The following letter was sent to Bob Avakian, Chairman of the RCP, USA from a youth in a rural area in the American "heartland," who relates to the RCYB. The letter was edited by the RW at the request of the author to protect him and his family from the Christian fascists in his area.
Growing Up In Christian
Fascist Heartland America
A Letter to Chairman Avakian
Revolutionary Worker #1274,
April 10, 2005, posted at rwor.org
I am nearly finished with your book,1 and I must say I am very impressed. I have been a supporter of the RCP for about a year now, and up until now I have never been able to see you as so much a human being before. To me you seemed somehow "superhuman" when all I knew of you was the few small anecdotes you leave for us in your talks.
Let me introduce myself. I am 17. I live in a small rural town, and every chance I get I head up to [the city] to do political work for the RCYB. I am inspired by your writings and your message.
The reason I have written to you is not just to praise you on your book, but to tell you something that you desperately need to hear.
A few months ago I attended a discussion of the RCYB and we discussed Christian fascism. It was at this meeting that I realized most of the RCYB are not as experienced with dealing with Christian fascists as I am. You see, Mr. Avakian, I live in a small town and here Christian fascism runs rampant. But my town is not nearly as bad as another town just a few miles away, which my family moved out of due to the extreme grip the religious fundamentalists had on the community. It was horrible.
I am going to tell you the story of this here.
The town we left is a small town of about 4,000 people. The high school graduating class is usually just over 100.
Anyhow, I attended elementary school there from kindergarten to fourth grade. At this school religion was openly promoted and established on a daily basis. Starting in the fourth grade, students were taken out of school to a local church and given "religious education." Of course, the class wasn't required. But there were only three kids in the entire fourth grade who didn't attend. Many of the students who attended weren't fundamentalists but feared social exclusion, which was the consequence for those who did not attend. Yes, when my parents pulled me out of the class because they felt it was too extreme, rumors began to go around the community that my family were Satanists. Before the class started, my mother had called the teacher of this course, an active Christian fascist from the community, and simply asked what would be taught in the course. Apparently, this question seemed threatening to this woman and the religious establishment of the town, so this woman did an extensive investigation of our family. She found out my mother's maiden name and harassed several of our family members, trying to get information about us. During that time I walked home from school, and frequently kids would ask me, "Why aren't you going to religious ed?"
It was horrible.
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