My 2 Religious 180’s

This is from Forest Home, CA, a church camp I attended growing up.
This is from Forest Home, CA, a church camp I attended growing up. I have great memories of the place.
In early adulthood I had a surge of faith that was integral to the good in my life now. It was not helpful on its own. It took me abandoning the faith of my youth to find my take on the world. Church never really helped with that. I used to think Christianity was the only way to heaven, I see now that was a wrong belief. I also used to think Christians should tell others what is right or wrong, that axiom was embarrassingly wrong. After having traded in gangly teen bible studies for real friendships with atheists and people who frankly just don’t care about faith, I’ve seen how much churches feed on the insecurities of the young. Christianity is largely a guilt based institution. The Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Pentecostals, etc. come up to me to share their faith and hand me something. I see them all as the same. So that was the first 180 I made from the faith of my upbringing. It was miraculous in terms of my new ability to think freely.

My second 180 has been my opening up again to the faith of my youth. I do believe in God and all my years of indoctrination into the protestant church solidified and formed that belief. Whereas I used to ignore religious posts on Facebook, now I embrace them again. I am pro-same sex marriage, pro-abortion, and pro-just about anything the Christian church opposes, but I love God. So, my second 180 has been a journey of love and acceptance of hypocrites who call themselves Christians. It’s not the tenets of Jesus that make it hard for me to call myself a Christian, it’s Christians themselves. Well, you got a dose of potentially offensive stuff there. I hope it doesn’t keep us from being online acquaintances. I owe a lot to Christianity but I definitely don’t fit the stereotype.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “180 Degrees.”

Author: Damien Riley

I'm an online diarist, blog film critic, & podcaster. My views on films and life are often 'left of center' on, but I have respect for other viewpoints. I married my high-desert princess (now my queen). We have 3 children.