Rejecting Christianity helped me realize my independence

April 30, 2007 at 8:39 am 7 comments

I have not always been so strongly affirming of women’s rights. In fact, I grew up in a very conservative religious home where, even though my mother was a single parent, the expectation to conform to the ideals of the church was very evident on a daily basis. I did rebel, though not in the way most would think. I didn’t go out to drink and party. I rebelled by my rejection of 1) the ideals and notions of the church concerning women (and many other points as well), and 2) the notion that everything the church had to say was truth. In fact, if I didn’t reject the infallibility of the church I would have never been able to reject its dogma.

So from a young age I rejected the social values set for me concerning traditional feminine roles. I wouldn’t accept that I was any less intelligent or capable than the males around me. It just simply was not part of my make up. I didn’t even entertain those ideas long enough to let them flourish. Instead, I would get upset each time an outward manifestation of these expectations was displayed. It would infuriate me when I was put down so that a male could be honored – simply because he was a male and I was not.

During these times though, I never really made a big stink about my feelings. I had other things to deal with in life – as do most urban dwelling children. However, as I matured and began thinking for myself, it was obvious to me that I could never be the type of woman who would follow these traditional feminine roles. In the spirit of truthfulness though, it would be dishonest of me to not mention my many attempts to comply with Christian thought and practice. Nevertheless, each attempt left me more miserable than the one before since I could not intellectually accept my assumed role as a woman.

SunflowerAs I allowed my independence to bloom, I discovered there is so much beauty that comes from being a woman whose completion comes from a well-rounded life. It’s time to reject the traditional roles we watched our mothers perform so obediently. It’s time to be our own woman with our own dreams and pursuits in life. It’s time to relax and enjoy our time with our partners without all the pressure and despair of a relationship built on archaic Biblical text that requires women to be subjected to men. Independence and solid relationships are not mutually exclusive terms. In fact, they have proven to make quite a dynamic combination.

Ladies, we are beautiful in our independence and that beauty is multiplied when we share our independence with those around us. My de-conversion journey has helped me to see this even more clearly.

- Stellar1

Entry filed under: Stellar1. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rebecca  |  April 30, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    We are indeed beautiful. From one agnostic atheist to another all I can say is, Amen! :-)

  • 2. stellar1  |  April 30, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    Hee, hee Rebecca. That’s funny. :)

  • 3. Justin  |  April 30, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    I understand your feelings about the message of woman subordinance to men in the Bible. It is important to remember, however, that the Bible contains universal truths (many of which found in the New Testament) that superceed the old law.

    Anyway, I’m surprised that in your upbringing you didn’t gravitate towards Luke (which scholars have identified as the gospel for the marginalized people of society at the time of the book). In other words, it was written for gentiles, and woman (hense the geneology of Jesus tracked through the mother!…never done in those days – a very progressive idealology)

    have a good one!

    http://politicsandreligion.wordpress.com

  • 4. stellar1  |  April 30, 2007 at 5:41 pm

    Justin,

    I think it is difficult to move beyond the social views in which a person may disagree when they are surrounded by others who reaffirm that view consistently.

    I had it easier than women born in the many generations before me because I knew that society as a whole in America was coming to terms with the equal status of the two sexes. Therefore, it was easier to simply walk away from the religious sexism and embrace a secular equality.

    Women of previous generations had no such convenience. They were prisoners of religion and sexism. They were subjected to overall marginalisation on every level of society, politics and religion every minute of every day of their lives.

  • 5. Karen  |  April 30, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    Women of previous generations had no such convenience. They were prisoners of religion and sexism. They were subjected to overall marginalisation on every level of society, politics and religion every minute of every day of their lives.

    Some of the most powerful rants against Christianity I’ve ever read come from early feminists and suffragists. It is completely unbelievable to me when I recall that not even a century has passed since women in the U.S. have had the right to vote!

    Wow! Talk about having to completely subordinate oneself to males. Their world was so terribly sexist. No wonder Elizabeth Cady Stanton was so pissed! ;-)

    She wrote, “When women understand that governments and religions are human inventions; that bibles, prayer-books, catechisms, and encyclical letters are all emanations from the brains of man, they will no longer be oppressed by the injunctions that come to them with the divine authority of ‘Thus sayeth the Lord.’”

  • 6. stellar1  |  May 1, 2007 at 9:36 am

    Thanks for reminding me of Stanton’s writings, Karen. I think I’ll go dig her book out of my library and browse through it for a while.

    -Stellar1

  • 7. Rebecca Koval  |  March 28, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Thank you for writing this! I was raised very similarly. It is disgusting to think that just because I was a girl, I was expected to be “less than.” I left my Christian mother’s home at age 15 and five years later I still have nothing to do with her. Rejecting her and the beliefs that she instilled in me was the most freeing, empowering thing I have ever done in my life.

    Let’s hope that more people start questioning sexism within the church!

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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