bgice1

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Well-written. As a child I

Well-written. As a child I was raised in an ATI/IBLP family and fortunately turned out a relatively well-rounded and successful adult at 23. Although there were times when I felt such a strong hatred, confusion, and loathing of both myself and those around me that I can understand some of what Matthew must have felt.

While the killing that happened was a terrible thing and in no way was that the right thing to do, I do feel equal empathy and sorrow for Matthew as I do for those he killed. The suppression of his spirit and his will from an early age and the deprivation from feeling like a justified, normal human being that he was subject to from his parents and the church was spiritual murder and equally as tragic. ATI/IBLP once had the potential to be something good -- character and integrity are values we all should desire to have. But as it turned into a fundamentalist, man-made religion it has truly become an engine for spiritual abuse and manipulation and certainly ruined the spiritual experience for many of us by leaving such a horrible taste in our mouths.

I'm glad that I've been able to rediscover my own spirituality hidden underneath my contempt and angry memories. Many, I fear, do not.

For Matthew and all of those unsung casualties of fundamentalist religion:

Requiem aeternam dona eis
Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.

-ML

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