When I was a Christian

My transparency 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼
+When I was a Christian, I looked at others with a sadness. I believed that if they just had the knowledge that *I* had, they’d be okay.
+When I was a Christian, I thought of myself as a savior. If they could just hear me, speaking for God, they could have a relationship that changed them. 
+When I was a Christian, I truly pitied anyone who didn’t think like me. I was in full belief that my ideals (or my tribes’ ideals) were the only righteous ones.
+When I was a Christian, I operated from a place of unintentional arrogance. It was normal for me to run into someone and immediately ponder in my mind, “Bless them, they’ve had it rough, is there a sin they are committing, leading them into these troubles?”
+When I was a Christian, I met people with a silent judgement, but fake understanding. While I outwardly displayed the fruits of the Spirit, inwardly, I was pridefully attempting to encourage others to be like *me, therefore more like god. 
+When I was a Christian, I loved making sure others knew where I stood. I approached conversations with locked beliefs, unwilling to meet someone else where they were, but with the full hope of swaying them to agree with *me*
+When I was a Christian, all I needed was my echo chamber. So long as I had my believing friends and pulpit pals echoing back to me what I understood about god, then I’d never actually need to hear anyone else out.
+When I was a Christian I prided myself in speaking “truth” to everyone, even if I could sense they were uncomfortable. My brain was actually driven by this tension, to hurl my knowledge louder because these were the folks most in need of my knowledge, I could lead to the saving they didn’t know they needed.
+When I was a Christian, I made a spectacle out of my childrens’ obedience/disobedience to me and God. I praised their attempts at witnessing EVEN THOUGH I was encouraging their false ego, even though I was inherently teaching an us/them worldview.
+When I was a Christian, I doted on my kids as they *led others to Christ, and I began to cultivate in them, the same echo chamber friend system I had partaken in.
+When I was a Christian, my goal was that my children would stand apart for the Lord. No, not they they would see the face of God in others, but mainly that they would see God in their own reflection and their peers in Sunday School.
+When I was a Christian, I felt an arrogant sorrow for those kids who weren’t in Sunday school, oh how different their futures could be, if they had a mother like me…
+When I was a Christian, I could not love people exactly as they were. I always had small internal hopes for the ways *I could rub off on them.
+When I was a Christian, I operated with an ego so large, that I mourned the souls of those not like me, therefore not like God. I literally was a Pharisee by default.
+When I was a Christian, I got high on church, I got high on Jesus, dopamine levels through the roof with 4 part harmonies or repeated chords.

But now, now that I am not a Christian, I’ve loved from the pits of my own despair.
Now that I am not a Christian, I’ve loved with the kind of love that changes ME, literally reshaping my marrow.
Now that I am not a Christian, those whom I love might change—— but not because of my swaying, not because of *my example, but because they are safe and FREEEEEEEE to be unconditionally themselves in my presence. 
Now that I am not a Christian, I look in the eyes of the humans around me and believe in my whole heart that they, *we* are perfectly perfect and not in need of saving, unless it’s the saving that time spent inside the metaphorical grave gives us. 
Now that I am not a Christian, I understand that there’s a glorious darkness inside that grave. And that this is not something you can prompt, that it’s not something an echo chamber can provide. That it is not something you can indoctrinate into your children. It isn’t in a church and it’s only alluded to through metaphor in scripture. 
Now that I am not a Christian, I recognize the quiet of the wilderness, the silence of the mountainside, the belly of the whale—— that is where the holy sacred work gets done, not the pulpit. 
Now that I am not a Christian, I run into hurting people and I sit with them in my own hurt, I am no longer mentally slightly above them.
Now that I am not a Christian, I recognize that in order to eliminate our ego, in order to operate in humility, we must let go of everything we were taught and re-learn what and who we actually are. 
Now that I am not a Christian, people pity *my children, they’ve been proselytized and told that hell awaits them by their churchgoing witnessing peers— They reply, “oh you mean, Gehenna- no way, they turned that into a garden a LOOONG time ago, wanna see pictures, it’s worth a google” and they walk on.
Now that I am not a Christian, I find myself explaining to my children in full compassion the way indoctrination works and how their peers are truly fearful for their souls, that it’s not a burn (play on words😜)
Now that I am not a Christian, I have daughters who come to me tearfully, longing to be friends with ANYONE without an agenda, anyone who can fully love them as they are, without the line drawn.
Now that I am not a Christian, the tables have turned, and I am not in the Cliques, I am not wise-council, I am not even invited to the table without an agenda. I know the hurt of being “just another neighbor, unworthy of hearing.”
But now that I am not a Christian, there is no limit to my neighbor. There is no limit to what *I* can learn from those that I once set out to save. 
Now that I am not a Christian, *they* are saving me. 
Now that I am not a Christian, I sit on the outside of the gates of those who profess to follow Christ and yet, I am free to love like him more than I ever did———when I was a Christian…

Your child is not a Christian

Recently while listening to Richard Dawkins’, “The God Delusion,” I had to pause and let some of his words wash over me—they were cleansing, if you will.

