Here’s the thing about losing my religion. I’m not just losing a life choice, or a culture, or memories, or friends. I am losing guidance in my every move, meaning in my every choice, and confidence in my every belief. And now I have to start from scratch. The thing is, the more you were in, the more you have to rebuild once you are out. And I was IN. So this is hard.
So, here’s the cliff notes to the cliff notes to the back story: about three years ago, the husband started on a research journey that split off into little pathways that I kept running into. That is, for better or for worse (but really for better), he asked me here and there to give opinions on things and to research with him. Unfortunately, when I did, I found out that super duper, important publications from my religion contradict other super duper, important publications from my religion, which is not okay, since my religion claims to have perfect doctrines. And these weren’t just contradictions like “Archbishop A thinks xyz and Archbishop B disagrees” These were significant contradictions. To illustrate:
- Fundamental Leader taught pure doctrine that was guided directly by God. All other doctrines of Church depend on Fundamental Leader being true. Current Leader also speaks directly for God. Current Leader recites facts proving that Fundamental Leader made a public declaration — to the world, to his wife, to everyone — unequivocally stating something excruciatingly (and importantly) not true.
- Current Leader is the most important of all and speaks directly for God. Keystone of Church is Scripture A. Current Leader unequivocally denies a principle that is unequivocally taught in Scripture A.
- Fundamental Leader receives Scripture B and, straight from God, describes Scripture B’s origins. Current Leader comments on Scripture B and, straight from God, reveals a very different origin for Scripture B.
So, I asked, who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together?
And the walls came tumbling down. And down. And down. And now I can’t unlearn what I have learned, or unsee what I have seen, or re-veil what I have un-veiled.
And I wish to high heaven that I was simply what others from my religion think I am — a lost soul, lost to sin. I wish with everything in me that this was just about repentance. Repentance is a bitter-sweet experience that brings miraculous growth and forgiveness, it is two parts sorrow and eight parts happiness.
But no. This, my friends, is not about sin. This is about truth. And the truth hurts. And the truth is hard. And the truth is that I now have to wade through a whole slew of questions and emotions about life and death and sickness and goodness and injustice and spirituality and human nature and prosaic choices like career moves and health goals and parenting and family size and women’s rights and gender roles and, and, and I have pretty much no tools to do it with.
So in case you were wondering: Life: it’s bigger; it’s bigger than you, and you are not me. That’s me in the corner, losing my religion. And it sucks.