At about 6 or 7 pm last night men started shouting over my apartment again.  Uploading and downloading with a well-timed ‘hallelujah’, and I don’t know if they are Christians or people who just know how to use a word that is precious to someone else to get power over them.

They went on until about 1am.  The law here is that between 10pm and 6am you should be quiet.  I believe that law should be respected by all, Christians and non-Christians.

At 1am I phoned reception and said what was happening, and they said there was no one there.  Hmm, that’s interesting.  If there is no one there how can they bang on my ceiling?  As soon as they heard me on the phone they went quiet.  At that point I thought perhaps I should have phoned reception as soon as it started.  I kept trying to deal with it on my own, but there are more of them than me, and they kept breaking out again.

I went to bed with a really bad stomach ache, across my midriff, the same as I did on Saturday night, which resulted on Sunday in me being physically sick for the first time since I took an overdose of paracetamol a few weeks before my confirmation, which was quite a few years ago.  Left to myself, without the harassment, I can sleep it off and not throw up, but the people above me started shouting out at about 5am and kept going until early afternoon, every time . . . never mind.  I thought about it afterwards and wondered if this was an example of the enforced exorcism I saw a programme about on the television a few months ago, with a woman wrapped in a blanket and men shouting into her ears.  Is it OK, that kind of thing, if that is what it was?  I felt as if it was something I should have accepted. Should I have?  The world would call it harassment and abuse.  What would Clyde Sandry or any of the staff at the Christian Centre in Nottingham have called it?  I think they would say it is OK.  That God doesn’t care about harassment at any time, not even our legally designated times of rest, if it means we ‘come into the kingdom’ and ‘get delivered’.  I think it is unhealthy control freakery.

I got up at about 3am this morning because my stomach still hurt and I could feel it beginning to go the same way as it did on Sunday.  They are telling me there is no one up there.  They must be lying.  That isn’t Christian.

I listened to Sunday’s sermons from the Christian Centre.  It was silent throughout, but as soon as it stopped someone upstairs banged and started to chatter and it sounded as if they were ‘hallelujah’ -ing with each other.  They sound like Pentecostal Christians all of a flutter.  It was just before 5am.

If this is their idea of Christianity I don’t know where they have got it from, though I could guess easily.  The Bible says ‘honour all men’.  I’ve been taught that includes women.  You don’t honour people by going on at them like that at any time you think you will, doing a running commentary on or verbally ejaculating at their every movement.

This seems to me like the stupid wing of Pentecostal type Christianity.  I am personally angry right now because of what they are doing to me, but I disassociate myself from it anyway, and would even if this was not happening to me.  It is ridiculous, unhealthy control freakery.  In God’s name I stand my ground on that.  They are even lying about there being anyone there.  My preferred expression of Christianity is Pentecostal/Charismatic in nature, but that isn’t part of it.  It’s ridiculous, they could approach me to speak but they choose to yell over me instead. 

That is not my kind of Christianity.  I would like these churches to break out of their pressure tactics and code and say quite clearly that it is not theirs either.  If this is how it is going to be everywhere I go, and these people are actually Christians, they are the ones who will kill me, not the atheists.

I’m frightened to go back to bed and sleep, because when I begin to go into the bit that works for me they start shouting again.  They seem to be summoning me and if I don’t think about it I feel as if they have the right, but I don’t want to respond.  I want to sleep.  I don’t want this kind of summoning to be characteristic of my relationships anymore, now, or ever again.

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