I won’t quote him directly, but here’s the jist:

**There can be indoctrinated children, and there can be children of Christian parents, but there are zero Christian children.**

Obviously, a few years ago I would have wanted to battle back and proclaim that MY children were believers and students of the Holy book. I would’ve scrambled to find the flaw in his statement—- but deep in my noggin, I would’ve been arguing, not with Dawkins, but with my own indoctrination.

As much as I would’ve wanted to believe my kids WERE Christian kids, the truth was—every belief they possessed came directly from me or the Bible stories I’d allowed them to learn. Sure they knew scripture, but how did they learn it? –Me, a curriculum I’d chosen, a class I’d taken them to… Sure they knew the prayers, but how did they know who to pray to and the format of recitation? Me! These weren’t things they would’ve ever approached on their own. They were simply babies who wanted to PLAY! But my kids were my echo chambers, they were simply regurgitating by beliefs right back out at me. It’s scary to think how deeply I had sculpted their entire world view and reality. Shits terrifying, man. Wheeeew. Breathe. Even scarier is the way some folks never realize what they are doing….

Fortunately for me now, as a deconstructed exvangelical, when I read Dawkins’ words, I was in complete and total agreement. It was actually freeing to hear someone else saying what I knew from my own childhood and in raising my kids.

Every single attempt at raising Godly kids is a form of indoctrination. From reciting scripture, creeds, and prayers at young ages, to attending weekly services, to routines of the home. Every time a parent intentionally places their belief system into the mind of their child, they are indoctrinating that child. Every time a child declares they are saved or that they’ve had a God experience, it is simply a replication of what they’ve witnessed from adults around them or is a fictitious response to hormones released in emotional situations. Again, a fabrication of that child’s reality set up by someone else.

Children are born religion free. Again, when a baby is born, their brain has zero knowledge of any religion. Yet, they are divine. They come to us with an awe-struck curiosity for the mystical experiences of nature. They are bright eyed and eager to explore, they worship in the form of wonder. Wouldn’t it be grand to approach guiding them, with that same joy of learning that they implore. When THEY ask about God, faith, sins, the devil, as parents we show excitement and present them with timelines of all the major world religions, allowing them to see for themselves the bigger picture. There is NO indoctrination in that method. And, there is no right answer, therefore no pressure to conform out of fear.

I remember the fear that being a Christian places within parents. The “their blood is on your hands,” approach to training up children. Hell, I pulled my kids from school so I COULD INDOCTRINATE them to think like me.

I remember feeling afraid when they “sinned.” I remember crying out to God that he would guard their hearts. I spent literal nights awake trying to envision a way to best teach them so they’d know God’s Love….

But now I see, if you look at your child as a fallen being to be saved, you’ve lost the chance at letting the magic of life teach them. Their own Life is their best teacher. You are cutting them off from their own flow when you’ve set the default state of being as a religious one. They have very little chance at growing beyond that default setting, and for many Christians that is their hope.

How sad. But that’s what you get when generation after generation sits in the church pew and never does the work of thinking. You get uneducated worldviews, partnered with indoctrinated beliefs, sculpted into little robotic beings, passing off their ideals as the ONLY right way, all the way into their adulthood, and this then repeats itself with their children. And it’s ALL misinformation, but they live from default because it’s safe and requires no conscious effort to learn new ways and new information.  It’s frankly, an irresponsible way to live.

For me and for my children, I did the work of reprogramming my default settings. They will not have to deconstruct, they will not have to “go astray” or “leave the fold.” Together, we are free to let Wonder, Curiosity, and Life be our teachers. Please join me in ending the brain-washing of our youth-they deserve better. They deserve to be the joyful explorers that they were literally born being. Let us, as adults, give our children the space they need to be here, free from your default settings.

Thanks for reading! XO

Dear Patriarchy

Dear Patriarchy,

I was placed into your grasp as a little girl. I ate the crumbs from your gnarled and mangled hands. I watched you work the system and create a breed of subservient little female beings. You chewed us up and spit us out and told us our purpose was to simply be present to help You. You needed our fertility, open our legs for your pleasure and your cum. Carry your babies so you don’t fade away into oblivion. We sit here now foaming at the mouth ready to rip your fucking throats out, and you tell us to smile, keep quiet, be a lady. Meanwhile, you’re lusting for the blossoms in the church pew, with your pious and godly wife sitting right there beside you. But she doesn’t know how to be the Slut you need. The Sacred Whore within, she’s never unleashed. You did that to her. You, Patriarchy! You told her to be good, but with everything you are, you like em bad. So so bad. You told us to be honest, but you’ve got your secrets. You snicker, and you smile, and you keep things under the table. Your army, your squad, your “good ol boys”—- they uphold you as the Man among men, and while your wife may be fooled cause she’s a product of her raising, just know-your daughter won’t bow down to ANY SYSTEM that’s degrading, she’s not just the winds of change-she’s a fucking tornado. She is tearing this shit down and you don’t know what to do. You hang on to your faith cause it ALWAYS WORKS FOR YOU. Cling to your traditions, the empire built by men for men, but your daughter yells, “No!” She’s watched and she’s listened to every command made on her mother and her sisters, she’s thirsty for the blood of every person whose ever said, “A woman’s place is in the kitchen.” She is harsh and bold and she is ready to hurt your feelings. She yells, “Fuck you and fuck your religion! You pieces of shit-stealing the minds of the innocent, and they can’t even think critically enough to harbor resentment.” Your daughters are coming for you, Patriarchy, are you shaking in your work boots? We are coming for you, right after we untie your shoes.

