1. Sexual dysfunction. This is largely reinforced by the "virgin worship" that protestants like to accuse catholics of, but really are just as guilty of themselves. No, really, I don't even know how much I need to argue about this one, because we all know how christians feel about those little whores with their birth control, abortions, and live-in boyfriends. The real problem, though, is that this leads to an idea that all sex is bad, and even though marital sex is obviously encouraged for reproduction, it can lead to less enjoyment (and yes, I do know plenty of christians for whom this is true, if you would like some sort of citation here). While I, myself, managed to escape feeling this way about my sex life, per se, that was only because I was prettty much outside of christianity by the time I married. Yes, I did wait until I got married. But I certainly felt a lot of shame and guilt for my pre-marital sexual desires and self-exploration/pleasuring. (Now might be a good time to mention to the sexually-prudish that they may want to stop reading my blog entirely; no, seriously). And let's not even get started on homophobia. Seriously, people.
2. Family dysfunction. Okay, I know everyone has dysfunctional families to some degree, but let's be honest; a system that encourages that one person in a group have all of the power and leaves the rest disenfranchised generally does not work well. On a larger scale we call it dictatorship (and I don't know why we don't call it that on a smaller scale to). Even in the most benevolent christian families (and yes, I know some) it just leads to buildups of resentment in the hearts of the ruled because no one can stand up to the dictator. And if the dictator is human (which I'm pretty sure most fathers are) they are bound to mess up sooner or later. Probably with some regularity. And when no one can tell them that they have, several things happen: 1, the wrong never gets corrected; 2, the leader never learns from his or her mistakes; and 3, anger and resentment tends to build up and also never get dealt with. I mean, come on people! Women and children are people too!
3. Intellectual dysfunction. I can't even tell you how many debates I have had that seem to fizzle out right about the time certain phrases or quotes are introduced into the debate. They include some of the following; "god's ways aren't our ways," "god wants us to have faith," "our minds are too small to understand god," "god doesn't want us to know/we're not meant to understand." I mean, really, if god didn't want me to know/understand/demand intellectual integrity in my beliefs then why the hell do I have such burning curiosity and intelligence that demand answers? Why would god create a universe with questions and creativity if god didn't like them or had no intention of answering them? The only way that I ever managed to have faith and intelligence simultaneously was by keeping the two of them far apart. Otherwise they would start fighting and my intelligence would get the upper hand and then I would have to put her in time-out for a while until she calmed down and my faith had time to heal her bruises from the quarrel. In other words? It didn't work out too well.
4. Emotional dysfunction. Oy. There are so many illustrations of this, including the aforementioned sexual dysfunction. Feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and lonliness are so fucking pervasive. Wanna hear something really special? When I was a kid I used to feel guilty for not feeling guilty enough about my sins. True story. I never felt as much need to repent, to pray to god for my sins and apologize, and I used to feel guilty thinking that that made me extra prideful or something. Bear in mind, I was a really fucking well-behaved kid. Oldest of six, got nearly all A's through school, almost never fought with my siblings (except when they were breaking the rules), I helped around the house, babysat, and I was the most religious of all my siblings. In many ways I was the standard my siblings were held up to (which I, and I think my parents, regret). Then of course there was the worry, because everything that happened was somehow part of god's plan and we had to figure out what god wanted us to learn or do in that situation. Outside on a beautiful day? Time to contemplate god's beauty. Driving through the rain? Time to pray for god's providence and learn to trust god. Late for work? God wants you to learn patience (ha ha). Friend betray you? Probably means god wants you to trust that god will always be there for you and protect you, or maybe god's convicting you of betraying the christian cause and not being enough of a "Jesus freak." This obsession/compulsion to always attribute god to everything that happened in life made it impossible to actually enjoy most moments because I always needed to know exactly what I was supposed to be enjoying, or I should be enjoying it as much as humanly possible because it's god's gift to me. After all, if I don't enjoy this sunset enough then I'm not grateful enough to god so I'm going to spend the next thirty minutes trying to work myself up to enjoying it as much as possible! And now that I've worked myself up to an emotional frenzy...the sun is already down. You see what I mean? Then there's all the worry about the afterlife, what it's going to be like, what if my friends and family don't make it in, etc.
Have to go to work now, but I hope this gives you a general idea of why I was so fucking happy to officially declare on facebook that I am not christian!!!