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Lift Your Head Up!

Five years ago today — this hour, in fact — I was in my Meeting of Doom. When I wrote that Ebenezer description in 2008, I was too timid to name names. Now I will.

Darren Lawson, Dean of the School of Fine Arts, conducted the meeting, and my long-time friend and newly-appointed Division Chairman of Speech Communication Lonnie Polson was present. That meeting was the beginning of my end in fundamentalism, and eight months of therapy helped me work through the PTSD that those men caused. Eight months of therapy to see exactly what had happened in this and other traumas at BJU. Eight months of therapy to not be terrified of long hallways (where Darren had first shunned me). Eight months of therapy to comb through their lies. Eight months of therapy to admit that they were psychologically hitting me for not hitting my kids. Eight months of therapy to perceive through the whole thing that God was taking care of me and that I was never alone.

It’s also the four-year anniversary of a trauma from another life-long “friend” from fundamentalism, our former pastor of Heritage Bible, Dan Brooks. I haven’t gotten over the trauma he caused. Not yet. And so his was worse. Getting an email from any authority (but especially religious authorities) still sends me into panicked tears. That’s Danny’s fault. He did that. He knows it. We told him face-to-face a month after he did it. He simply said that “faithful are the wounds of a friend” — a misuse of Scripture.

All those Bible verses he hit me with? Proverbs 27:6 and Psalm 1, for instance? I’m just beginning to understand what God is really saying there. It’s not that you can always count on your friends whacking you; it’s what Oscar Wilde said (and I heard from Steve Brown) that “a true friend always stabs you in the front.” That’s a completely different meaning! And it’s not that I was “sitting in the seat of the scorner” by joining a Facebook group with a gay guy in it, as Danny accused. An elder in my current church got a big chuckle out of that one — “Has Danny BEEN to Bob Jones?” No, I wasn’t the one scorning. I get that now. Friendship and love isn’t scorning. Egocentric and prideful separation is scorning.

Sometimes I just use the Fundy Drive-By Comment Bingo over at Stuff Fundies Like. Danny gets a Bingo in just one email! And Darren, too, in one meeting.

I know that each of these people I’ve named has done similar things to others in their care since 2007. So my trauma is nowhere unusual.

And now I’m realizing that this trauma has happened for 100+ years. Fundamentalism has found a particularly efficient expression of conservative ideology within bibliolatry that’s so lithe the tyranny is almost undetectable. Almost.

I can see it better now. I can see the truth. Thank God!

[audio:|titles=I’ve Got A Right]

“I’ve Got A Right”
Sung by Laura Duncan

Boss tells me I’ve got to stay down where I belong.
Tells me my place must be way down, and I’ll get along.
Tells me that I should be humble and mend my ways.
But I say boss-man will tumble
One of these days.

I’ve got a right to lift my head up, got a right to lift it way up high.
I’ve got a right to lift my head up, got a right to look up at the sky.
My heart has had double of grief and trouble.
I want to know the reason why!

I’ve got a right to change my blue song, got a right to sing out clear and loud.
I’ve got a right to sing a new song, got a right to teach it to the crowd.
There must be a showdown for all the lowdown,
So they can stand up tall and proud!

No Jim Crow laws, no more!
No chain gangs on the levie.
Swanee Shore with no trees hangin’ heavy,
So I can see the sky shining way up high.

I’ve got a right to lift my head up, got a right to lift it way up high.
‘Cause I’ve learned my lesson, now I’ll hold my head high
Until the day I die.

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Romans 8:15-17

48 thoughts on “Lift Your Head Up!

  1. Love it!! Spent the weekend listening to Mandissa “Take these shackles off my feet so I can dance….. I just wanna praise You, I just wanna praise you….”

