I would rather poke my eye out

Sent in by Meredith T

I recently de-converted after 15 years as a Christian while going through a divorce and enduring hypocrisy in the church. If I had a nickel for every email I got saying, "God Hates Divorce!" and, "I love you but I don't agree with you," I would be rich! I even got one saying "I'm sorry to hear you gave up your space in eternity for this (divorce)!"

OK, well who the f!#k do you think you are to take a stance whether you 'agree' with me or not? Is that any of your business, and did I even ask you?

One former friend said, "We have the right to know why you are doing this." I’m sorry, but why do "close Christian friends" feel the need to decide everything as a group -- even to declare someone's marriage as "divorce-worthy" or not?

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, I de-converted not solely because of what my church and Christian friends did to me (even though that got me 'thinking'), but ultimately I discovered I could no longer see how divorce as taught in the Bible was "true." There is no way I can believe that anymore, since I view my divorce as the healthiest thing possible for me. Someday, if my ex can break free from his "brainwash" in Christ, hopefully he will see this as a positive for us too. But currently he still hates me for breaking my "sacred covenant," even though he admits to living five years of "hell" with me.

I married while I was "on fire for God" at age 22, and even though I knew deep down I didn't love this guy, he "loved god," and "instantly forgave me" for what a bad person I saw myself as. So I thought, "How could we go wrong with GOD on our side?" We thanked "Jesus Christ for putting life and love in our hearts" in the top billing of our wedding program. And we had two (yes, two) ministers marry us. Wow, I felt good -- it doesn't get any "holier" than this. "Everyone, look at me! Aren't I a good person? Look at all my Christian friends, all so proud of me! Look! We can have fun without drinking!”

I'm just thankful we got out before we had kids together.

Anyway, some very sweet Christian friends who had been through a divorce tried to help me with my doubts about the teaching against divorce in the Bible with words like "god forgives," and "god still loves me" and "grace is the most important thing." But once I saw the Bible as containing falsehood, I started reading. It was like I became addicted. I read this site for hours on end, and everything else I could find. Slowly, my eyes were fully opened, and it was like over night and I "got it." My mind was opened. I agree with one of the recent posters to this site who said "What was I thinking?" OMG – what WAS I thinking?

Anyway, that's my story. It feels good to write it out and I'm still trying to figure out how to tell my friends and family, almost all who are Christian and trying to get me to go to church somewhere. Frankly, I would rather poke my eye out.

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19 comments:

Bob said...

Meredith,
You did the right thing, you told your story and perhaps that will help someone else break the bongage of religion as well as your own.
If I can fault atheism, it's that we have been afraid to speak out against religious superstition for too long. Perhaps that is changing.
Thanks to Dave for making this post possible, too.

Jim Earl said...

Hi Meredith.

Welcome to the club. My own divorce over 27 years ago was the catalyst for my deconversion, and reading was the key.

I agree with Bob that we must find the courage to speak out about our newfound freedom from religion. Life is certainly better on this side of the chains.

Good luck to you.

Chucky Jesus said...

"We have the right to know why you are doing this."

A good rejoinder would have been, "You have the right to remain silent..."

THE ACE said...

Meredith: I was sorry to read of your divorce; there's been a few in my family too, and I know how painful it can be.

I was going to say I'm shocked that
anyone at your church thought it was any of their business, but then
I remembered my own church days.
Born Again Christians are among the biggest busybodies in the world. They've let the church and
their religion take charge of their lives, and therefore have no
life of their own, except to sit in smug judgement of everyone else. How pathetic!

I'm glad you've broken away from
all that. Welcome back to the real
world, and best wishes for the
future.

shanthi balakrishnan said...

