It’s Not Right

After beginning my “Blinders Off” blog and most recently my quest on Facebook, many have asked the question, why do I do it?  Why can’t I just leave it all behind and move on?  Do I really need to talk/write about it so much?  I have lots of answers for those questions, three of which are, 1) Leaving it all behind would mean leaving family and friends behind that are still stuck in the quagmire of Christianity, 2)  If it hadn’t been for other ex-Christians writing and talking about their journeys, I don’t know if I would have made it out, not alive anyway and I’m not being dramatic here. I believe it is my turn to step up and be there for those coming behind me, and 3) It’s the way I roll.

Anyway, as I started giving my reasons for leaving the faith on my Facebook wall, I began getting private messages from fellow ex-Christians.  One in particular really struck a chord in me and I got permission from them to post it here.  It’s their explanation for their need to speak and write against the harmfulness of religion.  This person had been steeped in fundamentalist Christianity since birth and has just recently de-converted.  I think it pretty much sums things up.

“My Top 10 Reasons Why I Am Compelled”

1. It’s not right. I’m a problem solver by nature and that is how I probably end up taking on too much in my life…I see things that aren’t ‘right’ and I feel the need to try to fix them. This is how I end up running youth football leagues, administering school wide state testing, and managing dance companies…for free. The Christian belief system is a monumental example of something that is ‘just not right’ and of course I wish I could fix it. Yes, tilting at windmills comes to mind when I think about that, but a small voice in my head also says that Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream and envisioned life in a very different way. He was right and it happened. I guess I have a dream too. I know I’m not MLK but I also know I should try in my own small way.

2. It’s not right that people are wasting their lives in bondage to a religious system that makes people second-guess every thought they have and every action they do. They are not living. They exist as passive observers in their own life and have become a reflection of the expectations of others instead of the real person inside.

3. It’s not right that children are indoctrinated into a belief system without having a choice in their own destiny.

4. It’s not right that children grow up with the belief that they are desperately wicked, deserving of eternal torment, and taught to mistrust and ignore their own inner voice.

5. It’s not right that millions of young teen age boys go to bed each night only to experience mental torment over touching their own bodies, believe that it is a sin to feel sexually attracted to a woman, and are dismayed at the idea that their sexual thoughts have the power to harm and defraud their female friends, family, and acquaintances.

6. It’s not right that millions of young teen age girls are taught that their bodies do not belong to themselves, that they exist to help and please someone else, that their sexuality is not designed to develop individually but is to be a reflection of what their husband wants, that it is right for someone to rule over them, and that a career automatically means they are neglecting their family.

7. It’s not right that millions of teens are indoctrinated into wearing purity rings because ‘just don’t do it’ is so much easier than helping kids understand and handle their own sexuality.

8. It’s not right that millions of people are being taught that loving someone and wanting to build a life with them is only valid if that person possesses body parts that are different than theirs.

9. It’s not right that millions of kids will go to church sponsored Halloween haunted houses and view such graphic and shocking images that they run the risk of being traumatized for life. It’s not right that kids cry alone at night because they are afraid people they love will die and go to hell.

10. It’s just not right.

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Joshua
    Jul 05, 2010 @ 00:04:51

    I like reason 3 the most (It’s the way I roll). It’s deliciously selfish and healthy [and honest], in my opinion. And as a side note, something I realized recently is that having to defend your every action and thought is a Christian thing 🙂 Don’t worry what people think, just do what you want to do and let them deal with it.

    Reply

  2. notabarbie
    Jul 05, 2010 @ 01:25:06

    god! You are so right! Thinking that one has to explain every thought and action IS a Christian thing! It’s weird the kind of warped ideas that stick with you from being a fundy. Sometimes my friends, that have never believed, scratch their heads at some of my idiosyncrasies. They’re like, where the heck did you get that idea from? Thanks for the reminder of what it is to be a normal (what ever that is) person. Holy shit! Will the freedoms every stop coming my way? Thanks for reading and commenting!

    Reply

  3. Zoe
    Jul 05, 2010 @ 20:40:33

    All of them hit home for me. Number two is weighty…”bondage”.

    As one who was in youth ministry and planned on full-time youth missionary work, I continue to feel the weight of those years of being complicit in the teachings we taught. 😦

    Reply

  4. notabarbie
    Jul 05, 2010 @ 23:47:38

    I know what you mean. I think it is harder for us de-converts who taught and led, than for those who just followed and were duped by people like us. How are you anyway? I hope you are well.

    Reply

  5. mary
    Jul 21, 2010 @ 09:16:44

    I am glad you are writing I too needed other ex christians to share their stories. I felt like their was no reason to live once I lost my faith.

    Reply

  6. Greenworld
    Jul 24, 2010 @ 09:16:44

    I agree with everything said on this list, especially #2, #3, #5, and #6. I too once was a Christian, though I never really was obsessed; I *just* believed. However, that “belief” eventually lead to my depression, and I started questioning Yahweh when I got on my knees and prayed to this sick monster, asking him to help me overcome my fears (I am the sensitive type, anyway), but did that do anything? No. And, the more I read the Bible, the more disgusted I felt about being Christian.

    The fear of “knowing” so many friends and loved ones that did not believe the same way my Pentecostal Church believed would be burning in Hell, had they died “unsaved.” That, my friend, is total BULLSHIT. No one deserves to go through the fears that people like you and I have, because that is just plain cruel.

    If I ever raise children, I will never allow any Christian of any level of religiosity to infect their young, underdeveloped minds until they are fully grown up and able to make more conscious decisions.

    Seriously now. Fuck Christianity, fuck Islam, fuck all organized religions that are just there to make people feel ashamed of themselves. You don’t need to suffer anymore. It IS possible to still live life and admire the undying beauty of nature and humanity.

    We have the ability to invent, to inspire, to educate, to be the BEST that we can be… Religion, on the other hand, is the biggest obstacle to human evolution.

    Reply

    • notabarbie
      Jul 30, 2010 @ 04:24:07

      Well put and I agree. I wish that I had not sullied my children with Christian ideology as the only way. I wish that religion had never come into the mix as I was teaching them at home. I missed such a great opportunity to help them be free thinkers, but in spite of my attempt at brainwashing them into “The Kingdom,” they found their own way out. Guess they are more like me than I realized–rebellious apostates that they are :-). Thanks for reading and for such a great comment.

      Reply

  7. atimetorend
    Aug 05, 2010 @ 02:54:48

    Very interesting you and Josh wrote about not needing to explain your every thought and action. I know I do that, and I will have to think whether I have always done that, or if I was taught to do that because of Christian doctrine — “motives, motives, motives, what was in your heart???”. I suspect the latter. I will also try to imagine what living in freedom from that would be like. Very good items in your list.

    Reply

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