  2. You’re so brave to have humbled yourself in the hands of God and sought therapy.I didn’t know you took an eight month journey in therapy. Was That ever a wise investment. Thank God you can talk about it now! The authority figures / fear / syndrome, that’s a challenging one to heal. There are no quick fixes, that’s for sure. The negative association with the long hallways. Wow. That’s almost scary thinking about it. I wonder if Art Therapy would hold some spiritual keys to your being released from remaining painful anxieties. Have you ever given God permission to speak to you in your dreams? Or have you given yourself permission to dream about these past anxieties,and then with God’s helping hand guiding you, possibly writing down your dreams? When I read the words in Linda’s post, coomenting on “take the shackles off my feet so I can dance”, I thought of the image of “the bird in the gilded cage.” Nothing to do with your happy marriage. But with past spiritual abuse having trapped a part of your mind and maybe even some of your dreams, in a cage. Picture yourself with Jesus hands over your hands, opening that cage door, and letting the beautiful bird out to fly free again. You may just be on the brink of a healing breakthrough. But there’s no hurry. God’s never late. God’s never early. God is always right on time. “Now is that day of Salvation.” It’s wonderful that you can talk about this now. Have you ever tried reading the palms out loud to yourself? The palms are awesome. Epecially in the Good News Version. I am rejoicing in your latest victory. Barb

  3. I need to comment on the provocative picture. We not only need to ‘help’people speak up for themselves, but, until they have the courage to be able to do that, ‘somebody’ has to speak up for them. About fundamentalist interference in a person’s parenting / private life, and child rearing: have fundamentalists ever learned the meaning of spiritual boundaries? The presumptuous overstepping of personal boundaries, is so out of the will of God, that, it is seriously MORALLY WRONG. I do not believe that most fundy pastors have a ‘clue’ about boundaries, nor do most of their adoring, gullible supporters and followers. It’s almost like this sick, warped concept of ‘obedience’ and ‘discipline’, has become a fetish in fundamentalism! And to call it ‘sick’ would be an understatement!

    1. That boundary point is huge. HUGE!!! No sense of boundaries whatsoever. Because there’s no sense of personhood or autonomy. NONE!!

      1. You really hit the nail on the head with that. Without autonomy because such is ‘disallowed’, free will has to be so self – -supressed that people ‘feel’and ‘believe’ the lie that they don’t even have one. And personhood? How can such be acknowledgedor even celebrated if one is not even allowed to be a ‘real person’, especially on the inside? Robbing people of their personhood is a crime against humn dignity. Which is why I say fundmentalism in this worst corrosive form is IN humane. Dan Keller’s ‘sieg heil’ had me giggling before sleep last night. That really mde my day. Thanks Dan.

  4. Well, there are no gay guys at Bob Jones. We all know that. An auditorium bathed in lavender, purple and gold was done so an administrator, who was colored blind (an irony unto itself), could recognize the color purple. How about the academy teacher, gayer than a can of pink paint, who lectured boys on the evils of masturbation? But, no, there are no gay guys at the BOB, only perfect Bob Jones Youth – sieg heil.

    1. There’s also little joy plus freedom of expression, that can be freely expressed without Mr’. Hitler and his religious S.S.’spy goons’ seeking out the evil spirit in others. Seig Bob the 3 rd.! Lord save us from the cheerlessness and powerlessness of sanitized religion!

