Why I Am An Atheist

Now there’s an eye grabbing title.

This is a long blog. There’s a one sentence synopsis at the end if you want it.

As a sort of preface, I do have to say that while some of you may wonder why I bothered writing this given my love of keeping private life choices private and not intruding on others’ beliefs, I have to say that I just needed to. I need to get this out of my system, (the explanation, not the atheism) and not have to be afraid of explaining myself every time I bump into an old Christian friend. I’m writing this as a notice, like handing a note to the teacher excusing me from PE, so that I can assume that people now know where I stand and so not have to worry about awkward conversations and having to discuss which Bible translation is best or whatever. So here it is people, how I went from happy clappy Jesus lover to a godless hell bound atheist. I jest. There is no hell.

But I guess, I have to start by saying that I’m not sure I’m an atheist. Perhaps agnostic would cover me better but I hate the word’s connotations. To me it smacks of an ambivalence, or simple disinterest and ignorance of the issues and that’s certainly not the case. I don’t believe in God but there are a few things I’ve seen in my time of God-squadding that puzzle me into allowing, at the very least, a slight divine foot in the door. Not the God of the Bible though, especially the one preached in any church I’ve been to. So yeah, let’s just call me an atheist and be done with it.

Leaving church was hard. Really hard. I hesitate to say it’s the hardest thing I’ve done (though this one time I did once manage to drop toast and have it land butter side up) but it comes somewhere near the top of the list. For me to not just take a break from it, as I intended, but to utterly abandon and now totally reject everything I’ve been taught from birth is no walk in the park. Nor is it a decision made overnight or in reaction to any single issue. I liken it to my coming out of the closet – it happened over a period of months and it sucked just as much, if not more.

Explaining that I didn’t leave church because I’m gay is a conversation I’ve had to have far too often. I didn’t leave church solely because I’m gay. Sure, it was quite a significant factor, but I left church because I hated church.

I hated church because every Sunday before I walked through the big blue double doors I had to change myself in order to feel even remotely accepted and at home. This is not the fault of the particular church I was at or the majority of the people there but instead it was just because I didn’t believe what everybody was there to believe in. Now while church is obviously a place where people go in order to change – it’s all about being made more like Jesus which is a rather good goal in my opinion – you’re supposed to be changing in reaction to the teaching, in your discoveries of God and how much you want to be as loving, and good, and holy as he is. I changed because I knew if I happened to voice my opinions I would be quietly taken aside and told that I was wrong and needed to repent. I would be pointed in the direction of different courses and conferences I could go on to re-educate myself. I would be looked at like I’d just said I think all babies should be ritualistically slaughtered instead of “I think it’s up to the mother not the government whether she wants to have an abortion or not”. My stance on politics was tolerated up to a point but my advocacy of a French-style secular society where people were free to believe whatever they wanted as long as it was in the privacy of their own homes, would have been shot down in flames. And if I even thought about suggesting that we stop trying to get people to be Christians and just be nice and hope people notice the radical change, I’d have had countless Bible verses branded on my eyelids or something. And when it really came down to it, I just think that it’s totally crazy for one person to tell another what they think they can and can’t do.

When you have to steel yourself for a weekly activity that should bring everlasting peace and eternal joy in your soul, something’s not quite right. I realised that I believed virtually nothing of what was taught in regards to Christian “morality” and living. I liked that Jesus bloke and some parts of the Bible are amazingly comforting and beautiful but it all kind of stopped right there. So I decided to take a break. If there really was a “God shaped hole in the heart of man” then I’d feel the ache and need to get back to church.

