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Why My Sincerity Doesn't Matter To My Deconversion.


Akheia

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Christians are rather fond of parroting the tired old excuses for why we left their obscene religion, and one of the lamest of the lot is this one: "You just didn't want it enough."

 

You just weren't trying hard enough.

 

You didn't want God enough.

 

You didn't pray enough. You didn't love God enough. You weren't submitted enough.

 

You just didn't want it enough.

 

This is one of the cruelest and most wrong of everything they could say, but it does show a number of holes in their bizarre worldview that I want to dissect.

 

Let's take the first assumption: That I didn't want God enough. This assumes so much about me--the speaker has no idea how much I wanted God, how sincere I was, how active I was in the faith, what sacrifices I made for that faith, and how much I did to try to hold onto my faith when I realized it was fading. Whatever it was, it wasn't enough, and he knows that--why? Because I'm not Christian anymore. He assumes that if you just "want it" enough, you can surmount any doubt and any discovery of fact. And clearly I did not "want it" enough because here I am, doubting and knowing all these facts in my little pink ladybrain. However much this amount is, it is less than he "wants it," because here he is still believing.

 

And let's consider the second: that sincerity itself can keep faith alive, and that lack of sincerity is what destroys faith.

 

And the third, implicit assumption: that someone can know, objectively, just how sincere another person was or is in believing something, and assess the amount of it on a scale.

 

Alas, this is all self-serving, ego-defense bullshit. I can see why Christians have to attack sincerity, because they've got nothing else really except emotional manipulation. They themselves can't even imagine not feeling sincere in their faith, and they can't imagine that the message itself has flaws. So if someone leaves, clearly the problem is with the person: she was tricked, or she just wasn't dedicated enough, or she misinterpreted something, or she just didn't want it enough.

 

And it's a lie, a cruel lie, and does nothing but illustrate that the Christian has based his worldview upon a lie that requires his suspension of logic and rationality.

 

I'm going to let you Christians in on a secret that all ex-Christians know:

 

Sincerity has nothing to do with faith.

 

When I was a young child, I desperately wanted to be a unicorn-riding space princess. I'm not kidding. I fantasized about it all the time. If you're thinking right now "wow, I bet she had a HORRIBLE childhood," my response would be to laugh, because buddy, you have no clue. Every day that I survived was a damn fine day. I'd have gone to any lengths whatsoever to become that princess; I lived in hope that one day I would see the cosmic emissary who would announce who I "really" was and whisk me out of my daily reality of poverty, violence, addiction, and abuse. I believed this fantasy with a strength that makes my mouth water just remembering it today. In the middle of a beating, I remember glaring at my abuser and thinking, "One day, one day, I will preside over your execution... so enjoy this while you can." It was all I could find refuge in.

 

Eventually I realized there were no such things as unicorns and if there were space princesses, I certainly was not one of them. My sincerity is not something I doubt even today, and had nothing to do with losing my faith in this fantasy. As belief systems go, this one was doomed from the start. There was no possible way it was true, and once I realized how impossible it was, I had two choices. I couldn't drill down on being an exiled noble daughter for too long when I knew I wasn't, so I went for Option Two, which was to figure out another way to survive and get through what was happening to me. And I did. (And then dove right back into a similarly ridiculous compensation fantasy later when I became fundamentalist, but that's a topic for another day.)

 

What killed my faith in this little fantasy was not lack of sincerity, but lack of truth. But if someone told me, "You just didn't want to be a space princess enough--that's why you lost faith in it," I'd probably stare at him like he was insane before laughing at him--or slapping him. I lost faith in my fantasy not because I wasn't sincere enough in wanting it, but because it just wasn't true.

 

If I'd been a real space princess, my sincerity in believing it would have nothing to do with its truth. We live in a society filled with people who don't accept science, but that doesn't make it untrue. Millions of people sincerely believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim Kenyan, but their sincerity doesn't make that true. My beliefs do not in any way impact what is real and not real. Nor does my sincerity in those beliefs.

 

So as the Camel with Hammers had to once, I now announce, formally, that attacking my sincerity as a Christian does not in any way constitute a legitimate attack upon my disbelief.

 

Attack my ideas. Attack my facts. Attack my evidence. But Christians, you are not now, and never will be again, allowed to attack my sincerity ever again. You will not be allowed to make assumptions about my level of faith or how much I wanted God to be real.

 

You will never again be allowed to impugn me, malign me, and belittle me to prop up your own faith. So find something else.

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Hi Akheia! You said: 

I can see why Christians have to attack sincerity, because they've got nothing else really except emotional manipulation. They themselves can't even imagine not feeling sincere in their faith, and they can't imagine that the message itself has flaws

 

GREAT point...they CANNOT imagine anything that would possible disrupt and demolish their fragile myth. 

 

 

 

So if someone leaves, clearly the problem is with the person: she was tricked, or she just wasn't dedicated enough, or she misinterpreted something, or she just didn't want it enough.

 

I have also heard that "God still loves you" as though I have suddenly become "disinterested in receiving love" since I no longer want or believe that God's love is THE THING that I should desire most in life. Delusion...that's all that it is...

 

Great post!!!

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Wait, you mean I won't be rule my own private island even though I sincerely want to? Damn.

 

Great post smile.png

You've actually got a shot at ruling a private island--they're all over the place. But I'll never be a space princess SOB SOB SOB
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