I’m writing to let you in on a secret, and a book, both of which I hope you’ll pass on to every woman you know and to every future female brought into this world. The secret has been kept for centuries and used to keep you oppressed, not only by misogynistic men, but also by yourselves. Once you know the secret, you can free yourself. If you share it with other females, you can free them, too. Are you ready?
The secret is, Christianity was never about God; it’s about you. To be blunt, it’s about controlling you. And since I’m also a woman, it’s about controlling me, too. The oppression American women still deal with every day did not stem from us being created by a god to be unequal to, and less important than, men, although Christians would have you believe that is the case. Rather, these inequities stem directly from the men who viewed women as “less-than” themselves and made up Christianity. Simply put: the entire invention of Christianity was nothing more than gaslighting.
A long time ago, these men wrote the Bible and made up an omnipresent, all-knowing, eternal god that people can’t see or hear because that’s scarier than a human being. If a woman doesn’t want to obey a human man, she can get out of it by moving away to the next town or murdering him. In other words, if he’s not around, she doesn’t have to follow his rules. So, these men made up someone who would always be around (omnipresent), even after we die (eternal), and claimed that everything they wanted her to do or not do (all the instructions) actually came from him (“God”). They convinced her that God was always around, even when these men weren’t, so she always had to follow God’s rules.
Women are typically smaller in stature and often less physically strong than males, so an incentive to obey men (for physical safety) already existed. Fearing that if they didn’t follow the rules, they would be punished both in this life (by men) and after they died (by God), the women started to obey. But the truth is, the Christian god was never going to punish those women for disobeying the rules of the Bible, nor is he going to punish us for doing the same. This is because they’re not his rules. They’re not his rules, because he’s not real. A Christian man may punish us for not following the rules of the Bible, or you may punish yourself, but that’s all.
How do I know that the rules in the Bible reflect nothing more than the desires of the men who wrote it to control everything and everyone - especially their desire to control us? Simple; I started reading it. If you read the Bible, you, too, will see that the book was written by someone who deeply dislikes women, rather than by an all-loving heavenly creator. The rules that men wrote in the Bible led directly to the rape culture, pay gap, sexual harassment, restricted access to abortion and birth control, and imposter syndrome that continue to poison the lives of females in America today. You can tell that men wrote and loosely interpreted the rules because no woman in her right mind would write and follow directives that she, herself, should conceive as many children as possible; birth all children she conceives (even if she’s raped); be prohibited from speaking while men are not; control grown men’s sexual urges; and be stoned to death for having sex with a man but refusing to marry him. Following the first rule would be extremely, physically painful and unwise; the second, psychologically traumatic; the third, demeaning; the fourth, impossible; and the fifth, a denial of her own survival instincts as a mammal. Coincidentally, only some of those rules are written in the Bible, yet Christian churches preach varied interpretations of most, if not all, of them. So, if you read the Bible you will also see that some of the Christian values according to which people live their lives and choose their political candidates are not even in the book. You can also tell that a loving god didn’t write the rules because whoever wrote them clearly did not even like women. If that god doesn’t like women, he certainly doesn’t love them and want to “save” them, contrary to what Christians would have you believe.
If you’re like most people, you don’t want to read the Bible, regardless of whether it’s to learn how to live your life or, as I’m suggesting, to see how it was designed to control you. You probably don’t want to read it for good reason - it’s incredibly long and rather boring. But here’s another secret.....the men who wrote it made it long on purpose, because they were counting on you NOT to read it. They were counting on you going to church every Sunday for the Cliff’s Notes. In the Cliff’s Notes version, other men can cherry pick the passages they want to use to manipulate your perspectives (a.k.a. gaslighting) and share them with you.
If you don’t want to read the Bible, you can read the much shorter book, STATUS QUON’T: A WOMAN’S PERSPECTIVE ON HOW CHRISTIANITY WAS NEVER ABOUT GOD. This is the book I mentioned that I’m hoping you’ll pass on to the other females in your lives and your future daughters. It’s written by a cheeky, female millennial, complete with listicles, sarcastic rhetorical questions, and hashtags. Unlike the Bible, it’ll make you laugh. It’s also only 225 pages in length – you could finish it on a plane ride or a beach vacation. In addition to tying feminist topics, such as dress codes and slut-shaming, to their origins in religion, it contains truly crazy quotes, straight out of the Bible, that you’ve likely never heard in church. STATUS QUON’T will not tell you what you’re doing wrong and what you need to do instead, unlike the Bible or a self-help book. As a woman who is tired of hearing men constantly telling us what to do, I wanted to write a book that tells you, woman to woman, to think for yourself, trust your gut feelings, and answer your own questions. You know what’s best for you better than I do, and you certainly know it better than a man preaching from a podium in a church.
I hope you’re starting to see that the Christian church is not a safe place for us. If I could, I would sit next to each of you in church and, like any closing bartender, tell you, “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here”. Perhaps you’ve known for a while that you need to leave the Christian church, but you’ve stayed put because you don’t know where to go next. Maybe you already don’t believe in the Christian god, but you’re not entirely certain that no god exists, whatsoever. Maybe you’re convinced no god exists but have your doubts about having evolved from apes. What you’re now dealing with is a conundrum of status quo, or widespread groupthink about the answers to life’s questions.
You don’t have to drop one status quo and adopt another. Rather, I encourage you to embrace a status quon’t, which I define as an ever-evolving state of critical thought and personalized beliefs. What I mean is, it’s okay to know what you need to leave (Christianity) without knowing where you’re going next. It’s also okay to form your own, individualized beliefs, rather than abandoning one commonly shared belief for another. You can leave the Christian church without jumping straight into atheism and immediately adopting the theory of evolution as your own. I don’t care if you visualize a god that no one has ever thought of or spoken of and believe that she created the Earth and everything on it and then promptly died; I simply care that you leave the Christian church and fight against its oppressive teachings. My right to make choices about my own body is at stake the longer you believe in the Christian god and stay in church, as is yours. Regardless of where you’re going, it’s time to leave now.
The goal of STATUS QUON’T is not to move my readers from a current “incorrect” shared belief (e.g. in the Christian god) to a “correct” shared belief (e.g. lack of belief in any gods). I acknowledge that there is no single belief that could be universally comforting. I don’t want to lead you toward something else, I simply want to lead you away from something that is harmful to you (Christianity). I also know that if we each crafted our own, original beliefs, we would not visualize the same image of a loving god or universal force, if we even visualized one at all. Personally, I sometimes get the feeling there is, or was, something out there beyond us, but I have no doubt that it’s not the god that was described in the Bible. Rather than attempting to explain what that “something” is, STATUS QUON’T encourages us to embrace the uncertainty until we have reliable information. We don’t all need to answer life’s questions the same way to be at peace. They are essay questions, not multiple choice. The variety of solutions is as great as the variety of our problems, so I hope you read my book and it prompts you to think of, or find, your solutions, not mine.
All the best,
About the Author
Katilyn Pulcher grew up in a Baptist family in Missouri and became an atheist in her mid-twenties when a close relative became an alcoholic. No amount of prayer improved the situation, so Katilyn decided no one must be listening to those prayers and, thus, that God didn't exist. At first, she upheld the status quo and attempted to work a twelve-step program for family members of alcoholics, but she found it challenging without a belief in a higher power. Failing to have found peace and the answers to all of life’s questions in either the Bible or the twelve-step literature, she wrote her own book that will encourage you to think, rather than tell you want to do.