I write a lot about faith and mental health because of the lingering effects they’ve had on me. Growing up, I never had anyone tell me in a way I could appreciate that none of it was real. None of it would help me. The things I needed for personal growth existed outside of church.
I keep writing about it, despite how it makes some people of faith feel.
Although my primary audience isn’t people of faith, I do get visitors from time to time who like to remind me that my former religion is still out there. In a way, they remind me of why I share my thoughts about leaving faith permanently. These people were abundant when I was young, and for no good reason they got me as a captive audience to their views. They were very much part of the problem, and they continue to be a problem for others.
The truth that some people of faith find ugly is that it doesn’t work for everyone. The same message doesn’t get applied evenly throughout congregations. Biblical texts operate like the world’s worst game of telephone. Some get to hear beautiful things while others hear a nightmare.
And I get why people of faith might be uncomfortable.
Some people rely on their faith for their self-esteem and value. Me trashing that is like saying they shouldn’t feel good about themselves. For a while, I felt like it was my problem. But now I recognize that it’s something outside my control. I can’t make them change their views, and their behavior isn’t really a reflection of what I write.
I keep this in mind whenever I write something about Christians and religion. I understand there will be people who will get angry. That’s their choice.
It’s also their privilege. Some of these people have never been told that it’s inappropriate to force themselves upon others. That their views aren’t held by everyone. That there’s some dispute as to what they believe. This anger sometimes is at the loss of privilege. The comments that show up here reflect that from time to time.
This is why I need to say what I say.
Granted, not many people read what I write, but I do get the occasional visitor that goes over what I write on loss of faith. They come from all over the world. For these people, I write what I write to tell them that they’re not crazy for not believing what they’ve been told.
And it’s a vestige of faith that makes me feel like sometimes there’s this need to apologize for the misdeeds of other people. I’m working on that. Like with any other recovery from trauma, it takes a while.