I grew up in a Midwestern, fundamentalist, Lutheran elementary school but apparently about forty years before you. Pretty much the same awful stuff being taught without regard for human diversity and rights. After all those Jews and Negros deserved what they got. And women were the cause of sin and the fires of hell, etc, etc. But there was a fundamental difference that greatly limited the abuse. Most people proclaimed, if forced, to fervent belief in all the bullshit but they didn’t take it with them. And the ones that did and beat their kids were careful because people let them know these things needed to be kept in their place. This was still the old American farm society and the church, with a huge helping of bullshit, was the center of the community but it was really Ladies’ Aid suppers and summer Sunday picnics and softball games. And there was an invisible wall around the church stuff that kept it from embarrassing people in public. No one would say that out loud but as you grew up you knew that most people, not all, understood it. The end result was both the same and very different.

And it didn’t work with me either. In the sixth grade I found a public school science textbook in a room in the school basement we never used. Yes, it was the “library”. It was all over pretty quickly after that. Reality made a hell of a lot more sense than four thousand year old dinosaurs with an asshole for a god.

I know there was a difference but it was no less stupid and rotten at its core than you describe. And it took me nearly thirty years to get all the hooks and programmed hatred removed even though the people were good. . . way, way too long. I hope you can do it quicker.

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Educator, CIO, retired entrepreneur, grandfather with occasional fits of humor in the midst of disaster. . .

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