Ransom demand

hell gun

As I think back on those early days 35 years ago, I was a freshman in college and had my first full-blown encounters with proselytizers. At the back of every discussion, encounter, or argument was Hell. It was an idea ever-waiting to be dropped into the conversation at the slightest hint of any refusal to accept. And what I didn’t realize until recently is that Hell was always a gun held to my mind by a god who offers to remove it if I’d only believe.

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Carrying the sack: Some thoughts on deconversion

tatersackprisma-finalI’ve been headed in the direction of deconversion for several years. I strongly suspect the process began the day I first converted. It’s like carrying a sack on your shoulder with all the stuff of a religion…beliefs, concepts, commentaries, notes, sermons you’ve heard, ideas, thoughts, prayers, texts, dogma, emotions, rules, regulations, testimonies, myths, legends, all of it. And every so often you have to toss something out of the sack because you have no use for it anymore. Then over the years some doctrine or other, some belief that people hold tightly to but rarely, if ever, examine very closely rattles to the top of the sack and falls out. So you keep walking. And if you don’t tend to the sack weekly spots become frayed and more stuff drops out. Then some time passes, and later you start to realize that the sack has gotten really really light. Finally you stop and ask yourself whether you need what’s in there at all.

That’s the place I arrived at, and my answer to that question was, no.