  5. This is the only thread I can think of to say something that just came to me today, while looking up ideology’, ‘ideas’ and ‘opinions’ on wiki and other ‘google knows all info, re trying to understand a relative who seems to be locked, stuck, trapped, in a form of extremely negative thinking a la ‘cynical ideology’ and is an extremely negative and unhappy person. “Some people are ‘afraid to think’ and passively allow ‘presumed experts’ in authority, to subtly or not so subtly teach them to ‘shut down’ their independent thinking. Thinking as an individual, and ‘not as co ercively suggested’ to a ‘corporate herd’ of pulpit controlled sheep think or believe they’re ‘supposed to’ think. I am also referring to the problematic toxic mix of religion and politics re relative I am concerned about. If we are afraid to look at things, by carefully ‘thinking about them’, things such as circumstances etc., that need to be looked at, regarding’ where’ wer’e going,’what’ is taking place in our lives and relationships, and the effects this may be having on us that may not be good,positive or healthy, if we are afraid to take a thoughtful, careful look at our personal lives, and think about the kinds of influences that are coming at us from outside of us, that may not be good at all, if we do not think about such important matters, and I’m not talking about ‘worrying’ here, if we don’t think about such things,we supress the inner warning systems and alarm bells, which are telling us to ‘pay attention’, that something is not right, and that which needs to be brought out into the light, ‘isn’t’, and remains in the shadows of our mistaken practices of “we don’t want to think about that!” If we shut down our own thinking, we deny ourselves our God given right to think independenty and act responsibly. When we do that, we can too easily risk missing some very important sign posts along the way in our journey. I have read from an ex-JW now a psychological counsellor, helping spiritual abuse victims heal and recover from cults, that JW’s are mind controlled to actually be ‘afraid of their own thoughts’, and actually find themselves feeling guilty about any of their thoughts that they are afraid might be sinful, that their ‘supervisors’ or JW secret service people might disapprove of, that they end up confessing things to them that are’nt even a sin to get rid of their guilty feelings. And of course immmediately these poor souls are shame / blamed/ condemended / judged / and criticized by the merciless ‘religious police’ in their dreadful cult. This is the awful way the enemy manipulates these oppressed people, to actually ‘mentally spy’ on themslves.’ It’s so sick. And so heart breaking! I’m talking here about ‘false guilt’.If people attend churches, where they ‘have to’ go along with the mind set of ‘the herd’, where all the thoughts, ideas, and opinions, ‘everything’ in that church culture, that directly affects, influences and ultimately controls their ‘thinking’…. is it not a church environment / culture, where basically, the sheep have to step into and ‘mentally feed on”? a ‘pre selected menu’ of what ‘the bosses say they can think about and believe?’ So is there some truth in this ? that ‘some people are afraid to think’, because of these kinds of environments? And in order to relieve their ‘fears and anxieties’ about these things, they give their independent thinking ‘over’ to others, so they can feel ‘safe’, but that safety is really ‘a false security’ gained by feeding on a pre selected corporate menu of what is allowed.’ And the myth that, someone in the pulpit will take care of them, as long as they let that person do all their thinking for them? Does this post comment resonate with anybody? I just had to talk about it. “people being afraid to think, afraid of their onw minds.” Maybe this fear of thinking, is what is behind the nonsensical, anti-intellectual, judgemental language , of fundamentalists labelling all professional therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists,knowedge and teaching, etc., as ‘psycho-babble.’Anything fundies don’t agree with is either false doctrine, heresy, or psycho-babble. I thank God for the wondeful gift of a mind that He has given each of us. I believe we all have a reponsibility to take good care of it. I just love this blog!

  6. So thousands of soldiers go to Iraq and see bombs explode and people die before their very eyes and have PTSD. You get fired from a job and also get PTSD. Wow.

    1. Thank you for your expert and ever-so-sensitive opinion, Ryan. /sarcasm

      And yes, it’s a proven fact that leaving a cult causes PTSD. I didn’t come up with that. The experts did. When you get out, you’ll see. Then we’ll talk.

      1. Zactly, Dan. It’s a well-known fact. Of course, then Ryan would have to admit that he’s working/living in a cult, and that’s a hard pill to swallow. I get that. I do. It took me a long time to admit it. It’s easier to be a jerk to me.

        It’s classic. Someday, he’ll have the panic attack to match his bullying. Someday. And then he’ll be on the road to healing too. . . .

        1. I remember the panic attacks. They went on for weeks. Never knew when they’d come on. What a relief when they stopped. I remember how I would be raking in the garden, suddenly feel so completey overwhelmed, that I didn’t think I could remain conscious and cope. I’d go in the house, upstairs to the bedroom, and lay down. I would fall asleep for about ten minutes, wake up again, and the panic attack would have passed. It was scary. It must have been dreadful for you to suffer in such a way, with two little ones to care for. I made three visits to my professional care giver, and one trip out of town to my ‘spiritual parents’, to check me out. I wanted to know I was ‘not off the wall. I ‘wasn’t. But I was in a lot of pain. Thank God that’s all behind me now.He’s answered my prayers to heal the anger. ‘That’ took a long time to heal, the anger. I find it unpleasant to think that people are living / working in a cult. That people may be selling a part of their soul, in order to ‘fit in’ to the ‘system’, and get approval, from ‘The Firm.’ God must allow blinders to stay on people’s eyes as long as necesary, so that they don’t completey lose their faith. But how do people ‘keep their faith’, when they ‘abdicate their autonomy and integrity’ to ‘think for themselves.’?There will be more new stories coming out of BJU in the future. Because the power brokers will be turning on one of their own again for some high and mighty reason. Someone will be a new BJU victim. It’s as sure as the sun rising in the morning and falling at dusk. How this must break the Lord’s heart. Breaking people’s hearts to’keep the place clean’ from dissenters.

