35 thoughts on “When a Narcissist “Gets Religion,” You Get Screwed!

  • January 25, 2016 at 8:05 am

    Excellent article

  • January 27, 2016 at 10:58 am

    I jumped up like I was at the Super Bowl reading this! This describes my family especially the maternal side. My mother and her relatives are the biggest religious narcissist/hypochristians I’ve ever seen. The Word of God prevents them from driving a car with a quarter tank of gas but it won’t stop them from stealing, lying, abusing, and eating babies. You’d be hard pressed to find a worse asshole than the religious narcissist.

    • March 5, 2016 at 12:34 am

      Strong words and I loved your comment! Thanks for reading my article!

      ~ LT

  • January 27, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Bless your heart. You didn’t have to “think about demons”…you had to come home to one every day! There’s something in Ephesians 6:4 about fathers NOT provoking their children, “…lest they be discouraged.”

    Imho, people who get uber-religious are very likely overcompensating for something. Or, they came from such households themselves. (Or: they might need a shrink?) I’m dealing with a similar experience regarding finally going No Contact with a brother and sister in law who have long been abusive (especially the brother, on most every level). Their own son and his family got fed up and went NC as well…however, another family member suddenly got “born again” around that time and started preaching at all of us and trying to guilt trip us with “you have to forgive and show love, WWJD, yada yada yada…”.

    For the record, I am a church goer (Roman Catholic) and I know about forgiveness. It’s very hard sometimes. I am working on forgiving these people who hurt me and so are the son et al. But there has been NO repentance, no owning of the bad behavior at all, and no indication that the scenario will ever change. For that reason, and MAINLY for that reason, there can be no reconciliation as yet. God wants us to forgive evil, but not to tolerate it.

    • March 5, 2016 at 12:35 am

      Loved your comment about the “demons” in my home. That was such a healing comment.

      Yes…when my family got “born again” before my birth, they alienated everyone by preaching to them. Narcs never miss a trick!

      ~ LT

  • January 27, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Wow, great article. Yes, that’s it exactly.
    I’m having to refrain from trying to write about my own life experiences here because it’s still hard for me to encapsulate, and if I try I’ll get bogged down.
    Suffice to say that I have total sympathy for you and I think you’re describing a situation many can recognize although their own situation may be different.
    I love it that you realize that God is LOVE and that these little Pharisees can’t understand him and don’t represent him.
    It was when someone, in a casual conversation (maybe an angel!!) clued me in to the nature of love, and I began to think about love as a state of mind, as a wavelength, as a “place to be” that I became so much of a mismatch for my narcissist that it toppled the balance and led to my eventual freedom.
    Love is SO POWERFUL, and love leads to peace, joy, and compassion, while hatred is weak, fearful and constantly defending itself. Love is gonna win EVERY TIME.

    • March 5, 2016 at 12:32 am

      Thank you for a wonderful, kind comment!

      ~ LT

  • January 27, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    My mother was a holier than thou, pious, judgmental Baptist Sunday School teacher who crammed religion down my throat with words but acted a completely different way. One day I asked her which scripture in the Bible gave her the authority to judge other people. She said “do you mean ME?? I fully relate to your article.

    • March 5, 2016 at 12:31 am

      Oh, Little Rebel, they are ALWAYS innocent, aren’t they!?!

      ~ LT

  • January 27, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    My prayers are with you dear Lenora. I grew up in a very abusive nonchrisitan home. Your story reminds me of a nonchristian home. Why? Because in your case, religion was used against you. It was used to humiliate and degrade you.That is not God’s way.If it were so, Jesus would have been yelling at the sinners camped around his cross healing insults on him as his broken body shut down. Who would insult a dying man, beaten and broken preparing to die based on false accusation? The fact that Jesus could respond with love toward his tormentors and implore, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” is truly notable.The absence of so many scriptural practices like, “mercy triumphs over judgement” verses speaking against outbursts of wrath, “be kind one to another, tender hearted and encouraging one another” and so forth and so on are incredibly absent in the way you were treated. I pray God will empower you to rise above the lack of Christ’s love in your early years and extend the grace and mercy in your thoughts toward your parents that you they never gave you. Hugs ~n~ Prayers….

    • March 5, 2016 at 12:28 am

      Thank you, Cindy. I do indeed need a “new” understanding of who God really is. And I no longer believe my home was Christian…at all! Thanks again for your wonderful comment, prayers and hugs!

