I spent a long time going back through my Instagram posts, which I started in 2015. It was a fun trip down memory lane until I got to the period of time when I was regularly going to church, when I was also reading Christian books and listening to Christian music and posting about God.
It made me a little uncomfortable to see that because now it feels like it was someone else. I just don’t relate to that at all anymore. But clearly, at one time, I really believed that, or tried hard to do so.
I do remember that I felt like I had to hide so much of myself back then. My political views were out of sync with the church crowd and I always felt like I had to keep them toned down. I’m unquestionably a lot more political now, which feels more true to who I really am.
I also felt more discomfort with knowing that my daughter was transgender, even though she hadn’t yet formally come out or started the medical transition. I do remember that I didn’t feel like she was wrong in being who she was but I also knew that the Christian world had a different view. The fact that I have a transgender daughter felt like a secret I had to keep.
I’ve now been out of church entirely for a couple of years—I think the last time I attended any church service was two years ago. I don’t miss it at all or feel any doubt or discomfort about the fact that I don’t consider myself Christian anymore. I did go through a phase of doubt and beating myself up for not believing, though.
That period of deconstructing my beliefs was really painful and I think I chronicled a bit of it here over the years. But I finally got through it and landed in a place that’s more in keeping with what my beliefs have always been: somewhere on the spectrum of Buddhist/Eastern beliefs. They just make more sense to me.
Interestingly, I think my husband is now going through something similar to deconstruction as well, though I don’t know if he would label it the same way. We have a lot of discussions about how religion is a mind fuck and you have to continually work on indoctrinating yourself so that you won’t lose your faith. Once you stop reindoctrinating yourself, faith starts to slip away (or at least it did for both of us.)
I know that people who knew us both as Christians would see us as backsliders, as people who are lost and are to be pitied at best, dangerous at worst.
But I just see it as though we’re both being more honest about our doubts. Christianity always has answers to any objections or doubts but they fall apart upon further investigation. And there are some things for which Christianity doesn’t have any good answers, like this meme:
So much of what it takes to really believe completely defies logic and critical thinking. And once you’ve started asking those questions, it’s nearly impossible to turn back.
I don’t know what the future looks like when it comes to my relationship with Christianity or my husband’s. But I don’t feel like I can really try to go back to pursuing genuine belief or faith again. I really think it would take far too much work to try to believe again.