2/14/2014 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Bore Venal Charlatan ~
Is it possible to become so absorbed in an idea that it is impossible to be persuaded otherwise? At what point does a human mind become so fixed that it ceases to think independently? If so, is it ever possible to wake up?
For me the act of actually leaving the Christian faith was, compared to others’ experiences, relatively uneventful. I had always been far more logical than emotional; changing my beliefs internally was not much more complicated than changing their listing on Facebook. I had been mainly content with Christianity, but decided based on science and history that the religion was not absolute truth.
However, what I do feel strongly about is what I learned afterward, specifically from the responses I received from Christian friends. What I expected was a fun-filled theology debate, like the ones I have with deist and agnostic friends. But when I informed a church member of my reasons for leaving, I was surprised to see my de-conversion blamed entirely on acts of Satan!
Christian arguments are primarily fear based: lacking Biblical morality can lead to Nazism and Communism. Doubting the Bible means backsliding, and leads to god’s wrath. And of course, refusing to believe in the resurrection earns one eternal suffering – so why not be on the safe side and stop asking questions?
I pointed out that I simply could not believe any longer if I wanted to. I now ‘knew too much,’ and there was no going back. The Christian explanation for this? “The truth of Christianity weighs too much on your conscience and you are not willing to accept it…”
Whoa, I thought. After pages of explaining why logic had convinced me not to believe, I was now nothing more than a backslider? I knew it would be hard if not impossible to convince my friend to agree with any of my reasons for leaving, but – after pages of arguments, she would not even believe my reasoning was sincere?
I decided to respond the best way I knew how, and pointed out issues I had with Old Testament genocides, as well as Jehovah’s decision to allow Satan to torment Job. ‘Doesn’t it just seem wrong to love a god who obliterates anyone who doesn’t bow to him?’ I asked. ‘And what about Job? How can you worship a god who puts you through excruciating pain just to win a bet?’ I pointed out that the deist god would be a much better alternative – so why not at least take a look at a friendlier religion before choosing to worship an enslaver?
BOOM. My entire system of beliefs was reduced to an excuse to live outside of biblical law. Every scientific observation which did not affirm the ‘science’ in the book of Genesis – was in their view, nothing more than an attempt to evade what Christians believe is right. To them the only proper end in life is hopeless, eternal slavery to god, in the hopes that he will be merciful to his play-things. And they willingly accept this rather than dare to think otherwise. “I would rather be a slave to a god who created me,” was the Christian response. “A deist believes in the god of his own choosing – a god manufactured in his mind.” Can this be real? I asked myself. That someone is so utterly convinced they are correct they would rather try to justify the wrongs of their god, than think for a moment that there could be a better one?
“A deist relies on reason and empiricism,” I was told. “Problem is that human senses at best deceive us, and reason can be used to prove lies. Thus, the conclusions of a deist are dependent on his feelings and perceptions at the time. Deism is another name for moral relativism, or simply an excuse for one to do as he pleases.”
BOOM. My entire system of beliefs was reduced to an excuse to live outside of biblical law. Every scientific observation which did not affirm the ‘science’ in the book of Genesis – was in their view, nothing more than an attempt to evade what Christians believe is right. To them the only proper end in life is hopeless, eternal slavery to god, in the hopes that he will be merciful to his play-things. And they willingly accept this rather than dare to think otherwise.
I realized then and there the extent of Christian ‘Indoctrination.’ I use the term to refer to the concept in the Mass Effect series, of being mentally dominated by an oppressive, immensely powerful construct. What I learned made me wonder why myself, as well as others, have been able to escape this ‘Indoctrination.’ For one, some people are naturally free thinkers. But more importantly, within every human being is an inextinguishable, basic desire to be free. In many, this instinct is crushed, ignored, hidden, and all but wiped out completely, to the point that they love their servitude.
I cannot say with any certainty how many others will find a way out in the same way that I did. But somehow, somewhere, I decided I would rather shatter the blissful illusion of Christianity and see things for how they really were, and accept all the consequences that came with it. Like nearly every Christian, I spotted a hole in a web of lies; and like many, I could have continued believing blindly. I decided instead to pull at the nearest loose thread, to tug at it in the name of curiosity. But I was never the one to pull it apart; I only stood and watched, as my faith unraveled itself. Like Saul, scales fell from my eyes. The same fear of hell which ensures Christians stay good Christians, immediately lost all its power. I tugged aside the curtain, and saw that behind the face of the all-powerful Jehovah was only a scared little man.
I think I now understand why Adam and Eve’s choice was so sinful in the eyes of the tyrant Jehovah. They made the only choice a human being can make. They chose knowledge over ignorance. And that has made all the difference.