“I wonder if this is what binds many of us who de-converted, across denominations, across varying beliefs; what it is that allows us to easily understand each other’s experiences — we were given an understanding of the ourselves that said that we did not belong to ourselves, that to live rightly we should relinquish any sense of our autonomy, any idea that we could judge our own beliefs for ourselves. We sacrificed our internal understanding for an external belief system on the sole grounds that we were told that this was the truth of existence. Which means that the very act of de-converting is done with an understanding that we are seen as betrayers, as committing the ultimate rebellion: a rebellion against God himself. A rebellion against truth, reality, reason, morality, and goodness.”
— When You’re Taught Autonomy is a Lie, on somaticstrength (via speakingwhentheworldsleeps)
The entire article is worth reading.
Reblogging again to quote:
While the modern world celebrates and elevates autonomy, biblical Christianity points to individualism as the seat of all human evil.

I don’t know if people outside of controlling religious environments realize that this was a foundational message for many of us. That when we talk about the messages our faith gave us, we’re not just talking about things some fellow Christian told us, but rather the very beliefs that we were given — the things we were told was the absolute truth about ourselves, and about the world.

I was taught that I did not belong to myself. I belonged to God, and I should give up any sense that I had autonomy, or a right to my own opinions or perspective. “The world” was sinful because it believed in such concepts as “self identity” as “personal rights” as “the ability to determine what works for you based on yourself and your own experiences.”
This is EXACTLY why I left, not only religious communities but also… I don’t want to say “radical feminist” circles, but circles influenced enough by them to assert that what matters is your social group (MAN vs WOMAN) and not yourself, and used “choice feminist” as an insult.

I do want choices.
Because I belong to ME.
radical feminism criticizes our society for forcing men and women into different heirarchical roles, with women at the bottom. This doesn’t mean feminists are trying to take your choice away and tell you the only thing you can care about is whether you’re a man or a woman.
It’s good to be able to distinguish a movement’s critiques of the current state of things from the goal the movement is working toward. (similar to “but how can you be against racism if you keep claiming being black makes someone oppressed??” The answer is “to fight for a better situation you have to be able to explain what’s wrong with the current situation”)
Radical feminism and Atheism go hand in hand for me. Radical feminists also recognize the dangers of eschewing individualism. They’re gender critical because, like religion, gender has been used as a groupthink brainwashing tool, to segregate society for no good reason. “Female brains only do this, male brains only do this,” as if you can assume that about billions of people planetwide.
Radfems disagree with “choice feminism” not because we think we can control every woman’s choices. That’s not the goal. There is just such a thing as too much individualism. Power in this world is set up to benefit the few and screw the many, and if you’re one of the many, the unfair systems in place to keep the powerful powerful affect you, whether you want to believe it or not.
Sex-based oppression still exists, and unfortunately, most women can’t make decisions in this world without living their lives around that.
I am an agnostic who was raised Catholic and left the church when I was eighteen. I got involved with New Age thinking for many years and discovered that New Agers and many people who call themselves Pagan are just as rigid and judgmental as Christians. Now I keep my spiritual beliefs pretty close to the chest and see organized religion as far more harmful than helpful.