What is Faith Deconstruction?

faith deconstruction religious programming May 22, 2022

What IS Faith Deconstruction? 

The term faith deconstruction simply means to inspect and dissect one's religious beliefs they were raised with/conditioned in. The intention behind this is to throw out what feels unhelpful and unnecessary and move forward with a new structure in place, however that looks for the individual. This is a very unique experience for each person with varying reasons as to 1). Why one would begin this process, and 2) What the end goal looks like.  

Why Do People Faith Deconstruct?

There are many reasons why someone would choose to carefully inspect their religion and begin the process of deconstructing (and do note that all are valid!). The following are (though not limited to) the reasons why some of our clients have chosen to do so:

  1. Looking into Church history (the creation of the Bible/sacred texts, hidden facts, etc)
  2. Endured actual trauma/abuse by spiritual leaders 
  3. Told their sexuality was bad
  4. Inconsistencies (within the Bible/sacred texts, beliefs not adding up, hypocrisy)
  5. 2020 (we saw a BIG shift in deconstruction that began during this tumultuous time for some)
  6. Tired of feeling less than (as a woman, as a sinner, etc)
  7. Because they wanted to

Is There an End Goal to Faith Deconstruction?

There is no arrival point that you will come to that will allow you to know that you've "arrived." Really, the sacred act of faith deconstruction is personal and is meant to give you a sense of deep empowerment with choosing for yourself (something religion never gave you).

For some, you will keep some sort of belief system in place. You might change traditions or denominations, keeping the core tenets of your faith. For others, you will reject it all completely and walk away from any form of systematic set of beliefs (we call this "deconversion"). It really is a unique experience that is determined by:

  • Your values/what's important to you
  • What you want to keep
  • What you are comfortable with

Is Faith Deconstruction Just a "Fad"?

Maybe having the term and hashtag "deconstruction" is relatively new but re-examining your faith and beliefs is definitely NOT a new concept. As long as there has been religion, there have been people constantly sifting through their own beliefs. The truth is, religious beliefs aren't the only thing people deconstruct. In fact, we are all constantly deconstructing all sorts of things, not just faith. Things like:

  • Family conditioning
  • Societal norms 
  • Gender expectations
  • Values

...and the list goes on. So while it is guaranteed that you will go through many reiterations of deconstruction in your life, maybe it's less about the term and more about learning how to sit with yourself when life feels uncomfortable and uncertain

If you are currently deconstructing a belief system that you once dearly loved/were ingrained in, we want you to know that we get it. This is not an easy path! You're very courageous to pick apart what you were engrained in and choose to really dissect it. What we want you to know this:

  1. You are very NORMAL for experiencing a wide variety of emotions (read more here) This is to be expected!
  2. Be aware that you're dealing with some deep conditioning from religion.

If you need any support, remember we are trained for this, have been through our own deconstruction 17 years ago, and are here to hold space for you. 



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