    2. See, this is just dumb. It’s so dumb it barely calls for a response. But because often times idiocy reigns supreme for lack of a cogent response, I’ll just repeat what I said on my wall linking here lest someone actually falls for this lunacy. That’s like saying because you can catch a cold in Siberia you can’t catch one in Cancún. It’s *ridiculous.*

    3. Polaris/Ryan,

      As someone who has spent many hours with current and former soldiers suffering from PTSD, I can tell you that you don’t know what the hell you are talking about. And I do not ask you to pardon my language, as you deserve much stronger. One particular soldier haunts me, as his PTSD stemmed not only from his wartime experience, but from being denied baptism because he was the illegitimate son of a lesbian woman. No matter that the circumstances of his birth were not is fault. He carried that pain into Afghanistan, and that pain, along with his physical wounds, drove him to attempt suicide. But is was the pain of rejection by his church that drove him to it. Ryan, you should hit your knees and pray that you never have to go through the kind of pain discussed here. With your attitude, I don’t think you could handle it.

  7. Oh, Ryan. What can I say? Trying to minimize someone’s pain by comparing it the pain of others? I guess next time someone close to you suffers, you can just tell them that at least they didn’t get beheaded or anything. I mean, none of us should hurt then, right? Someone always has it worse? Isn’t that what Jesus said? “Thou shalt suck it up because verily it could be worse, and probably shall be”?

    1. Nothing to add except that I think I’m going to cross-stitch Beth’s verse and frame it. I didn’t just laugh, I snorted.

      “Thou shalt suck it up because verily it could be worse, and probably shall be”

      Wow. This is e.x.a.c.t.l.y. how Pharisees and their minions view others’ pain. It makes me happy that my Lord responds as the Samaritan in the parable.

      1. Jesus second shortest sentence : He wept. I know He weeps for our pain and suffering. I know He is not like the Pharisees. this gives us all such hope that we can make it. And that tomorrow really is another day, and whatever is hurting us today, this too will pass. And everybody says amen. I love this blog.

    2. Beth, what a perfect quote. Never heard it before. Can I use it? Perfect for someone still on spiritual baby food, and spiritual pacifiers, and believing in ‘whatever is convenient.’ Christians who stop learning when they conclude they already know everything! I’m glad wer’e still learning. Isn’t life so much more interesting that way!

  8. @ Beth.

    I now have to clean morning coffee off my computer and out of my nose. Thanks alot. 😛

    1. Right on Camille! Free will, autonomy, telling your personal story, is ‘chasing’ them? Give me a break! Reminds me of a wierd, upsetting,bizarre email exchange with a relative who ‘started’ a fight with me right after a brother had died. Beacuse I stood up for myself and defended myself to him, when he accused me of , get this, ‘self-pity’, he tried to tell me I was ‘harassing him.’ He played the false martyr, the false victim. REminds e of how true it is, that such illogic and absence of reason and rational thinking, is so typical of a cult and its toxic thinking and environment. Love how you say it like it is.

    2. Joseph, thanks for that response. Felt under the weather today. Your reply really made my day. I’m already feeling better. ‘snort’. I used to get snorty sniffles when I drank Pepsi in the sixties. Good ole Pepsi days!

  9. Your conclusion would be perfectly fine if the premise that it was a cult were true. But I’m just not seeing it. Sure, they may use tactics to get you to do what they think is right but people can freely come and go from BJU. In cults, you can’t do that. No one at BJU is chasing you, Camille. They aren’t hunting you down for leaving. You’re chasing them.

