I was reading an old Sunday WashPost last night and a wedding announcement caught my eye. It was much longer than most announcements and the picture made them look farther apart in age than the 20 years listed. So I read the announcement to find that apparently the groom thought of it as a cheap advertisement. If I saw that after I was married, I'd be heading for the divorce office.
Rob Foster was 16 when his family unraveled.
He had told his parents that he wanted to leave Calvary Temple, the Pentecostal church in Sterling the family had attended for decades. But church leaders were blunt with his parents: Throw your son out of the house, or you will be excommunicated. And so that December two years ago, Gary and Marsha Foster told Rob that he had to leave. They would not see him or talk to him.
"I was devastated," he said.
This is like a lot of churches I went to as a kid, although we weren't Pentacostals, no, we looked down on them. I bet they consider the King James version as the actual word of god. Boy, reading this felt so familiar. Particularly when I got to this part:
Charm Kern, a nursing student and mother, says she was traumatized by Calvary teachers telling her in her early adolescence that she was too overweight to be on the cheerleading squad. As punishment for being a "glutton," said Kern, who is 20, she was tied by a rope to faster children and pulled during runs. She and her brother, who was also overweight, would be required to run while other children ate lunch, she said. By ninth grade, she was rebelling against her teachers, and pastors tried to place her and her brother with another family. Her parents pulled the family out of Calvary.
Scott said that Kern's parents initially were supportive of the efforts to help her lose weight and that such measures "are discipline, not punitive."
Whenever my father hit me, kicked me, punched me, threw me at the wall, pulled me down the stairs by my ankle, turned his Navy ring over to smack me in the head, etc., he'd say "This is discipline; children need discipline." And when he said awful things to me he said: "This is motivation; children need motivation."
I sure hope folks who read this article take a good look at whether their churches are giving out hate or love.