What I found instead however, was that almost all Christians had one of three reactions. Confusion, pity, or ambivalence. Confusion generally turned into simple denial with people not understanding what I was quite clearly saying. “I don’t want to go to church any more” was countered with “Why don’t you come to our church instead?”, “I believe that people can do what they want as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody else.” earned replies along the lines of “But that’s not what the Bible says!”. So what? I don’t believe the Bible! Pity was the more annoying one however as people assumed that I’d become mentally deficient and that I’d see the error of my ways soon enough – I obviously knew I was wrong deep down. Nope, I think you’re a loony and I hate just about everything about Christianity, better luck next time. Ambivalence ranged from being exactly what I wanted (who wants everyone everywhere asking what your religious views are?) to being incredibly hurtful. Those who I would have expected to actually give a damn about my damnation barely batted an eyelid. As odd as it sounds, I would have really appreciated one or two people going out of their way to talk to me about how I felt instead of the multitude of people who crawled out of the woodwork to tell me exactly where I was going wrong. Greater love has no man than this eh?

But what really kills me is that the Bible says that “by their fruits you will know them” as in, you’ll know they love Jesus cos they exhibit his characteristics. If the above verse is true then I know of very few Christians. The Christianity I see preached is moralistic garbage that is harmful to all who hear it. I can hardly believe I spent 23 years lapping it up.

The feeling of betrayal is one I’m still trying to shake if I’m honest. Christians have said the worst things to me, and said it all with a smile on their face. Apparently, you can say anything you want, no matter how hurtful it is, if it’s “in love”. Being told point blank things like: “You need help” (church leader), “You know you’re just wrong yeah?” (close friend), having numerous rumours circulated about me*, are just some things to make me think that maybe this “holy spirit” I hear so much about doesn’t exist or simply does a crappy job of changing people. Now of course nobody is perfect and I can’t expect everybody to be angelic all the time, but when the people who are decent human beings are in the minuscule minority of all the hundreds of Christians I know, I begin to see a pattern of baloney emerging.

Then I come to the science. This may come as a shock to some of you, but until very recently, I was a young earth creationist. “There are no transitional fossils” I would parrot. Yet there are in fact thousands. Even ones of fish with legs that crawled out of the sea. One look at the Wikipedia page for that quickly shattered my illusions and gave me a healthy dose of reality. Also, if the earth is that young, then the pyramids were built around 100 years after Noah’s flood. Seeing as how only 8 people were supposedly on the ark, they must have been really busy! I could go on but there’s no point. While this paragraph may seem like common sense to most of you, it’s all new for me. Talk about feeling like a prize idiot.

God seems to me, from my extensive reading of the Bible, and years of listening to preaching, to be capable of doing no wrong. He just gets other people to do it for him. He commands the Israelites to murder women and children in the Bible (only a few pages after telling them that murder is sin). The Bible he “inspired” is a book that is able to be manipulated in so many different ways that you can literally make it say anything you want to. If there were a God, one who was all knowing and who saw the future, you’d think he’d tie off a few open ends so that we don’t spend years thinking that it’s totally fine to have slaves, sell daughters, kill people who don’t believe the same as you, oppress women, and suppress science. If the Bible is God’s word and is “breathed out” by God then give him a tic-tac because it reeks of injustice, rape, murder, and pure evil. Just think. One explicit verse like “Thus says the Lord: ‘Oh and by the way, women are totally equal to men, and don’t have slaves'” would have saved literally millions of lives.

And it’s not as if I don’t know all the counter arguments and ripostes some of you are so eager to throw my way. I know literally every point you want to make because I spent years making them myself (so please spare me the boredom of trawling through the comment section saying the same thing). Having studied the Bible in depth, having been to numerous churches of multiple denominations, having prayed in earnest for God’s goodness, having waited to hear his voice, having believed with my whole heart, I now wholeheartedly and without reservation reject Christianity and its implications as morally repugnant, utterly evil, and without a doubt one of the biggest loads of bullshit this world has ever witnessed. Kudos to the guys who pulled the wool over our eyes though, that takes balls.

I have no intention to return to church. I have no desire to hear that you’re praying for me. If there is a God, he will bring me back right? That’s the fifth point of Calvinism and it totally counts cos I did believe without reservation. So thanks Jean Calvin for that handy theological loophole to get me out of annoying arguments.

I have very little problem with Christians. It’s just now I totally understand how repulsive it is to have faith shoved down your throat, no matter how they butter it up and layer it in cake.