      1. Because my talking about my experience and telling my story and asserting my autonomy is “chasing” BJU. That only makes sense in a cult.

    1. No, Polaris, Camille is ‘exposing’ them. They’re a ‘birds of a feather flock together’ group of good people, misguided by a ‘bad system’. Unfortunatley,’good’ people can become wrongly motivated people, when they come under heavy handed leadership,that ‘squelches’ both the human spirit ‘and’ the tongue,( can’t say anything ) as ‘some’ of those good people unknowingly learn to become ‘mean and sneaky.’ The no talk rule is the subtle silencing of any dissent by ‘subtle intimidation. If you took the creative and intelligent time to read the excellent books on the subject, you would gain some intelligent understanding on the matter. But you base your thoughtless judgements on, bias, ignorance, impulsivity, and emotional thinking. People who have no respect for other people’s feelings, are people who few will trust.Think about that one the next time you attempt to ‘mock’ someone else’s suffering and personal story of their healing journey such as Camille’s. Or falsely accuse her of ‘chasing’ people. You’re actually trying to ‘turn the table’,with so typical denial / scapegoat/ tactics of spiritual abuse, and make BJU be ‘the victim’ here! Unnreal! In a BJU type place, no one wants to lose their job. And no one wants to lose their community of peer faculty members most of whom have become dear friends. That’s why most people ‘shut up’ and also ‘never’ come to a bullied faculty member’s defense. FEAR. One of the most effective, so morally wrong, sinful ways to ‘control people.’ People are’nt objects, Polaris. People are real persons with feelings, dreams, and hearts that can be easily broken. I hope someone will be there for you, to comfort you, if your heart is ever broken like spiritual abuse victims’ hearts have been!. ‘Bad systems’ actually ‘treat’ people like objects.Objects can be used. Objects can be thrown away when they’re no longer useful. They don’t have feelings. Objects don’t need to be honored, respected, cherished or valued. Objects are there to be used and exploited, ‘never’ valued! Jesus never treated people like BJU does! Never! And if you ever took the responsible time to read your Bible intelligently, especially the Gospels, you would know that.”Ignorance of the Scriptures, is ignorance of Christ.” People can be better treated outside in society by unbelievers, than in a ‘bad system’ place like BJU! When unbelievers in the world, are warmer, kinder, nicer than the high and mighty, phariseeical BJU blind guides administration, and the faculty who cow- -tow to them, , ‘something’is very wrong with whatever is going on in that loony bin of a university with all its anti-culture, anti-social practices, and unreasonable anti-intellectualism. If love, acceptance, affirmation, approval, and affection of other christians, ‘has’ to be earned by jumping through stupid hoops,such as in loony BJU, then ‘somebody’in administration in that loony bin of a university, ‘does not understand the message’, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is ABOUT GOD”S LOVE, not about jumping through stupid hoops and playing the ‘sweep everything under the carpet’ silent approach to problems, because we don’t want the bosses to get angry. They’re already angry anyway, because anger seems to be behind most their control-freak fanaticism. No problems are ever solved or resolved by ‘never’ facing them and never talking about them, nor are they ever solved by bullying. Bullying and intimidation is not love. A place need not have overtly heretical doctrine to be a cult. A cult can be a ‘group gathered around one man’s interpretation of scripture’, and BJU popes have ‘always’ had their own narrow, rigid, mindless and superior, ‘one man’s interpretation of an ignorantly assumed doctrinally perfect version of christianity.’ which by the way is so ‘unchrostian’ as it is a scandal to authentic christianity. Any place where, a toxic element in the environment, has a strong, negative undermining effect on relationships, on people’s minds and emotions, can easily become a cult. Because the Presence of God is not there in that environment. The presence of a powerful ‘man’ is, and it is ‘man’ in his religious / monarchical / self- elevated, arrogantly assumed superior status,of ruling and reigning in his self- made kingdom. Its a kingdom of man. BJU is a man made kingdom of man. Good people ‘trying to serve God in God’s Kingdom, with another man’s powerful personality, with his man made kingdom clashing all the time with God’s! No wonder God’s people in that place are confused! Ultimately, if ‘all the power’ is in the hands of one or a very ‘few’ men, and these men ‘use’ their position to ‘wield’ that power, over people, they are ‘carnal rulers’ NOT christian ‘servants’at all. They really serve no one but themselves and their loony bin system of domination, manipulation and control. No one can recognize a cult as a cult, until they get out of it. The problem with deception is that when one is deceived, one does not know they are! One way to define ‘cult’ is ‘communism of the mind.’ Mind control regardless of how subtle, ‘is’ cultic. PTSD is a real symptom of spiritual abuse victims. I hope you never have to personally experience what that is. IRAQ is a literal battle field. BJU is a ‘spiritual’ and ‘mental-psychological’ battle field, with ‘mean words’, ‘shunning eyes’ social ostracization, shaming, blaming, and condemnation, as ‘the weapons’ that mean religious stinkers, ‘use’ to fight against ‘their own fellow faculty members and friends. See the comparison? You dont need a physical sword or spear in your hand, to attack someone. You just need an unbridled tongue ans a cold, mean heart.

