Jonny Scaramanga, author of the Leaving Fundamentalism blog, shares his thoughts on his fundamentalist Christian upbringing and why encouraging questioning is an essential part of a good education... Enjoy.
(Also, when you comment, can you please comment on the original post itself if you wish for Jonny to see it. Thanks.)
I grew up as a fundamentalist.
I'm very proud of that sentence, now. For years it was my guilty secret. I pretended to understand the pop culture references my friends made (I'd missed those TV shows because I'd been in church). When I moved schools for my GCSEs, I pretended to understand my school mates' jokes, even though I'd spent the last three years in a fundamentalist school and didn't know what 'wanking' meant.
Then I became a professional musician, and people asked me what the first CD I'd ever bought was. That was awkward, because until I was 15 I only listened to evangelical Christian rock music. My first CD was Wake-Up Call by Petra, and I didn't want to tell anyone that. I always said I'd been a diehard rock fan since I was 8, and then had to explain how I'd managed seven years of that without listening to any music. I also didn't want girls I liked to know that I'd never even held hands before, and then nothing ever happened because they couldn't tell why I was acting so weird.
So learning to own my fundamentalism has been huge for me. I've learned to realise it wasn't my fault; I was indoctrinated by adults who should have known better, and by escaping and making a good life for myself, I've beaten them.
And the way I beat them was by doing what they hoped I would never do: Asking questions... (Read more of this post)