch, I actually love to work, and even liked the last lousy job I had. The work I liked, but the treatment from the others, this whole "gel into society" is not my bag. Why can't I just work? Why can't I just do that? Not, dealing with people, I don't get it. You should see me multitask at home in ways that makes my hubby nervous, having several things going on at the same time, but in the workplace I'm a nervous wreck and can't concentrate. There is nothing wrong with me. And this is something the church can't help me with either.

    I know churches love to go on about wars and freedom fighting, and this kinda bores me. I don't think I can ever tell them that I can't get along with others, I leave a potluck lunch early, cause something gets on my nerves, but I always make the excuse that I have to get to the woodstove. And they know, they are country folk that a woodstove will run for 4 hours or more, but no one says anything.

    I just look at it this way. We are living in troubled times, I take from church what I can. Sometimes I tend to open my big mouth though. When someone mentions homosexuals, for instance, instead of saying its a big sin, (I know it is) but I tend to say, "Well, have to talked to a homosexual, and get down and real with them, and find out about them and get to know them?" So, what would Jesus do? And no one can answer that question. And why do we "try to save the masses" when one soul that gets saved, heaven rejoices. So I don't know.

    Just my ramblings for the day, thanks.

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    1. I had people lecture me over getting free of the government but I would say whose going to hire me and Ill be in the hospital within 2 days of some kind of infection. I almost died doing a volunteer project for two hours for two days in 2001, far below the demands of a job and had to get smart about some of my limitations in life.

      In the first IFB I remember that anti disability and welfare talk, and it got to me. It shamed poor people they didn't take it as extreme as the second IFB, wow and another evangelical church just left those issues alone.

      Probably the ensuing poverty split them up. You never see these pastors tell employers to give old or sick people who can work some a chance. So their go off the government tit screechings mean nothing to me, when the options present instead are a big fat zero. Yeah that one should be said to Paul Ryan and pals.

      I don't see real issues being dealt with either. How come no one talked to us about real poverty or what to do when you had more money then bills? I never saw a church get anyone a real job. How come? Aren't there social connections in church? It boggles my mind. is everyone in competition hoping they aren't the next poor sucker who will be shamed for government help?

      The saint talk for taking domestic abuse would sicken me. How come those holy men don't go talk to the abuser and say next time you will be dealing with me instead of beating your wife? I think churches have FAILED when it comes to domestic violence. Better a woman who is abused, leave a church during that time, the last thing she needs is shame and blame.

      Yeah it's weird they want the women to all be quiet slaves with no feelings. What is the use of being a woman then? It's all about protecting the feelings of the wicked. Where are the people to speak out against evil?

      I am glad you got out of your abusive marriages but sure that was done inspite of the churches. Most evangelical churches will tell women to sit there and take it. I wonder how much smaller abuses happen whenj they tell women to be submissive slaves instead of making stands in the household. They ignore the verses where the men are exhorted to treat the women decently.

      With the work place you could be normal and just go to work and didn't have to be a super star just to "deserve a job " I have never seen a church address the injustices in the employment system. Not even the UUs who tended to be on the rich side even dealt with that. For some reason the work places seem to want to own your soul and have become competition factories. Well my husband left the workplace to avoid abuse. He was tired of being their thrown-away and got to old and exhausted to work 14 hour days with a disabled wife to take care of. It sucks how they treat people, maybe question the fact that there is something wrong with you and perhaps with the system. They keep people on edge with the narcs in charge.

      Yes the wars and freedom fighting crap got to me. All those veterans paraded in front, and young men told to fight for freedom [aka the bankers and their money-making] I was sickened so few could see through the propaganda. Sometimes I think in America if the churches weren't so pro-war, we could have spent some of those trillions on our own country. I am glad you have a ready excuse to get out of the potluck, well the woodstove thing makes sense to me.

      I think if a church is meeting your needs, that's a good thing. I have friends with decent churches. I know for me none are working here, and I don't have the energy to give a place either, and the teachings aren't jibing with me. With homosexuality while I am traditional in views of it, there's many more facets of a person then sex, and they pound on it way too much in rooms full of heterosexuals. I think Jesus would get real with them too. I agree why aren't things more one on one, when so many of the gung-ho evangelicals do all the number counting? There's a lot done I don't understand.

