We are born innocent. But then many of us are told we’re born guilty – accountable to some choice we didn’t make, but should definitely suffer for anyway. That framework of belief weighs heavily on Christians. Those of us raised in religious environments grew up exposed to this idea of a universal condemnation, where the only way out seemed to be when the proper formulas were adhered to: the right boxes checked and the right beliefs claimed. Arbitrary technicalities of escape to match the arbitrary judgment... All of it lacking humanity and compassion.
When you grow up believing you deserve eternal torment in some far off place, it becomes easier to stomach abuse at a more near and intimate level. Or at least, it's harder to believe you deserve anything better. Certainly harder to demand anything better. A steady diet of guilt and shame sets us up to endure great abuse while attempting to rationalize to ourselves how or why we’re being hurt.
Christian institutions in the church and the home are rife with abuse because so much of what they promote serves to enable abusers and silence the abused. So there’s something especially beautiful about human strength and dignity in the face of all that. Defying that world and its destructive assumptions, and reclaiming one's original innocence.
ABOUT THE AIRING OF GRIEF:
The Airing of Grief is a podcast featuring conversations and correspondence about spiritual de- and reconstruction.
There are some great podcasts in production which tackle specific church and theology-related issues at the core of any given episode. And while many such issues arise in our calls and written correspondence, The Airing of Grief itself is not an issues-driven podcast. Instead, our particular focus is the human experience. We look for conversation more than interview, and our themes are derived from the personal stories and perspectives shared by our guests.
Our ultimate aim is the re-congregating of those who might otherwise feel disenfranchised, cut off, or alone. In processing experiences of religion and spirituality, we hope to learn that we all remain connected, and that there is a strange new community of others who are rooting for us, celebrating us, and sharing the burden of our stories. Regardless of where anyone might land on the spectrum of belief and faith, we recognize a common bond forged in our seasons of pain and disillusionment. As the old saying goes, “A joy shared is doubled, and a grief shared is halved.”
And our desire is to craft a safe place for that. We hope to cultivate real estate for the resonance and empathy which is found when we have the opportunity to invest in one another’s experience. There is empowerment in speaking the truth of our stories – not only for those sharing, but those listening as well.