Friday, November 25, 2022

Does Religion Create Narcissists?


It is easy to categorize the behaviours of religious people (namely the big 3 religions) as a variety of things. But the longer I observe the behaviour of religious people (largely including the evangelical and Christian people in the United States in particular), I, as someone who grew up under the yoke of a narcissistic parent, feel like I recognize a great deal of the toxic behaviours exhibited by my mother, as very similar to that of people who believe in a god.

If I go down any standard list of behavioural signs of narcissism posted on a variety of mental-health-related websites and documents, it really is quite easy to see why I come to this conclusion. Please allow me to demonstrate:

Common signs of narcissism are as follows: 

  • ·       Exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • ·       Smugly entitled
  • ·       Believes they are consistently deserving of praise and respect
  • ·       Heedlessly takes advantage of others.
  • ·       Has delusions of grandeur and lives in a fantasy world.
  • ·       Bullies, belittles, mocks and intimidates others.

Please allow me to further expound on each of these traits and present my arguments as to why I believe that religious people are being taught by their belief system, that narcissistic behaviour is acceptable.


Exaggerated sense of self-importance

I will begin by making a statement that will repeat itself more than once in these explanations. And that is, many religious people, especially American Christians, often center their whole personality around their faith. And they express this by interacting with society as if they are in a coveted and privileged space that puts them above others. Religion seems to encourage this by teaching its followers that this is the case. That by choosing to buy into the delusion, that the follower earns a more coveted and important role in society, where they are morally superior, that people who do not follow their faith don’t know true morality, and that the religious person is special and meritorious as one of their god’s chosen people.

Their faith teaches them that if they embrace their particular version of god, that they have earned a special place by his side in whatever version of heaven or paradise there is. The mere identity of being Christian, seems to give them a license to be judgmental of those that do not join them in their belief system, to look down on those who are not partake in their faith, and to approach others with this ‘privileged’ position of being one of their god’s chosen ones. There is a sense of self-importance that makes them feel entitled to preach and judge and admonish others; to look down on those who are not sharing this privileged space, and to believe that merely identifying themselves as a believer, that this somehow puts them in a position of higher morality and understanding over others.

The phrase “I am a Christian,” is not often declared simply to identify. Most of the time, the statement comes with the heaping less obvious baggage of self-importance; and the unspoken part of that statement is: “I am Christian; therefore, I am more moral than you, I am so special because I am recognized and heard by my god, I will go to heaven and you will not.”


Smugly entitled

The entitlement of Christianity and innumerable other variations of the big 3 faiths is exhibited quite liberally across the globe and history. And on the macro scale it is obvious, and on the individual scale, not quite so much. I use Christianity as an example because it is the largest group and most influential one in our nation, and quite broadly all over the world as well. And there is a reason for that. Colonialism.

Many Christians will often proclaim that evidence for their faith being the right one, is its popularity all over the world. However, they always fail to mention why the Christian faith is so ubiquitous. It isn’t because most cultures chose that belief system for its merits. The biggest reason Christianity is everywhere is because it was spread by colonial indoctrination; often erasing indigenous belief-systems and cultures in doing so. White Christians spread their faith into countless nations, claiming land through Manifest Destiny, backed up by the support of the Vatican and their bible.

The macro-version of entitlement is easy to see.  However, there is also the micro version of entitlement exhibited by religious followers. The behaviours that give them the belief that they can impose their religious faith upon everyone on the public dime, to deny the rights and existence of those who do not abide by their dogma, and to persecute people. In spite of having churches on every corner, they proclaim that any criticism of their faith is persecution, and they believe that they should be entitled to all freedoms to do as they please, while themselves oppressing people who do not share their beliefs. In some cultures, religious entitlement justifies the execution of homosexuals, and apostates, atheists and even people who dare to draw satirical comics.

Religious entitlement is pervasive. From the lofty belief that a religious person can decide for others what is moral and what isn’t; who deserves rights and who doesn’t, to whose land is whose, and whose beliefs should take precedence, religion teaches its practitioners entitlement wholesale.

