conversational coercions

In a recent conversation about my lack of faith, I was struck to silence over the following sentence that a friend wrote to me: “One Day [God] will remove the scales from your eyes and the veil from your mind.”

Remove the scales from my eyes?


There’s a veil over my mind?

What scales distort my vision? What veil covers my mind?

Because I don’t believe I’ve got something covering my vision?

I’m lost by these words. I want to be civil. I want to have a conversation. But trumping someone with, “You’re so blind that you can’t see the thing you literally cannot see” is clearly not the way to win one’s heart.

I get it. But people don’t realize how mean this is. How hateful and patronizing.

If anything, it’s an example of how to push away someone you claim to love.

When believers people say these kinds of things it works oppositionally to the intent. It reminds me of all the things I don’t say to people.

What if I reacted by saying, “I hope that the scales over your eyes are removed and you can see that there’s no reason to believe in God.” It’s just not a cool thing to say.

Why can’t people be okay with the person we are? I can’t coerce someone who doesn’t like a movie or a musician to like a movie or musician. That doesn’t bother me. I’m not going to lose sleep over it.

The words believers often use are confounded by their version of love. It’s not love to tell someone they’re wrong for disbelieving something that literally cannot be verified. You can swear to me that the king is wearing new clothes, but if he’s naked, he’s naked.

There’s no reason to believe. Absolutely not one. I’ve had this conversation with how many people and how many people have failed to provide one good reason? All of them.

What I write here are my thoughts on my walk away from that kind of mindset. My goal is not to convince others to be like me. But to provide a space that allows others who do a place to find another perspective similar to their own.

Someone who claims to pray should pray. It’s a practice of their faith or perspective.

However, that same person shouldn’t be upset that I don’t find any value in it.

I haven’t yet responded to the person who told me this. There’s nothing I can say that would benefit the conversation. Or maybe there is.

It has deflated me, though. It’s maddening. The way Christians hurt others is a different breed of beast.

People wonder why people who have left faith get angry. And this is why. It’s because people hide behind a version of love so odious that it ends up stinging the recipient.

There’s really nothing we can say to calls toward invisible beings puppeteering our lives.

And yet here we are.