Leaving the Fold
“When you are looking at the Bible and trying to critically think, and you’re trying to live for god, and you’re looking for the will of your maker, and you stumble across verses that sound so hateful, and they sound really scary, and they give you a feeling in your stomach that you don’t exactly like… listen to yourself, because you are an incredible resource of knowledge.”- Interviewee (Clara)
This interview was taken at the Release and Reclaim retreat in Berkeley, CA in Jan, 2011. The retreat was hosted by psychologist, educator and writer, Dr. Marlene Winell.
If you have questions about leaving your faith or have been hurt by fundamentalism, please visit http://recoveringfundamentalists.com/ or http://www.marlenewinell.net/ for more information and resources.
You are not alone.
I think the interviewee’s journey is similar to mine in many ways, as she described how she and her husband began reading materials that questioned the literal interpretation of the bible, such as about “hell”. And the journey out from the christian religion can indeed be a lonely and depressing one for a time because we not only deal with our own spiritual crisis but also get labelled by religious christians as “heretics”.
In the longer run though, our journey results in us experiencing greater joy and peace because we are increasingly being free from guilt and shame imposed by religious teachings that are condemning. I agree with the interviewee about following our heart and make our own choices even if our friends and/or family members may not approve or agree with our (ever evolving) beliefs because our freedom is worth everything.