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Counter-Evangelism Resource Page
Frequently Asked Questions

Copyright © 2003 by Diane Vera. All rights reserved.

  1. What is the purpose of this website?
  2. Why counter-evangelize? Shouldn't we respect hardcore Christians' beliefs if we want them to respect ours?
  3. But won't Christianity die soon anyway? How can anyone still believe that nonsense in the age of science?
  4. What is "hardcore" Christianity?
  5. Why do you mention openly that you're a Satanist? Aren't you scaring away the very Christians you want to reach?
  6. What is the relationship, if any, between counter-evangelism and Satanism?
  7. Do you have anything special to say to Pagans, occultists, and New Agers?
  8. I'm thinking of leaving fundy Christianity. Can you help me?

  1. What is the purpose of this website?

    To encourage people -- especially members of certain unpopular religious minorities -- to respond to hardcore Christian evangelism attempts by challenging hardcore Christians' beliefs. This site aims to provide both (1) reasons why we should challenge them and (2) resources to help us challenge them as effectively as possible.

    As a secondary aim, this site aims also to provide information helpful to people leaving hardcore Christianity.

  2. Why counter-evangelize? Shouldn't we respect hardcore Christians' beliefs if we want them to respect ours?

    They won't respect yours, period. Even if you can convince them to leave you alone, they'll still think you're hell-bound.

    More importantly, even if they leave you alone, they will continue to evangelize other people -- and, as a result, they will continue to grow. Yes, hardcore Christianity has been growing these past several decades. This means a bigger and bigger potential constituency for the religious right wing, whose eventual aim is to impose Christian theocracy on us all.

    We can no longer afford to view religion as a topic to be politely ignored.

    If you disapprove of counter-evangelism on the grounds that it is a form of "proselytizing," please note that the point of counter-evangelism is not to convert people to any particular religion or worldview, but solely to convince people to consider leaving hardcore Christianity (or convince them not to convert to hardcore Christianity in the first place).

    Turnabout is fair play. Insofar as hardcore Christians criticize other religions, so too people of other religions have the right to criticize hardcore Christianity.

  3. But won't Christianity die soon anyway? How can anyone still believe that nonsense in the age of science?

    We've been living in the age of science for over 300 years. During that time, Christianity has had its ups and downs -- and, at various times in the past, a lot of people thought Christianity was on its deathbed. It wasn't.

    The 1700's have often been called the "Age of Reason," or the "Enlightenment." Already at that time, lots of educated people -- including most of the U.S.A.'s Founding Fathers -- had rejected Christianity in favor of Deism, which believed in an impersonal God of Nature. At the time of the American Revolution, and at the time when the Constitution was written, our country was definitely not a "Christian nation." Yet, soon afterward, there was the first in a long series of revivals of Christianity -- the "Great Awakening."

    To reduce hardcore Christianity's power will require a concerted effort at persuasion by lots of people.

    How can hardcore Christians still believe all that nonsense? Try asking them yourself. (If you're asking this question, you probably don't live in the Bible Belt, but you still can probably find lots of fundy churches in your local slum.)

  4. What is "hardcore" Christianity?

    By "hardcore Christians," I mean both (1) Protestant fundamentlists and evangelicals, including Pentecostals and charismatics, and (2) conservative Catholics and Eastern Orthodox.

    Although conservative Catholics and Orthodox tend not to proselytize nearly as much as their Protestant counterparts, quite a few of them too are active in the religious right wing. And they aren't dying either. Despite clergy pedophilia scandals, and despite a shortage of priests, many Catholic churches are still full.

  5. Why do you mention openly that you're a Satanist? Aren't you scaring away the very Christians you want to reach?

    This site isn't aimed primarily at Christians. As mentioned earlier, its primary purpose is to encourage other people, especially members of certain religious minorities, to challenge hardcore Christian beliefs.

    My primary target audience is some of the religious minorities whose beliefs and values are most radically at odds with those of hardcore Christians, and who therefore have the strongest need to fight back, namely (1) my fellow Satanists (especially theistic Satanists), and (2) Pagans, occultists, and New Agers.

    My site would be far from "Christian-friendly" even without explicit mention of Satanism, due to its emphasis on trying to motivate people to counter-evangelize.

