Why She Left Her Church

A very good friend of mine just left her Catholic church in large part because of its support for the marriage amendment that will be on Minnesota’s ballot this November. The church put a “Vote Yes” sign in their front lawn, and that was the final straw for her.

Not sure I can stomach the Vote Yes sign outside of my church. I get where they are coming from (I mean, it’s a Catholic church!) and that we all have to make our choices inside of our religion, but that sign…it’s so…in my face. I think I need to make an enormous change. My faith is strong, but I need to find a place that aligns with the rest of me too, right?

I know she agonized over the decision, but she did end up resigning; she couldn’t continue to attend and raise her children in a church that is opposed to marriage equality and that holds GLBT people and families in disregard. She would describe herself as being a firm believer in God and so she’s now looking for a new place to worship. She has received a ton of support from her friends and family. In fact, her mom told her that  she stopped being a Catholic years ago!

Keep shooting yourselves in the foot, RCC. Keep telling women that they’re underlings, keep telling people that teh gay is nasty, keep telling your parishioners that they don’t have any control over their lives except what you and God give them. See how that works out for you in the long run.

I’m an atheist (no – really!), but that’s my personal decision about God(s). I know I’m right, just like my friend knows she’s right about God’s existence. I don’t love her any less for her belief. I’m not gloating that she has decided that her church doesn’t work for her. But I am proud of her for rising above this one particularly odious doctrine of her church.

Thank you, you beautiful, brave woman for sharing your story (her story is shared here with permission).

Why She Left Her Church

FTF1 – Valerie Tarico – Recovering from Religion

This entry is a  recap of Valerie Tarico’s Freethought Festival 2012 presentation as observed by me as an audience member. Shitty writing or misinterpretation of the presenter’s material is completely my fault. If you think I got something wrong, please let me know in the comments or feel free to email me at bio_dork(at)hotmail(dot)com.  

Valerie Tarico is a psychologist, author and ex-evangelical. Her talk, Recovering from Religion, addressed some of the challenges that people face when they are attempting to reconcile their loss of faith or lack of belief, especially in an environment where it is more advantageous for them to retain their faith.

She showed us how religion sets up booby traps for those who question church teachings. Common ideas that are ingrained into religious lessons: Doubt is from the devil, questioning is sinful. She mentioned that some groups think of books that discuss doubt, leaving religion and religious criticism as “spiritual pornography”. Valerie commented that she had thought she would be making more money as a writer of pornography.

A slide from Valerie’s presentation

She did a nice job of explaining the process that one might go through while deconverting and attempting to extricate oneself from religion. She briefly mentioned the grieving process, and throughout the presentation gave resources that might be useful for people in this situation – exchristian.net, recoveringfromreligion.org, losingmyreligion.com She focused on how she was working to help bridge the gap between belief and non-belief, and presented this one possible way that people who are leaving religion might go about doing that.

FTF1 – Valerie Tarico – Recovering from Religion