Rescuing Religion’s refugees

(Original Post on http://recoveringfromreligionsa.tumblr.com/)

*This is a follow on from the previous short post

I have been reflecting on my past, and many of the stories I’ve heard from other atheists, on the fear they feel in revealing their disbelief. We’ve been whispering about creating a support structure within our new little group, but I wonder what that support should or might look like.

I feel as if I am being torn apart because of frustration and the feeling of helplessness – I am utterly useless to any of those who are still living in hiding with what should be their time of freedom and enlightenment. The whole state of things as it is now, is that many are living in debilitating fear, a real fear with real world consequences to being ‘found out’. They may have through indoctrination seeked solace in religion, but found only repression and became slaves tied to those groups for their very living. Or they may just have been born into a family that does not tolerate difference, and are not at a stage where they can survive without them. This turns the people we love and who we should be turning to for support during a time of confusing change, into real enemies that could, and would inflict violence on us.

Bydgoszcz_1939_Polish_priests_and_civilians_at_the_Old_Market

I am reminded of the experiences of homosexuals in their struggle. They once lived in the shadows, but feared being persecuted for their lifestyle… Have we really gone so far backwards that the very idea that people, our family and friends could reject us and destroy us for exercising our right to believe what we want?

As I write this, my hands are shaking from anger, sadness and desperation to just help. And yet I know that right now I have no tools to offer real assistance, I can only say “I’m here if you need to talk/chat”. That support feels empty in a world that seems bent on the use of fear and oppression and dependency of faith to an absent imaginary god, creating an environment that encourages violence (in what ever form) on those who are ‘different’.

I will not give into hate. I can not allow hate to become the only way to fight this demon, it will only serve to feed fear. I believe that by opening our hearts, our minds, and sharing our love and our humanity can we truly demolish this deplorable situation.

What solutions should exist for the refugees of religious persecution?

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