 

Believes they are consistently deserving of praise and respect.

As I stated above, I would be repeating this phrase and I will likely repeat it again. Most faithful believers let their belief system consume their entire personality. And with that, comes the “I’m a Christian/Jew/Muslim” card which, depending on the culture, is supposed to automatically represent that the presenter of this card is to be respected, to be seen as good and moral, and worthy of special treatment for such.

Religious people believe they have the monopoly on morality, on good works and humility. And it is shown by countless studies and examples, that they are not. Charity for religions is almost always self-serving, and beneficial to the churches. Charity also comes with a side of indoctrination and an ulterior motive. Many religious folks limit their goodness and giving to prayer, for which, upon mentioning this, expect praise and respect for their goodness and kindness—when prayer is shown to have no effect at all, and is statistically known to have an effect equal to chance (and sometimes even less of an effect if a person knows they’re being prayed for). However, religious people will often declare that they will perform this empty gesture to gain the gratitude and respect of others, and feel like they’ve done something grand; when they have done nothing at all.

 

Heedlessly takes advantage of others.

If we pull the lens back and look once more on the macro perspective of religion and its exploitation of undeveloped cultures, it is easy to see how religion takes advantage of people to spread itself and increase its flock, and therefore its coffers. Religion also continues to use the guise of charity and altruism to inflate its influence and power over society and government.

However, on the personal scale, religious people also due to their sense of entitlement, will individually take advantage of people to further their agendas and simplify their own lives. From Church collections to benefit only their own, and their churches, to underpaying developmentally disabled people to employ their labour—religious people find myriad ways to exploit people to their own ends.

Indoctrinating children into the faith is a form of exploitation and abuse. pursuing minorities and deliberately indoctrinating the poor and disenfranchised, the desperate and people suffering from addiction and mental illness into their faith system, to then take what small resources they have for the benefit of the church, with little in exchange, is typical of the strategy of religious people and systems. Even the act of ‘saving’ people who do not know they are being saved, is presumptuous and exploitative. And this is believed to be honourable and good for the sake of their god.

Mother Theresa is the perfect example of such exploitation. She used the suffering (sometimes deliberately left to suffer—as she could have sent people for actual medical care with the donations she gleaned from her ‘work’) to gain assets for the church. She accepted donations but did not spend it to truly help anyone. She used the sick and the poor to advance a religious agenda, and they only suffered for it.

Taking advantage of the vulnerable, the poor, the desperate is exploitation. Indoctrination to feed churches in funds and fill pews is exploitation. And the followers are taught by the church that these are not only acceptable, but desirable ends.

 

Has delusions of grandeur and lives in a fantasy world.

The fact that religious people live in a fantasy world is one that doesn’t need much explanation. It is not hard to see what kinds of delusions the religious are willing to embrace in order to put themselves into a position where they can claim they are their god’s preferred person, and to justify their exploitative, selfish actions.

The religious person, at least the ones that are mostly faithful, put themselves  into the position that they are in a coveted place. That they are one of their god’s children, and that they have special rights because they were endowed with them by their god. This allows them to move through life believing that they are morally superior, that they know better than everyone else, that their ignorance and detachment and privilege are good things; that this is what their religion asks of them.

And let's just glance at the whole fantasy thing. The bible and other related religious texts are filled with pure nonsense and unproven silliness. Supposed prophecy written centuries after they were supposedly meant to happen, or made so vaguely they would fit any timeframe; miracles that are just hearsay from unconfirmed nobodies, unsupported claims made by bronze-age shepherds. When you talk to a religious person and ask them why they believe what they do, they will point out these things as if they are real and true. There is only one source for these claims, and that is a book of stories curated and managed by centuries of religious leaders, translated and mistranslated. They have not a single thing in their claims that can provide evidence of its claims. But they believe it. They believe the fantasy. They believe in biblical miracles, and cherry-pick phrases to prove prophecy, and always circle back to the claim when asked for evidence. The circular arguments always devolve into the final claim: "I know because of faith." Because of fantasy. "Because god put it in my heart."