      ~ Lenora Thompson

  • January 27, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    “Some Christians base their identity on being a sinner. I think they have it wrong—or only half right. You are not simply a sinner; you are a deeply loved sinner. And there is all the difference in the world between the two.” ― David G. Benner. The Gift of Being Yourself.

    • March 5, 2016 at 12:26 am

      “Deeply loved sinner”…I love that!

  • January 28, 2016 at 12:07 am

    Lenora, this is a wonderful article, full of raw honesty that people need to hear. This damning, judgmental legalism– manmade rules on top of God-made rules– has driven millions away from a God who wants to love them as they are and grow them into His image. I am so sorry that you endured so many decades of this mistreatment, but I’m glad you see it for what it is and that you have set boundaries to stop the vicious cycle.

    The challenge after going through this crap is to learn to see God as He is– love. He is different than our earthly parents. He is not who they say He is, He is who He says He is. Yet so many survivors of this religious narcissism are traumatized into believing that God is out to get them too. Thank you for your courage and sense of humor– I posted something along the same lines a while ago, http://wildninjablog.com/2013/11/02/blaming-the-victims/.

    • March 5, 2016 at 12:25 am

      What a wonderful comment! You nailed it…just nailed it. Thank you!

  • February 7, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    Wow. I grew up in a fundamentalist home, where you’d get the stink eye for going to a movie, yet it was never THIS bad. No, this is not normal. 🙁

    • March 5, 2016 at 12:09 am

      The “stink-eye”…what a good term. I’ve also heard, “Abused by an eyebrow.”

      So nice to know our homes were NOT “normal.” So free-ing, isn’t it!

      ~ Lenora Thompson

  • March 2, 2016 at 9:58 am

    I really relate. I was brought up in a very religious family and went to a Roman Catholic primary school which was very strict. It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that I began to notice how prevalent narcissism is in the church and how little I trusted so many of the leaders/ministers. I now call myself spiritual, but not religious. My whole view of God was warped from infancy- a god to be feared, a god who gets angry and punishes. It’s all just a way to control us!!! I don’t believe God is anything like that now- I believe God is loving, compassionate, forgiving, not soft, but all powerful in love. Love is powerful.

    • March 4, 2016 at 11:38 pm

      Hi Rachel,

      What a wonderful comment. I too have believed God “hates sinners” as my father expressed it, with balled up fists and a rage-filled facial expression. Then I heard this comment, “It amazes me that sinners cannot please sinners, but sinners can please God.” WOW!

      I need to forget everything and become acquainted with the true God myself.

      Thanks for reading my blog. Yours has helped me so much!

      ~ Lenora Thompson

  • March 12, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Oh man, this is my story. My folks kicked me out of the house when I was 16 and becoming interested in boys. I am an atheist, and very happy about it. It took me so long to unlearn the horrible things that they ingrained in me. I’m 46 and just learned that I have crowns disease and, based on the symptoms, It started when I was in 5th grade. I would tell my mom and she would tell me to stop worrying so much and trust god more. Thank you for pointing this out, I really wish more Christians would be more aware.

    • March 12, 2016 at 3:46 pm

      Hi Erino, It’s desperately unfortunate that people represent God so ill and give Him such a bad name. I’m sorry you too lived this kind of nightmare. In a way, being kicked out may have been a blessing in disguise for you! Thanks for reading my article and commenting!

      ~ Lenora

  • April 7, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    My father was a fundamentalist Pentecostal minister. My mother was a preacher-wannabe.

    I just left a comment on one of your other posts about my mother’s abusive letters. She has also sent me letters that were nothing but page after page of handwritten Bible verses, with “Dear Linda” at the top of the first page and “Love, Mother” at the end.

    It amazes me that you are a believer after all you went through. I was agnostic for many years. Since 2003, I have been a Christian believer again. But not like my parents… I hope!!

    • April 7, 2016 at 2:36 pm

      Hi Linda Lee, I’m so sorry that our experiences were similar. I fear for those who exploit the Bible for their own selfish purposes. I cling to God, in spite of what I was taught about Him, and see prayer answered in my life all the time. There’s a retired military man who says, “It always amazes me that sinful people can please a righteous God, but sinful people can’t please each other.” Something to that effect.

      I think you’ll love my other articles about religious narcissists. Here’re the links:

      Friend me on Facebook!?!

      Thanks for commenting and God bless!

      ~ Lenora

      • April 7, 2016 at 7:04 pm

        Thank you. I ended my FB account a few years ago, because of horrible verbal abuse from family members who have apparently bought into my mother’s lies about me. Being an only child is very lonely, I know because I was a lonely only until the year I turned seven, when my mother had twins, followed by four more kids born by the time I was eighteen, for a total of seven! I married the first time at age sixteen and soon moved far away, so my much younger siblings really don’t know me, they only know me from my short visits back over the years. Other than that, they “know” the lies that our mother has told them about me.

