I binge watched both the ‘Atlas Shrugs’ movies. I found myself liking the cast in the first movie more than the cast in Atlas Shrugs II, but liking the content in the second movie better. Interesting trade-off I guess.
Atlas was a character from Greek mythology who was punished by Zeus by being sentenced to hold the weight of the universe on his shoulders for eternity as retribution for leading the Titans into battle against the Olympian gods for control of the heavens. [source: Greek gods and goddesses]
And this image is the same life long weight that fundamentalism forces down on you. If you have a thinking, honest mind, eventually this heavy weight of intertwined lies, theology, empty promises, and even some facts will cause you to start saying, ‘wait a minute, that isn’t even logical or truthful!’
I was taught to literally believe that a talking snake walked up to Eve, and convinced her to disobey God’s directive not to eat the fruit of knowledge of good and evil. Let’s just stop here. Really? This was (and still is) being taught as a literal historical event.
Frankly, this is just stupid.
Here’s another very large factual discrepancy that I was taught to believe and defend even in light of factual evidence. I was taught that no matter what any science teacher or textbook taught me, that the Bible really teaches the truth about the origin and age of the earth. Essentially, creationists dated the earth to be around 6000 years old. They did this largely based on the generational lineages given in the Bible, while ignoring the physical evidence shown in nature.
“If you propose that the universe and all in it is the product of an act of creation only 6-7000 years ago, many people ask – ‘How is it that objects millions of light years away can be seen? Surely such light would take millions of years to reach us.'”
– Barry Setterfield, “The Velocity of Light and the Age of the Universe, Part 1,” Ex Nihilo, vol. 4, no. 1, 1981 quoted from talkorigins
And yet, I was expected to believe and defend these ludicrous views in order to have acceptance within my family and church. (Which were my primary emotional support networks) Given the importance of emotional and social connections, it is easy to see how and why folks trade away intellectual honesty for the nurture of friends and family.
But this horrible weight of lies, and logical fallacies was too much for me to bear despite losing friends, status, and even being fired from a teaching job because I tried to teach my students to think for themselves instead of defending the school’s status quo. Oh, I tried to walk the line as my personal studies were alarming me that I had been taught lies. I certainly didn’t want to be just another continued purveyor of religious lies to bright young people. So I tried to walk a line between holding the school ideas while opening the windows of their minds a bit to the light of truth I was finding out. And apparently, some ‘Christian schools’ value theological adherence greater than they value truth. Imagine that!
And I have come to realize that those churches and schools are in a very small and shrinking minority. According to a Gallop poll conducted in May 2017, just 38% of Americans believe the strict creationist view. You can read articles here and here.
This huge, heavy weight of lies that I was supposed to support and sell to other people was never actually GOD’S WORD, so much as it was (and is) LITERAL CREATIONISTS theology. And that intellectual dishonesty, ignorance, and insistence on belief compliance damaged me to my core and stunted my life in many ways.
Am I angry about this? Hell yeah! I hope that if you are reading any of my posts, that they can be helpful to you in some way as you heal from the intellectual and emotional rips that have clawed at your precious soul!
Have an abundant and peaceful life!!