So that’s a small snippet of why I’m an Atheist. If I went on, I’d only bore you all I’m sure. I really needed to throw this out there. It became almost a physical necessity to tell people where I am. After all, when your life changes so spectacularly and irrevocably for the better, you feel the need to tell people don’t you? ** The only thing left to say is that I’m still me. I’m still the same sarcastically smug know-it-all who loves films, coffee, wine, and gin far too much. If you were my friend before, you’re still my friend now. I have not become an amoral Satanist who wants to take over the world, I just believe a little differently than before is all.

If you’ve made it this far then I must congratulate you. Thank you for taking the time to find out what’s going on with me, just know I’m always willing to do the same for you too.

TL:DNR Synopsis:
I don’t believe in God and I’m not going back to church cos I think it’s totally whack.

*The rumours ranged from the true, to the utterly bizarre, to the impressively crazy. I once heard that I went round seducing fresher boys in the university Christian Union. While I’m flattered that somebody thought that I had the necessary skills to seduce anybody, let alone multiple people; I remain puzzled as to what started the game of Chinese whispers that cranked that out.

**Yes I know this is just like what you think with your evangelism, I’m being facetious. Yeah I kinda ruined that one by explaining it didn’t I?

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21 thoughts on “Why I Am An Atheist

  1. Hey,
    So I don’t want you to think I’m ambivalent. [As a not-very-related side note: an episode of Voyager (why am I admitting this on a public forum?) taught me that if one is ambivalent it may not mean that one does not care. I think it was the holographic doctor who said that ‘ambi’ means ‘two’ and that ambivalence denotes one who is in two minds. I’ve only ever really heard it as a synonym for indifference though. Is it one of those words that has changed over time? I don’t know. And, fittingly, I’m quite ambivalent about it. Annnnyway…]. At the same time, what you say is quite accurate:

    ‘And it’s not as if I don’t know all the counter arguments and ripostes some of you are so eager to throw my way’.

    I really don’t want you to think I don’t care. I love you. I was your friend and I am your friend and you’re one of the only people I know who can correctly identify the colour teal. The only reason I don’t tell you that Jesus loves you and that you can’t change that is because you already know that that’s what I’d say and you’ve said that you don’t like people telling you stuff. You’re in quite an unusual position in that you probably know exactly how my heart feels and so to tell you in words would feel funny. Unless that’s just me being British and inhibited and maybe I should tell you every day. Let me know if that’s the case and I will send you a daily…podkayst (was the best I could come up with, sorry). So in short: if you’ve designated someone as ambivalent, they might not be. In my particular case…which might not be everyone’s…I do believe that Jesus is who he said he is. But I also believe that exasperating you by telling you what you have already heard won’t make that any more true or any less true. So…can I just be your friend and see where this goes together, free of any obligation other than to care?

    • Hahaaa I love the ambivalent thing… this will require some research into its etymology and its… what’s the word for a word’s current and future evolution. Is it still etymology? Madness – now I have two things to look up.
      Like you say, I do understand what you’re feeling right now and to be honest I’m of the opinion that you feel it and understand it better than I ever could – you always managed to bridge the gap between theological fact and theological feeling so very well.
      I never ever want to lose you as a friend, you’re one of the few people who can make me smile no matter what and I always know you’re ready with a wise word or three. x

  2. Hi Andy,
    I don’t know if you remember me. I was the Catholic at CU when you were there. I’m sorry to hear of your experience at CU. I think it’s a disgrace you went through what you did. I’m not gonna shove any crap down your throat, I don’t agree with that either. I just want you to know that not every Christian hates gays and atheists. It’s an obvious fallacy of those that do compared to Jesus’ teachings. Don’t give up on people and don’t lose faith in how good people can be. People make mistakes and the Church can be the worst at it as you know. But it also does a lot of good.
    I hope you’re well Andy, good luck for the future.
    Simon FitzGerald

    • Hey Simon yeah I remember you :)
      Thanks for your comment and I’m glad you felt the need to respond. I know not every Christian hates or has problems with gay people, and although it has sort of become the defining issue of my break with church it is by no means the only one.
      I know that if more people kept to what Jesus taught like you say, then the world would look a little rosier. Keep being the part of the church that does good and you’ll be more and more like Jesus every day.
      A x

  3. I don’t agree with all your points, obviously! ha ha

    But you do mention quite a few things that I’ve found frustrating about Evangelicalism.. (I’ve totally experienced that feeling of people talking down at you and it scares me when I hear some of the stuff hyper-Calvinists come out with..)

