If you have read my blog, you know my answer.
But the WordPress Dashboard let me to a stellar post today, “Losing my religion. Why I recently walked away from Christianity” by the BEattitude. It is always refreshing to read accounts of new non-believers. And, man, did the blog’s attention generate quite a bit of discussion. I had to engage, as you would well expect – and can see my comments by CNTRL-Fing “Political Mpressions.” My comments aren’t that great or original, but I just couln’t help myself.
The comment BEattitude made, however, that really struck a chord with me was the pronouncement of a great weight having been lifted off his shoulders upon leaving the religion. Another blogger, Leaving Religion, commented on the guilt they felt while a Christian.
Not all Christian, or religious, experiences are alike – but, I have to say that these two comments expressed results of Christianity I felt quite clearly as well. Upon decided, once and for all, that I did not believe that Christ was my lord and savior or that the Bible was divine in any way, the guilt that I didn’t know I had even been harboring all those years evaporated. It felt wonderful to be out from under such a dark cloud.
What guilt? The guilt from not reading my bible enough, proselytizing enough, guilt if I cussed, watched a rated R movie, didn’t treat my body like a vessel, had lustful thoughts, disrespected my parent, missed church, didn’t pray before a meal. You name it and it makes you feel guilty if you don’t do it or if you do do it depending on the sin or naughty deed.
So many things that are natural human behavior are wrong in Christianity, and most organized religions. That’s how religions operate: by control. If a religious leader can convince you that various normal behaviors are intolerable and you believe this, it is easier for this religion to maintain its dominance because it weakens the tendency for independent judgment and independent thought. If a group adheres to a strict code of conduct, it make the group more intact and less likely to have defectors than if everyone in the group is able to do what they want willy-nilly. Control the mind and judgment, and you control the people.
It was the most wonderful, liberating experience of my life to denounce Christianity, rivaled only by a small few life-changing experiences I’ve had the privilege to undergo.
One last thought, if you don’t have the inclination to read many of the comments beneath BEattitude’s post, I’ll give you a taste of a common theme among Christian responses: many of them feel or think that because BEattitude turned away from Christianity, he:
- Never knew God, in the first place.
- Was never truly Christian in the first place. “Wasn’t a real Christian before.”
As a former Christian, I find these comments abhorrent and unseemly. It is very typical of Christians (the vast majority of whom are quite un-Christlike) to judge how Christian or Christlike another is. Everyone’s relationship with religion is different. Simply because someone turned away from the faith does not mean they were not as “good” a Christian as another. No one is in a position to judge anyway.
Christians like to tell themselves that non-believers do not know Christ or God like they do. This a false notion, merely used for comforting purposes. We have known what they know, felt what they felt, witnessed the “miracles” they witnessed and prayed like they prayed. We believed. Yes, we have turned away because we have chosen to make decisions based on evidence and reality.
All these accusations against former Christians merely reveals the threat present Christians feel when coming into contact with one who has rejected what they themselves believe.
Phew, I need a beer after all this god talk!