        When I was first on Facebook, I was thrilled at the chance for my siblings and I to get to know each other at last, without our mother, who doesn’t do computers, getting in the middle of it. But they used FB as a way to publicly gang up on their scapegoat big sister.

        Linda Lee is my pen name though, and I have been considering getting an account under this name. If I do I will definitely send you a friend request. But right now I am only on Twitter (@LadyQuixote) and on my blogs.

        As for the religious abuse — it is a horrible way to grow up. Sadly, I perpetuated some of that crazy religious cult-like thinking with my own kids. Now my kids are grown with children of their own. I have told my three adult children that I now know how wrong I was about a lot of things. I would give anything to be able to turn back time and redo my children’s early years. My kids are awesome, they have forgiven me, even though I told them that they have every right NOT to forgive me if that’s their choice.

  • September 15, 2016 at 6:24 am

    Wow. It’s like you were present for my entire childhood. Very few people understand this experience, let alone articulate it so well. Thanks!

    • March 16, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      I know, right? It was like I was reading my own story and having flashbacks the whole time.

  • October 24, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Thanks for the article. The way some Christians(?) act seems to me to be blasphemous of God’s character. St Paul stated that he persecuted the church, but that he did it in ignorance. Someone who is not in ignorance will face a more severe punishment. May God help us to have a no contact policy with abusers and a heart of forgiveness as we move on.

  • November 2, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    I was also raised in a very religious home,on my moms side.My dad didn’t find religion till I had moved out.It was a very hypocritical situation,my dad making us go to meetings,my parents are Jehovah’s witnesses,as he sat at home watching tv,or looking at his titty magazines,which my mother to this day denies.Well,I know better.The last time I asked my mom for help against my abusive brother,she beat me while yelling how she was sick of our bickering.So,when he found our dads porn and started to sexually abuse me along with the emotional and physical abuse.I didn’t bother telling anyone because I knew in my heart that I would be blamed.I just found out recently that Jehovah’s witnesses wont do anything about sexual abuse unless there are witnesses,kind of like Muslims.So,I’m thinking when did abusers start doing this garbage in public? While growing up my mother kept telling me how I should be more like my brother.WHAT a sexual abuser,no thanks.The last time I talked to my mom she went and got all religious on me and again,very judgemental. I have now gone no contact and it’s very freeing.These monsters will justify themselves any way they can and it’s best to walk away as soon as possible.I hope you have found your peace Lenora,stay safe and happy

  • January 25, 2017 at 10:41 am

    I was saved in a Pentecostal Holiness/Assemblies of God church. I have three daughters who then fell under my desire “do everything the “Godly” way”. There were two women from the church who came in and showed me all the things that I possessed that could “invite in the demons”. I burned museum quality art work, and possessions that could have been passed down to my children. When I think about the ridiculousness I subjected my family to, I want to scream! I went from church to church trying to “get it right”, but every time something or someone would say something to me and it would click that this wasn’t for real.
    I finally met a Colombian pastor and his wife who showed me that Jesus was sent to provide reconciliation to a loving Father, and He had accomplished His task completely. That let me know that I was loved, and I didn’t have to pay over and over- and neither did my children. Jesus got it right, so I didn’t have to. The key was the LOVE of God for His children, and if I wasn’t showing my own that then I had no relationship with God. The pastor pointed out that cruelty did NOT come from God- but rather the enemy and I could not serve two masters. Long story short, I immediately apologized to my children and started living the Gospel instead of trying “to do it the Godly way”. No more sermons, no more restricting the friends or the music because I was afraid of “what could happen” to them. I got into the business of loving them as Christ loves the church (us). I didn’t drag them to church or make them only associate with other “Christian” children, and when the oldest went Goth, I kept my mouth shut (it wasn’t easy). My job as a mother was to love and support my children and that turned out to be a lot easier than dragging them through “Christianity”.
    Today, I have three terrific kids. Two attend churches (Methodist and Roman Catholic) and the oldest just lives her life as a decent person. I don’t question their religious choices because quite frankly, that is their business. I love who and what they have become as women and as people with free will. The last time I was a member of any church was in 2007, when I left after the suicide of one of the members. The member who had attempted unsuccessfully to commit suicide two years previous was diagnosed as bi-polar. She refused to take the prescribed meds or to return to the psychiatrist who was trying to treat her. Instead, she made an appointment with “pastor Jack” who had told the entire congregation that he had been a psychologist before becoming a pastor. Her first question to that pastor was ” Pastor Jack, if someone commits suicide, do they go to Heaven?”. This moron told her, ” Yes, but they don’t get a crown”. He also encouraged her not to return to her therapist, and to stop taking her mads entirely. “Faith in God” killed her with that Pastors help. As far as I am concerned, he is as responsible as she in her death three weeks later when she drank anti-freeze. He has never admitted his part in her death. As a matter of fact, his ministry website declares that he does counseling because, ” I am qualified to counsel because I have taken a couple courses in Psychology”. May God have mercy on his soul……..Dee Dee was my roommate. I had for almost two months previous tried to tell someone , anyone from the church that she was in trouble, and I was ostracized for trying to save her life. This Pastor actually chewed me out for “gossiping about that wonderful woman”, and removed from church leadership. I am the one who recommended that she go see a therapist immediately when she came into the room with a week old bathrobe with menstrual stains all over the back, sat down at the kitchen table after crying all night. I asked her what was wrong, and she replied, ” The anointing has lifted from my job. I can’t do anything right-I can’t even kill myself right”. The hairs stood up at the back of my neck and I told her that either she got herself into therapy TODAY, or I was moving out as fast as I could get packed. She went to see a therapist that day, and was prescribed medication to help until she recieve out patient therapy. Apparently, the therapist was told that ” she only thought about suicide now and then”. Three weeks later, I walked into the house and discovered post it notes with peoples names on them waving in the breeze on everything, and her blue corpse on her bed. On top of this, the church blamed me for her death because me gossiping about her had stressed her to the point of suicide! God save us from the Pharisee!

