‘I couldn’t pretend any more’: readers on why they left the Christian faith

This stood out to me:

Although James describes himself as an atheist now and sees religion as “the old approach to controlling the masses and providing public health advice”, he enrolled his two daughters in a C of E primary school.

“I can see the value of spirituality and religion, and I wanted to give my children the opportunity to figure things out for themselves.”

The result? “When my seven-year-old daughter was told at school that God created everything, she asked her teacher: ‘Well, who created God?’ My children have both decided these teachings don’t stack up.”

This I think is a further demonstration that Atheists, in spite of some Christian stereotypes (an absurd example of which is here) and propaganda (God’s Not Dead comes immediately to mind), are generally not hell-bent in bludgeoning everybody else into our worldview. We tend to value freedom of thought, diversity, and “the opportunity to figure things out for themselves”.


I would say the same stereotype is often applied to religious folk. I think if one lives in America one gets a distorted view of the degree to which most theists are also secularists. The problem is that in America one of the two major parties has been taken over by religious extremists.


Given that 62% of US Christians believe that “The US should be a ‘Christian Nation’”, with 69% of them having the mistaken belief that “The founders of America originally intended for the US to be a ‘Christian Nation’”, it is less clear where stereotype ends and reality begins.

I will admit that I have no hard numbers on where this simple ‘belief’, turns in a willingness to use positions of power, such as being a teacher, school coach, company owner or manager, etc, to inflict their beliefs onto others, or to use death threats to attempt to silence lawsuits complaining about it. But it need not be a majority in order to create a toxic environment, especially when many of the remainder of Christians are at least willing to passively acquiesce to this climate.

It also only takes six theocrats, supported by a tiny minority of 70,000 more, to make Christian Nationalism the de facto law of the land – especially when those six are willing to lie about the facts in order to do so.

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I did say that one’s understanding of the views of Christians in general can be seriously skewed if one bases it on the very weird and aberrant form of Christianity that prevails in the US.


Can we say, “Herd of cats?” :grin:

You can if you like. :slight_smile:

But my point is also that I think we tend to prefer to live in a culture of diverse views, rather than a monoculture. Part of that may be self-serving, in that in a sufficiently diverse culture, the probability of of the dominant viewpoint trying to impose its views on the rest of us (or even its own less dogmatic affiliates) by fiat decree are considerably less.