One of the main reasons for the backwardness of societies is lack of reasoning power as taught by peers. We are taught to be hippocrites by them from time immemorial. From the time we are small. People who go thru difficult periods in life are specially vulnerable to gobbledygook. They fall prey.Even the American president says he believes in almighty god.
Then why does he have to bomb the shit out of malnourished poverty and disease stricken civilians in third world countries to safeguard America? Among them helpless children and women? Has god given an open warrant to mass murder to safeguard the rich and powerful?
It's about time the true meaning of god is put into perspective by the fanatics. What can they do that we cannot? Walk on water? Read minds? Resistant to disease? What is the benefit to society? Drugs to cure disease? Magic crops to feed the hungry? All I see is fast & smart talking preachers who'll talk about anything except their bank accounts. Doesn't anybody seem to realise? It seems the entire human race has shut their eyes and is fast asleep. It's apparent they will never ever get up.

twincats said...

"We have the right to know why you are doing this."

Another good answer: "I love you but I don't agree with you."

Crystal said...

"I started reading. It was like I became addicted. I read this site for hours on end, and everything else I could find."

I can identify with this. It's like you've been so brainwashed that if you put the reasoning stuff down, you'll automatically slip back into worshipping the invisible sky-daddy and refusing to question.

Edward T. Babinski said...

Hi Meredith,
You should say hi to

Carlene Cross--Author of FLEEING FUNDAMENTALISM: A Minister’s Wife Examines Faith
[Algonquin (304 pp.) 2006]

"A memoir of my years as a Fundamentalist minister’s wife, my loss of faith and my escape from religion. I went to a Bible College and married one of the Religious Right's rising stars. However, after years in the movement I began to question the legitimacy of organized religion. And I watched my husband spiral secretly deeper into depression, alcoholism and sexual addiction. I finally broke free and left him and the church. After my divorce in 1990, I went back to school and completed a BA and an MA in History at the University of Washington, eventually becoming a Public Television Producer and writer."

KIRKUS REVIEW, August 1, 2006
Midwest farmer’s daughter marries fundamentalist minister and confronts disillusionment in this brave memoir. As a girl in the late 1960s on her family’s Montana farm, Cross (The Undying West) wanted desperately to live a more glamorous, urban life, “where people didn’t have to wage war against the elements of nature and spoke with proper English.” A preacher’s visit to the farm lured her and her mother into a Protestant sect that taught that the Bible represented the exact words of God and Jesus was going to return to “rapture” faithful Christians to heaven. Instead of dreaming of travel to faraway places, young Carlene immersed herself in the Book of Revelation, and attended Big Sky Bible College; while there, she briefly served as a Bible teacher to an extremely isolated Hutterite colony and volunteered to hand out Bibles behind the Iron Curtain. Soon, she fell for college dreamboat David Brant, but she preserved her virginity until marriage. (In their case, sex turned out to not be worth waiting for.) Eventually, David was ordained and settled on a ministry at the Calvary Baptist Church in Seattle. He was a flamboyant and popular preacher, but his congregation had no idea that this father of three had a troubling obsession with pornography. He was also frequently away from home, which gave Carlene time to commiserate about her unsatisfying marriage with another unhappy wife. Susan proved to be a lifelong friend, supporting the author through the shame of scandal and divorce. Gradually, Cross got her life on track, found a job and went back to school. Now, she writes, she can recognize how the Bible has been grossly misinterpreted throughout history to gird murderous missions. She tells her story in surprisingly jaunty prose, eloquent without self-pity. Describing life as a depressed single mother on welfare, for example, she notes, “I simply needed to muster the guts to embrace life’s emptiness.” A long, fraught journey into the light, chronicled with compassion and spirit. (Agent: Bonnie Solow/Solow Literary Enterprises)

PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY REVIEW
The religion depicted in this absorbing memoir of falsehood and betrayal is fundamentalism gone berserk: it has turned into an inhuman, apocalyptic, darkly controlling force that reshuffles common sense. After indoctrination at a Bible college, Cross finds herself in a marriage from hell replete with abuse, addictions and mental illness. Her husband, a popular young pastor, uses religion to mask the alternate reality he has created, a netherworld that will potentially destroy not only his career but the entire family's safety and sanity. With the courage of a trapped animal, Cross reinvents her life, waiting tables and going on welfare in order to earn a degree and support her three children. For a time discarding God, the Bible and organized religion along with her malevolent husband, she eventually redefines spirituality as "a road of discovery—not of submission to a rulebook."... Some readers will contend that the fundamentalism she portrays is an aberration, not the norm. Still, her heartfelt condemnation of public hypocrisy couldn't be more timely. In her ex-husband's own self-indicting words: "Isn't it ironic, a guy condemning sinful society and completely without a conscience himself?"

Lorena said...

"OK, well who the f!#k do you think you are to take a stance whether you 'agree' with me or not? Is that any of your business, and did I even ask you?"

You are a woman, Meredith. In church, everybody thinks they can tell you what to do, because you are a woman and, therefore, weak and not suited to make your own decisions.

Also because you are a woman, you are seen as evil. The divorce was always going to be your fault no matter what happened, because Christian men are never wrong.

Christian women must forgive, give, be sweet, lovely, serving, and a doormat. Men are always right, just like the god they follow. (I've never been sweet, lovely, or submissive, so I was a pariah in the church).

Isn't great to have left all that bullshit behind us?

Bill2 said...

What's " a troubling obsession with pornography" mean?. just curious to see if I qualify for this label...

eris.discordia said...

Hi Meredith,

I can totally relate to your situation! I divorced my ex and his psychotic family 27 years ago. I will never forget the numerous phone calls I received at home and at work, not only from my Christian friends, but many people I DIDN'T KNOW! I got calls from pasters from churches I never attended, deacons, Lay ministers and even youth ministers! All of them telling me over and over, how much God hates divorce! What was really disturbing is that none of them changed their opinion when I told them that the kids and I were being physically and emotionally abused! They insisted that we should endure the abuse for the sake of the marriage and for the love of GAWD!

I actually continued going to a Pentecostal church throughout my divorce, in spite of all the judgmental bullshit. What can I say? I am hard headed!

Eventually, I caught on to the big lie. My path to enlightenment started with self education on the subject of government conspiracies and media brainwashing. Naturally, as I learned more about out government controllers I saw how religion has been used to control the masses. Now I am a serious student of alchemy and the esoteric sciences and fundamental laws of nature. I see now how "the church" has corrupted the ancient symbolism, blinded us and kept this wonderful knowledge from us by any means that they could. They know that knowledge is their true enemy! Now that we have an unlimited source of knowledge (the internet) at our fingertips more and more of us are waking up! They cannot stop this title wave of clear thought!

Welcome to reality!

Calladus said...

I wrote about how the bible treats divorce on my site, and I got a religious commenter who tried to justify remarriage of divorced people - even though Jesus seems quite clear on the matter.

Divorce is a real problem for the Christian church, if they are seen as accepting the remarriage of divorced people they open themselves for a charge of hypocrisy. (If the approve of the 'sin' of remarriage, then why don't they approve of the 'sin' of same sex marriage?)

If they condemn all non-biblical divorce (like in the case of abuse) then they are being complacent about marital abuse.

Lastly, many of the religious see divorce as a fundamentally 'selfish' position, where one (or both) in the marriage puts individual welfare above that of "God's holy union".

So of course it's no wonder that your church members are upset with you. Divorce makes them almost as nervous as Atheism does.

Caleb said...

A typical brainwashed Christian must reconcile everything they hear, and see with their faith in god, Jesus, and the Bible. That is why so many are unable to accept reason, science, and controversial fact. The same goes with their relationships. A Christian, whether friend or not, cannot truly love a nonChristian. This is because they must reconcile you and your actions with their faith in god, Jesus and the Bible. If you don't line-up with those beliefs, you cannot be fully accepted nor truly loved by them. I am trying hard to keep my Christian friends. I am finding some (as you did) to value my friendship over their need to be right. However, most now regard me as a piece of garbage for giving up on the love Jesus so faithfully poured on me for 20 years! Oh, but I used to be so annointed you know?

