15 Things Not to Say to a Recovering Fundamentalist Christian


There have been plenty of things I've heard since I left Christian fundamentalism after spending 14 years (more than half my life) in it, and most of them make me want to tear my hair out. So, I put out a general call for some of the gems you have heard, and here's a few that I got back.

1) "You just need to work through your bitterness." –Teryn

Bitterness. It's a good idea to pretty much never use that word in particular. Bitterness, infundie-speak, is a tool to silence anyone who is being critical. If you're accused of "bitterness," it means that you are incapable of viewing any situation or person "correctly," that you lack the capacity for love and grace, and what you actually need to work on is yourself. You're imagining things, nothing bad is happening, and you have a screw loose. This is actually a form of gaslighting — convincing the person who's being attacked thatthey're just crazy — and we've been beaten over the head with it for years. Just because we're saying things about the church that aren't pleasant doesn't make us bitter. Just because we sound angry doesn't mean we're bitter.

2) "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater." –Lydia

There are a lot of variations on this one, but it all boils down to this idea that Christianity is fine, it's really just our personal experiences that we have to get over. And, I get why this one comes up a lot. For Christians who haven't experienced either a) fundamentalism or b) spiritual abuse, their religion is one of the best, most wonderful, spectacular things in their life and they couldn't imagine living without it. For us, though? It's not even remotely the same feeling. When Christianity has been the weapon used to beat you, sometimes, throwing the whole thing out is the only healthy thing left to do.

Written By: Samantha Field
continue to source article at huffingtonpost.com


  1. Wow, this is complicated! Should the headline read;

    Things not to say to a recovering fundamentalist christian, who is still a christian if you are a fundamentalist christian.?

    I don’t think anyone cares from that perspective, it’s what they do, fundamentally. The good news is that you can say whatever the fuck you want to a recovering theist.

  2. I would advise any of these people to reply with the statement: “I have become aware of a bigger view of reality.” followed by a matching reply to any proffer of religious assertion:

    “Got evidence?”

  3. If you chuck the fundie thing, you’ve got to chuck it all. You could argue there are no true Xians because I’ve never met anyone (except for the guy who wrote ‘The Year of Living Biblically’) who actually tried to abide by the whole book. But the fundies at least claim to swallow the whole pill.

    I’ve always wanted to ask a believer what god came down and went through the bible line by line saying, “Ok, I’m still really firm on this part, I no longer care about this part and when I forbade mixing fibers, I was just anticipating some clown in the future wearing stripes with plaid.” Exactly to whom did this god give the right to pick and choose?

    I think it is incumbent upon believers to buy the whole gag or none at all. If I crave a midnight sandwich and discover green mold on the bread, I do not sift through the loaf hoping to finds bit and pieces I could still maybe consume, I pitch the loaf as bad. Xians need to either walk their walk cover to cover (including things like Obamacare to help the poor), shut up about the one good bite they found on one slice of the green bread or produce the authority they were given to read their book selectively.

  4. In reply to #3 by Mr DArcy:

    Hell is it just me, or does this article remind me of 50 ways to leave your lover ?

    Darn it! Now I can’t get that song outta my head!

  5. I sympathize.The Christians do not leave one in peace.They will go on and on as if they are the only ones privy to the most wonderful thing the world has ever heard.Drives one nuts.

  6. I simply cannot understand how any human being can claim with pride to be a fundamentalist about anything. It’s one of those words, like extremist, or jihadist, which simply means bad and irrational.

    Anybody with an ounce of humility would acknowledge they have not been personally granted all the answers to life, the universe and everything, and there’s far more that they do not know than there is that they do know.

    Certainty may not be sinful, but it is a stupid position.

  7. In reply to #4 by rjohn19: If I crave a midnight sandwich and discover green mold on the bread, I do not sift through the loaf hoping to finds bit and pieces I could still maybe consume, I pitch the loaf as bad. Xians need to either walk their walk cover to cover..*

    Reminds me of Bill Mahr: “Explain to me how a book that’s written by God who’s perfect has so much – it’s pro-slavery, pro-polygamy, it’s homophobic. Yeah, God in the Old Testament is a psychotic mass murderer. You know, this, I mean, there’s so many things in it. And I always say to my religious friends, you know, if a pool had even one turd in it, would you jump in?”

  8. Not the article I expected from the headline. But it does open up a broad vista of questions not to ask….

    • if a pool had even one turd in it, would you jump in? (from #9)
    • do you actually enjoy the time you spend in church?
    • if you won the lottery, would you give it ALL to your church? (In writing please, signed and witnessed)
    • if god hates fags so much, how come he made the anus such a convenient size?
    • if Robin Hood’s sidekick was called Little John because he was a a great big guy, how do you think the Virgin Mary got her title?
    • is your god the kind of sneaky bastard who’d plant false evidence to mislead atheistic scientists?

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