After reading a post on Out From Under the Umbrella about how believers and non-believers sometimes react to those who disagree with them, it got me to thinking.
During the course of my de-conversion, I remember having very negative feelings towards those who were still bound to Christianity. Whenever believers tried to “convince” me I was on the wrong pathway, I felt anger … indignation … frustration. I wanted to tell them how blind they were. How indoctrinated. How easily swayed by rhetoric and tradition.
Instead, I would say nothing. Oh sure, on occasion I might mumble something like “I think you’re wrong,” but mostly I remained silent. I knew from years of having “been there, done that” that nothing I could or would say would change their thinking. Besides, by nature I’m not confrontational, so silence (and a smile) was my “weapon of choice.”
As I’ve looked back, I think this was the primary motivation behind writing my book. Communicating my thoughts and feelings through the written word has always been easier for me than one-on-one conversation. Through my book, I was allowed to share what I had learned about the Christian faith (which was at odds with what I had been taught) without direct confrontation.
Interestingly, since the book has been published, I’ve noticed my feelings towards those who still “believe” have softened. I’m now able to earnestly say … “If it works for you, that’s well and good. Each person has to follow what feels right for them.” This is not to say that when the opportunity presents itself (in person or on the internet), I won’t share what I have learned through my research. But I no longer feel disdain for those who are still trapped by doctrine and tradition. It is now more a feeling of sympathy, but also understanding in that for most, this is all they know.
Of course, down deep inside, there is always the hope they will read my book and learn the “facts” behind many of the things they are taught in church and Sunday School.