It is no great secret that I have distanced myself from Christianity. While I have many family and friends still in the Church, I make no pretense of being involved or even interested in the religious life of a believer. Yet I have been an outspoken critic of the faith and of religion in general. Some of the questions I get asked is, “Why do you care so much? If you are so removed from Christianity, why spend so much time criticizing it? Wouldn’t it be better to simply live your own life? Why try to ruin someone else’s peace?”
I recognize these as legitimate questions and in this article will attempt to answer them, as I do have my reasons.
There is nothing I believe in more than the freedom to believe as one might wish, even if I consider those beliefs to be without merit. I am not the final judge of what someone’s personal worldview should be, or their religion, or whether or not they should claim a religion at all. Superficially, Christianity falls into this category. Is it not a personal belief? And am I not therefore infringing on someone else’s right to believe by consistently presenting cases against it? Why can’t I just leave it alone?
Again, these are good questions that deserve an answer.
1. Is Christianity a personal belief?
A belief in Christianity is personal in the sense that a person can hold such a belief for themselves. It is not personal within the belief structure itself. Christianity is constructed in such a way that it must be seen as the only legitimate belief system available. This inevitably results in great exclusivity within the ranks and merciless condemnation of other similar constructs. Christianity needs to be the only way to the Truth. Without that, it becomes no better than any other creed or belief. Its very existence depends on being “the way, the truth, and the life” (King James Version, John 14.6).
The effects of this arrogance are clearly seen. Those who do not accept Christianity are condemned and told that they will necessarily spend the afterlife in eternal suffering. Often, those who reject Christianity are shunned, pushed aside, treated with prejudice, maligned, libeled, whispered about behind closed doors, and treated to a never-ending barrage of entreaty. Believers gather and pray for misery to strike the stubborn heathen in the form of holy conviction. Unbelievers are seen as less spiritually aware. Christianity is an excellent method of ego-stroking. It allows the believer to feel superior to all those who side against belief.
These factors show that Christianity quite easily becomes more than simply a personal belief and begins worming its way into the lives of unbelievers. If one is not Christian, one is not good enough and is not fulfilling their potential. If one is not Christian, one is doing themselves, their families, and those around them a great disservice. Unbelief is considered pure selfishness.
It gets worse than this. Christianity depends on conversion. Those in the faith cannot be content with making others feel bad about their lives or causing them to worry needlessly about their eternal fate. Christianity demands that believers seek out and convert unbelievers. It is in their creed. In the parable of the marriage supper found in Luke 14.23, Jesus says, “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” (The emphasis is mine.) This and similar commandments are not suggestions. Believers themselves face a price if they fail in this regard. “When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand” (Ezekiel 33.8).
In this more relevant sense, Christianity is not a personal religion. The believing individual cannot be content with having it for themselves. They are required to share it with everyone.
There are uncounted people (I know many) who struggle with this every day. It colors their lives in decidedly negative ways. The constant pressure to believe harms their lives, renders them unable to fully enjoy and appreciate their daily lives, and often separates them from family and friends.
Christianity is an insidious system. Many people, particularly those with a strict Christian upbringing, have no idea how to rid themselves of this loathsome burden. The religion they cannot accept has a hold on them nonetheless, exerting cruel control from afar. This is why it is necessary to confront Christianity head-on and to provide those struggling with the tools necessary to break the chains once and for all. Christianity claims to provide freedom. It does not. It is not satisfied with those who willingly accept it. It must own everyone else, as well.
2. Am I infringing on someone else’s right to believe?
No, I do not believe so. I am not saying and have never said that someone cannot hold these beliefs for themselves. One is welcome to believe whatever they wish. Unfortunately, this is not, as has been clearly stated, what Christianity does. I say, cling to whatever faith you wish. You might even talk about it with others. However, when you begin to say that everyone else must either agree with you or resign themselves to a hell, you have overstepped your bounds.
3. Why can’t I just leave it alone?
I feel this point has already been largely addressed. Having narrowly escaped a life within the grips of a fundamentalist regime, I have experienced the process of escape. I know it can be done, although not always easily. I feel a responsibility to those who now find themselves in the same position I was in some years ago. My specific goal is not to convert, but only to make it as clear as possible that there are options. People need to know all of the facts before they make a decision they may not find easy to fix later. Certainly, the Church is not going to provide these facts. Objectivity is not, and never has been, one of its strong points. This is why I cannot and will not be silent on this issue. As long as Christianity continues to forge shackles of required belief, I will do my best to break them.
King James Version. [Colorado Springs]: Biblica, 2011. BibleGateway.com. Web. 8 April 2012.
 The idea that the holy spirit will visit spiritual truths to hardened hearts, making them see the evil of their hearts to such an extent that they will be unable to eat, sleep, or function until they repent of their sins.