    2. If they ‘use tactics’ to get you to do ‘what they think is right’, over at loony bin U,then , that’s ‘cultic’ in and of itself. It’s also very selfish. And it has nothing to do with true christian love, respect or honoring fellow christians as Jesus honors them. It’s just NOT christian behaviour at all.It’s Christless human behaviour in the spiritually confused lives of people who ‘really’ don’t know Christ!It’s a most fallen and selfish form of unbelieving human behaviour. It’s the carnal behaviour of ‘spoiled religious brats!’ The administration there, is a ‘my way or the highway’ administration. They don’t ‘serve’ like Jesus served. They ‘rule’ like Jesus said ‘the Gentiles like to rule and lord it over people.’ Remember Jesus referred to the Gentiles in the Gospels who at the time were ‘outside’ the Kingdom of God, and therefore ‘were’ UNbelievers. This was before Paul’s conversion and his Apostolic mission to the Gentiles. If unbelievers in Jesus day ruled over people,’ then BJU bosses in BJU days,who also rule over people, ACT JUST LIKE THE UNBELIEVERS did in Jesus day. Because Jesus said NOT SO AMONG YOU! There has never been any problem with THE WORD OF GOD. The problem has always been with religious leaders who seem to ‘have torn these verses ‘out of their Bibles’. They never ‘read’ them! They never ‘see’ them! So,naturally, they never ‘obey’ them. Why should they, when in reality, ‘they simply don’t want to and have no intention to anyway!’ I am describing a lawless and rebellious spirit here. It’s a selfishly convenient christianity that is practiced by the administration at BJU by aministrative people who basically ‘believe and do’ whatever is convenient to them. Who really don’t care about people! And it’s their’ twisted, warped, version of christianity’, that ‘is’ the problem, has always ‘been’ the problem and always ‘will be’ the problem, unless and until the people in BJU administration start listening to the ‘real’ Master and the ‘Good’ shepherd, JESUS, start obeying Him FROM THEIR HEARTS, and GET the popes of BJU off their self-made thrones of false authority! Until they start doing that, it will just be a daily rerun of ‘the same old same old.’ Nothing will ever change. Everything will remain the same. And more victims will fill the lists of saddened, devastated, brokenhearted people used, exploited, and thrown away by them like so much BJU road kill. There would never ‘be’ any vctims from BJU, if there ‘were’nt’ any abusers in residence doing the ‘abusing.’ It’s a ‘warped love’ a false love’ a ‘wrong kind of love’ ‘cold love’ that is practiced there by the bosses. Once the carrot on the stick has been eaten through, and the attractive ‘bait’ has been eaten up’ the big stick is there to hit people with, and the hook is there to pull on innocent people’s hearts with all the false guilt the people become manipulated with. Mean words, false accusation, shaming, blaming, condemnation, being rendered ‘persona non grata’, no eye contact from intimidated ‘mind controlled’ shunning troupes’ who are afraid to come to a fallen brother or sister’s aid, out of fear that, ‘they may be next.’ And for some of them, they ‘probably will be.’Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Where there are ‘victims’, there are ‘abusers.’ It’s the warped love of a fallen world that is practiced ‘against both the students and the faculty at BJU by the control freak administration. And people who have families to feed ‘can’t just come and go’ freely from BJU. They ‘need’ their jobs and pay checks, and they love their faith community. It’s devastating to lose a faith community you have been related to for 20 years. The people in it are second in importance to your own birth family! I sure hope you never have to find out what it’s like to lose ‘both’ your job ‘and’ your faith community family at the same time Polaris! May God protect you from that ever happening to you.

