6/26/2016 | Share this article: View CommentsBy LoveShack ~
There is woman who was my friend, who is so scared of the notion of Hell and so brainwashed by her preacher and the little congregation she is a member of, that she will not and cannot question anything that is taught to her by her church.
She, along with a few other Facebook friends,will post Christian memes and I usually just ignore them and go on to something else. Now, I know that everyone has a “right” to believe what they want and post whatever they like to their page.
It is this “right” that I have focused on that has helped me remain a little bit more comfortable with not overtly challenging or voicing my new thoughts on the topic of religion.
But then she posted this meme:
Maybe many of you have seen this before, but I had not. It triggered such a response in my psyche! It hurt a nerve. I think it was because I saw it in a completely "new light" instead of in the "oldlight" of rote childhood religious indoctrination.
I responded on her Facebook page as politely as I could. It did not go over well and she unfriended me. I also posted the meme on my Facebook page and this is what I wrote...
“This post popped up in my feed a few days ago. I don't know about you, but the last line really bothered me. I normally don't respond,but in the light of all the horrific things being brought about by crazies who are motivated by their religion, I did.
I want share what this meme says to me, because I don't buy into this foolishness. Yes,everyone has the right to believe what they want. I agree and support this freedom. Everyone has aright to post what they choose.
But!!!!!! I no longer feel the need to “respect” any religious belief that insults my heart or my mind. I no longer feel like it is in anyone's best interest to show "respect" by not challenging and remaining silent, especially if it is something that is hurtful, misleading, or untrue.
The taboo against challenging religious doctrines, beliefs, and dogma needs to end, now! This is the only way that evil, done in the name of a religious belief, a god, or gods, is going to stop. I repeat, the taboo against challenging religious beliefs, doctrines, and dogma needs to end!
To twist and psychologically manipulate some one in order to get them to feel bad, indebted, deserving, or that they are somehow worthy of the fate in this meme is evil, deceitful, and underhanded. I'm calling it out.
This Christian meme is telling me that I, along with everyone else, "deserves" to be slow-roasted on a cross like the Jesus crucifixion story. I deserve to be painfully tortured and murdered for something… but what?... for simply being human? Not being born perfect? Or not believing the way this religion says I need to believe?
This is a part of the same kind of nonsense that is fueling the fanatical fringe to carry out atrocities in many religions, be it be-headings, murder of humans who are born with a different sexualpreference, or abortion providers!
It's saying that if you don’t believe like I do, or if you don't believe what I think my god or religion teaches, you “deserve” death or hell or some kind of horrible punishment! Your death honors my god. It’s hogwash!!!! To even insinuate it,should be questioned and then debunked!
Maybe some of you want and choose to believe you "deserve" this fate and buy into it. I was raised to believe this stuff. But I will tell you in no uncertain terms, no one ever deserves anything remotely like this fate or anything like it and this meme is just horrid.The message that "Jesus got what I deserve" is horrendous. No one deserves a literal death for unbelief or “sinning”.
And finally, is this a message that reflects love, tolerance, compassion, the golden rule, kindness, forgiveness, etc.? …all the best characteristics that we can strive for as human-beings?
Are your thoughts, intentions, and beliefs coming from a place of love and kindness or fear and hate…(steps down from soap-box)gotta be truthful here...this post came from a place of shock and then anger, not at the person who posted it, but at the sentiment in the meme.”
I got into further conversations in the comment section and lost another “friend”. I was surprised I didn’t lose more! But! I also was surprised at 2 people who whole-heartedly understood the point I was trying to make. One friend left a beautiful message of support:
“ I followed your exchange of posts on this meme, I wish I had half of your eloquence. Please keep it up, you make my heart and soul feel better!”
As a fairly new atheist who is struggling tofind a new voice with which to speak, this message means more to me than I could ever put into words.
I was pretty much out ofthe closet before this. I had stepped down from my position at my church and shared with the congregation why I was leaving. It is a very liberal church and they understood, but were sad. They are still loving and many are still a part of my life. I’ve told family members. If there were any friends on Facebook that wondered where I stood“spiritually”, it’s should be pretty clear to them now.
I found a quote by Albert Einstein that sums up pretty much where I am right now. It says:
“If I were to remain silent, I'd be guilty of complicity.”
Filed Under: Opinion