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@Ozlsn I also find the whole thing about the term “Christian” interesting. Similar with “fundie”. We have no set definition of what exactly makes someone fundie. OK, we can classify families like the Maxwells as ‘fundie’, but they’re on the extreme end. And even then, there are families like the Washburns who are more extreme in things like headcoverings/not doing ultrasounds; plus, the Maxwells have changed over the years with regards to fashion. We mention ‘fundie lite’, but no one really knows what that means. People talk about Jinger (Duggar) Vuolo and Jill (Duggar) Dillard wearing pants/jeans as being “big” things, but they have the same beliefs and everything so... *shrug*

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This is an interesting thread, I read all of it and it seems like several of the people who contributed are names that are new to me. Maybe inactive members, but most of them are names that I don't recall seeing.

I have a troubled marriage, which has probably been a mistake from day one.  A lot of our issues stemmed from the fact that we didn't think we would ever be able to have children.  In fact as one point we actually divorced.  And then we got back together, managed to actually get pregnant and then re-married.  At the time, I did not want to get married again.  There were a lot of things that I ignored but should have paid attention to.  Mr. Briefly is not a bad person. But he has a tendency to be somewhat controlling.  It was not necessarily in a bad way, but he has gotten worse as he's gotten older and our issues (there were many) never really got addressed.  Several times, I considered leaving him but I really wasn't sure I could afford to support myself and our daughter. At one time, I read an interview with a Muslim woman and she was discussing how her faith was so important to her and she went into a lot of detail about being a submissive wife. I was desperately unhappy and felt like I had no real options but to stay in the marriage.  And in what I will always consider to be the most stupid thing I have ever done or ever will do, I suggested to Mr. Briefly that maybe we should try a more "biblical" (fundamental) approach and that meant him as head of household and that I would try to be a submissive wife.  I will never stop kicking myself for that.  He became even more controlling at that point, which I guess I should have expected.  He was not abusive, I never felt like I wasn't safe. He wasn't given to yelling at me or blaming me for things. But his version of being the head of the household included being able to boss me pretty much every second and make every decision and it was not pleasant if I disagreed. He was always strict with our daughter, but he became much stricter and he expected 100% perfection from her, 24/7 as the expression goes.  After a few years, I finally opened my eyes and started standing up for myself and for her. What was a not-so-good marriage went downhill fast.  So did Mr. Briefly's shaky relationship with our daughter.  My name, Briefly, comes from what I call our brief attempt at fundamentalism. I am not taking all the blame, Mr. Briefly has his own share of that, but I blame myself because I am the one that started the entire mess.  I saw how much it hurt our daughter and she has very little relationship with Mr. Briefly at this time although that might have still happened but who knows. My relationship with him is very strained. We are basically just two people living in the same house, for the most part we manage to get along but there have been a lot of issues lately.  I have done the math several times and more than anything, I would like to call it quits completely but I don't think that I can for financial reasons.  My main reason for joining FJ was therapeutic. I have always had an interest in different religions but I feel at home here. I am a practicing Christian but I also think that each person has to make their own decision on what belief system, if any, they want to follow and that we don't all have to think/feel the same. I'm also bi and have gay friends, and can not stand how they are treated by many main-stream Christian churches or church members.  I hate the thought of so many girls being raised the way the fundy families seem to, they have no choice and no chance.  Boys, too, they are not being raised in a healthy manner but it is worse on the girls.  That is the main reason.

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I was raised in an oppressive conservative Christian household that viewed me in a very negative light.  My sister and I were supposed to have no future.  I'm sure I was supposed to turn out like Sarah Maxwell, though with a college education (that I was supposed to pay for debt free or be a huge disappointment.  I have an associate's degree.  Like shit I could afford a bachelor's). 

Thankfully, my parents half assed everything, including which fundamentalist beliefs they chose to believe in, and I was able to inch my way out a little at a time.  

I'm 29.  I live a few states away from my parents.  I'm recently married to another woman.  My parents don't know this.  My younger sister was able to escape sooner because they funded her college, seeing her as smarter / me as the sacrifice.  She is married to a woman and they do know this.  They reacted predictably badly.  My parents will not know about my marriage or my future children because I know they would try to gain custody.  I miscarried in September.

