Carolyn Hyppolite used to be a conservative Catholic when she began hearing voices in her head — voices of reason — telling her that Church doctrine just didn’t make sense. She especially had a hard time reconciling the violence and misogyny in the Bible with her own moral compass. Eventually, those small voices began to get louder until she realized she had no choice but to leave the faith for good.
Hyppolite’s book documenting her journey is called Still Small Voices: The Testimony of a Born Again Atheist and an excerpt from that book is below:
[Imagine] if you were about to be hit by a car and someone jumped in the middle of traffic, pushed you out of the way and saved your life. In the process of doing this, the person was hit by the vehicle and suffered great injury. The injury resulting from the car accident was so serious that the person in question was in a [coma] for three days. The doctors were certain that he would die and all his loved ones were mourning. However, quite unexpectedly, the hero recovers.
Once you hear that the man who saved your life has recovered, you run into the hospital room and thank him. You express how incredibly grateful you are for the sacrifice made on your behalf and ask if there is anything you can do to repay your benefactor. He responds as a matter of fact, there are few things. You discover that the man who saved your life is a world famous psychotherapist who has written a popular book on how to live a good life. He now insists that you read this book regularly and live according to its prescriptions. The heroic psychologist goes on to tell you that it is unwise for you to make any decisions without consulting him. You should seek his counsel in everything you do. If for example, you wish to marry, you should call him and discuss the matter; by the way, he will not approve of any matrimony with someone who does not also read his book and follows its instructions.
At this point, you might be thinking your benefactor to be rather demanding and you may be wishing that you were now dead instead of in his debt. But wait there is more! The man now goes on to tell you that he has saved the lives of many people and moreover, there are many fans of his popular book. A Facebook fan page has been created in his honor and he wishes for you to go to the fan page every day and post a positive message about him. There is still more. Fan clubs have been created in his honor and you should attend their weekly meetings in which they discuss his book and sing songs about how great he is. One more thing. He has left a few people in charge of his fan clubs. These fan club presidents are very competitive and constantly accuse each other of being pseudo-fan clubs. He does not actually care which fan club you join but it is very important that you are regularly faithful in celebrating him and that you follow the book he has left. If you fail to do these things, he will have no choice but to have you killed.
You now realize that the gift of your life has indeed been bought at a great price but not to your benefactor, who doctors say will be as good a new in no time, but to yourself. In saving your life, this man has placed a great burden of lifelong servitude upon you. You now realize that your life was not spared for your sake but so that your benefactor could gratify his desire for endless praise and unquestioning obedience. Not such a great gift, is it?
The saying that Jesus “died for our sins” has never made sense to me. If God sent him here to die, knowing he would rise again days later, it’s not really much of a sacrifice, is it?
Still Small Voices is now available via Amazon.