Neil Carter explains why he is an “Anti-Fundamentalist”…and not an “anti-theist.”
Related Post: The Burden of Proof & Christianity
(For those not in the know, William Lane Craig is a professional Christian apologist who has debated many well-known atheists and skeptics. Besides the many debates you can find him in on YouTube, Dr. Craig also hosts a regular Christian apologetics podcast and sells a plethora of apologetic aids on his website. Watching him defend his arguments in debates–and I do consider him to be one of the better, more informed Christian apologists–helped convince me that Christian theism, and even classical non-religious Deism, was based upon very weak arguments.)
This video resonated quite strongly with me. I did not grow up in a charismatic Christian environment (the groups my parents belonged to were mostly cessationist), but everything else holds true for my experience. One thing I’ve turned over and over in my mind since deconversion is how the same set of activities can look so very different depending upon whether one is inside or outside of the “faith bubble.” Belief is powerful, and that’s why I don’t like comments which are dismissive about how people form beliefs or hold onto beliefs (saying things like “Christians are all crazy” or “Christianity requires brainwashing”). Those comments miss the mark because for many people they felt as though they were willing participants at the time and they may still have many fond memories of their childhood. I can look back on the time spent in my parents’ home, singing contemporary Christian music for their “Teen Time” Bible study (they used to invite my older sisters’ non-Christian friends over for snacks, Bible-study and worship) and becoming emotionally wrapped up in the music and the mood. Christianity in that sense was good to me, but it also had the darker side of encouraging fear, doubting my own intellectual capabilities, and seeking to keep a safe distance from those who were lost and doomed for hell without Jesus. The carrot and the stick. The poison and the cure. To me, the amazing thing is not how effective childhood indoctrination can be, but the fact that despite its effectiveness, so many people are still able to break free and critically examine the religion they were raised with.
A psychological critique of religion, both in our personal lives and in society at large. His aim here is mostly at fundamentalist, expanionist religions (those that aggressively proselytize). TheraminTrees is one of my favorite YouTubers so if you like this, definitely check out his other videos. Enjoy.
When the very definition of perfect love is sacrificing your children and martyring yourself, there is no place for emotionally healthy concepts like boundaries, consent, equality, and mutuality. I could not say that my husband’s patriarchal behavior was abusive so long as I was committed to a relationship with “The Big Guy” who exemplifies the abusive bully, and who commands his followers to imitate His very warped and twisted idea of “love.”