chink in my armour

Deprogramming yourself out of atheism requires that you take control of your own mind and train it how to think rationally. (Silence of Mind)

I think we wear our world views like armour and deflect information that doesn’t conform to our preconceptions. This is true of everyone. But every suit of armour has chinks in it. There are some words, some thoughts and some experiences that slip up through the gaps and have impact. We stop, think, question and perhaps subtly alter our viewpoint to fit the new revelation, but more often than not, continue along the same path.

However, there are obviously times when a chink can cause our world view to somersault and we speed through a tunnel to a completely new understanding of life.

The chinks in my Christian armour as a young adult weren’t the glaringly huge flaws I see so clearly now (like the god God drowning his creation because he didn’t like us) – they were individual passages in the Bible that hit me personally. Why should women be silent in churches? Why are people who share my characteristics so sidelined in all the stories? What could be wrong with gay people loving someone of their own sex? How could my friends be seen as evil?

I accepted these things but struggled to make sense of them, and felt pained that my benevolent god would allow such harmful words in his holy text. ‘Pray about it because God knows everything!’ got me through for a while. But it was the moment I was able to say to myself, to fully acknowledge he didn’t exist that I was set free. And with that, I realised that fear had stopped me thinking about things more clearly. Fear.

We’re told the invisible god is a creature of love, and yet all too often fear stops us thinking rationally. Whether it’s fear of eternal torture, fear of hurting God’s feelings by questioning things, or fear of disrupting our family and social ties by daring to question if the emperor has clothes on – it’s definitely fear that provides the strongest coat of armour for Christians. So I shouldn’t be surprised from the other side that conversations about faith tend to go nowhere, but deflect sharply off the Christian armour as if nothing has been said.

So, I’m at a point where I’m feeling tired of trying to discuss issues with people who bang on about their ‘world view’ but offer nothing beyond vague notions of ‘there is good and bad therefore my god exists’. But for any Christian who hasn’t yet felt the chink in their armour, I think Ark‘s list is a good place to start:

There is no more immoral work than the ‘Old Testament’. Its deity is an ancient Hebrew of the worst type, who condones permits or commands every sin in the Decalogue to a Jewish patriarch, qua patriarch. He orders Abraham to murder his son, and allows Jacob to swindle his brother; Moses to slaughter an Egyptian and the Jews to plunder and spoil a whole people, after inflicting upon them a series of plagues that would be the height of atrocity if the tale were true. The nations of Canaan are then extirpated. Ehud, for treacherously disemboweling King Eglog, is made judge over Israel. Jael is blessed above women (Joshua v.24) for vilely murdering , her sleeping guest; the horrid deeds of Judith and Esther are made examples to mankind; and David, after an adultery and a homicide which deserves ignominious death, is suffered to massacre a host of his enemies, cutting some in two with saws and axes and putting others into brick-kilns.

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