    • March 16, 2017 at 4:11 pm

      Gosh, I am sorry you had to endure this, too. Narcissism is just terrible no matter what form you encounter it. Parents, bosses, politicians, etc. Good job on raising three great kids, anyways.

  • March 16, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    I am so sorry that you had to grow up with these parents. My heart goes out to you.

  • April 9, 2018 at 3:19 am

    Well I really appreciated your article about your narcissistic parent who was super religious.

    I unknowingly married a covert narcissist. When we met he was a right-wing christian religious leader who just had gotten home from serving a mission for the church. He presented himself as this “Golden Boy” who came from this perfect christian family. I later found out he was the most evil man I had ever met and his family was the most dysfunctional group of crazies I had ever known! Everyone in his immediate family has some kind of mental disorder or personality disorder because their father is a narcissist. All six of his siblings and him are totally screwed up because they grew up in that home with a father who was a religious narcissist and a mother who was an enabler who was too terrified to leave him. The eldest son (who I ended up marrying) is the most screwed up of the bunch. He had Anti-Social Personality Disorder (AKA Psychopathy) and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. He’s abusive in every way, emotionally, physically, sexually, financially, socially, verbally, and spiritually.

    You nailed it when you said that a religious narcissist will twist the scripture and God into lies so they can control you. They will take the things you find most sacred and defile them. All the while swearing they are the children of God.

    I finally divorced after five years of utter hell! My ex-husband raped me in front of our child. Molested our two children and cheated with too many other women that I don’t even know the real number. Prostitutes, call girls, co-workers. He even was sneaking around and having affairs with the wives of other men in the congregation of our church. He didn’t just ruin our marriage, he took down at least four other marriages too in the process.

    All the while, this Narcissist claims to be a Son of God. He claims to be WORTHY to baptize children and bless babies. He thinks he has a RIGHT to officiate in the PRIESTHOOD!

    Nothing is worse than a Religious Narcissist. They are the most manipulative crazy bastards alive. True “Judas Iscariot”s in the modern day! They’re Sons and Daughters of Perdition!

    Run if you meet one. Go NO CONTACT! Don’t wait. If you stick around it will only get worse!

  • June 11, 2018 at 11:23 am

    I dedicated my heart to Jesus at country church midweek Bible study when I was 16 and my narcissist mom got saved at the same time (previously she was an atheist) . Shortly thereafter she divorced my father so that she would have the freedom to preach to men after work at the bar! This was 40 years ago… and she has justified many other strange things since then which time and energy do not permit me to share .


Join the Conversation!

We invite you to share your thoughts and tell us what you think in this public forum. Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. A first name or pseudonym is required and will be displayed with your comment. Your email address is also required, but will be kept private. (Please note that we use gravatars here, which are tied to your email address.) A website/blog/twitter address is optional.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *