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How Religion Controlled My Political Views

Photo by Hannah Joy Photography at the 2016 Women’s March. This is what democracy looks like.

Evangelicals want a world where we are all the same.

People are more important than ideas.

  • Gay people who valued family
  • Feminists who were in happy “egalitarian” marriages
  • Women who limited family size because their bodies were tired or their finances were tight, not because they hated babies
  • Friends who could agree to disagree without pressuring me to conform to their thinking
  • My children went to public school, and our world instantly widened as they made friends with kids from all kinds of backgrounds.
  • I went to domestic violence support groups and Al-Anon and listened to other peoples’ experiences, no cross-talk allowed.
  • I went to therapy and started working on my own collapse issues, confronting what happens when you aren’t holier than anyone — you’re just another screwed up person with no self-worth and tons of trauma.
  • We moved into an apartment complex where my neighbors were Iraqi doctors now working as housecleaners, a single lady with seven cats who’d never been to church a day in her whole life, and a whole lot of hardworking people trying to stretch a paycheck without a bootstrap or handout in sight.
  • It wasn’t loving to knock on a stranger’s door and out of the clear blue, ask them about their spiritual condition and tell them that if they don’t agree to what you’re saying right there on the spot, they could die that very night and burn in hell.
  • It wasn’t loving to impose my own viewpoints on other people without considering their own life experiences, autonomy, and traditions.
  • It wasn’t loving to decide I know how it should be for everyone else, and use a Great Big God as my reinforcement, while I conveniently ignore all the ways I’m wrong every day.
  • It wasn’t loving to treat half the population (the female half) that they are less-than. Or the brown population. Or the poor population. Or even the rich. What about the gay ones? The autistic ones? The differently-abled ones? Love that isn’t equal isn’t love; it’s favor and coercion.

“How” change occurs is a process. “Why” is a reflection of values.



Stories from people who have questioned their beliefs, left their faith, navigated doubt, and changed their minds about religion. Some are atheists, some agnostic, and some embrace a different kind of belief. All of them are recovering from religion.

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Tia Levings

My church said domestic abuse was okay. Want to know what’s really going on in in homes like the Duggar’s? Go to TiaLevings.com.