By The Window: Looking In On Religion

Posted on June 7, 2020


This is the inaugural post for a new series of Sunday posts.

I am thinking of it as my Sunday Service for religious Unbelievers and people who are in recovery from religion or who are seeking a pathway out of religion.

During the week, my content focuses on my general interests as a citizen, on the one hand, and as an educator, on the other. Now, in this space, Sundays will be, as they are in the dominant culture of Lenawee County, for religion. Like the sermons in the churches around me, my Sunday post will offer uplift and encouragement for community members. Unlike the clergy, I reject all supernatural claims and argue from a secular, HUMAN perspective, examining religion through the lenses of history, science, ethics, and personal experience.

It is interesting to me that, without knowing what I was doing, I began my work as a rhetorician (one who makes arguments in speaking or writing) as a student in a program to equip me to be a Christian preacher and a minister to the community through gatherings, music, Bible reading and study, prayer, and overall, presence. I didn’t know it, but every time I composed a sermon, I was creating an argument. I had an idea about god or the Christian lifestyle that I wanted to convey, and I employed Biblical texts, anecdotes, and various rhetorical devices, especially emotional appeals, reinforced by the hymns I selected to sing before and after my talk, to move my audience to agreement and action. Somehow my religious teachers forgot to mention that we were using the rhetorical forms of the ancient Greek philosophers and dramatists; as a believer, I assumed that The Father or The Son designed the form of a church service and communicated it to the earliest Christians, first-hand. (LOL)

The two aspects of the religious lifestyle that I carried over to secular living are rhetoric and music. I replaced the Bible with all the texts in existence, and ministerial studies with a Masters degree in Teaching Writing, so I could get a better understanding of my human community and the world around me.

I still make music with others: I sing and play drums with other musicians. I still practice rhetoric in writing this blog, but since I reached a certain point in my recovery from evangelical Christianity, I’ve felt compelled to make social media posts on Sundays for Unbelievers, the recovering religious, and those who may be looking for a way out of a toxic religious environment on Sundays–to counter-balance all the church bells one can hear in the air and more importantly, all the preaching that happens at that time. I’ve been doing this for some time, but now, I am ready to say more on Sundays.

Although I did not have a healthy relationship with my dad, I appreciate his gifts with words, storytelling, and rhetoric. He was powerful speaker who could entrance an audience with a story or joke, and he had an arsenal of pithy one-liners that will ring in my memory until I die. One of his favorite Sunday sayings was, “See ya in church! …IF you sit by the window!”

In celebration of that sentiment, I have titled the Sunday series, “By the Window.”

As an American citizen, I find Christianity to be both undemocratic and un-American, as evidenced by historical record, from the Salem Witch Trials, to the McCarthy Era, to the current movement toward a theocracy resembling Gilead, the misogynist dystopia depicted in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Along with their undemocratic and misogynist nature, many Christianities perpetuate white supremacy, which must be dismantled for the health of humanity and democracy.

I’ve had far more than ENOUGH of all the religious incursions into secular life in the USA–a nation whose founding documents clearly state that the United States government is to be fully secular–to protect all the different Christianities from State control, as much as to protect the rights of those outside religion, like Thomas Paine. (Eighteenth century Christians feared dominance by a large Christian denominations as much or more than they feared dominance by atheists).

As an American citizen in a secular nation, I demand (and democracy requires) that law, policy, and practice be based on evidence and The Common Good, not ancient myths, magic, or miracles. It is time that the USA become a true representative democracy where every human life counts, no matter their identity, is equal under the law, and has full human and civil rights.

To this end, this Citizen Teacher will be resisting theocracy every Sunday in this space. I hope you’ll join me here and invite others; I intend my Sunday posts to be a light on the path, a place of uplift and celebration of fellow resisters, and a resource for the secular community, in Lenawee County and beyond.

Welcome, freethinking friends! Come on in! Make yourself at home!

There’s plenty of room and an excellent view right here, on the seat By the Window.

Related Links

Previous Freethinker Posts at Citizen Teacher

Trump and the Christian Persecution Complex: On The Media 6/5/20     “The myth of Christian persecution can be traced…according to Candida Moss, to Christian historians [who] coined the idea that to be persecuted was to be righteous in the 4th Century and [who] exaggerated claims that Christians were persecuted in the first place.”

lisa eddy is a writer, researcher, educator, advocate,  musician, and gardener.

On Twitter: @lisa_eddy

On email:

No photo description available.