  10. Oh, for God’s sake! Get over yourself. What a whiny, bitchy, attention-seeking-whore of a martyr you are.

    You and I were at BJU as undergrads at the same time. I was gay then and am still gay. I got over my time there without looking for so much sympathy. Put it behind you and put your life to some good use. Good god.

    1. You know, blah blah blah … being gay at the “U” was actually pretty easy in my day (early 80’s). Since nobody in Fundyland is actually gay and it is such an egregious sin, when they found guys or girls “in the act” it was handled so very quietly so that nobody knew.

      On the other hand, buck the system, drink, go to movies, or tell them they don’t actually speak for God and you find yourself pressured, persecuted, and made to think that you are really the problem and God told them He is not pleased with you.

      If you’ve not stood in Camille’s place, I’d think your judgment of who she is and why she does this probably would be better withheld. We see/read enough stupid on this site to last a lifetime.

    2. You might be gay but you’re certainly not very cheerful. If you truly are gay – and that’s highly suspect given the unforgiving tone of your condescending post – please go back in the closet because you’re giving the rest of us a very bad reputation.

    3. John,

      I don’t know where this is coming from. It’s my blog, so yeah, I talk about my experience here. That’s not odd. It’s just the nature of blogs. And you don’t have to read.

      Your undergrad and grad years at BJU, and well, now that I think about it, you might have been at the Acad too. . . . but that’s a different experience than being an employee for 20 years. We all got beat up there. You, too, I’m sure. And in speaking out about my experience, I’m trying to carve a place where it’s safe to talk.

      God bless, John. Really. Our paths might cross again like they did back in that previous life. I wish you well.


  11. She is putting her time to good use. When she’s not being a mom, she’s writing a book. I consider it a privilege to have her try out some of her research here and on facebook. There are many ways of “getting over it.” She has chosen to put light on a very dark place. That may not be your way, but her way is just as valid as your way and should be respected even if you don’t understand.

  12. Unbelievable. I’m nearly choking on the irony. A gay man who’s convinced he’s well-adjusted enough to hurl misogynistic epithets at a wife, mother, and scholar on her own blog — and yet he doesn’t even have the courage to sign his own name.

    You are pitiful.

    1. Grant I so admire you for the way you stand up for Camille on her blog. You show your true love and respect for Jesus, by the Christ-like way you love and honor your wife. God Bless you.

  13. Gay or not it shows how much of a little rude manchild one is to call a woman a bitch and whore.

    Blah Blah Blah you did one thing right, you picked the right handle for your childish abusive self.

    1. A big problem with some not all who are gay, is, that they tend to be extremely arrogant. And these arrogant ones give all other gay people such a bad name. If a gay person wants to be respected as a person, then he needs to be willing to ‘give’ repect to others. He cannot ‘demand something’ as if he has a right to ‘take it’, if he’s not going to give to others what he needs., which we all need, respect for our human dignity. Respect either goes both ways, or someone does’nt understand what it even really is. So don’t try to go around on your high horse ‘demanding’ something from society, such as respect and understanding, when you can’t even speak to a woman and treat her like a human being! If people don’t accept you,it’s probably because of your rude, arrogant behavior. So don’t blame it on your being gay. Blame it on your stupid childish behavior. And grow up already!

  14. Camille,

    Rich told me today that you thought I wrote this post. I did not. If I were to write something, I would be sure to sign my name. It’s true I don’t really understand the attention you give to BJU and I believe I have communicated as much to you. But it’s not in my character to put such a snarky anonymous post on your site.

    I haven’t walked in your shoes so I save the judgment for those who can afford to be judgmental.