I did not lose friends by inching out of my cult upbringing little by little, because no one firmly entrenched was ever really my friend, with one exception who stopped being my friend years ago when she found out I'm bisexual.  She's turning 31 this month, still living with her parents, but pursuing a master's degree and following some gay evangelical Catholic guy on Twitter.  The friends I've had since childhood were scapegoats like me.  We were frequently forbidden to socialize with each other, growing up, but did anyway because we were within walking distance.

I really have no ambitions beyond having a family and being able to provide for my family and see my family.  That didn't mean I fit in with fundies.  I never broke kids' spirits, so i wasn't seen as a good role model.  I work full time (overtime) and hate it.  My wife is soon going to work full time (overtime) and hate it.  We'll probably just swap misery through the years.  

I don't like alienating people, never did, because I've always been alienated.  That's about all I have to say.

I lied.  I forgot to talk about my own religious beliefs.  My wife and I don't follow any set religion, but on our own we've come to similar spiritual conclusions that are more agnostic pagan and buddhist than anything else.  We plan to celebrate holidays from varying religions.  

Edited by raspberrymint

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Four is Enough

Child of a Catholic couple. Dad converted to become Catholic; Mother was from a Catholic mother and a "something else" father, raised by grandparents as Catholic after her mother died.

As a consequence, NOBODY in my extended family is Catholic, so I didn't have that whole culture of Catholicism like some ethnic groups, my husband included, have. 

I've found the differences fascinating my entire life. Yes, I've done the gauche "go up the aisle and genuflect before you enter the pew" thing... in more than one non-Catholic church. It's a habit!

But until people like Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker showed up on television, I never knew there were fundies around.

Frankly, I couldn't believe the stuff I was hearing.

Hearing about FreeJinger and Recovering Grace on the Internet fascinated me, too. I needed to know more.

Sometimes, many times, I just can NOT believe what I read. I mean I know it happens, but HOW "that" bible verse came to have "that" meaning.... no. just no.

Patriarchy and misogny just get me.


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On 12/31/2019 at 2:33 PM, Four is Enough said:

But until people like Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker showed up on television, I never knew there were fundies around.

Jim and Tammy Faye were the first to open my eyes to the world of fundies as well.  I was pretty young when I first stumbled upon them - maybe 12 or 13 - but I found them fascinating.  Not fascinating in a good way; fascinating like watching a YouTube video of a massive snake swallowing a pig whole.  

The most shocking thing to me was the fact that people actually sent these charlatans money!  Tons of money.  And instead of helping people with all that money, they built theme parks and hotels and lived lives of total luxury.  How stupid could these followers be?

I used to watch Jerry Falwell on Sunday nights.  Freaked my poor mother out.  She couldn't understand that I was trying to understand them - not to join them - but to be prepared for them. It was clear to me that these so-called Christians were hell bent on returning to the white, completely male - dominated past.  I confess even I am shocked at how far they have come all these years later. 

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I actually started watching Jim and Tammy(for the shits-and-giggles factor)just before the whole thing blew up.  When Tammy went to the Betty Ford Center and their daughter Tammy Sue subbed for her, Jim mentioned she was only sixteen and I was like “Shouldn’t she be in school?”  I later found out that there was a private school on the Heritage USA grounds.

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I was not raised with a religion (not baptized, was made to go to church only when my grandmother was visiting) and I've never felt called to join one. I, however, don't consider myself an atheist or agnostic. I used to be super into Greek mythology and I remember once asking my mom if that could be my religion. She was cool with it. Anyway, I was raised in the most liberal county of a mostly quite liberal state (we always go blue in national elections, but quite frequently have a republican governor. Our current governor won as a republican but has called himself more libertarian than republican) and, while most of my friends growing up were technically Catholic, none of them were very vocal about it. I never saw anyone with ashes on their forehead for Ash Wednesday until I went to college and I was SO confused and a little scared about what the heck was going on. Ok, since I'm rambling- I joined FJ after lurking for a looooong time. I remember seeing the Duggars on TV around 2006/2007 and thinking What is this? Who are these people? And then I started realizing that there are way more people like them out there than I ever realized and started learning more about fundamentalism. Within the past 10 years or so, my aunt (who used to be super cool) became "born again" in the worst way possible and is now basically beyond recognition to me. The complete 180 people can take is very alarming.

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