25 Things That Have Caused People to Turn Their Backs to Religion

Religion is a subject that can inflame conversations quickly. Christians are feeling the heat now — in a world where it’s become the norm to disrespect Christ and his followers. It’s unfortunate when people only see one side of things and label the rest like the others. Nevertheless, someone asked an online forum why they turned their backs on religion. These are THEIR honest responses.

I Believe in Jesus Christ

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I am a believer in Jesus Christ and have had God work in my life; even when I’ve walked far off the straight and narrow, God was there. So it’s always disheartening when Christianity is mocked.

The Abuse and Neglect in the Church

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I understand why people walk away when they have had horrible experiences with the church. I’ve experienced my own moments of judgment. And there is no negating that abuse happens where people are in positions of power.

I’ve recently watched the docuseries, The Secrets of Hillsong, only solidifying this truth. After someone asked an online forum why they turned their backs on religion, these are their honest responses. 

1. The MAGA Extremists

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Unsurprisingly, the MAGA extremists made this list of reasons people left. I remember listening to my father and his wife detest Donald Trump. They wanted Ted Cruz to win. My father stated, “It will be a cold day in hell before I vote for a Democrat. So we (him and his wife) will have to hold each other’s noses at the polls when we vote this year.”

Then, I witnessed Fox News shape their views into something very cult-like. Watching my parents lose their independent thought and conform to the mainstream narrative was scary. However, when you have the news on all day, you will be brainwashed, regardless of which channel you consume. You’re conditioning yourself at that point.

2. The Making America Great Again by Pushing Christians Out

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The user who volunteers MAGA as their reason for walking away clarifies, “Seeing people at Trump rallies carrying banners and flags saying ‘Jesus is my Saviour, Trump is my President,’ and claiming to protect America from an Islamic Sharia Law establishment while secretly and not so secretly working to impose a Christian version disgusts me.

I cannot support a religion that talks freely about promoting and protecting rights while clearly demonstrating the opposite.” There is no denying that the MAGA movement is responsible for many people walking away from the church. I spent several years angry, confused and terrified that confession of my faith would automatically lump me into something I wanted no part of or to be affiliated with by my “Christian” label.

3. The Mistreatment of Members in the LGBTQIA+ Community

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Numerous LGBTQIA+ people are unhappy with the condemnation they’ve experienced at church and from people identifying as Christians. It feels hateful and judgmental and has caused them to turn their backs on religion. One user shares that their grandmother told her that her “Mother would rather die and go to heaven” than have a child who is bisexual. “That one stung.”

However, there are many churches now embracing the community. The ELCA Lutherans even allow and encourage them to become pastors and preach the gospel.

4. The Excommunicated Factor

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For some, the idea that your church would excommunicate you for sinning (A thing Christ saved us from on the cross) is enough to walk away. A forum member shares that they had a friend whose mother had been married in the Catholic church. However, her husband began having affairs, leading to their divorce.

Nonetheless, because the divorce occurred in a courtroom and not in a church, the church considered her to have committed adultery even though her ex-husband was the one having affairs. “She was not allowed to take communion for a little over 20 years after the divorce for that reason.”

5. The Human Interference

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The iron rod “is destroyed by its own rusting, ” another explains. Similarly, humans created religion to maintain harmony and a system within communities, which was ruined by humans only. No matter what reasons you give but the reality is that humans have corrupted everything.

People have always used religion to satisfy their political aspirations and rule over the oppressed. The real irony is that all religions emphasize “help the needy and serve the poor,” but people in power humiliate them to the extreme. “For me, personal greed and lust for power are the root cause of the destruction of every religion. It has vanished the basic meaning of religion and turned it completely into a tool of the powerful.”

6. The Dinosaur Denial

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Numerous people admit that the idea of creationism is why they turned their backs. One elaborates, “Thinking that the earth is only a few thousand years old and that dinosaurs don’t exist.”

7. The Burning of Books

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Burning books because there are deemed inappropriate makes the internet’s list of reasons religion was ruined for them. An irate forum member clarifies, “When the book they teach their kids has: genocide, murder, enslaved people, and more crimes. But heaven forbid a child wants to read a detective book.”

