sent in by Alan
This is going to be slightly different from other testimonies, as I would like to talk about my experiences long after deconversion, rather than during deconversion. What really interests me is the change in my feelings towards Christianity since abandoning the faith.
The actual loss-of-faith bit is similar to most other people's, anyway, in that it was driven by a realisation that Christianity simply doesn't work on an intellectual level: I read some Plato, and some Aristotle, and some Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu, and I saw that human thought is far deeper and broader and richer than what passes for Christian "thinking," indeed far richer than what the deity himself is supposed to think. It all unravelled for me after that.
When I first gave it up, I didn't really have any feelings one way or the other. If other people thought Christianity made intellectual sense, well that was ok, let them carry on, why not?
That was about ten years ago. Since then however I have found my attitudes have hardened, in such a way that I feel a real burning anger against the faith and its doctrines. This anger has clearly been slow to get going, but it is genuine, and the only way to describe it is like a "righteous anger," if I can use a biblical term.
I think I know why I feel it, but does anyone else agree? My guess is that my emotions have taken a long time to catch up with my brain. Of course, this turns the usual Christian explanation of deconversion on its head - Christians like to think that we drop away because of our feelings or morals, and that we then hide under a sham of intellectualism, but in my experience I left the religion for intellectual reasons, and the emotional stuff only started to kick in a decade or so later.
So it is only recently that I have begun to feel a passionate anger against Christianity. Anger that I wasted ten years of my life on its oppressive and petty moralities and its feeble theologies. Anger that I gave it so much of my time through prayer groups, bible study, services etc, time which I never will get back again, no matter how long the universe endures. Anger that even today it still spouts medieval attitudes. Anger that it responds to reasoned criticism with mindless faith and threats of hell. And it is a deeply embedded anger, one which feels part of who I now am.
Most people I guess feel this anger very soon after deconversion, and their anger then evaporates over time, but in my case it seems to be reversed. I wonder if anyone else is going through, or has gone through, the same?
I don't get to a computer very often and probably won't be able to respond to any comments until next week but any comments you have would be great, cheers.
Left: 28 ish
Was: Evangelical, Anglican, Greenbelter
Converted because: The emotional pull of the Gospel
De-converted because: The true human wisdom of this world makes foolish the so-called wisdom of God
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)