I’ve briefly mentioned my issues of a particular Chi Alpha Campus Ministry. I’ve begun to experience some problems with leaving this group. Thankfully I’ve had luck with breaking away; the texts begging me to come back have subsided. However, I’m experiencing the unseen consequences of this.
I have nightmares about a lot of things; fights between my family, police in action, even the shooting a couple of months ago. But now I have dreams about Chi Alpha leaders hunting me down and interrogating me about my absence, and then about my differing beliefs. I’m paranoid about any of them seeing me in public or at work and questioning me wherever they find me. I’m bracing for a long conversation about me falling away from God for my different views every moment of the day.
I did not leave the faith, I’m still a Christian, just not in the ways Chi Alpha wanted, but I know they will never allow it. I don’t know why I’m scared of defending myself and my decision. I know I’m not the only one. I may be one of the few that found a better church because the majority of the population escapes conservative places and goes to other religions or atheism. I agree that whatever they find that feels right for them is right for them, but it’s tragic to know that many people are living different lives than what could have been because of hateful and harmful views. There are hundreds, possibly thousands, receiving therapy after escaping from these destroying views. People are scarred for life and terrified of the very word of any religion because of the dangerous churches. The preachers that attack with words of hate and pain and Hell are trying to scare people to Heaven, but they’re corrupting the image of God and sending people far away from the actual truth of love and peace. You notice that more and more minorities are leaving Christianity and openly expressing hate for the religion, very notably American immigrants, the LGBTQ+ community, and a lot of the female population. If Jesus ate with all the people that were considered sinners back in the day, why are these sinners suddenly no longer human and need to change to be saved ultimately?
I nearly left God because of this. Because as a female born in the LGBTQ community, I am a popular target. I’m glad I found the right place before it was too late, but some never do. Some people will never recover from the trauma of having speakers aimed at them telling them they’re going to die an awful death. Christians like to say that they’re the persecuted religion, but most of the people saying this are the people actively fighting to criminalize the LGBTQ+ and send immigrants back to the places they fled. The hate for Christianity is rising because the loud and hateful Christians are the ones that are heard, documented, broadcasted, etc. for all to witness.
I don’t blame anyone that leaves Christianity to save their mental or physical health. The kind, accepting churches are hard to find and not as loud or visible, but they’re out there somewhere. Humans are damaging each other over beliefs, and it’s a wonder why there is so much violence present all around us. Perhaps if all religions acknowledged the humanity of all people, even those that are different from the normal, we would have less of a need for religious trauma counselors.
I understand it will be a very long time before religious attacks can be banished or even reduced, but it’s good to hope, hope and pray that people can flee and get to safety from whatever seeks to harm them. Writing this will do nothing but get a few nods of heads, possibly, but it’s a start.
Here’s to the vision of a world of religious content. Thank you for being a listener to a rant of one survivor of conservative religion.