Battered Believer Syndrome

Battered wives believe that their husbands love them. Battered wives believe that they deserve the beatings they get. It’s not true, nobody deserves to be physically and psychologically abused. Unfortunately these women still believe it. They also believe that one day things will get better, they just have to stay the course. This time he’ll treat her with respect, this time will be different. It’s an illogical cycle that leads to a loss of self worth that can completely destroy a personality.

Victims of these crimes are reluctant to seek help or call the police. It’s wrong, and deep down they know it but few people bring themselves to put a stop to it. The abuse just escalates until it reaches a tipping point, usually resulting in violence. The only way to stop it, is first to understand the behavior then to break the cycle.

Religion works the same way. Religious faith is a sister syndrome to battered wife syndrome. Religion tells you that you’re nothing, but that jesus loves you anyway. You’re a wretched lowly creature and you don’t deserve god’s love, but he loves you anyway. If you think that this is a lovely sentiment, that’s your first clue, you may be a victim of battered believer syndrome.

It seems more than just probable given all that we know, that we started out worshipping nature. Once we realized that so many things in nature have a logical and predictable pattern, nature became somewhat more understandable. But we still had questions that we could not answer, so we invented god. It’s now several millennia later and we can all see the obvious trend, the longer we as a species live the more we learn and the more like our imagined god we become. So why do so many people still believe that our collective delusion created us?

Well, all promises of an afterlife aside, I think that some who consider a godless universe realize that we humans may be on the top rung of the ladder. That would mean that we are responsible for everything and everyone on this planet, and maybe someday other planets as well. If we’re it, if it’s all on us, haven’t we failed? I mean we’ve got this amazing planet and look what we’ve done with it. Wars, crimes, greed, genocide. Is this human nature? Are we doomed without some celestial parent who will break up all this nonsense at some point? Not only that do we humans deserve this existence that we’ve been born into?

Who really cares? We’ve got these lives. We’ve got this planet. We have the power of our choices. We can choose not to support the catholic church, an organization that allows child rape and protects the rapists. We can choose not to believe in some ancient script written by people who could not even conceive of the world in which we now live. When someone tells you to do something you know is wrong in the name of god or islam or any deity you can choose not to do it! If you really want to feel like you deserve this life you first must be brave enough and dare to live it! You have to choose not to believe in things that can’t be proven, or don’t make any sense!

Some time ago I watched a Christopher Hitchens debate in which the moderator suffered from some sort of birth defect which made walking difficult. This moderator believed that in death god would grant him a perfect new body that would have no such defect. How ironic that the very religious organization to which he belongs is against stem cell research! The very area of medical technology that could allow (maybe not him) people to walk and function in the way that most of us take for granted. If that’s not battered believer syndrome I don’t know what is! This person actually thinks that he’s not good enough to walk without impediment unless god says that he is!

Science empowers people to do things that we’ve never done before, does religion do that? Science tries to find answers that we can all share, no matter what race, where we live or who we are. Religion DOES NOT even attempt to do this and it never will. God will not stop beating you. It doesn’t matter how good you are, how pure your spirit is. God will never stop holding you down, blunting your imagination, making you feel powerless to change the world you live in. It’s time to call the authorities, ask the questions and find out how to take control of your life. Imaginary friends can’t guide you, no matter how many people believe in them!

There is no god. Don’t take my word for it, the information is out there.

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