The institutionalized mind-set that happens because of religious fear and oppression is more harmful, in more ways than I can accurately express. It was a disease in my family of origin - creating a pecking order in which the men were always dominant and used shame and violence to maintain their order. It is a disease in this world - and very prominently in religions that use pressure, force and violence to gain and keep their false power. Our history is full of it. And we're seeing it today.
The disease of the fear is the reason why some victims of religious abuse and shaming, then become the perpetrators of it. Shaming others "below them" is the easy way for them to off-load onto others, the guilt that had been off-loaded onto them. But, make no mistake about it, this is a choice.
Instead of mourning the shaming that had been done to them as children, they try to overcome this fear by climbing to the top of the religious ladder. Shaming and abuse then has the power of "righteousness" behind it. They believe their dark illusion has the power to justify their religious punishment towards others, and they believe it exempts them from having to look at the harm that they have done. They scapegoat children, and those who they have marginalized, and then push them away so they don't have to look upon their own darkness anymore.
My father and my brother don't want to look upon me in the Light of the Truth, because I remind them of the shame that they put on me decades ago - the shame that was originally put upon them through the family's religiosity, stemming from my strict and terrifying Lutheran grandfather... and probably his father too. I have tried (to the point of being engulfed by co- dependency), to speak to my father about mourning his childhood, and loving himself as the child he once was - to remind him who he truly is, free from the oppressive conditions of religion, and to offer him forgiveness for the abuse he had done to me. But, he said that he doesn't remember anything - and this was when he was still young enough to remember. I actually believe him, because all of his abuse was done in blind rages. A switch would flip and he became a monstrous predator.
I can only imagine how bad the abuse done to him must have been. If he would bang my head over and over on the ground, telling me that I've got the devil in me - all because I accidentally dropped a little bit of hard boiled egg on the floor - then can you imagine what his father must have done to him.
But, both my father and my brother have become LEADERS in their church, and they have been leaders for decades now. They are in positions of power. That must be more attractive to them than the truth. Perhaps its not that they don't remember, but that they won't remember. Its so easy and convenient for them to hide behind their privileged positions in a church that will never hold those who follow in the way religious shaming and abuse, accountable - and too often see those who they have abused as the ones with the problem.
Beneath the surface many churches are like clubs in which the elites maintain their rule through different forms religious shaming. Like my father, and even more like my brother, they use their lofty religion about their idea of an authoritative and dictator-like Jesus, as a cover up for their projection onto others. The fear of religious failure and punishment that once harmed them as children, now benefits their egos to the point that they have forgotten Who they Truly are. They desperately and fearfully want to maintain their elitist positions, and Love and Equality do not serve their egos purposes.