When I worked in a Christian book store, there was a book called Harry Potter and the Bible: The Menace Behind the Magick. The title has stayed with me. I never read it, but I’ve also never read Harry Potter.

8. The Convergence Camps

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Convergence camps are where parents of gay teens send their kids to pray the gay away. The Christian ministries try eliminating gayness because they think it’s unnatural and sinful. Convergence Camps are also referred to as reparative therapy. Many people have come forward with allegations of abusive practices that go on behind closed doors.

9. The Hypocrisy of Christians

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Countless individuals note the hypocrisy of the church and its members as their reason for turning their backs on religion. I recently saw a Facebook reel of a man preaching and loved his message. Essentially, he said, of course, the church is full of hypocrites. There are people from all different walks of faith in those buildings.

However, you wouldn’t walk into a gym and see a bunch of overweight people and then say you are not going to attend the gym because the overweight people are a bunch of hypocrites. Not everyone will be fit. Everyone starts somewhere. That’s the same as the church. I loved the message and wish I knew the content creator to give him proper credit here.

10. The Mormon Church

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An unprecedented number of former Mormons admit that Mormonism is what ruined religion for them. One elaborates, “The Mormon church believes that after you die, you will be judged on how you did in life: the conservative Mormons at the top, the ‘bad people’ at the bottom through a three-tiered system. There are even tiers within the tiers based on all the ‘milestones’ you completed in life. People like murderers would just be thrown in outer darkness.”

11. The Megachurches

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Going to a megachurch caused one user to give up on religion. He explains that they received over a million dollars in donations every Sunday. However, they did not use the money to do charitable work in the community. Instead, they spent it on making videos and elaborate props.

12. The Starbucks Kiosks at Church

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“There’s a megachurch outside of Tampa with a flipping Starbucks inside!” This user notes they were dumbfounded, and several others in the thread agree. One suggests, “It’s what baby Jesus would have wanted, “before the forum turned quickly to quoting the scene Will Ferrell says grace in Talladega Nights. A quick Google search reveals many megachurches in the south with Starbucks. I had no idea, but the church I used to attend had an espresso stand.

13. The Inappropriate Letter

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A man said when he was six years old, the pastor gave a letter to his aunt to give to his mother, stating that their family was not donating enough money to the church. The man further clarifies that they stopped attending and that he’s never been to church since.

A second person volunteers that their friend’s grandmother shared a similar experience. Her church wrote a letter stating they knew her income and that she was donating enough. Essentially her response was, “screw you. I’m moving to Mexico.” Finally, a third says the pastor was fortunate that she didn’t “go full Martin Luther” by nailing the letter to the church door.”

14. The Religious People

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Only God has the right to judge people. However, one suggests that religious people are the most judgemental people you will ever meet, anybody with a different view of them. I can’t help but think of Piper Laurie as Margaret White in Carrie when I hear the phrase “religious people.” I love many people who attend church, but I’ve met some zealots who are uncomfortable to be around.

15. The Sidewalk Recruiters

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A New Yorker confesses the number of times street preachers and religious recruiters approach her is insane. She specifically calls out the Jehovah’s Witnesses, noting they will engage in a regular conversation at Starbucks for an hour. However, afterward, anytime you revisit the coffee shop, you’re met with the real reason they wanted to converse with you.

“They harass you for years after telling you the truth of why they began speaking to you the next time they see you.” Furthermore, she says Scientologists are the worst at approaching you on sidewalks, in restaurants, at the library, anywhere, “you name it.”

16. The Non-Answers

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“You just have to have faith” was the biggest non-answer to all one man’s questions as a kid. He called this response a foolish way to dismiss a curious mind.

A second commenter admits he asked his grandmother where God came from, and she smacked him across his face stating, “We don’t ask questions like that.” He explains he was genuinely curious and attempting to understand. Still, her reaction shocked him and was the beginning of being turned away.

17. The Church Crowd in the Service World

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Have you heard about the non-tipping church crowd who loves to leave Jesus pamphlets instead? As a result, they turn many people away from the church, and ironically they are left to attempt to invite them to the flock.

