If you had asked me 8-12 months ago about my faith, I would have said I was a liberal Christian. Being a liberal Christian made me happy, my faith brought me joy and peace and serenity. Then I started being attacked by two groups, two groups, ironically who are diametrically opposed when it comes to faith. I was attacked and bullied by fundamentalists and atheists.
Liberal Christians are under almost constant attack from the far right. We’re told we are going to hell because we support a woman’s right to choose, we believe in evolution and marriage equality and we don’t see the poor as “toe fungus.” I’ve had far right Christians inform me that my son should be taken away from me, I should be killed and that people like me are why God doesn’t protect America anymore. People like me were responsible for 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina. I’ve been called a bitch, a traitor, a Satanist, a heathen, a fag lover, a dyke (much to the amusement of my husband), a baby killer and evil.
As the attacks from the far right became more violent and more hateful, I really started listening to what people like Pat Robertson and Bryan Fischer and Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum and Paul Ryan and the rest of them were saying. And I realized that I didn’t want anything to do with their God. That God was not the God I learned about in school or heard about at church. This was a totally unfamiliar deity, and I did not care for Him at all. Fundamentalists began pushing me off my path.
Earlier this year, I wrote an article for Mad Mike’s entitled “Why I believe in God.” There were five comments, three of which were supportive, one was correcting a typo, and then there was this:
You’re about 3/4 of the way to sanity. If you were born in Saudi Arabia, would you believe in Jesus? No! If you were born in India, would you be a Christian? No! If you were born in China, Israel, Sweden….Not likely. You believe what you do, only because you’ve been indoctrinated into that culture, not because it’s true. With over 3000 denominations of Christianity all fighting amongst themselves as to how to interpret their bible, don’t you wonder why your Jesus never wrote anything and supposedly had others write for him decades after his death. Do you really believe people can come back to life and that zombies arose during the resurrection? Do you really want to worship a sky-father who imposes evil and suffering on innocents? Over 30,000 children a day die from dehydration and starvation. You can’t be so self-centred and arrogant about being special and Jesus/God watching over just you at any particular time. Cognitive dissonance must abound within your mind. But, thanks for being so honest and straightforward about your beliefs. I HOPE your light keeps getting brighter and your vision clearer as you mature and become more enlightened about the world of reality. Take Care!
I’m self-centered. I suffer from cognitive dissonance because I have witnessed actual miracles, which I write about in the article. I’m arrogant because I believe in God. So, on one side, we have right wing Christians insulting me because I am a liberal Christian, and on the other side, we have atheists telling me I’m self-centered and arrogant. Atheists have also called me weak, ignorant, stupid and childish. I’ve had one atheist suggest that believing in God and going to church will lead me to join the Tea Party. He was “joking,” but in that charming, passive aggressive way that makes me want to scream. I heard from more atheists on Facebook and allowed their bullying to push me further from the path of my faith until I believed I was an agnostic.
Last Friday, I was looking through our little local newspaper and I came upon an ad placed by our local Episcopal church. They were showing “For the Bible Tells Me So,” a powerful documentary about the way fundamentalists treat the LGBT community. I froze. A church in this town was showing a film that did not demonize gay people, did not compare them to Satan, did not falsely link them to pedophilia and supports marriage equality. And I remembered why I AM a liberal Christian.
I will not kowtow to anyone. If you’re an atheist and you think I’m stupid or weak or arrogant, whatever. If you’re a right winger and you think I’m evil and a baby killer, whatever. Having faith makes me happy, believing in God brings me joy and peace. If standing up to bullies on either side of this issue causes people to stop reading my articles, fine. If a few atheists and quite a few fundamentalists are going to attack me, go right ahead. It’s tough to tell teenagers to stand up to their bullies if I can’t even stand up to mine.