Settling in to a new normal

It feels like I’m finding my footing now that I’ve been out of the social media game a little over 3 months.  I’m starting to feel like myself again – which is startling!  While I was in it, I hadn’t realized what it had done to me.  I just knew that something wasn’t right, it wasn’t working, and it was time to make some changes.

A friend recently told me that she’d announced on facebook that she’d become a Christian.  Now, I choose to no longer identify myself as a Christian and have been through the ringer getting over some of the damage that was done to my inner being as a result of my time in the evangelical community.  I still feel like it’s a bad neighborhood for me, but I respect my friend for having found and embraced her faith, and I respect her faith.  Some people, however, did not pull any punches in letting her know they did not.  I experienced a fair amount of that back when I was walking that road after reconnecting with people I’d known before following Christ.  It stung.  It was hurtful.  It was disheartening.  It was disappointing, every time it happened.  Why do people have to suck??  And why has social media unleashed such a cataclysmic tsunami of people now going through life as if it’s perfectly okay to suck at being human beings?  Okay, so Christianity isn’t your bag.  That doesn’t give you the right to knock people down and upside the head with that which is your bag!

The saddest thing about that is, I did some of that as well.  I came out of my Christianity experience very badly damaged with no idea if I would ever recover.  I spent months expressing on facebook and in blogs all the things I objected to as far as what goes on in the evangelical community and how unlike Jesus it is.  I hurt some people.  I owe some apologies.  It doesn’t mean I don’t have legitimate grievances in terms of what happened to me and what’s being done to people whose only wish in life is to love and follow their Lord and how that’s being twisted and exploited on a pretty widespread basis.   There is a lot of muddying the stream.  That’s wrong.  I know it’s wrong.  It’s very wrong.  It’s right to speak up about it.  But there’s a way to do that, and I didn’t always go about it the right way.

But, as Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better.  Then when you know better, do better.”  As far as my conscience has been able to tell thus far, I’ve done that and will do that.  What a gift was given to us in Maya Angelou!!

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3 thoughts on “Settling in to a new normal

  1. My father was a rabid atheist. Any mention of religious faith would get him going, and one of my brothers followed in his footsteps. He has nothing good to say about our dad, in spite of the fact that he’s very like him. It makes me furious to hear him aggressively claim that anyone who believes in a God is an idiot. There’s no sense to his argument, yet he swears that his argument is the only one which makes sense.
    I’d like to see more respect between atheists and those of faith, and it seems to me that the atheists are usually the ones with the worst attitude. They seem to feel threatened by religion. I think they’re missing something. Religion is interesting.
    Many years ago, I joined the Mormon Church, possibly as a kind of rebellion, and like you, when I lost my faith I said a lot of innapropriate and unkind things. We often do that when we are hurt and disillusioned. That’s totally different to the cold rage often displayed by life-long atheists.

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    1. Sociologically speaking, religion, historically, was practical. It was a means to bringing a tribe into unity in focusing on the good of the tribe as their creator would have them do. I believe that religion is still necessary for our survival. Anyone who’s truly religious still strives for that primal desire of unity and the common good and will find no quarrell with those who don’t believe as they do. Of course, I’ve encountered the rabid type of atheists like you describe of your dad and brother, and even in my current frame of mind, I find that type of attitude a major buzzkill. Personally, I believe that any belief, including atheism, that is heartfelt and propels a soul toward aiming for the common good is the truth. I still believe there is “something” to everything we see and don’t see. I just choose to embrace the current reality that this “something” is undefinable and unable to be proven or disproven, and I’ve grown comfortable with that. I think that that when someone feels threatened by religion or a lack of religion, that intolerance is partly rooted in that discomfort of the undefinable. The interesting thing I’ve noticed about some who profess to be atheists is that, the more “rabid” they are the more they seem to think about religion. I see a lot of energy being expended on making their case that there is “nothing” instead of “something,” and I find that rather curious.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’ve just described exactly the way I feel about the subject.
        I’d like to copy and paste this in my documents, learn it by heart and quote it every time somebody irritates me with aggressively asserted opinions.

        Liked by 1 person

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