Ryan Scott said...

All I want to say is "you rock". Screw those yahoos. You owe them nothing. I suggest you get out of crazy town and move somewhere more sophisticated. You don't have kids, right? Do it while you can. Most people in major cities are not such ignorant, annoying fools.

trancelation said...

Meredith:

To mirror what others have said, you kick ass, and you did the right thing by getting away from these looney toons. They want nothing more than to control you and claim the rights to your womanhood and make you an OBJECT. They are miserable, and they want you to be miserable.

Christians are some of the greatest hypocrites on the planet. This is because the brainwashing nonsense they CLAIM to believe is ridiculous BS and they know it, but they want to look like the rest of the miserable sheep so they lie about it. it's good to hear that this site has helped you break free from the bonds of Christianity and its non-exsitent half-naked half-baked savior.

Hellbound Alleee said...

It seems that it is not Christianity per se that's the problem here--it's clearly Groupthink. These horrors happen within any group that has a dissenter. My advice is always: reclaim your moral autonomy, loudly, and get as far away from these people as possible.

Unfortunately, Groupthink is everywhere, and not going to church isn't going to shoo it away.

I try to remember never to say, "we think," in any circumstance. Never try to speak for others. Unfortunately, I found democracy encourages this.

Anonymous said...

The Bible is antequated as a guide for living in today's world in so many ways. It's amazing I did it for so long myself. I could only wish Christians could experience the freedom to live life to the fullest like we have...and no, I haven't murdered anyone!

A. Ford said...

Merideth:

Divorce is a horrible problem for our society. I don't condemn you for it, but it brings up an interesting point about religion. Religion, in a certain sense, got you into the marriage in the first place. This is one of the biggest pitfalls of religion. People get married thinking God will make things right, all the while ignoring all the red lights going off that say otherwise.

I propose that religion makes people prone to unrealistic ideas about the real world. Things like love and sex take on a supernatural aura with religion, whereas a rational minded person could see things in a more practical light. Rational people may get married for financial reasons or to start a family, whereas religious people get married because of idealistic notions of love that are not true.

Divorce is ruining society, but the religious fail to see the problem. It is the fairy-tale world of marriage that gives rise to divorce; divorce cannot happen without marriage. Rational and critical thinking people see marriage as something entirely different, which could lead to lower divorce rates if people were educated more about the reality of marriage and divorce in America. The problem is people just think marriage happens when two people fall in love without even thinking about what love really is.

However, Christians are nosey busy-bodies. This is a consequence of the group-supported delusion necessary to maintain belief. Without the group, most Christians would be atheists.

Nvrgoingbk said...

Ironically, it was the issue of divorce and remarriage that set me on a course of deconversion as well. I was absolutely TORMENTED over the issue. I was certain I would go to Hell for it despite the fact that my husband and I had been seperated for 3 years, he was the one who filed in the first place and refused reconcilliation, and is the one who broke the covenant vows by leaving our family for another woman. My children and I ended up in a homeless shelter and their father didn't pay child support for years, yet when I met another Christian man who I longed to marry, I was scared that my toes were teetering over the abyss of Hell.

Calladus is right regarding the fact that the Bible makes the issue of divorce and remarriage pretty clear. While others in the church (friends, pastor, books, etc.) told me it was approved, I knew better. The only thing that set a woman free was the death of her husband. I could not accept this. I divorced the bastard and while Nick and I have yet to legalize our union, we've been together for three years. We are both deconverts and happy heathens with a baby due in three weeks. I do not believe in the "institution of marriage" any longer. I do not believe my union is any more dignified simply for paying my statesmen $125 for a marriage certificate and ceremony by a "justice of peace" who could care less whether or not I get married just so long as I pay them first.

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