One of my coworkers took me out to lunch last week as a goodbye. Despite being a very serious Christian (he’s leaving to Papua New Guinea to be a missionary in about a year), he was one of my favourite coworkers. He never made me feel like I was wrong for being who I am, and in fact, never expressed an opinion about it at all, other than live and let live (which is his life motto, essentially).
We had a conversation about faith–he was very interested, since from things I had said, he knew I’d been to both bible college and seminary, not to mention he had seen my Christian tattoo on my forearm. It was a good talk, actually. But it did lead me to say what I’ve thought for some time now: that I didn’t leave my faith so much as was kicked out. I was never welcome, for a progressive list of reasons–being a woman, being a feminist, being single, being gay (although, being gay makes being single better, so they can pretend I’m not having gay sex).
But as much as I tried to be part of the church, I couldn’t find my place. And nothing about me fit in. I tried, I tried so hard. I eventually gave up. I mean, why be part of a religion that doesn’t even want you?
To be honest, that’s as much as I have given thought to questions of faith. Someday, I need to give it more, really think about where I sit, other than on the outside.
3 thoughts on “questions of faith”
I’m happy you left your religion. It’s just toxic and makes no sense to be part of something that hates who you are, so good for you!
I was wondering, though, if your friend really wants to love and let live. Being a missionary is essentially proselytizing, which is the exact opposite of that…
I went from Roman Catholic to Episcopal, where they accept us in the US. I also edited the first two books of my advisor at Episcopal Divinity School. Patrick Cheng’s first book is Radical Love and it talks about the essential queerness of Jesus and his ministry. Worth a look.
I feel the same way. I am a craddle Catholic who attended Catholic school within the confines of a very Catholic family. I always feel the urge to wander back and try… but essentially in the nicest way possible a more progressive priest in a liberal area implied I should just giveup and look elsewhere.
I’m sorry for your lack of acceptance and feeling pushed out.