    While we don’t see eye to eye on things, I do respect you. I also recognize that we (BJU grads) have walked a similar path and because of that, I feel a deep affinity to all of you.

    This wasn’t me. I wish only the very best for you and Grant and all my survivor brothers and sisters.


      1. Camille I am so sorry for the abuse you have to put up with at times like these , before you can block such an abuser. The meanness and nastiness of such a poster, simply rocks my soul. But then, this is the ugly side of the worst of what fundamentalism does to people who become so poisoned by it, that it darkens their sickened soul. What a tragedy. No way can fundamentalism be truth. It’s the wrong kind of religion in its most twisted evil and destructive form. Thank God He has spared us from its terrible grip. Thank God for His mercy and grace. Thank God for the real truth who is a Person. Thank God for Jesus.

  15. I hope that whoever “blah blah blah” is someday grows a pair. Until then perhaps he can borrow Camille’s.

    1. Sounds like Blah Blah Blah is another one being ‘coached’ over you know where,to provoke, troll, and try to change the focus of the topic, even turn people against on this blog. Good luck. Because it won’t ever happen.The Healer has already touched us with real Grace. And wer’e not turning back to those wrong ways. Blah Blah Blah is just wasting his time. Because most of the people who post on this blog do not post with a silly, stupid, igorant childish agenda. “OOOH, I’m so angry. Now I need to find somebody to ‘blame’ for my anger! For God’s sake, whoever Blah Blah Blah is…GROW UP. Blah blah blah sounds like bitter bitter bitter. If he’s so angry, then why doesn’t he or she just admit it. We’ve all been angry, lots of times, but we don’t go looking for innocent human targets, to attack as on a sniper attack, using some one else’s blog as a ‘free for all’ springboard to do that and cowardly post as anonymous. Stupid is as stupid does. No one who acts like that can intelligently relate to anyone. Beam the guy ‘off’ into orbit, cause there’s ‘no intelligent life’ coming from him!

  16. Camille,
    I’ve been quietly reading your blog for three years now. I found your blog in the middle of the night while I was struggling through a panic attack. I read it and cried until I was absolutely exhausted. Your Ebenezer posts put words to the feelings that I could not even explain. I thought I was going crazy. At that time your blog gave me an extraordinary amount of peace and hope to get up and continue my day to day life as an academic and an art teacher.

    On October 15, 2006 my Senior Art Show opened on campus in the Sargent Art building. (A day before your fateful meeting). I know Dr. Lawson came to my show and I am about 80% sure that Dr. Polson did as well. (I would have to check my guest book). October 15th was the first day that I had not worn a scarf around my neck since Dec 7, 2005. For nearly a year I had been hiding the evidence of my trauma. It was one of the biggest days for me of my college career, not because of the opening of my senior show, but that day I exposed my disfigured neck.

    On Dec 7, 2005 I was burned from my nose to my rib cage in a metal casting accident at the University. It was a full thickness third degree burn from my chin to my collar bone. I endured a 4,000 degree blast of heat for about two seconds on my neck. I was told It happened because our metal casting equipment was not up to par. Shortly after the burn my body went into shock, but it was 10pm so I went to barge and was told that I had a second degree burn at the worst. I was given a painkiller and sent back to my dorm for prayer group. The Next day I went to UMA and was again told I had a 2nd degree burn. They again put me on painkillers. These made me worthless to fight for myself. Instead of receiving the treatment that I needed, I was required to stay in school and finish my coursework. When I was able to get home I was taken to the Plastic Surgeon. The next day I had my first of 4 surgeries to reclaim and repair the skin on my neck.

    It’s been 6 years next week. 6 years after my burn i am now just beginning to be able to talk about it. I have dealt with horrible PTSD from that event and several other things that happened during my time at BJU. You probably know what its like. After my graduation in 2006, I had flashbacks at least once a day for four years. Most days I wish that I had gone somewhere else for college. I have paid more (emotionally and financially) than I would ever have if I had attended an Ivy League.

    Thank you for writing. Thank you for having a voice when I couldn’t.

  17. Different people have different reactions to triggers. Some burley man may not have the same reaction as Camille but that doesn’t invalidate Camille by any means.

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