There is a belief amongst some religious people, particularly Christians, that the reason I (and others) do not accept their claims is because I’ve had a bad experience with Christians or religion.
Let me set the record straight. I have not been damaged by Christians or Christianity.
I was never scared with threats of hell as a child. I have not been hurt by Christians or had bad experiences with them, even when I disagree with them. I am not a wounded animal that needs to be healed. If I can point to any negative experience of Church it was the boredom!
I understand that it is difficult and challenging to understand why others do not accept something you believe is absolutely true. I have written about this before.
When I was a Marxist-Leninist I could not understand how anyone could dispute this world-view or how anyone could possibly disagree with something that was, to me, self-evidently true. I had to find reasons why people wouldn’t accept the same beliefs I had. They must be reactionaries, wilfully denying the truth, capitalist lackeys, deceived and mislead and needing to be ‘woken up’, they just hadn’t heard the truth presented in the correct way.
I had to find a flaw within those that disagreed with me; after all, there couldn’t have possibly have been anything wrong with what I believed!
I was unable to dispassionately hear what others felt about Marxism-Leninism or to acknowledge that anyone else may have had different views about the world. I could not examine whether I might have been wrong and therefore had to see the problem as being with other people leading them to embrace false beliefs.
Yes, some religious people have insulted me, questioned my sanity and delivered abusive comments. But this was after I left Christianity and expressed my non-belief, not while I was a Christian. This bad behaviour was not a cause of my disbelief but a result of it. I am generally not hurt or offended by these comments. When people insult my character I’m adult enough not to assign the behaviour of a few to every Christian and see it as a fault with their religion. The bad behaviour of a few is not the reason I don’t accept the god-hypothesis.
So please don’t feel you need me to forgive you and please don’t feel the need to apologise on behalf of yourself and every other Christian. You haven’t wronged me. I just don’t agree with you!