There is also a pervasive idea that religious people have a special power imbued by god—the ostensible power of their prayer. In a variety of situations, you will hear the religious person declaring that they will pray to change the outcome, and do so with the utmost confidence in their delusion of grandeur, that this will effect change. That somehow, they, with their special relationship with this omniscient being, can command him to act.

 

Bullies, belittles, mocks and intimidates others.

Ask any woman seeking medical care at a Planned Parenthood, and she will tell you about the bullying and intimidation they experienced from a faithful person who feels entitled to impose his or her idea of morality on others. Religious bullying spans from outright terrorism, like shooting gay people, and flying planes into buildings, to the Phelps family picketing funerals, to the religious lobby successfully striking down Roe vs Wade. Religious people want the world to succumb to their belief system, and if that takes full-on persecution of unbelievers and infiltration of the state to impose religious rule, that is what they will do.

From the school board member who wants to teach creationism in science class, in spite of it not being science, and banning books that threaten their world view, to the teachers who penalize children for not wearing the ‘right’ clothes, religious people have found myriad ways to bully, belittle, intimidate and mock those who do not adopt their belief system, and live by their chosen tenets.

They do not restrict this behaviour towards non-believers. It is religion against religion. Christians against Muslims. Muslims against Jews. Any way you mix it, their disagreements against one another has racked up a significant body-count and continues to do so. Up until the holocaust, Christians were the main persecutors of Jews, and killed them wholesale. Now, Christians have decided to ally with the Jews to persecute Muslims, all in an effort to usher in the end-times. It is a dance of cruelty against other human beings, all for the sake of an ideology that is toxic and destructive.

Conclusion.

I read an article a while ago, outlining a study that showed that when religious people were asked what god would think or do, the part of the brain that activated while seeking an answer to this, was in the same part of the brain where the self was. So in essence, the god they believe in is themselves. And when we talk about narcissism, we talk about the God Complex. When you have innumerable people sharing this same delusion, it becomes religion. And as religion spreads, this god complex is seemingly imbued in others.  

I heard a story on a podcast recently, where a former believer tells a story of how in his church growing up, the congregation was one that spoke in tongues as they reached the peak of their religious frenzy during a sermon. He came of an age where he too was expected to speak in tongues, and one day, as the pastor filed down the line of youth, inciting each person in turn to do this, he came to this young man, and when the young man hesitated, the pastor leaned in and whispered in his ear: "Just fake it. Everyone else does." 

Can faking it be the beginning of this kind of narcissism? To, in a frenzy of religious feeling in a group setting, a person be filled with a fully supported, enabled and encouraged sense of self-absorption and superiority?

Religion on a macroscopic scale, frames out a mindset that makes narcissistic and self-serving choices the norm for its followers. In identifying themselves as a one of their god’s children, special and empowered by their god’s dogma, that they stand above others, preferred and protected, enabled and supported in their efforts to subjugate, bully, demean and harm others; to take what they want to take in the name of their god, to inflict what they wish onto others, in the name of their god. To exist with an idea that this is moral behaviour, simply because their book tells them so. I believe narcissism is one of the outcomes of the various teachings and dogmas of most of the major religious faith systems, and that followers are molded to act in such a way while existing in a mixed society.

I have seen firsthand the effects of narcissism on those raised in its influence. It is traumatic and has lifelong consequences for those it was inflicted upon. And as the behaviours of the religious seem more and more to reflect those of individual narcissists, it is easy to see why society is so adversely effected by the existence of these belief systems. 

So it is easy to believe, just looking at it from this perspective, that religion is bad for humanity. It is toxic and self-absorbed. And that in the guise of doing good works, it is poisoning our world and its people.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

A fresh start?

