An individual who comments regularly on another blog I follow recently left a remarkable analogy related to what happens when a person chooses to leave “The Faith.” IMO, it magnificently describes what many, many people encounter from their “Christian” friends, relatives, employers, co-workers, pastors, neighbors … even strangers. In other words, anyone who discovers the person is no longer part of the “Family.”
Of course, it should never be this way, but it happens more frequently than one might think. Truth be known, deconvertees are frequently …
- Physically injured
- … and the list goes on and on.
Sadly, many Christians who do these things truly believe they are representing their Christ. They seem to have skipped over the scriptures that talk about loving others as yourself. Some may try to justify their actions by saying Jesus’ comments were meant for other believers but if this is so, then how does any Christian expect to bring “sinners” into the fold? In my bible, Jesus didn’t include any “conditions” behind his words.
In any case, with the person’s permission, I’m sharing her story here because I think it uniquely and perfectly describes what it’s like to break up with Jesus.
I equate my deconversion from Jesus to breaking up with an abusive boyfriend. And not just any abusive man, one who is good looking, charismatic and a natural born leader. When a person splits from an abusive person who has great influence, no one believes their story of trauma. His friends, family and coworkers are every where constantly. They talk about him fondly right in front of you. When you question anything about him, you’re immediately dismissed.
“That might have been your experience, but it’s not mine.” “You don’t know him like I do.” “You must have been a difficult partner towards him.” “You need help.” “You weren’t very patient.” “You’re bitter.” “You need to be more forgiving.” “You didn’t try hard enough, you need to give it another chance.” “You’re the one with the problem.”
It’s constant bragging about the one who hurt you. It’s the push of those who do know your story to introduce him to you all over again. It’s the joyful introduction to him by those who don’t know your story. Everyone plasters his quotes around you and worships him non stop. They sing songs about him at dental and medical offices/hospitals while they pass out his literature in governmental public places. The likable abuser constantly gets a free pass to interrupt your appointment, a work day and schooling. He and his groupees are even allowed to knock on your door at dinner time and on holidays.
This is why religion is still traumatizing upon leaving it. For in the US, no matter what you do or where you go, you can’t leave your abusive ex. Many people in other countries have no clue as to what that’s like. And if you have young children, the abuser’s groupees make every attempt to get into your children’s faces when you are unable to supervise them.
In this country, it’s important to remember that not only do we have freedom of religion, but also freedom from religion.