    I guess even with their best intentions – some Christians place a higher priority on theological positions than they do people.

    I know you said you don’t want me to, but I’ll be praying for you.. :)

  4. Welcome :)

    Like you, I was raised on all the bible stories. I also went to religious private schools and sung hymns and prayed etc. I never got hooked into it all as much as you did fortunately, my rational mind questioned what was thrown at it too often and as is too often the case the questions I had we’re never answered satisfactorily or had any basis in fact. Faith is not an answer in my opinion, it’s a con and a cop out that cannot be argued against as it is so irrational.

    Like you I also do not dislike believers. They can be perfectly decent people. I have however met plenty of truly horrible, rotten people who delude themselves into a sense of decency and morality through their faith. Ultimately I am an atheist and I loathe religion. I don’t loathe the people, the individuals, I loathe the organisations, the entity, the clergy, the con, the wealth, the corruption, the years of war and murder. In my humble opinion religion has cost humanity far too much and held us back from advancing.

    It’s brave to do what you’ve done & write what you have & you know I love you for it, as well as for many other things, such as your taste in alcohol, books, films and music. I wish I got to see you more babe I really do. Take care xx

  5. Hey andy! I feel like by commenting it seems like I’m just trying to prove that I’m not “ambivalent” to the choice you’ve made about God, which I’m not, but seeing as we don’t actually know each other all that well… well, it just seems a bit pretentious! So really I just want to acknowledge what you’ve written and say that I guess it mainly scares me to know that, like you said, you know all the counter arguments people could give you and yet have still decided to reject it all. I am genuinely scared by that because I guess most people who don’t believe it, we tell ourselves that they don’t really know that they’re rejecting. But you do. So I mean really… fair enough. You can’t make yourself believe something you don’t believe. It’s obviously not a spur-of-the-moment kind of decision and I have a heaaaap of respect for you being open about it all because I guess it would in many ways be lots easier to just carry on and pretend nothing had changed. So yeah… that’s all I wanted to say really without rambling on with all the stuff you don’t want to hear. I guess I won’t be bumping into you at any conference type things any time soon then soooo take care! I’ll see you around the “blogosphere” as they say! :)

  6. hi Andy!

    major respect for honestly saying how you feel! take guts and big cahoners (excuse spelling i struggle even with English) i just hope those who said things to you were honestly saying what they felt to…suppose people are always going to differ. peace!!

  7. Hi there mate,

    I care about the choice you’ve made in fact I’m gutted. I do however realise that’s probably offensive, as in comparison to the turmoil and pain (and concientious thought) that has resulted in your clarification of position, my being gutted pales into pitiful insignificance. You’ve expressed it eloquently and amusingly and I’ve always said you’ve got guts. I’d say you’ve got a lot more guts than me and I’d usually be bracketed as a red blood, thrusting, evangelist type.

    Your arguments are lucid and well thought through however please clarify for me, only if you want to, two things that you must have thought about (and omitted from your blog for the sake of brevity) in your transition to recant everything you previously believed.

    1) order in the universe having some sort of cause
    2) the historicity of Jesus and his actions

    Cheers mate, I really appreciate your honesty. Although we were never really that close I’d still love to crack open a few bottles of wine and put the world to rights, that is as a fellow human rather than as a superior christian attempting to proselytize an adult who’s made there mind up.

