I realize Ive had a pretty ‘lucky’ upbringing, for an atheist. My family is rather non-theistic– Our idea of ‘Christmas’ was/is Santa, presents, and ordering pizza. ‘Passover’ is watching ‘The Ten Commandments’ on TV. At the dinner table we would make fun of stupid things theists did (‘AHAHA! Did you hear about Alabamas attorney general?!?’). My atheism has always been a non-issue for my friends and classmates.
So Ive always wondered… what would have happened to me if I was born in say, a nutty 15-wife Mormon compound? What if I was born into a fundamentalist Catholic tribe (not the hippy nice Catholics I grew up with)? What if I grew up around people who spoke in tongues and thought bombing abortion clinics ‘was just peachy’?
How the hell would I get out of that insanity? What would my parents and family say? Would any of my friends stick with me?
I really am touched by the strength of individuals who were born into those households, but have ‘left the fold’. I really dont know if I would have had the ability to do what they did.
I cannot imagine the constant torture Nate Phelps endured every damn day of his childhood… Nate Phelps, son of Fred Phelps, was born in Hell, and made it out alive and reasonably sane.