The other closet

“When did I realize I was God? Well, I was praying and I suddenly realized I was talking to myself.” – Peter O’Toole

Losing one’s faith is one of most challenging mental accomplishments one can obtain. It should be enjoyable and relieving to achieve this. To cast off the chains of religious faith requires incredible strength, and independence of mind. However, it often causes much bitter disapproval and rejection by family and friends. The suffering of nonbelievers is only matched, in our society, by people that confess they are of an alternative sexuality. It is truly a cross to bare to live without faith.

Once people lose their faith, they view themselves as foreigners in their own country. People who lose their faith face hoots of derision, re-conversion attempts, silent disapproval, or the loss of opportunities and possessions. The pre-confessional psychological struggles are tough to handle, as well.

Many feel desperate to try to regain their faith, some try move to another less-absurd sounding religion. People pray, and go to worship more often to strengthen their faith. Others try to maintain a few of the dogmas in their minds, only to find that the endeavor is futile. After the epiphany of abandoning faith, one of two reactions will most likely follow. Either the person will be extremely happy, and coming out to someone would come shortly thereafter, or the person will feel extreme guilt, self-loathing, and fear only to remain in silent oppression.

Another significant task is to resolve the imminent existential struggle that follows after apostasy. Some people become nihilistic and cynical. Still others turn to existentialism, or other philosophy. Others choose to commit their lives to science and believing in human potential. Choosing a philosophy or ideal to live for greatly helps in calming the psychological storm that follows the loss of faith.

These serious disruptions and hardships are shared by many around the globe. By obtaining a fuller grasp of reality, these people are persecuted for not sharing in the delusional lives of their neighbors. The time has long passed when we should start acknowledging that religious belief, no matter how innocent, is not benign.

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~ by jsacc001 on March 20, 2008.

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