As I prepare for the next
Divorcing Religion Workshop (https://www.divorcing-religion.com/),
CORT (Conference on Religious Trauma www.religioustraumaconference.org), and the
Shameless Sexuality: Life After Purity Culture conference (https://www.shamelesssexuality.org/), my ads are inevitably hijacked by those who feel the need to try and "save my soul."
Having spent most of my life as a fundamentalist evangelical Christian, I get it. It's part of being a good Christian/Muslim/JW/Mormon, etc.
As a devout Believer, I, too, felt compelled to harrass strangers "in the name of Jesus,"
to try and convince them that they were headed STRAIGHT TO HELL unless they said the Sinner's Prayer immediately. In fact, I questioned whether those who failed to "witness" with appropriate zeal & fervor were actually even saved!
"If you saw a child about to drink poison, wouldn't you try to knock it out of their hand?" I asked, tacitly giving myself permission to do whatever I deemed necessary to save heathen souls.
Now that I have Divorced Religion, I see the gaping and terrifying flaws in that fundy mindset. Besides being obnoxiously assumptive, it sets religionists up to judge everyone outside of their belief system.
While Westerners are rightly horrified by militant ISIS members, we are now feeling the pinch of attempted theocratic rule in the USA as fundamentalist Christians seek to change secular laws to reflect their own particular religious tastes.
Mistaking mythology for reality, religious fundys become fixated on both the fear of eternal damnation and the promise of paradise after death. Thus, the fervently faithful take their soul-saving responsibilities VERY seriously. So seriously, in fact, that they don't think nonbelievers are capable of making acceptable decisions when it comes to their own health care - or countless other issues.
Which explains why so very many of them find it IMPOSSIBLE to scroll past the advertisements for my services and resources. Rather than simply determining that they would not be the appropriate candidates for such, they are instead driven to comment, sometimes ad nauseum, on my ads. This, in turn, opens them up to vitriol from those of the secular community who have had it up to here with religious bullying. Sadly, those harsh interactions serve only to feed and fuel religious zealots who now take pride in believing they have been "persecuted for the sake of the Gospel."
The tricky part for me is then determining whether to ban the religious zealot hijacking my ad or to allow them to keep proving my point that religious fundamentalism is indeed harmful, blinding adherents to the reality that NO ONE WANTS WHAT THEY ARE SELLING! Being proselytized is not a welcome experience to those of us who recognize what is going on.
So, if you see my ads being hijacked, feel free to add your own two bits - or simply smile knowingly at what is taking place. Better yet, share my ad and help spread the joyful news that recovery is indeed possible for former fundys, like me!