Someone left a comment on my personal blog (strangely they commented on a different post) saying that I must have been spiritually abused and explained how they cried out in their time of need and God answered them. “Literally” they said, but did not explain what they meant by that. “You don’t have to be a fundamentalist to be a believer. Its just Jesus,” the commenter concluded.
Here’s my question: Why, when people find out you don’t believe, do they feel that it’s because you’ve encountered some bad flavor of religion? If only you’d try their brand, you’d see the light. (Fundamentalist and evangelical Christians are also big on saying “I’m not religious, I just love Jesus.” As if they actually weren’t religious. Talk about self deception.) No. I wouldn’t. I saw the light when I realized I no longer believed in God. That was my moment of truth. In retrospect, it was more of a conversion/enlightenment experience for me than being born again had been.
Also, why can’t Christians fathom that some of us do not think that God is real? They think we know he’s real but we refuse to admit it because we want to sin or we’re mad at him or something. That really gets on my nerves.
All religious indoctrination, in my opinion, is psychological abuse. But what I experienced was incredibly mild compared to the experiences of so many other ex-fundies that I know, I would not even come close to categorizing myself as a victim. For the most part, I enjoyed myself when I was a Christian.
One of the things I now find most distasteful about Christianity is that it devalues human goodness, always giving credit to God when a person does something generous or compassionate. Pffft. I prefer to give credit where credit is due–to the person.
I’ve been using the term fundamentalist to describe my past beliefs for a long time, because people seemed to understand what it meant. But now it seems to mean “the other guy, the violent extremist, the person who follows that bad kind of Christianity (or Islam or whatever)”. I guess I’ll have to change the way I talk about my past beliefs because the word fundamentalist seems to have morphed. Also, because techincally I wasn’t a fundie. I was a Pentecostal evangelical in the Word of Faith movement (and various combinations of those things at various times, for those who care about such technical differences). I actually use the terms “born-again” and “fundamentalist” interchangeably. I guess that’s unclear to a lot of people.