It's been a while. I seem to have allowed my blog to flag and fade. And that's sad. It used to be such a great outlet for me, and it was a creative place for me to talk about my many projects. But I'm still here. I think the blog being forgotten has coincided with the advent of parenthood.  This blog followed me through my hard times. Through infidelity and the salvation of my marriage. Through my projects with the Oregon Regency Society, and through failed pregnancy after failed pregnancy. I did not write about my miscarriages, because those were so devastating to me. 

But then you can see the moment on this blog when I tried to secretly reveal my pregnancy before the three-month 'safety' time, and then the pregnancy, and the joy of having my beautiful son. I've tried to show him growing up. Which is all-too-fast. They really don't lie when they tell new parents to soak it in, because it is so damned quick. 

He's going to turn 8 in November. He started second grade today. We had a late start because we are dealing with the issues caused by the Oregon Fires and COVID. But he is at it today, working from a school-issued Chromebook and whiteboard, doing his work diligently. I have to keep him focused. But I think this might be okay. 

What am I up to? Well, momming for one. I'm going a little crazy. I developed an anxiety disorder that appeared when my mom and brother arrived from New Hampshire.  My mom passed away five years after my father did. And as it is with any Narcissist, life has been easier now that she is no longer around to drive me insane. But the anxiety issues never went away. 

Honestly, lately, I have not done much. I've been weighed down by the heavy burden of depression, and all the things that I love have sort of fallen to the wayside. I've also allowed myself to get too absorbed in social media and let the current political climate to crush my spirit. But I feel like I'm crawling out of this pit of despair and am able to see the light of day.  The fact that my kid is doing structured things during the week is a good thing. It has forced me to focus on his needs and not allowing him to spend the day playing Fortnite like a little screen-addict. Yes. It's insane. At seven, he's obsessed.

I have been doing some miniatures stuff and trying to finish some of the four books i have in mid-progress. Having too many books in the same series going at once has caused a hideous stall, and I have produced no new books for almost two years. It's terrible! I'm at 90% on one book, so I've resolved to finish and get it published so I can attack the next one. As my creative juices are starting to flow again, I need to be certain to finish one project before starting another, but I can't help getting sucked into the trap of new ideas. I need to learn to write the ideas down and leave them until I'm done working on prior projects.

If you want to see my other social media sites, where I've been marginally current.

Crafts and miniatures

Instagram for Feffie's Cottage: http://instagram.com/feffiescottage 
Facebook for Feffie's Cottage: https://www.facebook.com/FeffiesCottage

Authoring:

Instagram for Miranda Mayer: https://www.instagram.com/authormirandamayer/
Facebook for Miranda Mayer: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMirandaMayer/

Anywho.... Here are some pictures and videos I harvested from Facebook and whatnot to give you an idea of what I've been up to.


This year we had some losses, and some gains. We lost Simon, who was brutally killed by a Vacation Renter's malamute dog. But we found Miss Violet Rose, who has taken his place in our hearts. This was in May of last year.




We lost OC this year. This hit me a little harder than I thought it would.
He was a good kitty.





Alex met her the first time here, getting off the bus. This was a pretty sweet moment.

Here are some of the miniature things I've been working on. I continue to plug away at the McKinley. I'll make a full movie of the progress soon. In the meantime, here are some pictures I took along the way.

Miss Huxley's Magic Room

Adding ivy to the front of the townhouse


Soldering leaded windows


The library. I will be replacing the wallpaper

The Baby Cello project. I got this instrument from Kennedy Violins. It was
doomed to go into the burn-pile as it had seen its best days already. So I repurposed it
and turned it into the residence, workshop and shop for Mr. Patkany... the mouse-luthier.


Ms. Pok lives downstairs in the cellar apartments. She supplies
the silk for the violin-strings.




The middle floor is where Mr. Patkany enjoys his meals and
relaxes after a hard day of making instruments.


Making violins and a cello




The street-scene project was fun. 









Some rando pics of life at Casa Hungarican Chick.

