Christianity Has a Consent Problem. “I Belong to Me: Learning Agency and Consent Outside Christianity”

Wow wow WOW! This article is incredible. Please read the whole thing, if I tried to share all the best parts I’d be pasting the entire article because every paragraph packs a solid punch. Take a few minutes to really absorb it; it’s deep. Once you’ve read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the concepts of agency and autonomy, how necessary they are for a fulfilling life…and how impossible they are when consent is ignored. I’ve been realizing with a growing sense of anger and frustration that I had no grasp of those concepts as a Christian. Really, as I came to understand what basic respect, prioritizing consent, and honoring the autonomy of my fellow humanity looked like, I realized that Christianity as I knew it had no place for those things…and therefore had no place for me.
Don’t get me wrong. There were many things that played into my deconversion — this wasn’t the only thing. But it was certainly an eye-opening discovery.
You see, I grew up with the knowledge that I wasn’t my own person. Oh, no. I belonged to many people.
Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/excommunications/2014/11/i-belong-to-me/#ixzz3K7OCNqSA

I had never thought about it in this light before, but it makes so much sense. I had wondered why I had never fully understood consent before, why as an adult I still didn’t understand that my body and my mind were truly mine and no one had the right to control me or dictate my life. I have felt such a freedom and liberty since my deconversion, a rise in my self respect and confidence, and largely for these reasons. Every day I see people I love putting themselves down because of their beliefs, telling themselves and others that they are unable to make good decisions or do anything of significance by themselves. Their bodies and minds do not belong to them, but to God or their spouse or their authority figures or to their doctrine. Challenging these ideas is met with negative reactions.

I was taught that sin is slavery, but I think the Christian idea of non-automony and unquestioning submission to God, doctrines, or authorities are far more akin to slavery. “Sinning” means simply that I’m not abiding by an impossible code of conduct that comes with a henious and unjust retribution system that I DID NOT CONSENT TO ABIDE BY. Is that truly slavery? Or is it the dogma of sin itself that is the true slavery?

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One thought on “Christianity Has a Consent Problem. “I Belong to Me: Learning Agency and Consent Outside Christianity”

  1. Wow, this is so good…i don’t even know where to start.
    As people we have so much strength and potential inside of us. When a system removes our sense of self not only do we create insecure, unconfident, and often confused people; but we teach people that when they aren’t those ways it has nothing to do with their own ability. Perhaps such a system is hiding from it’s own insecurities. If what an institution teaches is true or good, such an institution can only become stronger if people are confident and making their choices because it is what THEY believe not just what they are told to think.

    Self is the only person we have from a our very first moment to our very last, if we deny self how can we embrace others. If I should love my neighbour as myself, but if I consider myself untrustworthy, unlovable, and worthless…what does that mean about how I will view humanity?

    Stories like these should never be silenced, they should be spread so that we can all benefit together.

    SO much more to say about this, very good share.

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