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Saturday, March 27, 2010


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I'm sorry your family had to deal with this situation. I, too, missed it the first time.

Sadly, religion can be so touchy and yes, it can split families. My mother was raised by her father, a man who kind and patient and loving, but also was a card-carrying member of the Communist party right through the McCarthy era. When as a teenager my mother became interested in the LDS religion and wanted to be taught by missionaries, her father flatly refused permission when she wanted to become baptized. She left home to go to college and when she turned 18, she joined the LDS church. Her father disowned her and as a result, I never knew the man who has since passed away. Personally, I think he missed out on some wonderful grandchildren and an amazing daughter who became an even better mother, in spite of the fact that she grew up without one. Looking at him, though, I accept that that was his decision, and he missed out. Hopefully, on the other side I'll get to meet him and shake his hand, thank him for giving me my mom.

My point is, again, that religion is touchy. What one will accept another one won't. We're all doing the best we can in this world. I've been that missionary, knocking on doors on the other side of the world, away from home and everything I love, but I loved what I was doing. I also would never presume to teach a child without the parents' permission, as not only were we told not to, it would be just plain wrong to step in and interfere in that way.

In the end, we teach our children to give them a good foundation, but as they grow they will have to make their own choices.

A little long-winded, I know, but it is such a thoughtful topic.

When my daughter was 9, she was told by one of the girls in her class that, if she didn't go to church, she would spend eternity in hell. Even at that tender age, my girl was immediately clear on one thing: this classmate of hers was "crazy and brainwashed." We never taught her this, but she learned it from us by our example, just the same. What compels people to shove their beliefs down others' throats? Is it an overwhelming need for validation? Unfortunately -- and ironically -- for them, they are spiritual invalids. And God has nothing to do with it.

It's people like this guy who give Christians (and people of faith in general) a bad name.

His audacity obviously knows no bounds, but thankfully your daughter had her own inner strength at that young age!

Oooo - he sounds like a total wierdo - we have a person like that in our life...we steer clear of him whenever possible too. A total selective memory when it comes to crap he's pulled - just icky in my opinion.

Yes, he was confronted about this when it came out, and he saw absolutely no problem with what he had done. No remorse then, no remorse now. Kendall said when he tried to talk to her Saturday he was all , "How's your Mom? Is she still writing? How;s Carson?" etc, etc... Flip, carefree, oblivious.

What a sad, scary story. Linda, did you ever say anything to this guy after that day? Does he know how you feel about this?

Thank you for the warm welcome. I guess I'll have to chime in from time to time.

I was raised Episcopalian, converted to Judaism and now have the firm belief that, although there is a God, the bible and all other teachings are manmade, and therefore, flawed. God does not pit his children against each other for His name sake...

I love Burlington, VT, and I love living on Church Street because it's the center of downtown, but I had an automatic *squick* reaction to the whole Church thing....til I walked up there and saw it was Unitarian Universalist. I feel much better now.

Debbie Jo - I wish your church was in my neighborhood. Glad you chimed in too - now that you're out of the closet, stay out! Intelligent conversation from people with great values is always appreciated - I love when people give me new perspectives.

Thank you for chiming in. And let me just say that your outlook, what you believe, and your church of inclusion are what I believe all churches should provide.

If some unfortunate accident happened to befall this AR guy, I have a 1/2 dozen buddies who will SWEAR on a stack of that guy's bibles that Rudy was in Boston for the weekend drinking beer with us. He couldn't possibly have been involved in the incident.

I'm no fan, but I don't mind Jesus, either. It's some of his followers that give me the willies.

Debbie Jo - I am SO glad you posted!!! I hope you stay out of "lurk-mode" in the future!

Wow Linda, I had not heard this story before. I would have gone to jail.