    All the best

    Toby

  8. It absolutely broke my heart to read this Andy. I’m sorry you’ve been so betrayed. I’m sorry you’ve been so let down. I’m sorry people have been so hurtful and insensitive and unloving. And I’m sorry those voices are the ones supposed to be representing God. Desperately sorry to be losing you, for the time being, as a brother. Thankful to still know you as a friend.

  9. What Kay said. (Only without the eloquence or excellent geek knowledge) and to add that next summer I’ll be so proud and happy to call you my brother.

  10. Hey Andy,

    I guess I just want to echo what some people have already said here. Ambivalent I certainly am not, I just appreciate that Bible-bashing can often be salt to wounds or at very least positively irritating, especially if someone is ambivalent themselves about your vantage point. (I must say I do prefer the old definition of the word). I don’t want to be the friend who destroys a friendship by judging your life and your journey. As you know, no amount of witty argument from me (or anyone else) can coerce a man into faith (let alone one as strong-willed as yourself). Bottom line is I love you no matter what your life choices are, regardless of if they are dissimilar or identical to my own. I’m sorry that the Church couldn’t provide a home for you that was put together the way Jesus intended… We certainly all could do with a large helping of ‘living the reality of being Christ-like’.

    We should grab that coffee one day if you’d like :-)

    Much love
    Xx

  11. Hi Andrew, I’ve only just scanned through this as I’m at work and I am meant to be marking! I am so impressed by your bravery and courage to make explicit what you believe and why. You have spent your whole family life with the church and Christianity at its centre but I haven’t, far from it, neither have the rest of your larger family, so do remember this. I feel that any one has a right to believe what they like but that doesn’t make it true (there’s a gnome sanctuary not far from here!). Anyway – lots of love and support and see you at Christmas. You are much admired and respected in this branch of the family xxx Catherine

  12. In one sense I don’t feel like I know you well enough to comment, but I’ve always respected what I know of you as a person, from your intellect, to your sense of humour to your taste in films. (I hope that doesn’t come across as pandering, it is true.)

    I massively respect your honesty in posting this statement. It clearly comes across that this wasn’t written out of a need to hurt or fire shots at Christians, but was a man articulating his experience of his own journey inside and outside of the Church.

    That said, I do find it devastating. Not because I feel sorry for you, but because it breaks my heart that somebody’s overriding experiences of Church don’t seem to be about the grace of Jesus in action, but instead are of judgemental attitudes, insensitive generalisations, salacious gossip, and worst of all, apathy.

    I don’t know if we’ll cross paths in the future, but I want you to know that this post has challenged me in the way I live life as a follower of Jesus.

    For that I thank you.

    (ps. I’ll still follow you on Twitter)

  13. I too, will still follow you on Twitter. Lol.

    I hope I have never been one who has seemed judgemental towards you mate.

    I have found myself defending you on many occasions. And can say I have learnt alot from you, which shape my views of the world and will probably continue to do so. I learnt alot from this post.

    Always keep an open mind.

  14. Well our esteemed mutuals above say it quite nicely. You are still yourself, we are still ourselves, but please to understand how… how shall I say?… how gutted I am. Not that I was necessarily your biggest fan, as perhaps you knew ;) but of course if this ‘whack’ is true then it’s more than just a question of respecting your newer point of view (which in essence of course I do).

    You’ve helpfully noted most of the things a Christian might confront you with, so suffice it to say I hope we will enjoy life eternal together some day, us and millions more.

    Summary line… your blog does what it set out to do, and I hope you count more and more of your Christian friends and acquaintances as an understanding, caring, human breed the more they read it.

  15. Hi Andy,

    I haven’t seen you since Katie and I visited you – I hope you have been doing well physically. Did they ever get to the bottom of what it was?

    First of all, I’m sorry I didn’t know you had a blog, because I’m enjoying it! I’m intrigued by your epic challenge to watch all those films and will be looking to catch some you recommend (we seem to share a similar taste in films – that is to say we both like good films of all genres :-) ).

