In 2003 I started attending the Eastern Orthodox Church after a long inquiry and investigation into the early history of the church and its councils. But beyond that I was most captivated by the beauty of its liturgies, experiencing the rich and full rituals and the inspiring practice of exercising a daily rule of prayer, following the same exact prayers that millions of faithful Orthodox have been doing for almost 2,000 years.
My daughter, who was 10 at the time, was also intrigued by the services. So much that it bothered her Mom, her Jehovah Witness step dad, My own Mother and her Maternal Grandparents. On many occasions her Jehovah Witness step-dad called me up, yelling at me for taking her to church with me. Another time he tried to refuse me from picking her up on her visitation. He physically confronted me at the door and started lecturing me about me exposing my daughter to stories about the saints as if I was doing something immoral. The confrontation started with Tumlinson telling me “Before you can see your daughter…”
I told him to fuck off and that I would be calling the police as I turned to leave. I should have put a restraining order on him then. But I let my mother talk me out of it. She literally took their side! I guess she was afraid of rumors in her Lutheran church about her son pressing charges against the son in law of another member of the Church (my ex’s parents).
Ok, so I will own that I should have taken more responsibility and called the police. Maybe that would have prevented the further escalations of situation. On the other hand it could have caused more problems. Regardless, it doesn’t change the fact that I was being attacked for my religious practices.
Every visitation it was the same thing. Brittany would express some argument her Papa, Nana, Mom or Jehovah Witness Stepded presented about me being Orthodox. They would use ad-hominin attacks against me, saying I was not sincere in efforts to persuade her not to attend. Or they would attack Orthodoxy, which they really knew nothing about, through their a’priori of Lutheranism and Roman Catholicism.
This went on for over two years till I finally had a nervous breakdown resulting from my daughter being coerced to tell me she didn’t want to go to church with me any more in front of other family members.
As of Jan 2019, Rebecca and I will have been together for 10 years. We have known each other Since 2001. Rebecca and I met through mutual interests in studying Christian and Jewish Mysticism. Rebecca watched my growing interest in Orthodoxy as I deepened my practice with the Jesus Prayer. She also witnessed what I went through and the breakdown I had. Keven Hodges (PHD of religious studies, credentialed scholar in theology, ecclesiastical history, Greek NT exegesis, and my Godfather) was also a witness to all of this.
From 2005 through 2007, My Godfather provided me with a guest room to stay in while I was trying to recover from the mental breakdown.
In 2009 I felt strong enough to attempt a restoration of communications with my Mom and went to visit her with Rebecca. While were were talking Rebecca asked what led to me “disappearing”. Her answer:
“David was too into his Church”
Holy shit! A person who follows a simple daily prayer rule (something that is even taught to do in the Lutheran Catechism, but not followed) and attends all the services is “to into” their Church.
Later I asked Rebecca what she thought of that answer and she said what my Mom meant was “David was too into the WRONG Church” she also confirmed that I didn’t leave, they drove me away.
Let me restate that both My Godfather, an esteemed PHD, and Rebecca (a research librarian of 25 years with UNT, who is highly trained in unbiased analysis and critical thinking) are witnesses to what happened and support my version in its accuracy.
Who is witness to other version? A dishonest racist that actively spread fake news about Obama and a manipulated 12 year old that has been poisoned with lies.
This was harassment plain and simple. The pinnacle of a long series designed to break me down and drive me away
I was thrown under the bus because my Mom didn’t want to see me file charges against that loser Chris. That would have brought to much attention to it in Church where she attended with Kellys parents. It also would have meant stress for my Brother-n-law who had business relations with Kellys father.