I wanted to write all of you to share some final thoughts about my secular life, my connection to the world of evangelical Christianity, and to explain why I will soon be leaving my role of co-adminstrator and contributor to this blog. The epistolary form thus seems most appropriate; consider this a goodbye letter.
Let me start with the beginning of the journey that brought me to the creation of this blog. When I was suspended from a Christian college for missing too many early-morning, weekday chapel services (and after having already completed 2 1/2 years of my education), I made a pretty clean break with my Christian beliefs. It took a few more years to get to my Devil’s Heart Experiment, but for the most part I had little contact with church-going Christians and thought about religion very rarely. This period was followed by the completion of my undergraduate and graduate degrees at a secular state university–again, I was only occasionally immersed in a Christianity-drenched setting.
However, that all changed with the emergence of the MySpace social-media application. One day, as I was browsing, I discovered a MySpace discussion forum devoted entirely to the Baptist, Missionary-Kid boarding school I had attended for three years in high school. The site consisted mostly of ICAers who were about a decade younger than me, but there were also quite a few people from my generation. My first contribution to the forum addressed an ongoing discussion about abortion. I wrote an even-handed and calm analysis of the arguments used to justify the pro-life and pro-choice positions. As the discussions went on over the next several months, I began to waste more and more time each night after work (or even at work) writing these endless rebuttals, explanations and defenses of my views on a whole slew of issues. Those writing marathons became increasingly fueled by bottles of wine and growing frustration, as my posts became more and more incredulous and aggressive. I was actually naive enough to think that providing a full deconstruction of Christian arguments and evidence would show MKs like me they’ve been living their lives based on falsehoods about the nature of reality. Crazy, right? I didn’t realize, at that time, most Christians don’t care about the evidence, or how meaning gets constructed through rhetoric and argument. It’s obvious to me now; I should have remembered that faith (belief without any evidence) is considered a virtue in their belief system–it has to be to perpetuate the belief in the make believe. Eventually, I went on a drunken rant where I insulted the intelligence of the folks I’d been debating, and I left the discussion group for my mental health.
I started this blog when I left that MySpace group. At the time, I discovered I was good at discussing and writing about Christian beliefs from an ex-Christian viewpoint, and it just seemed natural to continue what I had started. As it turns out, this is not a life-long mission for me. Rather, it is a process, and it is not an endless one. I’ve reached a point now where I have nothing new to say, as I feel like everything there is to say about the falsity of Christianity has been said. I needed to write about it to reason it out for myself and to test my arguments for leaks and holes. It’s been fun, but now I want to transition back to that time in my life when there wasn’t so much negativity (i.e. Christian ideas) floating around in my head. I want to be able, once again, to see a news headline related to Christians and to think, “Who gives a fuck?” Even debunking Christianity is a form of immersing yourself in it, and I want to wash that religion right out of my hair. Fortunately, I’m mostly bald, so I don’t anticipate any problems.
My plan within the next few days is to transfer all 119 of my posts to one of the other administrators on this site, so they will continue to exist. I’d like to especially thank Ann and Paulo for working on this blog with me from the very beginning and for writing such great posts and comments. Thanks as well to Jerry, prb3, dsc01, Noraa and Jester for acting as contributors and for writing such thoughtful comments and posts. Finally, thanks to you lurkers out there (JN!) who also made significant contributions to our discussions through your comments.