    I have to admit, I was initially shocked by what I read on fb (I saw a discussion on this post pop up on the main page and eventually ended up here). Having said that, having read your post, I only want to say that I think you did a really good thing for yourself by making a clear decision to go down a single path. I know what it’s like to be stuck in that place of having people expect you to be a certain person when you really don’t feel you are. I spent most of my teenage years and some of my early twenties trying to be exactly who I thought I was supposed to be (I was being taken to church in my mother’s womb – for about 19 years hence I had no choice!) when I really felt I was only pretending. There were times when I thought I believed, but, it was because I really wanted to try to make it work. Sometimes I felt at peace but other times it left me feeling horrible because I knew I was living a double life.

    I had to come to a place, as you did, when I had to go with one or the other because you just can’t commit to either while trying to be both. At this time in my life, I decided that I was an atheist. Now, if you think you know where this is going, I am not going to say, ‘But look at me now, I’ve finally realised I believe in God, really, so it’ll happen to you!’ Not at all. If you’re happy with where you are and the kind of life you are in for (same goes for being a Christian), no one can tell you you’ll soon tire of being what you choose to be. The only reason I am a Christian now is because I was compelled to settle it with myself that the gospel is true for me and nothing else made sense for me personally. If something else makes sense for you personally, that’s just the way it stands. Nothing can be made ‘true’ for you by somebody else.

    I can tell that you have wrestled with this for a long time so, good for you for being honest with yourself and others. It’d be a lie if I didn’t say that I hope you’ll see everything differently some day and desire a relationship with God again, but, I completely respect what you have done and appreciate your honesty with yourself and with your friends. I think it’s what everyone should have, even though sometimes (or, I hate to think, a lot of the time) church can just ‘pray you into’ believing, not allowing the person to be honest and open without feeling judged. I am sorry that some have left you with the lasting sense of betrayal and that you don’t feel people tried to understand where you were. As few people have written here, I am taking away a lot to think about from your post and hope anyone who made judgments or assumptions do, too.

    So that’s all I wanted to say (in many more words than I had intended – sorry about rambling a bit). Take care and I do hope for you all the best.

    Heajin

  16. Is there any chance you might jot me an email so that I can send you a private comment? I really appreciated your reflections in this email and would like to ask you a simple question. Thanks so much. BTW, I will NOT be trying to shepherd you back to the fold. I think the Church you describe which is very similar to versions on this side of the pond is dreadful.. simply dreadful and not at all what the heart of its founder (i.e., Jesus) actually lived out.

