Neuroqueering religion and the liberation of human spirituality
When considering normative violence and the oppression of marginalised people, there are no greater perpetrators than the Christian Church. Allow me to put this in perspective. My mother is a priest, I was raised devoutly Christian, and until my mid-twenties, I had a strong relationship with the Christian idea of God. Sadly, my step away from Christianity was an inevitability. I had never understood their disdain for other cultures, religions, and gender and sexual identities. As a person who had never fit in, the exclusionary doctrine of the church felt very alienating for me.
Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, who is platformed as the Son of God in Christianity. Through western, colonial, misappropriation of his teachings, eurocentric cultures have come to view Jesus as a passive, meek, and mild-mannered man. The idea of “love thy neighbour” is displayed as a call for passive acceptance of the world, rather than the fight to liberate all humans from what was, and still is, an oppressive system of normative bias.
Christians don’t like it when you point out that Jesus was a man who flipped tables and casually intervened in public executions.
So how does this fit into neuroqueering?
Neuroqueer theory teaches us that it is possible to subvert normative cultural standards. In the case of Christianity, those standards are passive indifference or overt displays of bigotry. For me, this cannot be allowed.
If I believe in any God, it is a God who created us all equal. Read that again. They created us ALL equal. That is if there was any intentionality in our existence before.
Since all religion is socially constructed, arising from human perception of what they believe to be the word of God, or Gods, this means that there is no invalid form of spirituality. There should be no one-size-fits-all approach to how we practice that spirituality.
Take the bits that work for you. Combine them and shape them. Mould them. If you want to be a Christian who celebrates Samhain and Solstice, go for it. Perhaps you have your own entirely unique spirituality? That’s fine, too. Build a spirituality that works for you without hurting others. Do as ye will, an it harm none. Explore culture and faith. Break free of the constraints of organised religion. Enter a world where humans can express and body their spiritual lives in infinite ways.
This is vital. If we are going to liberate the oppressed from the systemic violence of a normative world, all parts of human culture must be liberated. While any single one of us, while any aspect of our lives, is imprisoned by normativity, none of us are free. Allow your mind to explore itself. Embrace the Chaotic Self, and parlé your spirit into physical form through exploration and expression of your unique mind.
There are infinite variations of the human mind, meaning that there are infinite versions of human spirituality. Any attempt to confine us into a prefabricated spiritual reality is a terrible thing.
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