wrestling with smug

August 21, 2012 | 104 Comments

Shannon looking smug

I’m at a stage where I feel triggered by mention of God or Jesus. Like the survivor of a plane crash who finds herself in airports. It has this trauma attached to it, but also a sense of strength.

How do I dispose of the smug feeling that comes with enlightenment? See, even “enlightenment” is suggestive of rank. I can’t help but feel enlightened as a former Christian. People don’t leave or join a thing thinking, “This will nicely diminish my quality of life.” We do it because we feel good about it. We believe in its rightness.

Christians believe they are living “the way the truth and the life.” That’s arrogant. I believe they may as well be pinning their hopes on Wonder Woman. Which is also arrogant, right?

Can I be pleased without the disdain? I’m trying. I believe, if asked, my still-in-it friends wouldn’t say I make them feel silly for believing.

I don’t think they’re silly for believing. Or maybe I do. And that’s hard to admit because I know reading it will hurt and offend. I guess I should figure that out.

“Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.” -Malcolm X

Some of the things religious types say and do, however, make me want to fork-stab stuffed animals. I feel impatient. Sad. Dumbfounded.

Hopping the fence landed me on tricky ground. My life is sprinkled with people who still believe. How do we feel safe around each other? How do we talk about our beliefs without making the other feel triggered or isolated? Is that even possible?

“[…]it is possible to be well-educated and still believe you can get 72 virgins in paradise. This is made possible because we have allowed a certain mode of thought–religion–to thrive in a cocoon of this fear, of protection from criticism. It is taboo to criticize people’s religious beliefs.” – Sam Harris on the dangers of religion.

So… what? What do I do with this angst? To date I’ve ignored it, or vented with other heathens. I wonder if you know or care what you believe is damaging?

And that I love you?

Linking up with just write because sometimes there are words you just need to string together and place somewhere.

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