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    2. oops meant more bills then money in the above.. LOL

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  4. I find it is very easy to acquire permanent acquaintances who never develop beyond a superficial level. They may not be narcissists but they do waste a lot of time and used to lead to emotional disappointment when I realized they would never be real friends. Nowadays I give the acquaintance stage a few months. If nothing is happening by then, it won't happen at all, in my experience. I ask the acquaintance out for coffee at a coffee shop. If they never have time, then it is time for me to move on.

    A lot of people just want to talk and talk and talk in a compulsive unhealthy way. I used to be the old listening post. For some reason I used to pride myself on being a "good listener". A lot of people want to turn me into the free junior therapist. Not that they are interested in me, of course. Strictly one way. Well, no more. I have learned a lot from the narcissism survivors online stuff.

    I think most people are incapable of friendship as I define it. They are boring; there is nothing in their heads. They never read anything beyond road signs and after a while lose their reading skills and become wilfully semi-literate. I am not just saying that either. The OECD do international reading tests and classify people into five levels. In Canada about 40 - 50% read at levels 1 and 2 ie elementary school level or less. Roughly 30% read at about grade 10 level and only 23% read at levels 4 and 5 ie adult level. I no longer expect much from most people. It is only the occasional person who is potential friend material. With the rest I keep it superficial, including my mother, and do my best to keep them from wasting my time and my life.

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    1. I have tons of acquaintances, I didn't see all of them as potential friends, but these are nice people I can say hi and bye to they just do not know me that much. Over the last few years especially after the project friend debacles and the fake Aspie and catfish, I haven't sought any friends IRL, I have been calm and collected but it is a more hermit like existence, that said I had your disappointment too when I sized someone up as a potential friend and it got shut down and they were not interested. It's true I shut down things more quicker if this is someone that is not part of a group etc that I am in and don't want to waste time.

      I don't mind talkers, but then I had the one narc who used me for free counseling for years. I got more insular realizing after the catfish, I was talking too openly about problems and friends weren't going to be able to solve these problems, it is funny with Aspies I can form mutual sharing relationships, where we can complain to each other or talk deep about life and no one gets upset and its equal and this is possible among some NT folks who are ACONS but with "normal" people, I think this way of being upset them. I had to let go of the free therapist stuff too though. I was the type of person even strangers in coffee shops would come up and dump about their affairs and love problems on me. I guess no boundaries or they saw me as a trash can to be filled like the family. I learned a lot when I got the concept of narc supply and that if someone wanted me to listen to them for hours, it didn't mean they necessarily gave a damn about me. Being disabled many did abuse my time and energy because I did not work, and this is one thing health alone forced me to shut down. It's like all these people wanted me to become a super-volunteer. I need a volunteer not the other way around now.

      I agree with the nothing inside people. Some would be shocked at conversations I have with husband, I tell him things like those people seem dead inside. I hope I am not being judgmental, but people don't seem to want to know, learn and explore, and people like that just go away because I am falling asleep. Those types hate me usually anyway if I end up with one in my life, and tell me I need to conform. I think one does need friends who are compatible on an emotional and IQ level. I learned I am wasting my time with more mainstream personalities and had to overcome that thing of taking someone as a friend just because they were "there" I had to become more discriminating. Being tired now with the social energy lower and knowing I only have so much to give is a major social issue now I am dealing with. I wasted a lot of time on bad relationships so knowing this stuff going in is far better.

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    2. Yeah, I used to waste a lot of time on people who would never be friends, only acquaintances. I don't have time for dozens of acquaintances that never ripen into anything else. I feel like I am now a bit ruthless but I doubt that anyone is weeping into their pillow because of it. They probably don't even notice I am gone.

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    3. I understand. I'm working on something about myself, that may sound odd, but I realize I try sharing with people and being open and they are not with me, I am talking just friendly conversation and I told myself today, "you don't have to share with them anymore, don't give when you are not getting".