Written by: Stacy Johnson

Glorious Girl, a poem

So you’re turning 14

That’s a big number to mommy

You’re turning 14

I didn’t know it’d be this hard on me

See, when I was 14, I let my divinity go…

I cut my beautiful hair, I traded in lion king panties for lacy underwear

I went from having never been kissed to loving someone deeply, and being completely dismissed

At 14, my first heartbreak left me different but not totally broken

with threads of insecurity, my heart was stitched up but gaps were still open

At 14, I watched on confused as the light of innocence left me

Hell was coming, no matter how hard I prayed, no matter how much they preached grace, I still knew my place

After every sin, I knew I’d need to repent again,

and so this game of guilt and shame was one I could not win

At 14, I understood fear to be the driving force, behind every single of one my life’s choices

It wasn’t about following my heart, it wasn’t about using my smarts, I’d only be okay if I learned early to play it safe, stay inside the boundaries so I’d be covered by grace

At 14, deep longings for more, resounded in my spirit, but because of indoctrination the flow of life couldn’t heal it. My divinity whispered for me to draw near, but I simply could not hear it.

See, I didn’t know I was still perfectly precious, I didn’t know I was still totally infectious, Being a sinner is what I let define me, not the amazing woman who was hiding inside me

So, Baby girl I just have to share, you carry a warrior’s glare and you have a mighty stare,

Your wear your armor daily with your strands of gold and copper hair

YOU know your truth and with YOUR hands you build your empire, and don’t forget like a dragoness, my girl you can breathe fire,

Your veins hold the pulsing of women

who fought so hard to be here, hold up your hands and cup their courage should you ever find yourself in need, dear

You have fierce wisdom of Athena

And great beauty of Aphrodite

Put them together and channel that strength, it’s beyond almighty

In your mind you carry the intuition of Dione and you hold wilderness of Artemis, listen to the call from within, she won’t leave you mistaken

Baby girl, at 14, you can begin to manifest your dreams, you can leave people behind if they don’t align, don’t feel guilty and deep down just know, that’s how you grow

And don’t you for one second think a mess-up is reflective of who you are, when wounded be proud of your scars, and deep down in the marrow of your bones, know your beauty, your truth, and your worth.

And baby girl at 14, when insecurity creeps in, acknowledge her presence but don’t let her win, make her an acquaintance but not a close friend,

Remember you earned your place on this earth, you get to be here for this moment in time, and though you’re only 14, you’re able to see, that this in itself is truly divine

When mommy set out to write this for you, I let my mind go back in time, I don’t know why but I started to cry and so I stayed there for awhile.

That girl was beautiful with a heart of gold and smile she could not hide, but oh the sadness, such sadness were hiding in those green eyes.

I saw the Universe in those eyes, and I heard a whisper in the wind, you, JUST you, you are enough, so I let that voice rage from within,

I placed my arm around that girl sitting to my side, I said- chin up sister, it’s a matter of time, you’re gonna be just fine,

I gave her a hug and left her there

because 14 year old me, could not see it, much less try to live out and be it…

My baby girl now, I’m calling you out, I see your glory, your beauty, your grandeur….and at 14, if there’s only one thing you let engulf you and fill you up, please let it be that warrior raging within, “I KNOW I AM more than enough.”

Written by-Stacy Johnson, April 13, 2018

I wrote this last year on the eve of my daughter’s 14th birthday. I needed to channel the energy I was feeling into something positive, as 14 was a tricky year for me…

MY GLORIOUS GIRL:

******Today, I watched that 14 year old, stand before 150 high school band students and play a solo. A 3 minute piece that captured the magical essence that is my daughter. You see, my girl had only picked up a saxophone 9 months ago. Her teacher didn’t believe her when she told him she’d be first chair by Christmas, but SHE believed in herself, and that’s all she’ll ever need. She is not only first chair, but was was chosen to do that solo, I couldn’t have been prouder to watch her play up there. I witnessed the anxiety ridden tears throughout the week, but SHE GOT UP THERE AND NAILED IT. She cupped that courage and it paid off. I cried. And I’m giddy. She’s brave.

Thank you to:

My sister over at The Irresponsible Blogger, she reminded me that today was International Women’s Day and this poem goes right along with celebrating women, healing women, and empowerment of women. Thank you for reading, Friends!

My BEST GIRLS and Me (plus one sleeping lil guy):

When a 3 year old gets “make-up”

She decides we all needed to use it! Her sweet little hand💖


Proud of her work…
She is a diva who refuses smiles for my camera


Brother must have a make-over too…

And Dad!
Look at that grin🤣



adoration….


Worked so hard she passed out at dinner…