Feffie's Cottage is a thing.

My gorgeous son. He's grown a little.

We are legit. We have a logo.

My son and the cat, who is not supposed to be 
allowed in my shed.

The local bookshop and cafe are featuring my books. <3

My kid's feet next to my own. He's growing
too quickly. Make it stop.

Some summer illustrations for my sister's vacation rental.

Masks R Life nowadays.

More silliness for my sister's vacation house.

Yes. We were right in the thick of the fires, but we were
lucky and they surrounded us, but never came into the 
mount hood corridor. This is an image my brother-in-law took of
the Riverside fire from Sandy. Scary huh?

Our shit neighbour has been doing some particularly douchey things lately.  Although now I know his secret to staying thin and trim; aside from meth and booze, that is.

Home schooling has begun after fire and calamity and plague.


Here are some one-second0a





This is me singing a song.


This is me making a THC tincture.


That's it for today. I keep saying I'll post again soon. I am trying to mean it this time! Now that I have to sit through the school day with my kid, I guess I could fill the time actually creating content for this blog. It's been around so long, seems a pity to just let it die. <3 TTYL the HC

Sunday, November 24, 2019

I haz a podcast!

We shall see if I can manage to be consistent with it. It seems like an excellent way to blog -- hearing myself talk! So here's my very first podcast. Enjoy! I'll try to post some of my artwork as I'm doing a little drawing lately. :) Please excuse my baby steps. I'm learning this whole podcast thing.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Hungarican Chick is still kickin'

Yeah. I'm alive. My poor blog, which has been going strong for so long, has been criminally neglected. I'm so focused on my Author stuff, and Feffie's Cottage, I tend to forget that I have this wonderful place where so much of my life and experiences have been shared for so long. (Feffie's Cottage INSTA and Feffie's Cottage ETSY)

My readers have followed me from my infertility through my unexpected pregnancy, to the birth of y beautiful son. Through the loss of 45 pounds (and the subsequent re-gaining of it). Through a tough stage in my marriage, where I experienced infidelity, to the ups and downs of my Regency life. My costuming posts are still my most popular.

I have not given up on the Hungarican Chick. I'm still here, Hungarican-chicking around.

So let's catch up.

I don't have chickens anymore. They brought rats. So that was not okay. Although there was a great plus side to having chickens and that was my rooster, who crowed at all hours of the night, and that in turn affected the ratings of the vacation rental next door, so there was that. But I miss my kippies and their fresh eggs. A lot.

Six years old. Taking his first ski lessons
at Timberline Lodge. Stop growing,
little man.

Alex is now SIX YEARS OLD. Can you believe that? I can't. Every day, I look for the secret rewind button hidden on his little body somewhere, so I can have my baby back again. He's in Kindergarten, and he's using five dollar words--with their own unique pronunciations like: Lidderly, and Use-a-liss. And the best one was last week, he said they were learning the Peasant of Egpyts (the Pledge of Allegiance).

On Valentine's Day, my dog Simon was killed by one of the vacation renter's malamute. He was partially eviscerated and it was devastating.

Hubby is having the hardest time dealing with this loss. This was his dog through and through. We are puppy hunting. Turns out Jack Russell Terriers, particularly shorties, are pretty hard to find around Oregon.
Minatures-wise, progress is slow, but it is happening on my McKinley re-structure & remodel.  I've been working on building my Feffie's Cottage business both on Facebook and on Etsy. Right now my big project is a 'Witchly/Wizardly Workshop Kit, which has a variety of elements, pictured below. The element in progress right now are tiny mortars and pestles, which I have been working on with my new miniature lathe. So here's a little pictorial of stuff:

So my little living room area is heading towards completion. This stage is before I put the flooring in.

Installing the flooring was fun. 

One of the kit prototypes. I made it pretty quickly and pulled the upholstery too tight. That is real leather, something like .5oz weight, which was super-fine. I'll get it better next time. Gotta try it a few times to get it right.

