I am struggling to keep my religion. I have come to a place where I realize that what I have been taught and given as a child is in fact only a religion. It is not Christianity. It is not faith…
And I don’t want it anymore.
I don’t even want to publicly say that I am a Christian. We have become too closely tied to politics, right wing agendas, silly boycotts and drama over cups and “Merry Christmas” and our supposed persecution—as if we could ever possibly understand what being persecuted is. We have made Christianity anti-socialism, anti-liberal, anti-everything that is not white and “good.” We have stripped the bride of her spotless gown and replaced it with an American flag. She is hideous.
I was sitting in my living room the other day. I can’t recall who was sitting in my ugly yellow chair, yet, someone was sitting there and we were speaking of the ridiculousness of gay conversion therapy and how many in Washington want it federally funded. I lost all my chill in that moment. I spat out, “What if it was us? What if it was turned on us and people decided that straight people could and should undergo torturous treatment to make them gay? It is not possible. Nearly everything about the way I am wired and how my hormones interact with my brain and my emotional well being, has made me straight. So, if I came out of this insane process and understood that the only way I would be loved an accepted was to say that it worked—I’m gay now—would I say it worked? Absolutely! And I would continue to live in shame and self-loathing because my loved ones refused to accept me for who and what I am. Who’s fault is it then? Mine? Or there’s?”
I am tired.
I am tired of trying to convince my religious community to STOP! For God’s sake, please stop?! You are destructive. You are stealing joy. You are crushing spirits. You are the reason that many people choose suicide than to walk through your reality.
Dear Lord, please stop.
It’s isn’t just American Christianity’s battle with their views of homosexuality. It is more than that. It is their quick ability to see other religious people as the enemy, even going so far as to demonize them. I once had a pastor at a church I served private message me when he learned I intended to teach my homeschooled children about all religions and customs. I wanted them to understand not only their culture, but the way they worshipped so they would not grow up to think them strange or even scary. But this pastor told me I would be inviting darkness into my home—even went so far as to explain that I could have demonic activity in my home and in my children’s personal thoughts. Because why? Well, obviously, Muslims are evil and live under the influence of Satan himself.
Here’s the thing. I’m done. I quit. I don’t want the fake, pretty things anymore. I want the dirt, and the rough edges. I want the brokenhearted and the homosexuals and the Muslims and the homeless. I want this more than I could ever want a church pew and catchy worship service. I want tears and whispers of “I love you” and “I’m here with you” and “You’re not alone” more than I want claps on beat and hands that are not lifted up before their King that’s “still alive and on His throne.”
I want to be free in Christ. I want to be able to answer “red” when my cousin asks which wine I prefer and not cringe because I just admitted out loud that I drink alcohol. I want to speak what I think and feel and say “piss” is it fits the sentence. I want to tattoo beautiful flowers on my arms because we might one day tarnish God’s beautiful creation with oil and smog and power lines. I want to cry when I see refugees homeless and covered in ash, not be told that they’re potential terrorists that will kill my children in their beds. I want to sit with the woman who aborted her baby for reasons that are personal and all her own, rather than stand on the side of the road with tape over my mouth and signs of condemnation that save NO lives.
And for goodness sakes, this might be the most hard one to admit aloud:
I want to one day pick up my bible and not view it’s words with disgust anymore.
Yes, you read that right.
And it wasn’t what God intended. THIS IS NOT WHAT HE INTENDED…
But it’s what this world and her lovers made His beauty…
Twisted. Empty. Hollow. And a lie.
So, I reject this American religion that ties with politics, money and power.
And I will raise my children to reform it, make it new, make it shine and beat with His pulse.
Because I’m still with Jesus…
And Jesus is missing from American churches.
Last week, I posted something similar and a lone man whom I love and respect took it very personally. This is not about you. It is not about them. It is about us. We are all guilty. And we must ALL be the change if we want to make our Father proud.
It is time to grow up.