Monday, April 5, 2010

Letter to a Recovered Fundie


I recently received a complimentary letter about my blog from an internet friend and activist atheist compatriot. In his letter he mentioned that while he wanted to comment on my Young Earth Creationist posting, he was too embarrassed to admit that he was once the kind of mindless YEC advocate that the article referenced.

It prompted me to share with him something I’ve often thought about recovered religious fundamentalists, as well as my own perspective on belief. My letter to him follows, revised and extended.

Dear J,

You have nothing to be embarrassed about. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Those who perpetrated the lie, who cultivated it, who fed it to the unwary, and who are unrepentant of their scam -– those are the ones who should be ashamed and embarrassed.

You were a victim of religious think from childhood to early adulthood. In fact, while your letter compliments me for my reasoned activism, you have more to be proud of about your having embraced reality than do I. You see, I never had to overcome what you did. I was never indoctrinated, never bombarded with lies and myth at an early age and through my developing years. Thus, I had a head start while you were handicapped.

That you were able to escape from the darkness of unquestioning faith in fable to overcome your handicap speaks to your courage, strength of character and intellect. I've often wondered, had I been in your place, if I would have had the necessary attributes to escape the darkness of religious ignorance and find the door to reason on my own.

As freethinkers we are all “Apostles of Reason.” But people like you who overcame what so many others never will, are -- to paraphrase a verse from the Bible -- among "the most beloved of the apostles” of reason. For that you deserve and have my respect, and the respect of every freethinker.

Your friend,
Hump

38 comments:

BathTub said...

I grew up a YEC, memberships to AIG, journal (instead of the magazine) subscriptions, conventions, stacks of books (Bones of Contention, The Lie, etc) the whole works.

It's why I say I honestly believe I know Young Earth Creationism better than most Young Earth Creationists.

Coming out the other side is really nothing to be ashamed of.

Dromedary Hump said...

Indeed, it's something to be proud of. Kudos to you, Bath.

Den!s said...

I don't buy books ever. I bought your book. I don't read books ever. I will read your book.

Motorhead said...

Wow, this reminds me of myself. I was made to go to a Christian school K-6th grade except for 5th grade which is another story. It was a Baptist institution for attempted brainwashing. The teachers, principle and pastor tried to put so much fear into us that when I look back at that experience, I have to laugh and sigh. They did succeed in emptying some brains, but they didn't get mine. Perhaps they didn't have much to work with? LOL j/k As far as the curriculum went, there was no science class. Bible study and Chapel took it's place. I would question their interpretations of Bible stories and every so often receive corporal punishment for my efforts. Hell, it got to the point that I would be asked, "Do you have a comb in your back pocket this time?" I was just a little kid with questions! Sick bastards!

WTG J!!

Dromedary Hump said...

Den!s ... Thanks! That's quite a ringing endorsement. Appreciated.

Motorhead... If you could bottle whatever it was that made you resistent to their god virus indoctrination at such a young age you could increase the planets IQ by 25%!

NewEnglandBob said...

This is a wonderful post, Hump. Maybe we need to set aside a day each year, similar to Veteran's Day but for honoring recovered theists. You could run a contest for naming the day.

Dromedary Hump said...

NE Bob,
Excellent concept!! I think you've got something there.

But I'm wondering if we shouldn't pass your idea along to the Secular Std's Alliance, or Freedom From Religion Foundation, etc., and see if we cant get them to get an unofficial nationwide recognition day. Something that would get press coverage like:
"Welcome a Fundie to Reality Day"; "Reformed Theist Appreciation day"; or "Take an Ex-Religionist to Lunch Day".

You want to contact them, or do you want me to? If you do it give me supporting roll credit ... heheheh. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Like Hump, as a child, I never was indoctrinated into a fundie belief system (and yes, Jews also have their share of theistic idiots, however, most live in Israel and NYC). I suppose, being raised in a reformed Jewish household in the Midwest, help inoculated me against the general fundamentalism (and later, woo) idiocy that was around me.

Also, like Hump, I have wondered if raised in a steeply fundie household, I would if I would have been able to break free of years of indoctrination like a lot of the readers here who managed to do so. Sometimes, I have to step back and remind myself that the theistic mindset isn’t (normally) the result of someone who just decided last week to adopt such idiocy.

