Why d-C? – The Hypocritical Churches
As an atheist looking into the world of Christian de-conversion, I expected to see more tales of people de-converting after they realise how hypocritical churches are. In fact I barely expected any other cause, perhaps aside from exposure to science. I thought that Christians who read the bible did so through the lens of the preachers words and were thus immune from realising it’s faults, and that religions would have all the answers to the really simple questions down pat. I mean, surely children have been asking the church “what about dinosaurs” since dinosaurs entered the popular imagination.
But pedophile priests, church leaders blowing money on yachts and a luxurious lifestyle, or the existence of something like the Vatican bank – surely these were the things that would shake people’s faith in large numbers. However, only 8.51% of people in the sample attributed their de-conversion to the hypocrisy of the church.
Personal experience highlighted the hypocrisy of religion to this person:
I began immediately to see hypocrisy in both the organizations and the individuals with whom I associated. I married a man in seminary studying for the ministry but I knew from the outset that his heart was not in what he was doing and he was just there because his minister father had pushed him into it. I am still married to this man after 35 years and I still love him but I noticed a great unhappiness in him.
And here’s another person who discovered religious hypocrisy through personal experience:
The thing that confused me the most, was the fact that since my family did not go to church, they were considered more evil than my friend’s parents who beat the tar out of him when my friend didn’t clean his room.
Both the unexpectedly low number of people who cited church hypocrisy as their reason for de-converting, and the fact that personal experience of hypocrisy was a common thread amongst those people, lead me to a theory. Churches seem vulnerable to simple questions about the nature of the universe or reality, stating “it’s a faith matter” is not a strong defence when matters of doctrine contradict clearly observable reality. However, Churches appear to have developed strong defences to charges of hypocrisy. Claims of “we’re being persecuted by outsiders” are a strong way of countering worries about church practice from among the faithful. That is of course, unless a religious person sees the hypocrisy with their own eyes.
- Originally published by Kieran Bennett, reprinted with permission.