Who’s the Pillar of Salt Here?

Imagine yourself a teen or young adult church member in America, but you have doubts.

What happens when you express them? 

At Christianity Today, Drew Dyke, the author of Generation Ex-Christian (Moody), shares his disturbing interview discoveries: 

Almost to a person, the leavers [of Christianity] with whom I spoke recalled that, before leaving the faith, they were regularly shut down when they expressed doubts. Some were ridiculed in front of peers for asking “insolent questions.” Others reported receiving trite answers to vexing questions and being scolded for not accepting them. One was slapped across the face, literally.

At the 2008 American Sociological Association meeting, scholars from the University of Connecticut and Oregon State University reported that “the most frequently mentioned role of Christians in de-conversion was in amplifying existing doubt.” De-converts reported “sharing their burgeoning doubts with a Christian friend or family member only to receive trite, unhelpful answers.”

Trite, unhelpful answers. De-converts must be talking about having the apologetic books of authors like Josh McDowell and Lee Strobel pressed into their hands.

Or perhaps they’re simply told that they’re going to hell.

Or maybe they’re reminded of what happened to Lot’s wife, who feigned to look back after leaving Sodom.

Do you want to be turned into a pillar of salt?

Here’s my retort (as a poem in the voice of Lot’s wife speaking to her husband): 

I am the salty sea

your once

amphibious

daughters

called home,

and all my vital organs

are here,

in Sodom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       .

Mother, memories, my heart.

They are packed

in this place,

like loaves

in a crowded cabinet

of bone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         .

And you, you say

you won’t

look back?

Are you stone,

something cold?

A pillar of salt?

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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