To all of you who value rationality and reality now, I salute you!

- Fastthumbs

Anonymous said...

Drom, as you know, the letter you received could have been written by me. I really enjoyed and appreciated your answer. You, Huffy, HH and Zapishot more than anyone helped me out of the darkness and into reality. I try to honor you every time I talk of reason with theists.

itsme_crazydad

itsme_crazydad said...

Drom, as you know, the letter you received could have been written by me. I really enjoyed and appreciated your answer. You, Huffy, HH and Zapishot more than anyone helped me out of the darkness and into reality. I try to honor you every time I talk of reason with theists.

Rastifan said...

A very well written letter Hump.

“You have nothing to be ashamed of”. Those words are important for one that has been spiritual beaten with weapons like worthlessness, sinfulness and shamefulness.

It is a despicable containment field of guilt and fear they build around your free will and spirit which does terrible things to the human mind.

When you have lavished for years under the tyrannical mind slavery that religious doctrine is, it is quite an achievement to break the shackles and reclaim your life.

Your post made my day even better. And to J. Welcome to the human world. I think you like it here:)

Texas Mike said...

Thanks, Hump. I too am one that found my way out of the darkness of religion and into the light of reason. It was a tough journey and only in recent years have I been able to proclaim my stance without guilt or shame. I have seen first hand...much closer than anyone would want...the damage that mind virus can cause. Thanks for your support.

Rachelle said...

Nice read and responses. :)

Dromedary Hump said...

Thank you all. And to all of you who have overcome like "J" my congrats.

Enrico S said...

Echoing the comments from other here, my journey was also a long process of discovery. When I would ask my "spiritual" leaders difficult questions the typical response was to stop questioning and just have faith. That never sat right with me so into deep study I went going back to the Greek and Hebrew whenever possible. Read the apologists because I wanted someone to help me prove the bible true. Eventually I read the higher critics. Once that door was opened there was no going back. The bible was exposed for what it was and is. A collection of stories and manipulative kingdom building propaganda, assembled by ancient desert dwelling tribes.

That's all I'm saying for now!

Enrico Out!

LuWeeks said...

My epitaph:

"Join me as one who has lived."

Welcome, Recovered Fundie

Dromedary Hump said...

Enrico: questioning is the worst "sin" to devout theists and especially the virus hosts... the shaman. It leads to thinking, and ...well... you've demonstrated where that leads.
N0, they can have none of that. Afterall, if all sheeple were to start questioning and thinking where would religion be?

LuWeeks: Nice epitaph. ;)

Analog Kid said...

I too am a recovered "born again".
My recovery began with the observation of so much hypocrisy. Also, as my education went further, I began to snap out of the stupor of religion. I can see clearly now, the religion is gone.

DM said...

Atheists,

GET OUT OF MY UNIVERSE


you little liars do nothing but antagonize...

and you try to eliminate all the dreams and hopes of humanity...


but you LOST...



THE DEATH OF ATH*ISM - SCIENTIFIC PROOF OF GOD


http://engforum.pravda.ru/showthread.php?t=280780




Einstein puts the final nail in the coffin of atheism...


*************************************

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7vpw4AH8QQ

*************************************



atheists deny their own life element...




LIGHT OR DEATH, ATHEISTS?

********************************
***************************LIGHT*********
************************************

zarton said...

Hump,
Thanks for posting this online for others to read. It means as much to me now as it did when you initially sent it to me. Yes I am the "J" that the camel speaks of.
Breaking free from bronze age superstition was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I don't blame my parents or many of the leaders who indoctrinated me, they were simply foolish like I was. Self assurance and confidence are hard to come by when you think you are the reason your messiah was sacrificed.
I really appreciate all the support all of you have given me. Don't ever stop fighting the fight, it does help.
Yours truly,
zar

Enrico S said...

Well done Zar!

Enrico

Dromedary Hump said...

Zar,
Thanks for the topic inspiration.
Hump

Engineer of Knowledge said...

Hello Hump,
Our time here on earth should be one of a self journey of enlightenment….and as we grow, educate, and seek illumination…..truths, facts, and logic will reveal themselves. No one need apologize for the corrections along the way.

Dromedary Hump said...

Eng,
I fully agree.