    Anyhow, although most Christians will likely be scared away as soon as they see the word "Satanism," there are also some hardcore Christians for whom Satanists are actually a magnet. The larger unmoderated Satanist online forums have tended to be overrun by hardcore Christians. Many Satanist online forums are moderated for the specific purpose of keeping Christian evangelists out.

    Why are some Christians drawn to Satanist forums? Perhaps they hope to be able to brag about how they converted a Satanist? Or perhaps they believe we're less deluded than other non-Christians, all of whom are thought to be under the power of Satan anyway? Or perhaps they're just morbidly curious? In that last case, they may well be ripe for deconversion.

    Most hardcore Christians are scared of atheists too. So far, nearly all the best counter-evangelism sites are by atheists or atheist-leaning agnostics, a fact which does limit their appeal to Christians. Nevertheless, a small but significant minority of Christians are attracted, enough to overrun almost any large, well-known, unmoderated atheist online forum.

    What we need is a wide variety of counter-evangelism sites by people of a wide variety of religious and spiritual beliefs. The more, the merrier.

    Probably the most "respectable" non-Christian belief system, at least here in America, would be Deism, the religion of quite a few of the U.S.A.'s founding fathers. So, it would be very nice to see more counter-evangelism sites by Deists in particular.

    But it would also help to have more counter-evangelism sites by people of various other minority religions too. We need more good sites by spiritually-oriented people of as many different kinds as possible, both "respectable" and otherwise, and we need sites of a variety of different degrees of blatancy or subtlety in their critique of hardcore Christianity.

    The wider the variety of counter-evangelism sites, the more hardcore Christians can be reached.

  6. What is the relationship, if any, between counter-evangelism and Satanism?

    To most non-Satanists, it would seem only natural for a Satanist to engage in counter-evangelism against Christianity.

    In reality, most Satanists have been surprisingly complacent on this matter. Both theistic and symbolic Satanists have tended to be, if anything, far less concerned about the religious right wing than, say, many Wiccans tend to be.

    Various public Satanists have dismissed any and all diatribes against Christianity as "beating a dead horse." They assume that Christianity is on its deathbed, and that all that remains to be done is to get rid of some annoying vestiges of Christian morality. Thus, when Satanists do get involved in political activism, the goal is nearly always something other than combatting the religious right. (For example, some Satanists equate Satanism with libertarianism, on the grounds that socialism and "liberalism" are, allegedly, rooted in Christian morality.)

    One of my site's purposes is to convince Satanists (among other religious minorities) that the growth of hardcore Christianity is indeed a significant problem, and that it would behoove us to try to do something about it.

    If you're a Satanist, please read carefully my pages on the growth of hardcore Christianity and the religious right wing, and please review my answer to the question But won't Christianity die soon anyway? How can anyone still believe that nonsense in the age of science? See also my page of information for Satanists.

    If you are one of the relatively few theistic Satanists from a hardcore Christian background, please see my page For Theistic Satanists from hardcore Christian backgrounds (as I am too) on my Theistic Satanism site.

  7. Do you have anything special to say to Pagans, occultists, and New Agers?

    Pagans and occultists, especially Wiccans, have tended to be more in touch with reality than Satanists on the particular question of how much of a longterm social and political threat we face from hard-core Christians.

    However, I suspect that many Wiccans, other Neo-Pagans, occultists, and New Agers may be hamstrung by a moralistic revulsion against "proselytizing." If you're a Wiccan, Neo-Pagan, occultist, or New Ager, please read carefully my answer to the question Why counter-evangelize? Shouldn't we respect hardcore Christians' beliefs if we want them to respect ours?

    As a person who believes in some sort of deity or deities, you have some advantages over atheists in debating with Christians. No need to get bogged down in arguments over the existence of God. You need only to show the self-contradictory nature of hardcore Christianity, and to explain why it has no greater claim to absolute truth than your own spiritual beliefs.

    See also this page which includes a list of websites and email groups that provide news and political information of interest to Pagans, occultists, and New Agers.

  8. I'm thinking of leaving fundy Christianity. Can you help me?

    Leaving fundy Christianity can be tough. It means leaving not just a belief system, but also a community and a whole way of life. It may mean re-building one's entire life from scratch -- which, besides being difficult in itself, may require one to overcome a conditioned fear of "worldly" people.