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  5. It's not written out in the Bible but I really doubt Jesus made sure the sick had health insurance before he helped them.

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    1. I agree. All of that is about money. Jesus didn't shout "get a job" to everyone in a failing economy either.

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  6. You write in quite a literate way, Peep, you sound like you read books. It is hard for readers to grasp, but sounding like you read books is off putting to a large segment of the population. Maybe you use vocabulary they don't understand and they think you should read their minds and know that you shouldn't use egghead language. I asked a guy once if his office was the one with the bay window and found that he didn't know what bay window was. I was once told by my boss that no one could be expected to know what the word "slats" meant. This was a government office staffed by native English speakers!

    A lot of people have very little knowledge of the world as well. There are organisations that assess what the average person knows or doesn't know, useful for advertising I guess. They find that about a third of Americans have never heard of Napoleon. My favorite example of bottomless ignorance is the woman who thought people make nests for birds and refused to believe birds can make their own nests.

    When I was young, I went to a street market with an acquaintance. We were looking at some lousy reproductions of Michelangelo's David - plastic gewgaws about six inches high. I remarked that they were lousy reproductions and found out she had not the faintest idea what Michelangelo's David was. To her this was just some naked kid who should put on pants. We were looking at the same thing but what we were experiencing was miles apart. I should have faded out that acquaintanceship fast but being young and dumb I didn't. We lived in different universes so of course any relationship could only be superficial.

    So maybe your church acquaintances are not friendly because you are in a different intellectual universe from them. Just wondering. There is an aggressive edge to ignorance these days. People seem to be insulted if you use a word they don't understand, as if you can read their minds and know what they know or don't know. I now talk to such people in the simplest way I can manage and limit my topics to the weather and food. It is safer. They seem to like me better and be less dangerous.

    I used to be disturbed by all this, but now I "reads what I reads and thinks what I thinks". I like art and history and refuse to be practical any more.


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    1. Thanks anon for saying I write in a literate way. I read all the time, and am reading Joyce Carol Oate's latest. My husband reads books for fun like a biography of Wilson. We do struggle with small talk among normal folks, we get so bored. I have been told before by at least three people, one was a church member in my old town, that no one can keep up with I and my husband, and we do use vocabulary they do not understand. I've had to remind him don't assume people have these cultural and historical contexts you are bringing up, like what happened with Truman and Dewey or controversies regarding the electoral college. It's odd online, I meet so many SMART people but IRL, it's just not the same, all they seem to talk about is family relationships I lack, and things I MYSELF don't understand. I went to a disability meeting where it was about Temple Grandin, and I started talking about Aspergers, the disability person there knows I have Aspergers but my conversation was falling flat and I withdrew a bit. I am always having to dumb things down and feel like I am failing in communicating with people and it seems to be getting harder as I age too. If you see where I wrote the don't give if you don't get comment, I am realizing I have to be careful about these conversational risks, and realizing the audience isn't in tune, and even more out of tune then it used to be.

      I feel like they all want me to read their minds and dumb down the language and concepts. I tried explaining like a professor that stimming was repetitive and that is the nature of stims in seeking to define stimming behaviors, it was a topic related to the movie someone else brought up. I thought I don't think they even understand what stimming really is. :/
      Yes you dealing with people not knowing what bay windows are, is exactly the kind of thing I come across all the time. Slats and Bay Windows seem like simple words don't they? They are to me, but you are right around here, people would probably fail to know what those two things are too.

      That is sad that people have never heard of Napoleon, I've read that most are at fourth grade reading levels and below. I'm not sure what normal people spend all their time doing. How can people be this ignorant reading things all day on the Internet? Didn't they use to say the Internet would make people smarter. I guess not. LOL
      LOL about the bird nest woman, I may have made a joke, I am the bird nest maker and must go fly out my own window to put some nests up. :P

      The Michelangeo thing reminds me of when I was an art teacher at the juvenile home and the child care workers were spazzing out over Greek and Roman statue pictures in some books, which included the statue of David. I was told not to bring "porn" to work among the troubled youth.

