I logged on to Facebook yesterday and stumbled into a discussion amongst my Christian friends about the number of kids one should have. In a sea of responses, one person bravely brought up the subject of overpopulation and she did so with the utmost respect while first praising the original poster for being a good mother. This, of course, unleashed a fluter of responses about having faith and trusting God to provide, etc.
Someone even said “May your quiver be full!” Have you heard of the Quiverfull movement? In short, it is a group of fundamentalist Christians that avoid any birth control believing that as many kids as God gives them are as many as he wants them to have.
Now, everyone is entitled to their opinions, yes but I have a problem with what I call “faith logic”. Faith logic is an oxymoron, I know. The problem is that those who use it do not see that it is. It goes a little something like this. . .
My choices, preferences, actions, reactions, ideas are God’s will because I am a child of God and he guides my actions. God is for my causes, against my enemies, and generally backs whatever I do.
Remember, I have not been untethered from religion that long. It was not too long ago that I used to justify my actions and choices too. The problem here is that you can not discuss things like overpopulation or the impact we are having on the earth’s resources, when the person you are having the discussion with thinks this way. It completely forces out any competing ideas, because those competing ideas are ‘not from God’. Only YOUR ideas, YOUR pastor’s ideas are from God.
You can’t argue with the mentality that whatever choices I make are God’s choices because I was able to make them so they must be from God. Never mind how these choices affect others. God is for me. Who can be against me? Logic and reason do not work when people are certain that whatever they do for themselves is ordained by God.
I have been free of religion for a number of months now and the more I stand back and look at this stuff I used to believe, the more shocked I am that I ever believed it. I used to be a judgmental, holier-than-thou bitch and that is the truth. I have better relationships with my family and friends since losing ‘God’s backing’ of every thought and judgement I had. Instead of focusing on what they are doing that is in any way deviating from how I choose to live my life, I can just appreciate who they are. Who cares if they have a glass of wine at night or have not trained their kids to sleep in their own bed from an early age, who cares about parenting differences, personality differences, differences that make us unique and human! I used to sit there and judge and feel like I was SO holy to be able to see the mistakes they were making and how great it was that I wasn’t making those mistakes.
I literally had lost touch with my own father, in part because he was not a Christian and just didn’t ‘get it’. I had ridiculously high expectations for him because God is our heavenly father and fathers on earth are supposed to reflect the characteristics of God, right? And every day that passed that he did not reach out to me to reconcile was one more day he was not right in God’s eyes.
I am happy to say that one of the first things I did after I woke up from this haze religion had me in was to apologize to my dad for all those unrealistic expectations. And guess what? We have a RELATIONSHIP now. Amazing how you can have a healthy relationship when you stop basing that relationship on judgment and expectation. Of course, no christian would admit they do this. I wouldn’t have. Had you told me these things when I was devout, I would have thought you unenlightened and pitied you. And this is now what many of my friends who are still Christians do to me. They pity me.
How sad it is that now I won’t be joining them in heaven. How sad it is that I am living my life apart from God. How sad it is that my children aren’t being raised in church anymore. How sad it is that I am experiencing a ‘dark night of the soul’. How sad it is that I must not have truly known God or had a relationship with Jesus Christ. How sad it is that I am forsaking Him.
One of my best and dearest friends was even more entrenched in the church and ministry culture than I was. She is ‘recovering’ now too. We joke that we must be on every prayer board in the country!