This blog is about my experience being married to a closeted gay man who came out to me, which led me to file for divorce. “Lavender marriage” isn’t uncommon among people raised in a high control religion. My husband and I were both raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses. I’ve learned that much of what I believed to be true my entire life, are actually lies. Here are some examples.
Lies Jehovah’s Witnesses Taught Me (and What I Now Know to be True)
Lie: The heart is treacherous and wicked, and cannot be trusted.
Truth: My heart, gut feelings and intuition are trustworthy, I can use them to guide my decisions.
Lie: You’re born an enemy of God. Recently, one of the Governing Body members, Stephen Lett, said that babies are enemies of God at the “Pursue Peace” District Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It was the Friday morning program.
Truth: Firstly, there is no God. Secondly, babies are innocent and nobody’s enemy.
Lie: I’m a good-for-nothing slave.
Truth: I am no one’s slave, and I deserve to live life on my terms.
Lie: I’m born into sin and am in need of redemption.
Truth: I was born innocent. I owe no one anything except basic respect.
Lie: Someday humans will live forever in a paradise earth.
Truth: This life is it. There is no paradise. It’s fiction.
Lie: I’ll live forever if I keep God’s favor.
Truth: I’m mortal. Facing that fact is part of becoming an adult, and it makes my life all the more precious.
Lie: My dead loved ones will be resurrected. I’ll see them again.
Truth: I only get to enjoy my loved ones while they’re alive.
Lie: Marriage is forever.
Truth: Marriages end. Often, it’s for the best that they do.
Lie: Sex outside marriage is sinful.
Truth: Sex is a natural, normal way for two consenting adults to show affection and to bond with one another. Sex before a marriage is essential, how else would you learn if you’re compatible?
Lie: Masturbation is sinful.
Truth: Babies masturbate in utero. It’s totally normal and healthy, a form of self-care.
Lie: Dating should only be “with a view to marriage”.
Truth: Dating is fun, and a great way to get to know what you like/need and don’t like/need in a partner.
Lie: Homosexuality is sinful.
Truth: Whatever happens between consenting adults is no one’s business but theirs. Love is love.
Lie: I’m deserving of death due to my inherited sin.
Truth: There is no such thing as “sin”. I deserve happiness, freedom and the same human rights as everyone else.
Lie: Slaving for God is good and makes my life meaningful
Truth: God is an invention of Bronze Age man. Sacrifice should be a choice. The Bible makes it clear that “God” will slaughter anyone who disagrees with him. No thanks!
Lie: Slaving for the Organization/brotherhood is good.
Truth: I’m a slave of no one. No person or organization should have undue influence over another person.
Lie: I have to love and be willing to die for my brothers and sisters in the religion.
Truth: Forced unity is not unity. Everyone should have freedom of association. The “unfailing” love of Jehovah’s Witnesses is conditional, and turns off like a light switch when someone leaves the religion. It’s not genuine love, it’s fake and forced.
Lie: Getting involved in politics is bad.
Truth: Getting involved in politics makes me a good citizen.
Lie: People outside the Organization are bad, wicked, deserving of death, out to get me, immoral, unclean
Truth: People are people. Some are good, some are bad, most are a little of both.
Lie: Women should be submissive to men.
Truth: No one should submit their free will to another.
Lie: Everyone who disagrees with your religious beliefs should be shunned.
Truth: People can disagree on different matters and remain friends.
Lie: Shunning is “loving discipline”.
Truth: Shunning is cruel, and a human rights violation.
Lie: You can’t have a relationship with God without the Organization
Truth: Noone is in charge of my spirituality but me.
Lie: Drugs are bad and unclean.
Truth: Drugs can be helpful at times.
Lie: Abortion is always wrong.
Truth: It’s not that simple. The issue is complicated, and I shouldn’t judge another woman for the decision.
Lie: God’s happiness, not mine, is what matters.
Truth: God is fiction. My happiness matters, and is my ultimate highest goal in life. Even if I believed in God, if he didn’t want me to be happy as I want my children to be happy, then he’s a horrible “Father”.
Lie: Children should be obedient, indoctrinated.
Truth: Indoctrination is child abuse. Especially when it’s indoctrination into a doomsday cult that isolates children, forbids them from seeking higher education, hobbies they love, or meaningful careers, and fucks up their relationships and sexuality, all with the threat of shunning hanging over their heads constantly if they don’t comply.
Lie: The Bible is God’s message to man and is truth.
Truth: The Bible is a collection of small books (the canon has been controversial from the start) written by Bronze Age men who didn’t understand the natural world or the scientific method, who were trying to explain events and phenomena around them. It reflects the moral codes of the times (slavery, misogyny, rape of virgins, etc) and much of it is plagiarized, inconsistent, and unethical.
Lie: The Earth, animals, man and the Universe were created
Truth: There is no proof. This is an unfalsifiable claim. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. There is no proof of a God, or of creation. There is undeniable proof of evolution, it explains everything about the world and how it works.
Lie: Jesus was the son of God and we should follow him.
Truth: Jesus was probably a good dude, but I follow no person or make a guru out of anyone.
Lie: What you do is never enough. You’re never good enough.
Truth: I am enough. I do enough. I can rest when I need to.
Lie: Self-care is selfish.
Truth: Self-care is essential and good for my health and well-being, and helps me care for people I love better.
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