      I would say I was not in the same intellectual universe as the church members. One basically as I wrote above, told me flat out. I think my rural church was "smarter" and more well read, here the level of intellect outside the one nice woman just didn't seem to be there. People seem to hate smart people now, I have noticed this and it has worsened in the last 10 years and among younger generations. I understand why you restrict topics, around here, I did the same and feel if I even edge off the reservation of boredom a teeny little bit, that I am in danger. I suppose some people here including you can understand. It gets lonely with so many topics feeling "unsafe", it really does. It is boring too.

      I suppose I avoid "normal" people more and more and don't put much energy towards them finding my niches of the internet and online friends to hang out with. I do feel loss thought that IRL is like this.

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  7. I don't think the majority of people read anymore. I doubt that most even research things on the Internet. It seems like all a lot of people do is chat, go on Facebook and play games.
    That may be a reason why most have nothing interesting to talk about anymore.It seems to be that way at churches, too. At least it is at the ones we've been at. We have a potluck every week after the service and no one ever seems to talk about anything important. Usually the conversation revolves around food! I don't see people during the week much so I'm ready to talk about things, especially spiritual things but that seems to be not the thing to do. No one seems to have any idea how to build true community or relationships either. This has been true at every church we've ever gone to.
    We just keep trying, though. It's hard feeling alone and isolated all the time.

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  8. Even though people act like they don't read by the way they talk, when I see people on their laptops in public or see people on their phones, they are often reading. I guess it's rude, but I look! There's a lot of text there and they are reading. It's not just pictures and Facebook. I agree though that when you try to have a conversation about something not superficial, people do seem to find it rude. Like it's too intimate or something, even if you're talking about something that's not personal. I guess, on the one hand, it's good that not everyone thinks the same way - these people are obviously very different in how they think - but on the other hand, it's mystifying and off-putting. I guess the weirdest thing to me is that their chit-chat seem so strange and yet they seem to find non-chit-chat really strange.

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  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5BzDVDotzI

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  10. I just stumbled across your blog in looking for info. on Aspies with Narc parents. I love the way you write, though I've so far only read two posts and the accompanying comments, you have so much insight into yourself and many of those around you. I'm so tired of hearing that Aspies don't have empathy or understand people. Clearly the NTs who figured that out don't understand ND people at all, so it certainly goes both ways.

    I really appreciate you taking on the topics of church and politics and I'm glad the UU thing isn't just me. I was a Christian for many years from my teens to early 20s and studied the Bible very seriously. I guess when you're a Christian you're not supposed to do that, but nobody told me! I think religion appeals to male Narcs because very few religions teach respect for women--quite the opposite. I still don't understand the obsession with every word of the KJV as handed down from God and cherry picking of Old Testament verses by Christians to decide where their moral outrage should be. I can accept the teachings of Jesus, but have a real beef with most of his "followers." Having studied the Bible for myself I don't feel the need to take contrary orders from any of his "followers." That doesn't go over well, as you know.

    Maybe your blog will encourage me to write more myself. I'm finding the interaction these days on most websites to be seriously depressing. It's nice to see highly intelligent people finding each other and communicating in a friendly manner, it gives me some hope that all is not lost!

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    1. Hi Signey welcome to the blog. Oh there is so much misunderstanding with Aspies and empathy. Maybe we don't show it as well, but Aspies have empathy, so many claim we do not.

      I believe you are supposed to study the bible seriously but the churches aren't always too keen on it. That whole tithing thing for instance, not in there, a total twisting of Malachi 3, the ten percent went to the poor, pastors may not want the news getting out there.

      I think things are definitely cherrypicked to death and some pet issues go way beyond what scripture says. I agree male narcs love religion and well the female ones will do false pious displays. I worry about the multitude of followers I don't get along with though I try to seek out Christian fellowship in alternative ways. Many Christians are burned out on the constant moral outrage and "culture" wars.

      I hope you do write, post the link over here. Thanks I am glad you enjoy the conversation over here. Welcome to the blog :)

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