There have been plenty of things I've heard since I left Christian fundamentalism after spending 14 years (more than half my life) in it, and most of them make me want to tear my hair out. So, I put out a general call for some of the gems you have heard, and here's a few that I got back.
1) "You just need to work through your bitterness." -Teryn
Bitterness. It's a good idea to pretty much never use that word in particular. Bitterness, infundie-speak, is a tool to silence anyone who is being critical. If you're accused of "bitterness," it means that you are incapable of viewing any situation or person "correctly," that you lack the capacity for love and grace, and what you actually need to work on is yourself. You're imagining things, nothing bad is happening, and you have a screw loose. This is actually a form of gaslighting — convincing the person who's being attacked thatthey're just crazy — and we've been beaten over the head with it for years. Just because we're saying things about the church that aren't pleasant doesn't make us bitter. Just because we sound angry doesn't mean we're bitter.
2) "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater." -Lydia
There are a lot of variations on this one, but it all boils down to this idea that Christianity is fine, it's really just our personal experiences that we have to get over. And, I get why this one comes up a lot. For Christians who haven't experienced either a) fundamentalism or b) spiritual abuse, their religion is one of the best, most wonderful, spectacular things in their life and they couldn't imagine living without it. For us, though? It's not even remotely the same feeling. When Christianity has been the weapon used to beat you, sometimes, throwing the whole thing out is the only healthy thing left to do.
Written By: Samantha Field
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