Lord Of The Rings’ Heretics
RL Wemm recently posted this analogy here on de-conversion.com in response to an anonymous theist. It seemed worthy of being its own article, so with a few touch-ups (including two italicized additions of my own), here it is. (Thanks RL.)
Imagine if the people you trusted and looked up to believed that the Lord of the Rings was a work of fact, and imagine that you had lived your early life as if this were true. Then imagine the turmoil you would feel as you gradually discovered that the stories just did not gel with reality without an unacceptable degree of “special pleading”. Imagine your consternation and discomfort upon recognizing that Gandalf’s self-sacrifice made no logical sense given the other properties which he was supposed to have; that Sauron is an unrealistically one-dimensional character (all bad); that the archeologist who discovered the site of Rivendell was likely to have been mistaken and that Frodo may not have actually existed.
Then imagine that your community has deified Bilbo as the Real Son of Gandalf, and Frodo as the Real Son of Bilbo. Imagine that Bilbo, Frodo, Gandalf, and Sauron have been imbued with a whole lot of magical and personal characteristics that are at variance with the descriptions of these characters provided in many sections of the Holy Books of the Rings. Imagine that your community tells you that it is the Evil Mind of Sauron that makes you aware of these inconsistencies and that dwelling on them is a sin that will result in eternal torture for you in the furnace of Mt. Doom along with the Unholy Ring.
Now imagine your community insists that the reasons why you no longer believe in the truth of these stories are one or all of the following:
- You are angry at the Lord Gandalf and His Real Sons (LG + HRS), May They Be Forever Praised (MTBFP) for what you wrongly perceive to be a failure on their part
- You are angry at the sins of False Followers or those who have slipped and fallen while temporarily failing to keep their eyes on the LG+HRS (MTBFP)
- You have rejected the LG+HRS (MTBFP)
- You have willfully turned your back on the LG+HRS (MTBFP) so that you could sinfully follow in the ways of Sauron
- You have decided to hate the LG+HRS (MTBFP)
- You have never been a Real Follower of the LG+HRS (MTBFP)
- You have rejected the truth because it is too difficult to follow
- You have had your heart hardened against the LG+HRS (MTBFP) by Sauron
- You have failed to read the right books (canonical Tolkien)
- You have insisted on reading the wrong books (probably Harry Potter)
- You have preferred to have faith in logic and reason
- You have failed to prayerfully suppress your evil doubts
- You have questioned the stories told of the Holy Ring as interpreted by those who had been filled with the Spirit of Gandalf
- You have failed to read the Lord of the Rings – at all, properly, frequently or prayerfully
- You have failed to ask for help from those properly grounded in the Ring of Faith
- You are deluded by False Prophets and people who are not Real Followers
- You are ignorant of the True Faith and the Real Followers
- mirrors of every other claim which continuing Christians make about those who have abandoned their beliefs because they found them to be logically untenable.
Now change the story to the ones you were told about Santa Claus and see how it reads. Then try Tinkerbell, the Tooth Fairy, Trolls, Goblins, Ghosts, Witches, Leprechauns and any other childhood beliefs which you once held and have now abandoned thanks to the fact that they are not socially sanctioned in your community.
Finally, re-read what you have written about ex-Cians and see if you can feel the sense of shame which many of us experience over doing this kind of thing to others when we were in the grip of the Believe-It-Or-Else imperative.
While I doubt if this will de-convert you (because that invariably takes a long time), it may help you develop some understanding which is more closely allied with reality. Hopefully, it will lessen the likelihood of you insulting de-cons because of your reliance on the kind of ignorance and distortion which is promoted by religious communities under threat.
I assume that your intentions are good and that you do not actually intend to insult people whose lack of belief threatens your own position.