How do I tell them?

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I feel as if I have no place in mainstream fundamentalist faith/church anymore.

My beliefs, my gender, my questions, my doubts, my different ideas are unwelcome are deemed “heretical.” Possible options for me now: I’ve gone off the deep end. I’m “lost.” I’m no longer a Christian. I’m essentially a heretic. I’m a liberal (period). I bought into what secular society is selling. I’ve lost my way. I’m worldly. I’m letting the world change me. I’m becoming “of the world.” I’m screwed.

How do I even begin to break the ice on the concept of who God is to me now? And not just the concept but the feeling.

Damn. I miss that feeling.

That one where you’re held. Where you feel like you just know.

The one where God and Jesus make sense and all you have to do is tune into the divine and you’re emotionally recharged.

The one where the worship songs make you feel something. Make you feel connected.

The one where you’re excited to sing and pray and be taught.

Just being sure. Having a constant. Knowing who God is, knowing your place in church.

I’m tired. I’m tired of fighting the institutions, of asking questions and getting back answers that confirm what I feared was true. Of hearing lies and inequality and fear being taught. Of having all of it be bigger than me and feeling helpless in fighting back, in being a strong voice that offers a different opinion.

I think the thing that scares me the most, or that makes me the most anxious, is actually being asked or talking about all these changes, especially with my family or with someone who seems to be full force on the path I used to be on.

People who know what they know, ya know?

How do I tell them I don’t believe it’s a sin to be in a same-sex relationship (not in spite of the Bible, but because of it)?

How do I tell them I think gender is fluid, dynamic, and on a spectrum?

How do I tell them I affirm all queer people, included people who are transgender and want to have surgeries or simply identify differently than their sex?

How do I tell them I believe women should be leading in church? That there should be female deacons and elders and ushers?

How do I tell them I don’t believe women should have different but “equal” roles in marriage?

How do I tell them I think Islam is the same path to God?

How do I tell them that God is not Male? That God can be imagined as female?

How do I tell them I don’t know what salvation is anymore?

How do I tell them I don’t know if I believe in hell anymore?

How do I tell them I don’t know if substitutionary atonement is what I believe about the cross?

How do I tell them?

It’s a complete 180 from what I’m supposed to believe. How do you explain a complete switch, a complete flip-flopping of your beliefs?

They’ll think I’ve accepted too many worldly ideals for myself. But ya know, maybe that’s exactly what’s happened. Maybe instead of sexism, racism, homophobia, and blind faith, I’ve embraced equality, reason, and acceptance and love for all people.

If that makes me cracked, heretical, a lost soul, then so be it.

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In Honor of Women’s Equality Day

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Favorite excerpt from my Feminist Theory text;

Women are told from their infancy, and taught by the example of their mothers, that a little knowledge of human weakness, justly termed cunning, softness of temper, outward obedience, and a scrupulous attention to a puerile kind of propriety, will obtain of them the protection of man; and should they be beautiful, everything else is needless, for, at least, twenty years of their lives.

-Mary Wollstonecraft, From A Vindication of the Rights of Women

Church?

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It’s no secret that “the Church” is against LGBTQ people.

I’m surprised at how repulsed and angry and resentful I am toward Christianity and “Christians” for living in ignorance and fear of these people who are simply different from them.

My view, I feel, is unique, because although I am unsure of where I stand entirely in regard to LGBTQ marriage and relationships at this point, I feel very strongly that the stigma we have placed around them and the feelings and ideas we have preached have allowed us to rule them unworthy, even as “abominations” to God.

I feel my view, and my dialogue on these issues is unique, in that, I have GROWN UP in communities- school, church, family, that are the living, breathing, walking embodiment of the “gay people are bad” idea that is promoted by “Christians.” I have grown up being taught that, in school if you are gay- you’re out. People think it’s a choice. I say, BULLSHIT. Stop being ignorant people. You think people want to be hated on? Called fags? Abominations? Be persecuted and tortured and threatened?

If Jesus were still walking this Earth, I’d like to think that he would be THE Ally and friend to the LGBTQ community, that he would break that stigma and stereotype and BE with them. SEE them. Treat them with the equality and respect they deserve.

I am embarrassed and so frustrated that I am associated with this Christian culture that is SO HORRIBLE to the LGBTQ community.

In regard to church and inequality, when you do find a good church that you like, THERE IS RARELY EQUALITY FOR WOMEN THERE. No women pastors, no women elders. It’s like I’m forced to compromise my gender for my religion. The only thing held against me is my gender. AND I CANNOT CONTROL THAT. Yet, the blatant lack of equality is unavoidable in every church I’ve been in.

AND I AM SO DAMN SICK OF IT.

Jesus, give me courage to raise hell while I’m here, and patience while we wait for things to be made right.

I’m tired of injustice. I’m tired of inequality. I’m tired of feeling inferior, like my voice does not matter. I’m sad and broken for the people who are not accepted in the church. For the people that are discriminated against for their gender, race, sexual orientation. In short, I’m mad. I’m bitter. I’m tired. I’m frustrated.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done,

ON EARTH, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.

We Can Fight.

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Hey peeps,

I just had a small epiphany while watching the new Insurgent trailer. Hang with me while I explain:

As a whole, movies show and tell me that men are the ones who fight and fight back.

And women are the ones they are fighting back for. Women watch while men fight.

We, as women, have this idea that we get to be waited on, that we will be protected, and that we don’t and won’t have to fight, and to that I say: BULLSHIT.

Woman CAN fight. We just don’t see it; we aren’t exposed to the idea. So, when I see the Insurgent trailer, where Tris is fighting back, using her strength, and doing what we see men do in the movies all the time, I feel empowered.

I feel empowered, because I am shown that men are not the only ones that can be strong and fight.

We can too.

So my plea is, stop waiting for a guy to fight for you, to protect you. YOU are capable. We may not see it all the time, but it is a reality. Be capable, be strong, and be a woman.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZAMx1uPlGA