Saturday, March 23, 2013

Crazy Will Always Find You

Leaving your religious community can be painful. I recently had a chance to "meet" two very interesting people. One man is from the UK who recently left the Jehovah Witnesses because he was sick of the toxic 'environment' that they apparently need to survive as an organization:

The other is a man twice divorced, virulently sexist and homophobic, and is trying to JOIN the Jehovah Witnesses. I am very strongly under the impression that he may only be doing so just so he can get out of the Army, I can't fathom why else someone at his rank and pay-grade (and all the perks of his particular MOS) would walk away from a job that offers free health-care for himself and his family. 

People will do all kinds of weird shit over religion, but you knew that already.

 I count myself as lucky that trading faith for reason, while very painful at times, didn't cost me much as far as friends or family. BOTH of the people I just mentioned have something in common: They have lost the support of their communities and they are trying to make them suffer for leaving them. One has been disassociated  by his congregation, the other is well... trying to quit his job.

Childish jealousy-issues aside, sometimes when someone leaves a particular denomination or faith there is a proverbial tsunami of backlash against that person. They feel betrayed, they promptly denounce them and in some cases (as my British friend soon discovered) publicly harass and humiliate the "Apostate" perhaps to try and shame or frighten them into returning.

Now that I think about it, it sounds a bit like a bad marriage.

All religion really does is lay down unrealistic sets of rules for their followers and decry outsiders because they don't follow them. Apparently it's okay to bend or break some of these rules by attacking heretics who dare criticize them, and therein lie the problem of religion in general: It's not just the whack-jobs that practice this public shunning, to a point it's all of them.

If an ex-Christian leaves their church, the typical response given by remaining adherents goes a bit like "Oh then obviously s/he wasn't truly saved." Which is dumb because it implies that if you disagree, even in the slightest degree (which ALL churches do, otherwise there wouldn't be so many of them ALL claiming the One Truth) then you were never a real believer. I use Christianity because it's the most prevalent example in Western society, so then because there are so many "brands" out there on the market, the definition of a believer is going to vary so greatly that the idea of a "true believer" cannot be solidly established or defined.

"Then you were never a Christian in the first place." Then by your own logic, neither are you.

OBVIOUSLY, that person thought long and hard about deciding to stop showing up to meetings. By your own 'rules' the only thing you can really do this day and age (without going to prison for murder) is "turn the other cheek." If you lot were really so righteous, the thought of someone walking away wouldn't bother you in the slightest.

As for getting out of the Army, surely one could have just as easily come up with something more original than joining a cult. Of course, it WOULD BE easier for you to get along in a group where women have no say and "fags" don't exist, because in the real world that shit won't stand and everyone knows it.

How about instead of writing your name on a piece of paper (that you might really really REALLY want to take off of it in the near future) you make a doctor's appointment, sneak a fork in your sleeve, then say "Doctor! It hurts when I do THIS!" and then stab yourself in the knee.

You'll be out in no time.

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