As you might have figured out, my name is Bjarke Raabjerg and this is my home on the web.
I’m a Dane and grew up in an Evangelical Lutheran Christian home, where as a child I went to Sunday school in the Church of Denmark1. Through Church of Denmark, Inner Mission2 and the Danish lutheran schools that I went to throughout my childhood, among other things, I learned to not believe in myself, that I have a dirty heart that I can’t do anything about on my own, that I’m not enough in myself, to always place my own needs last3, that to live without Jesus, is like trying to live without air – you get suffocated, that my body doesn’t belong to me but to God, and much more in the same direction. Many of these belong to the foundation of Evangelical-Lutheran ideology and can’t be removed from the ideology and theology, because then it’s no longer Evangelical-Lutheran Christianity – or if we zoom out a little, Protestant Christianity.4.
After close to 4 decades in the clutches of Protestant Christianity and the low self confidence, fear, anxiety, shame and trauma, that is the consequence of real genuine Protestant Christianity, in the summer of 2017, I ended up in a situation where I could do nothing but conclude that the Protestant god, as a minimum, is either extremely narcissistic and manipulative (not good), extremely ignorant about, among other things, human psychology and sexuality (not all knowing), or doesn’t exist.
The choice for me, therefore, now stood between the Protestant god on the one hand, and myself, compassion and humanism on the other. Despite the threat of, and a shaking fear of, God’s wrath and hell, I couldn’t in good conscience do anything but choose myself and other people.
In April 2018, I opted out of my membership in the Danish National Church (the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark) because I couldn’t, with a clear conscience, stay. The human costs of Evangelical Lutheran Christianity, Danish Christian culture and the Danish National Church, are simply far too high.
Today I’m an atheist and a humanist and try, as far as it is possible for me, to heal from Evangelical Lutheran Christianity, and the religious traumas it has given me – not at least psychologically and sexually.
We humans have many different sides and our ways of being and acting are always to some degree based on the environments and the situations we are in. Most aspects of human behavior and experience are biopsychosocial5
The above is therefore, of course, also just one of many sides of who I am today.
Of other labels I use about myself today, are among others: Introvert (INFP), Solo Poly6, Relationship anarchist7, Sex nerd, Gamer, Freethinker, IT expert and Rock & Metal fan (but I also listen to other genres when I want to)8. We’ll probably get into some of these labels and what they mean to me, elsewhere on my website.
I have experienced people who think that they have figured me out or have the right to try to change who I am (which is a form of abuse), sometimes after only having known me for a very short time. They are wrong. They have only just touched the surface – especially if they have only interacted with me in a group setting or in a situation where I haven’t felt safe, e.g. because of the power dynamics in that situation.
We are experts on our own lives, but none of us are experts on the lives of others.
Assume nothing, especially about other human beings.
Question everything, especially within your own faith and culture.
You are your own!9
- The lutheran order is: God, other people, yourself last, because you are already given everything you need, through Jesus. Therefore, you must now sacrifice yourself to other people like a Christ, just as Jesus sacrificed himself for you. See the last part of Martin Luther, The Freedom of a Christian
- I write about the dark toxic side of protestant christianity and the Church of Denmark, under the menu item “Toxic Faith”
- “As we saw when we explored sex and gender earlier, most aspects of human experiences are actually biopsychosocial: a long word which means that they involve our biology, our psychology, and the social world around us, with all of those things influencing each other in complex feedback loops making it impossible to tease apart each element or the direction of any cause-effect relationships.” Meg-John Barker, The Psychology of Sex
- See https://solopoly.net/2014/12/05/what-is-solo-polyamory-my-take/
and Amy Gahran, Stepping Off the Relationship Escalator, chapter 13
- This phrase is also the title of a book, written by Jamie Lee Finch (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52494101-you-are-your-own) and has also been used in other places, e.g. in connection with The Life After Podcast.
It’s a phrase that is the direct opposite of Protestant belief (incl. within the Danish National Church). A belief that for many of us who grew up in Protestant Christianity, now sits in our bodies as a form of trauma:
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; [emphasis added] you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, ESV