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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Misconceptions about Non-Religious Folks

I have noticed that some religious people have misconceptions about non-religious folk, which I would like to address. One truth about me, for example, is that even though I left the family religion, I did not check my "morality" at the Kingdom Hall door. Just because I no longer adhere to religion does not mean I have no morals. Morality is inherent in each person. The Bible says so:

"the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.~Romans 2:14-16 (New International Version)

When I left the religion, my family demonized me. One announcement later and they sincerely believed I was suddenly a different person. One meeting ago, they were hugging me, and by the next meeting they were shunning me. I wasn't one of them anymore. Like I was instantly going to run out and light a cigarette *gasp* or steal or do drugs or seduce a man, because I was disfellowshipped.

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Well, seriously, this is what the religion teaches. Members don't question the church leaders about what comes out of their mouth. They just believe it, automatically. They have to! No critical thinking or questions allowed! Just blind obedience.

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Have you noticed strange ideas of religionists? I'd love to hear from you.


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Copyright © 2012.

2 comments:

  1. Your former religion was a fundamentalist, high-control faith group.

    Some other religions are moderate, respectful and low control.

    I think there is a continuum: hard line extremist religion at one end, free-thinking informal spiritual discussion groups at the other end, and all the other religions somewhere in between.

    The hard line extremists, and lots of the religions in the middle will not tolerate your type. They regard you as having bad attitude, you are an apostate, and they will behead you, excommunicate you, discredit you, or otherwise boot you out. They want (and need) an obedient compliant flock. By encouraging shunning they maintain control over the family members who are still inside that high control faith group. An apostate like you is a threat to their power - you might "infect" your family, and they will all become apostates (oh the horror)! So, that is where the spirituality of the extremists is lost - their organizations become more about self-preservation than about addressing the spiritual needs of the flock.

    At the other end, the respectful, spiritual, informal groups tolerate everything, so they represent nothing. They can't achieve a consensus, so they are too nebulous to take a stand on anything. In this way they too, cannot address the spiritual needs of their flock ("everyone does their own thing anyway") - to the extent the flock continues to gather.

    To me the faith journey is about rejecting such extremes, and using the maximum wisdom one can muster to choose from among the faith groups in the middle of the continuum.

    Your particular situation is made harsh because you were born into a faith group at the extremist end. So, you were not doing the choosing, and without the experience of life (which your religious leaders discouraged), you unavoidably came to think of it as normal.

    Bravo to you for discovering and standing up for what is right - every person who was ever born has a fundamental right to choose his/her faith journey, and to change it when it suits him/her, and no religious authority has any right to punish you, disrespect your choice, or say different.

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    1. Thank you for your well thought out comment.

      Perhaps you are aware how passionate people are about their religions. Rules of conduct and beliefs which are often based in myth rather than science. Each religion believes they are the only RIGHT religion. My family religion was about "Group Think" where everyone has the same mindset, more or less. Everyone keeps each other in line. It was indeed a punishing belief system.

      I don't wish to be led along by a group. I want to be free to make my own decisions, which come from inside. I want my SOUL to lead me, instead of church friends or elders.

      One last point I want to make: for the most part, churches are based in patriarchy, where men are hierarchical heads, women and children are subservient.

      I see patriarchal structures coming to their demise. The present churches, governments, monopolies and corporations are going down because they are based in fear (belief in death) and greed (belief in lack). The only things remaining will be love-based.

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