Divorcing Religion

Posted: March 23, 2010 by skepticalprogrammer in Atheism
Tags: , , , ,

Sometimes relationships just don’t work out. As we grow and change over time, we sometimes outgrow the other party in the relationship. That’s how it was for me in my divorce with Religion. Religion and I had been acquaintances when I was young, but it wasn’t until late middle school/early high school that Religion and I started growing close. Maybe it was my tumultuous home life and my craving for love and attention, or maybe it was that all the popular kids were so enamoured with her. In any case, Religion won my heart swiftly and completely. Like many people in a relationship, I viewed her without awareness of her flaws and I was able to overlook even glaring inconsistencies in her character.

As the relationship progressed, I began to notice that others had a far different perception of Religion and what was important to her. While my love was constantly inspiring me to new depths of compassion and patience all the time, others were claiming that she was telling them to kill innocent people. I noticed that many of her friends were the kinds of people I strove so desperately not to be; people who had strong racial biases, who were often strongly nationalist in nature, and who were quick to dismiss those outside of the group as being bad or somehow unworthy of love.

It was not long before I started feeling that there was trouble in paradise. Religion and I started having disagreements regularly. I would often wonder why she claimed to love everyone while also claiming that most of the world was going to go to hell. It was not uncommon for people to present disturbing (and often contradictory) viewpoints that she had expressed, and much of the evidence she presented to back up the claims she made was lacking or illogical. As my emotional attachment began to fade, I had to face the fact that my love had been lying to me for years.

After a long struggle, I decided to divorce Religion. It has been a long and sometimes difficult process, but it has also been freeing in many ways. While many of my friends and family members sided with her in the divorce, I have discovered that a few of the people who are still closely tied to Religion accept me for who I am without her. Now that I am outside of her social group, I am finding that I have a much deeper understanding of the struggles of those around me, and can connect with those I was previously discouraged from spending time with. I have also found that I am now able to seek a partner who will love me truly without any conditions.

Recently, I have been seeing someone new. Her name is Science. Our relationship is quite a bit different than my last. She is not quite as comforting and maternal as Religion, but makes no judgment of people who disagree with her, which works out well since I have not always shared her views. She always tells the truth to the best of her ability and when she discovers that something she has said was incorrect, she does her best to correct the misinformation. When proven wrong, Science does not make me feel guilty for questioning her. In fact, she rejoices in having a more accurate view of our world than she previously had.

Sometimes I miss the sense of belonging I had from the social group Religion invited me in to, but the best decision in my life was to divorce Religion in search of something better.

  1. JulietEcho says:

    Very nice analogies. I especially like, “While many of my friends and family members sided with her in the divorce…” because it’s so true. Way too many relationships turn out to be conditional when you leave a religion.

    • skepticalprogrammer says:

      Over the course of four years I worked at a Christian camp during the summers, and grew close to quite a few of the other workers. Since that time I have either lost contact with or been declared a “heathen” by all but one of those people (with the one who still accepts me being the one I married). Oddly enough, most of the ones who declared me a heathen did it between summer of 2008 and November of 2008. I still can’t seem to figure out why… :p

  2. justmeangie says:

    Haven’t you heard? Obama-voters go to hell!

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