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.