One server shares an even crueler Sunday misfortune. Church people leave fake money hanging out of the tip book, exciting the server. It’s usually $20, but I’ve seen a $100. Nonetheless, it’s a Jesus track, not real money, and one of the quickest ways to turn people away from the church. I’ve seen it. Fortunately, I mostly had a good church crowd in my serving days, but I had many unfortunate experiences too.

18. The Religious Leaders

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“Jesus did not like religious leaders either, so we have that in common.” This user notes that the Bible discusses religious leaders being the issue, and here we are again. Another asks why there isn’t a religious leader who tells everyone they can have a direct relationship with God.

Before one explains, it would cut out the middleman. Embracing prayer and talking to God directly is the best spiritual thing you can do for yourself. Also, are we throwing televangelists in here, too? Because, yeah, Kenneth Copeland is full-on terrifying. His eyes are very telling when he’s angry.

19. The Mistreatment of Women

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A woman states that she turned away from religion after her pastor ranted about the evils of women, saying that “Satan walks among us in the body of every female and men must take measures against them.” Others agree that women are less than in most churches and all religions.

Another woman shares, “I wanted to be a pastor. I wanted to be just like my great-grandfather. I was told, in no uncertain terms, that the “best” I could do was be a pastor’s wife. Simply because I am a woman.” Just want to throw out there that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has women and LGBTQIA+ pastors.

20. The Treatment of Homeless People

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A former churchgoer admits his final straw was his church asking a homeless man to leave and not come back. He sat and listened to the sermons without bothering anyone and always sat in the back. This commenter says they confronted the youth group leader, and she defended the preacher.

Additionally, the fact that so many “Christians” are more concerned about moving tent cities out of their towns for the sake of their property value instead of helping to figure out a way to house them doesn’t sit well with many.

21. The Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA)

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A Northern Irelander confesses religion was ruined for them when they discovered clergy on both sides were “diddling kids, including selling access to them to wealthy pedos.” Additionally, she learned the Catholic Church ran women’s homes “where they kidnapped babies, sold the ones that didn’t die, and used their mothers as forced labor.”

Childhood sexual abuse dominated the thread as the reason that ruined religion. Unfortunately, it’s an all too familiar story that predators end up in positions of power too often.

22. The Belief That Only One Religion Is Correct

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There are multiple religions, but being taught that only ONE is correct made this user turn away. Numerous others stood by this reasoning, stating there are thousands of religions before one said, “I’m a Hindu, and within Hinduism, we have 330 million Gods here to choose from.”

23. The Breaking the Bad News About Santa

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A mother told one man that Santa wasn’t real by asking, “Do you REALLY believe that there is a magic man that files to all the houses worldwide in one night on a sleigh?” He admits he was always skeptical anyways. However, that solidified it, causing him to wonder at what age she would tell him that God isn’t real.

24. The Moral Superiority

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Have you met religious people who act morally superior? For example, someone says they believe holy people tell you they are religious to “feel morally superior to others around them as a means of attempting to control everything they can.” I’ve definitely met a few people like this. But I’ve been blessed in meeting many sincere and loving religious people too.

25. The Claim There’s No Doggy Heaven

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Finally, as a kid, this user confesses to someone explaining that his dog that had just died wouldn’t be in heaven and he’d never see him again. Do you want to know why? “Because dogs can’t accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior -Pretty much done with it after that.”

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Is there anything that you acknowledge ad normal but society has unbelievably demonized? You’re not alone. Recently, someone asked a popular internet forum for examples. Here is what they had to say. Do you agree?

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In your opinion, which profession attracts the worst kinds of people? I’ll go first and say sales. Good Lord. I was the manager of a cell phone store, and it’s cutthroat, and why I didn’t make it. It was my first and only time working for a commission, and I was dumbfounded at what people would do to make a sale.

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While scrolling about minding my own business, I encountered a question that piqued my female curiosity. Someone asked the men in a popular online community what’s the most unattractive thing a woman can do. Here are some of their honest responses. Do you agree?

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Source: Reddit.

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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and Jesus.