On the WOFF

“Religion is the opiate of the masses.” -Karl Marx
So, there’s this whole Church of the Demonic Hellish Psychotic Followers…
You kind of have to TRY to receive this designation from me. I’m not interested in any way in disparaging religious fellowships, spiritual congregations or anything of the like. I’m much more interested in promoting the effective upbringing of the next generation than I am in indulging the self-centered psychosis of an insane person, her husband, and anyone else she has engaged in her insanity through absolute bullshit, bribery, coercion etc.
I’m a Buddhist. I’m a really, really, really BAD Buddhist and I am the first to admit it. I  follow Buddhist teachings because the spiritual tradition made the most sense to me. I have always felt like I have a highly universalized love for all of humankind. Priest or jihadist, Pope or politician, magnificently wealthy or homeless: if you’re human, I love you. Actually if you are sentient I love you. I generally try NOT to kill other creatures.
So. Anyway. There’s this church based out of Spindale, North Carolina called the Word of Faith Fellowship. Many of their members who have left are publicly and vehemently disavowed. Many of those who stay staunchly defend their rights as a religious fellowship.
Fundamentally I agree with them. They should be allowed to practice their religious ideology in whatever way works best for them. If literally screaming at the tops of their lungs makes them feel better about casting out demons, more power to them.
BUT NOT TO THEIR CHILDREN.
I realize that your children are as far as you are concerned YOURS and you have the GIVEN RIGHT to teach them your beliefs. So here’s a quick run-down on believes/not-believes as far as I am concerned:
-I believe you have an obligation to your child to ensure their SAFETY and COMFORT above EVERYTHING else.
-I believe you do have the right to raise your child(ren) in your spiritual tradition, so long as it preserves their integrity as individuals.
-I DO NOT BELIEVE your children are born into or are required to attend to YOUR religious beliefs.
-I DO NOT BELIEVE you have the RIGHT to inflict your religion upon your children.
-I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT CHILD ABUSE IS IN ANY WAY EVER OKAY. NOT EVER.
For the record: I’m an intelligent person who has had a very intelligent, very spiritual upbringing. For example…
My mother is most engaged in Native American cultures and religions, though she was raised Catholic.
My first religious memory is of attending Ash Wednesday with my aunt.
My father was largely Christian, though he incorporated his beliefs with huge parts of Zen Buddhism and ended up being the only Episcopalian Zen Buddhist I’ve ever known personally.
Oh also I have a BA in History, attended an SBC Fundamentalist school and am now a Buddhist.
Word of Faith Fellowship members seem to think their children belong to themselves, to be brought into this world as they see fit. A couple of things:
-Your practices concerning children are abusive and if you continue to practice them I will do everything I can to get you shut down. I am an extremely popular blogger/YouTuber/Facebooker/social medialist and freelance writer. I am also extraordinarily concerned about what you are doing to your children BECAUSE IT IS ENTIRELY ILLEGAL so I will do whatever I’m able to inspire you to consider other ways to indoctrinate your children into your faith.
-Your children are CHILDREN. I understand that we have very many and differentiated ways of thinking about this, but this is the way I think about children: they are on loan to you from the universe. You got really lucky to have the kids that you do have, and strapping them down with their own bedsheets and screaming at them and actually quite literally torturing them into some kind of feral submission goes against everything I believe about humanity. It’s also unlawful and from what I have seen I cannot believe there isn’t an attorney in North Carolina who wouldn’t pursue your acts of horrendous cruelty against your own kids as child abuse. In other words: HOW DARE YOU!? STOP treating your kids in this manner. One day they’ll hopefully reach the age of reason, the scales will fall away from their eyes and they will understand they have been treated, at best, with religious indoctrination that flows straight into abuse.
And they will leave you. I hope.
I hope because I don’t think kids should be beaten into submission, or tortured into insanity. I don’t think kids should have to quite literally check out based on the videos I’ve seen that were taken in secret by brave members of the greater journalist society.
Please stop abusing your kids.
It’s very important that you understand: THIS CONSTITUTES ABUSE.  You may NOT tie your children down, bark orders at them and then literally scream at them at the top of your lungs to “get the demons out”. You may be “practicing your religious beliefs”, but your children are innocent, and that you DO NOT SEEM TO UNDERSTAND THAT is deeply concerning to me.
Take care of your kids. Love them, understand that as children they display behaviors that may or may not fit well into your paradigm, and work with them to embrace your traditions. If they don’t, that’s okay. If they do, you did your job.
Thanks for reading.
Some helpful links (yes, I know Inside Edition is pushing it for real journalism, but the footage certainly looks real):
Testimony from a former church member who had been worshiping at WOFF for 16 years:
Inside Edition:
HuffPost article on the abuse & torture of an adult WOFF member:
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I'm a writer living in Northern Colorado. I also help run the front of the house for the Fort Collins Bike Co-op. I have two cool roommates and a snorey cat. I love my life.

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