To begin, I am a long-time lurker who came for the AI recaps, stayed through the presidential election and who checks this site several times daily for anything new. I have thoroughly enjoyed your writing, the stories of your wonderful family and have great admiration for your parenting skills. I have shed tears at the stories you have shared involving children whose innocence has been sacrificed by those who don’t deserve to have the joy of a child in their lives and the four-footed friends who have crossed the rainbow bridge.
I have been hesitant to comment because I am an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ—you know, that denomination the religious right refers to as a “false church” because we preach and practice social justice; tolerance, equality and hospitality for all; embrace diversity; see our lives as a faith journey with many paths leading to God, and believe God is still speaking to us.
I am horrified and appalled by Carson’s treatment at the hands of someone she (and your family) trusted. Your phrase “emotional rape” is spot on. I cannot understand how anyone or any church could condone luring children in with candy and prizes in order to “save them.” Unfortunately it happens more than I like to think. Last week in my little mid-Illinois community, a local church presented a dramatic, fiery presentation on the gates of Hell aimed at “saving” children and teens from eternal damnation. I believe in a God of love and put my trust in God’s judgment, not those who think they have all the answers.
At the church I pastor, parental permission slips are required for any child who participates in any of our children’s programs and at no time would we resort to fear tactics or imply they were going to hell because they didn’t think like us—heck, there are 400 members in my church and at least 400 different theologies--it makes for some interesting discussions but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I applaud Carson’s strength of character and her ability to say NO to an adult. I also applaud yours and Rudy’s parenting that instilled such strength within her. My prayers are that time will heal Carson’s emotional scars and I know that you and your family will continue to support her.
I didn’t mean this to be so long but I must say it feels good to be out in the open. I don’t know that I will comment often but who knows, I might speak up occasionally. Thanks for letting me share in this wonderful blogging community.

Denise, I hope you called the police about this guy a friend of your daughter's spotted - he could be a pedophile - or worse...how scary...

Linda - what did you do to the guy? Did you ever confront him? I missed this the first time around because I think I hadn't discovered you yet (altho I'm not sure). I know that if I would have read it before I would have been angry and afraid for your girl, even tho Miss Carson has proven a million times that she is not one to be messed with. She is an amazing young woman who I think will grow up to do [even more] great things.

I remember you telling me that story, before you had posted it here. It still makes me sick, to think that this person in question deals with kids all the time. I know Carson has dealt with it and is stronger for the experience (the bright side?).
A middle school friend of Grace's told me today that there is a man driving around trying to get kids to get in his car by quoting the bible and talking about God, playing christian music. There is a special place for both of these men, and it does not include pearly gates. Using God as a means to an end is a mortal sin.

I remember the story and it still makes me furious! I have to deal with this all the time but it is my parents that are the ones trying to "save" my kids. Jerry and I are like you and Rudy, we teach our kids to be kind, honest, generous, empathetic etc. And we further believe, like you, that you do not need church or religion to be great people. They are all great kids and we have never attended church, purposefully. We have stopped having them stay the night on Saturday nights so they don't have to feel pressured. My Mother led my oldest in the "sinners prayer" and it makes me furious!!! I haven't calmed down enough to be able to broach the subject with her yet, but soon!

I remember this! Unfortunately.

Rereading it 4 years later only strengthens my belief that Carson has more strength in her middle toe, than Wanghole Kelly. I hope that she can get over this. It sucks that she now has to feel uncomfortable at every game - wondering if she will see him. You have to keep reassuring her that you are protecting her (which I'm sure she knows).

It's easier said than done, but if she has shown the courage to hold her head high in front of those that recently betrayed her, hopefully she can do it with this goon. Never let em' see ya sweat.

You have to wonder if he even realizes the harm (your piece didn't indicate whether he got the wrath of Linda), or if he just has the nerve to even take the chance of meeting up with you.

Chin up!!!

I had never read this story before and it is a really strange one. I mean, who does that? I am sorry that it was so traumatizing to Carson that it affects her 4 years later. Hopefully they will keep him away from your kids on ref crews.

Right back at you.

I love you and your family.

She had to go back out there to ref a game this afternoon. Rudy took her and stayed. He walked to the pavilion where the refs congregate before and in between games - HE was there. HE saw them and stayed away. Rudy did not leave her side.

I just got off the phone with the assignor - 30 minutes of explaining what had happened - turns out he was a police officer for 25 years and was great to talk to about this and her extreme reaction today. Anyway, he is all over this and adores all three of my girls so he will be watching and has blocked all three girls from being able to be placed on a ref crew with this guy. He will be keeping an eye on things when he is there, and will let the other adults in charge know as well.

It's such a beautiful day outside, but all I feel inside is cloudy.

I can't believe that was four years ago!!!!! It seems like that happened less than 2 years ago. Wow. Yeah, I remember that incident VERY well, and it still torches my shorts.

I missed this when you originally wrote it. I simply cannot fathom taking someones child to church (much less encouraging them to "be saved") without their parent's knowledge!!!!! I'm not even sure how I would handle it; should it happen to me... I have huge issue with organized religion and am sure that I would not be very polite, in any case... Makes me want to come and kick the guy in his you know what's for Carson. ;-)
Carson is an amazing young lady and I hope that she is able to, eventually, come to peace with what has happened. {{HUGS}} to you all.

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