Aqueous Transmission said...

Dear Old Friend,

Keep on writing love reading this stuff. I was also wondering i have started to read Atlas Shrugged and i was wondering if you have read it?

Let me know and stop by the site and leave me some feedback... you know how i love it and its seems as though you are having no problem with that ......

peace Josh
indepth7.blogspot.com

Dromedary Hump said...

Aqueous,

Yes, Atlas Shrugged is one of the few fiction books I've read. I loved it. Hated Fountain Head.

Shelley Blondeau said...

Hi Hump -

Recovering Xtian here too, although I never disbelieved in evolution or science. I grew up wanting to be a paleontologist which might have had a bit to do with it.

It's so difficult to not feel the heavy weight of stupid decisions from my past. I appreciate the sentiment you expressed in your letter to your friend.

thank you!!

Den!s said...

April 10th, still waiting for Hump's book which I bought from Amazon USA rather than from Amazon Canada because they wanted double what the US supplier charged. I could get free shipping if I ordered another book so I got Darrel Ray's 'The God Virus'. At checkout i found out that out of country = no free shipping but I bought everything anyway.... and it still cost less than if I had bought the two in Canada and qualified for the free shipping here. *sigh* go canada

Dromedary Hump said...

Den!s,
Hey thanks for that. You're also going to love The God Virus. I called Darrel Ray "The Fifth Horseman" when I reviewed his book on amazon.

Yeah..Canada amazon is strangley a franchise from amazonUS and can charge whatever they like. Its crazy. Same thing in the UK and Australia. Thats why even europeans and aussies buy from amazonUS.

Hope you enjoy my book.

NewEnglandBob said...

I have considered Victor Stenger to be the "The Fifth Horseman" but it could be Darrel Ray or Dromedary Hump ;)

Dromedary Hump said...

Yeah, Stenger is right upthere.

I'd settle for being the 157th horseman.

If 1 thru 4 are conquest, war, famine and death... 157 would be something like dandruff or ingrown toe nails. I'll take it.
;)

Rastifan said...

Actually the 5'th horseman is Chaos. But he can't find his horse and is currently working as a business organizer somewhere:)

Dromedary Hump said...

Rasti...LOL!

DM said...

funny... you think by censoring the TRUTH it goes away....


DEATH TRAP

******************************************

http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/FaceOff/
*****************************************



THE REAL QUESTION:


DOES ATHEISM HAVE A FUTURE?

AND THE ANSWER - NO!


Atheists

GET OUT OF MY UNIVERSE…

you little liars do nothing but antagonize…

and you try to eliminate all the dreams and hopes of humanity…

but you LOST…

THE DEATH OF ATH*ISM - SCIENTIFIC PROOF OF GOD

http://engforum.pravda.ru/showthread.php?t=280780

Einstein puts the final nail in the coffin of atheism…

*************************************

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7vpw4AH8QQ

*************************************

atheists deny their own life element…

LIGHT OR DEATH, ATHEISTS?

********************************
***************************LIGHT*********
************************************

Shaw Kenawe said...

Hi Hump,

I was raised a Catholic, but left it all behind me as a young adult. I came to my senses before I became a mother, and therefore did not impose any myths on my two children, who, in turn, have not imposed any myths on theirs.

I believe I did my part in de-theistizing my tiny plot in this world: one reformed theist gave rise to SIX nontheists!

Wonderful letter.

Rastifan said...

High fives Shaw Kenawe. Well done:)

Dromedary Hump said...

Shaww,
Yep..you did your part. Nicely done.
Both my sons are atheist. I look forward to atheist grandchildren as well.

Barb F said...

Between CONFESSIONS OF A BUDDHIST ATHEIST and a talk on "GUILT" the gift that keeps on giving, I wonder if there are many avenues of discovery left untramelled. How can anyone want to spend eternity anywhere? Even the movies get that one right - Dorian Gray, Death Takes a Holiday. If the theists think earth was crowded, what do they think is going to occur when all their ex's and in-laws live in heaven too, it may make the concept of a hell more appealing but no more real. That's why freedom resides with the atheist living fully now instead of wasting time collecting credits for a non-existent future of any kind. Kudos to the caring parents who allow their children more freedom that they may have had to discover their own truth.