I soldered this little rack to hang pots, pans, herbs, and cured meats from. Kitchen has been coming along slowly as well. 

I made a little iron fence and gate for the front. Still another work in progress. I will be starting on the exterior pretty soon. As soon as I finish converting the victorian roof to the hip roof. I have the right tools now (a 4" table saw, yes, really.)

This is the .5" oz leather. A-frickin'-mazing. Look how prettily it tufts! I wish I hadn't cut it so small or pulle dit so tight, because look how adorable that is.

This is a tiny tub I made. At present it it still bottomless. This was after the first application of the patina chemical.

This is after several chemical applications.

A settee for the parlour.

Miss Huxley, giving it a test.

This is the 'stained glass' window for Miss Huxley's 'witching room'. It will replace the window that's in that room at present. I made this with #6 plastic from a take-out clamshell box and a few coloured sharpies. It shrank down nicely, but it did not shrink completely evenly. So it's not perfectly round. But oh well. It'll do.

The witching room in progress. I drew the rough placement of the new window. The other one will be boarded up and bricked over like it never existed. I made some built-ins for this room. 
Experimenting with copper and solder. Just sold this on etsy. All the linens are hand-stitched.



Some of the Witchly Workshop Kit elements. Most of these are my personal ones for Miss Huxley's supplies.  Jars of eyeballs are a witchly necessity.

A snapshot of what we've got so far. A skull in glass; a geode (real), some bones, a crystal wand, a magic book, an orbiculum (or crystal ball), a jar of eyeballs. There are already more things to be added to this image. 
I had to add this image of the little chess set I got for the price of shipping alone ($2) from Wish. Too fecking cute. It's in the Huxley House library.



These are the additional books and the bottle of poison for the Witchly Kit. There's one more book that I haven't shown yet. Next... the Mortar and Pestle. I will only be selling 4 of these kits.
 I'm still drawing, of course. But since I'm no longer working an office job, my Office Specials are a thing of the past. But the occasion comes of for me to draw. Inktober was fun. I did that.
These are my two favourite from this year.

This is a time-witch, stealing your time. She is inspired by my beloved friend Maryanne Piro, an artist from New England, who did witches and halloween like nobody else. I have not been able to reach her for the past couple of years, so I've been missing her. 

My whale. I think he's cute. He needs to be remade in detail, I think.
I have not really been doing anything with the Oregon Regency Society for a long time. After having heard a lot of nasty things being said about me, I simply got tired of it. It wasn't fun anymore. So I passed the responsibility onto some people who had been critical of my efforts. I was asked recently to take it back, and honestly, I'm not sure I'm 100% ready for that workload again. I've been approaching it as baby steps, but even small amounts of effort seem daunting to me right now. I don't even feel compelled to sew, which is pretty telling.

I miss my girlfriends from this group tho. Like crazy. And have missed them. However, I've found a crew to hang with up here on the mountain, and they've been like an injection of life for me, and have helped keep me from diving into a terrible depression. We call ourselves the Mount Hood Coffee Coven because we can be found pretty reliably in the mornings at the local coffee house (Coffeehouse 26) cackling like a bunch of hens, playing ukulele and just generally loving being around one another on a given weekday morning. It's been a lifeline for me. And I love these women like my sisters.
This is our logo. Yes. We have a logo. And we have matching coffee cups. Because.

Yes, I'm still K-drama obsessed. I watch them rather regularly, probably not quite as avidly as I did last year, but they're still a big part of my life. I have found another favourite actor, his name is So Ji-Sub and he's fucking beautiful and I'm going to stalk him like the 48-year-old chubby mom that I am. Isn't he just noms?

This is So Ji-Sub. He is my next husband.
He is beautiful.
So that's my update. Let's hope it's not an 'annual' one. LOL. Here's a picture of a hedgehog mom carrying her little baby. Because hedgehogs. Please bring your attention to the baby's feet in particular. No reason except... look at the feets!


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