the golden dragonfly


We often hear claims that children brought up in religious families are ‘brain-washed’ into having the same beliefs as their parents. It’s an easy charge to make, but perhaps more difficult to explain how any parent would be able to avoid brainwashing their child, even if their ‘belief’ is just that it’s rational to have a lack of belief.

One thing that’s clear, is that growing up with the understanding of a theistic existence can make some pretty deep pathways in spongy juvenile brains, and even after all the logical arguments for atheism are accepted, the neurons are apt to firing down the same laid pathways for years to come.

I would like to help my fellow human beings struggling to extract the pincers of belief still deeply embedded within them. People who realise the god they have been singing to for all these years cannot possibly exist, but still wince when someone makes reference to a sky fairy; and people who know that nothing about their ex-holy book makes sense, but still feel compelled to defend ‘theological’ points. I’m afraid I may, on occasion, be among their number.

Inspiration is drawn from another recovery program – the AA 12-step program, which I was surprised to discover is deeply religious! Β So, without further ado, I am pleased to unveil the 8-step program to repaving your brain, also known as ‘The Golden Dragonfly’.

  1. We admitted we were confused about religion – that the inconsistencies had become unmanageable.
  2. We came to believe that facts and our rational thought could restore us to sanity.
  3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to logic.
  4. We made a searching and fearless inventory of contradictions.
  5. We admitted to ourselves that gods don’t exist.
  6. We were entirely ready to remove our illogical behaviour.
  7. We accepted that life has its shortcomings but it’s no big deal.
  8. Having had a logical awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to religious people still caught in the trap of irrational thought.