    First, if you're not yet ready to reveal your doubts about fundy Christianity to your family and friends, see the website Closet Cases for some advice on how to conceal the evidence on your computer, etc.  This site is targeted at closet gays, but the advice is good for anyone who needs to stay in the closet about anything else too.

    Second, I strongly recommend seeking the support and friendship of fellow ex-fundies. See my list of Resources for ex-fundamentalists, ex-"cultists," and ex-Christians.

    Third, to bolster your confidence that you are doing the right thing by leaving fundyism, I recommend that you spend a lot of time reading the arguments against hardcore Christian beliefs, including the many contradictions and absurdities within the Bible itself. You've been taught one side of the story all your life. Now learn the other side.

    Fourth, I recommend learning about a variety of non-Christian religions (and atheism and liberal Christianity too). You'll probably feel much better about leaving fundy Christianity once you've become familiar with some other worldviews. Also, joining a new, less dogmatic religious group (or an atheist or humanist group) can help you rebuild your social life. But don't rush to embrace a new religion or worldview. Explore at least several different worldviews carefully, to make sure you're making the right decision.

    When exploring other religions, be prepared for culture shock. In particular, many religious groups tend not to be quite as friendly to newcomers as evangelical Christian groups often are. That's because they don't believe in aggressive proselytizing. And, alas, human nature being what it is, people without ulterior motives for friendliness tend to be at least somewhat cliquish.

    The degree to which cliquishness is a problem will vary with location. It is likely to be much less of a problem in the Bible Belt (where non-fundies, and especially non-Christians, are more likely to appreciate each other just for existing) than in cosmopolitan cities like New York, where cliquishness tends to be a big problem. If a group you're otherwise drawn to turns out to be somewhat cliquish, then probably the best way to get yourself noticed is by volunteering to provide some kind of service for the group. If you live in a location where cliquishness tends to be a big problem, then, in the initial stages of exploring a new religion, you'll probably find it less frustrating to explore it online than in person.

    In the event that you do end up joining a new religious community, I would recommend seeking out your fellow ex-fundies within that community. For example, if you join a liberal Christian church, or a Unitarian church, you might suggest to the pastor the idea of starting a support group for ex-fundies. Also, if you live in the Bible Belt, your local Pagan, occult, and New Age groups are likely to have at least a few ex-fundies as members, and likewise your local atheist or humanist group.

    You'll probably have a much easier time relating to your fellow ex-fundies than to anyone else. You, as a person leaving fundyism, have had to think harder than most people will ever think in their entire lives. It takes a lot of thinking to overcome fundy brainwashing. Most people, whether fundy or "worldly," don't think a whole lot. If you're the kind of person who once took your religion very seriously but are now giving it up, then, to you, most other people will likely seem shallow.

    However, don't assume that ex-fundies are your only potential friends or the only people who think. If you live in the Bible Belt, almost anyone who is openly an atheist or who has openly embraced a minority religion (such as Neo-Paganism) is likely to be of above-average intelligence and depth of character. (This is less true in parts of the U.S.A. outside the Bible Belt, where being openly an atheist, Pagan, etc., doesn't require nearly as much courage as it does inside the Bible Belt.)

    Take pride in your ability to think. That in itself may be scary, if you've internalized the anti-intellectualism that pervades not only a large part of the fundy scene, but also much of American pop culture in general. Ex-fundy women, in particular, may have difficulty with this issue.

    Due to your sheltered background, you may be short on real-world coping skills. At the same time, you should consider the possibility that your fundy background might have given you some skills which most "worldly" people lack, and which might come in handy if you need to seek a new job in a more "worldly" setting.  For example:  (1) If you belonged to a sect whose members actually studied the Bible, especially in one of the older versions like King James, then you probably have a much bigger vocabulary than most people and can probably write a lot better. (2) If you spent a lot of time evangelizing, you may have acquired sales skills.

    If you happen to be not only ex-fundy but also a gay man, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender person, or suspect you might be, then by all means seek friends and support in that regard too. See my page for GLBT people.

    Anyhow, regardless of your sexual orientation, once you are ready to reveal your non-fundyism to your family and friends, you might find it helpful to look at the list of sites with Advice on coming out on my page for GLBT people. Much of the advice is applicable not only to GLBT people, but to anyone coming out of the closet about anything.

    For more information and advice for ex-fundies, from various points of view, see my list of Resources for ex-fundamentalists, ex-"cultists," and ex-Christians.

See also:

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