Thoughts and ramblings on things and stuff by novelist Ray Garton.
rAmen! You hit the nail on the head Ray! I'm so glad I wised up and left once I was capable of thinking for myself and no longer under the influence of my father, who to this day remains a devout SDA church member, tithing his 10% every payday. He keeps nagging me to put my kids in his church's "school", all the while insisting he isn't going to push me about it. Sorry for writing so long a comment. My shildhood in the SDA church is a sore spot for me.
Thanks for commenting, Yuri. Childhood is a sore spot for most recovering Sadventists because the cult doesn't allow for a childhood. We were terrorized with the cult's teachings from earliest memory. My mother still thinks I'm just bitter about a few things that some misled individuals in the church did when I was young. She is incapable of seeing what she and Dad and the cult did to me. I think she simply refuses to believe most of what I've told her. The church is always right, of course. When she said her religion was the most important thing in her life, she meant it -- she's spent my whole life proving it. Congratulations on getting out of the cult, Yuri, and please don't apologize for commenting. I hope you'll come back and comment anytime.
I feel better about being raised Catholic and Born Again Christian now. Still, it's all the same fairy tale, abasing crap when you boil it down. I'm all for freedom, but I often feel like indoctrinating children is practically criminal.
Another great piece Ray.And, it REALLY hit home for me in a personal way. Not because I have had any experience with the SDA church, but as a former Catholic/Christian who just happened to have had a three hour telephone conversation with my best friend of close to three decades who did his very best to try to make me reconsider my "whole atheist thing" ( as he put it ). He's been fairly religious his whole life, but since moving to Kentucky four or five years ago he's become a bible-thumping born again. Graduating from bible college & becoming an "end times scolar". Which, he's quite convinced, is actually overdue to arrive sometime later this afternoon, I'm sure.So, he spent a great deal of time filling me in all all the supposed "facts" that are irrefutable evidence to him that the Book of Revelation is happening "NOW" & that my eternal soul is sadly at risk if I don't re-dedicate my life to Christ. This lifelong democrat also did his best to convince me that while President Obama is "likely not" the Anti-Christ, that he's "surely in league with him". That was probably the saddest thing for me about our conversation, how rapidly his religious conversion mutated his political outlook. How it took a liberal democrat, who spent most of his adult years campaigning for democratic candidates ( & whose proudest moment until recently was when he & I met & shook hands with then-candidates Bill Clinton & Al Gore during their campaign stop here in Buffalo in '92 ) & turned him into an ultra right wing, conservative republican. Talk about INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS...It's actually exactly as you've so often said here & on your Facebook page, religion is like an all-consuming cancer that doesn't take a piece of the converted, but dramatically devours the person whole. My friend is a living breathing example of that.This is a person who spent 26 - 27 years being absolutely passionate about universal health care for Americans, but who now sees Obama's health care accomplishments as E-V-I-L. It's madness.So, thanks again for writing so well about something that really hit home for me.Peace.- Jim Allcorn
Fuck Ray, I didn't know much about this bunch until reading the above. I always thought you were a pretty cool writer, and since getting to know you a little on FB a pretty nice guy but now I have gained a whole new level of respect for you. How you turned out sane after growing up in this mad, toxic, fucked up mess is a testament to your strength of character my friend! Well done! Roger!
Amen, my brother from another mother. As a fellow ex-member of the cult, I testify to the truth of what you've laid out here.
Dear RayI am a huge fan of your books but something is troubling me and it has to do with religion. You see, I love to look at naked women on the internet and masturbate as I look at their smoking hot bodies. I'm a total fan of boobs, I love little one's medium one's and large one's, I love the way they bounce all round. I like all other aspects to like hot butts and legs and beautiful faces. I am actually getting a hard on just typing this. What I am really afraid of is that I'm going to hell because of my porn addiction and masturbation addiction.Is this true or is my pastor just trying to ruin my fun in this life.
Not only is your pastor trying to ruin your fun, he probably wants to know what websites you're visiting. Your sex life is none of your pastor's business -- or anyone else's, for that matter -- but if religion can get a hold on your genitals, it has you for life. If it can convince you that the natural biological functions of your body are wicked, it can convince you of anything, make you do anything. I know you're being facetious, Anonymous, but it's really one of the worst things religion does -- making people ashamed of, or even fear, their own bodies and its needs. Ignore your pastor, unless you want to become like him. I don't know your pastor, of course, but it's almost a given that you do NOT want to become like him.
After graduating high school I stopped attending adventist church and attended mainstream christian churches. Occasionally I attended reform jewish services at a nearby temple. I knew that jews also keep the Sabbath but I had never attended a jewish service before.I recall being told that adventism is the true religion and others were false but mean well. I don't recall them saying, "This is what we believe". I was told that "The Sunday Law will happen someday" not "We believe it will happen".I still have a lot of things to figure out, so I visit websites such as formeradventist.com and ex-christian.net. Sometimes I wonder if I had studied adventism earlier in life it would have been better for me but unfortunately I didn't, partly because I never liked confrontation and just accepted what I was told. I never read any of Ellen White's books(they were beyond my reading level), but I remember reading children's magazines such as Our Little Friend, Primary Treasure, and Guide, which would mention her occasionally. I didn't read Insight as often because by the time I was in my teens I just stopped caring what she said about diet and not doing fun things on the Sabbath.Sometimes I visit Gleaneronline.org to figure out why I still resent adventism. As a 41-year-old man I feel as though I should have gotten over it by now, but at times it's difficult to do so. For those that may not know, Gleaneronline.org is a magazine from the Pacific Northwest. I used to live in Washington state back in the 1980's, but now I now live in California.I try to recall my earliest memories of adventism, but so far it hasn't been easy. As a kid it seemed harmless on the surface, but at the time I didn't know what a cult was and my brain wasn't as fully developed as it is now. IMO the internet is a very useful tool because I can search for information anytime I want.
My friend you need to put out some references to all the things you are saying about this cult in order to make our statement more powerful, reason being people will only think this your sayings. Agee?
I provided links to two websites that provide all the documentation for all the information you need to know that Ellen White was a fraud. I encourage you to visit them and take some time to look around.
Interesting essay, Ray. While I've not walked away from my sda upbringing to the same extent you have, I've certainly walked away from much of it, and honor your journey for what it is - your journey. Hell, I'm gay. I had my first and only boyfriend while attending Rio Lindo Academy (something I have plans to blog about), graduating in the mid 70's. It was hell being gay in the Adventist church in those days and unfortunately I couldn't handle the pressure. I buckled under and did what all adventist boys were supposed to do: find a girl, marry her, and raise a family. sigh...Had I known then what I know now that is something I never would have done, but I digress. My journey is still developing and I just want to thank you for sharing your experiences because they help others gain perspective about our own lives in "the church".