  17. HI Andy, Was hoping to possibly hear from you when you have a chance? I think my sending you a note means that you get my email address? True? If not, please reply and let me know. I am not so into blogs… because I like 1:1 conversations and frankly although there are some benefits of sharing things in public formats, Twitter, Facebook, etc…like articles, news, helpful tips, and even super essays and personal reflections (like the entries in your blog), the response… the engaging conversation around the content of a blog… is something that I prefer to have in a more private format. So you know, I will NOT be wanting to blast you whatsoever because, frankly, I agree with 99.9% of the reflections you’ve had about Christianity. If I don’t happen to hear back from you at my y….. email account, then I guess I’ll go public! Ha ha. I will say that I stumbled upon your blog because I had googled “Homosexual AND evangelical Christian” ie… wondering if indeed it were even remotely possible that people could be out there who have a deep appreciation of the profound love of Christ Jesus for us (yes FOR us), a heart that always beats for the left-out, down trodden, etc, in our society so much that he knew going up against the status quo could very well get him into serious trouble… AND… not arrive at the same dumb interpretation of all of 4 or so verses in the Bible which clearly do not speak of people who clearly are gay from day 1 and want to live with integrity and genuineness (about their sexuality and frankly in general) and thus, like anyone, might want to find a life partner to marry. I was duped because I stumbled on a blog that said “Gay and Christian” (or something like that) BUT… boy it was that same old “I struggle with SSA (yes, there’s apparently a name for being gay without saying it… Same Sex Attraction… geez louise).” so… here I see that you had commented (some 2 years ago) about your own journey and that you found some encouragement that there were other Christians too who were gay. Well… I thought to myself… wonder how long Andy will stay in this crazy world of evangelical Christianity that keeps telling people to pray about their SSA, to try not to act on it, to remember it’s sin to act on it, yada yada… and I literally had the thought that I am so sick and tired of the Church’s WRONG interpretation of these few verses in Scripture and how much damage it’s had over the years… literally driving people away from the faith… OR worse yet, driving some young teens or even older adults to take their life (suicide) because God just didn’t heal them of this terrible thing… this “sinful” thing that they did NOT choose,… and then to have the Church judge them day in and day out… UGH. I also thought and prayed that you would have been able to step away from that crap…. with your life intact… but that I also had a hunch you’d have left the faith. FAST FORWARD a couple years (as I scrolled your blog) , yep, you did. I understand that being gay was not the sole reason for ditching Christianity. Honestly I agree that any “written text” presumably that is holy and inspired by God should perhaps have been MUCH CLEARER so as to avoid slavery, oppression of women, oppression of gays, etc… obviously… yet Richard Rohr of the Center for Action and Contemplation has a very nifty way at viewing Scripture where you don’t have to shut off your brain and become a babbling idiot… where you don’t have to do the silly dichotomous, all-or-nothing thinking…. where you can get at the heart of it in a way that actually affirms your internal capacity for choice. I don’t always feel 100% agreement with everything that CAC (http://www.cacradicalgrace.org) puts out, but it’s a hell of a lot better than the other options out there. I also heard you don’t want to spend 1-hour of precious time in a church full of judgmental people. Me either. Thank goodness, though, I am at Duke Chapel and can enjoy a faith experience that is grounded in love… where straight and gay members are family… and where at least for what I’ve seen to date we focus on caring for each other AND for the community. Bummer our Dean just headed back over to England… Rev. Sam Wells headed to England to serve as Vicar at Saint Martin in the Field. He’s the real deal. Andy… I think I’ve now said enough… honestly. My intent is not to try to convince you to give Christianity another chance since the common version out there is whack… really… harmful, hurtful whack that does a helluva lot of harm to most people…. especially gays, lesbians, bisexual and trangenders. I wouldn’t wish that form (unfortunately the predominate form) of Christianity on my worst enemy. Ha ha. Yet, i have this sense that your life indeed can be VERY full and meaningful… and likely WILL be so even without ever stepping in church again… but, somehow, something in your writing suggests that you had some type of meaningful experience around the love of God expressed in the unusually, uncanny and frankly unnerving way that Jesus lived his life. Once you taste that you can walk away. Trust me, I have at times. Yet there also is a sweetness and joy… something that when I’m with others who haven’t experienced something of the transcendental love of God… well, it’s like a black-white film…. there’s a joy and vividness to life that is missing. (Again… I will say, and I do mean this… there’s a totally REFRESHING experience too being around folks that wouldn’t set foot in a church… because alas… much less judgement! Hooray! We know weren’t fucked up). Yet, there is a day-to-day thing, a happiness no doubt and deep meaning and all… yet, you see something in there eyes and they sometimes even vocalize it, “Is this it? Is this all that it’s cracked up to be?” Well, I hope that you know your belovedness… and I so regret that the Church fucked things up by interpreting 4 stupid verses completely out of context (hello, Roman temple pedophila, gang rape, etc, is NOT the same as homosexuality) and also the Church got filled with people that shut their brains off and could not hold in gentle tension the blacks and whites and grays and all the randomness that is written in a book sure was “inspired by God” but written down by man… yup, and guess what, we aren’t always the brightest folk on the block. Richard Rohr’s suggestions on how to ponder and glean the helpful and good from sacred text is likely better than my rambling. Wishing you the very best in life… and perhaps secretly OR not so secretly wondering if, like you said, God would be the one to help you consider that you maybe have thrown the baby out with the bath water. Yet who am I to say? BTW, love the You Tube above, funny! We all need the heart of Christmas… being with family (ideally, but not always) who love us and embrace us fully just as we are! Take good care!

      • PS- Sorry for writing back only 2 days after my original post AND for the rambling, too. I sometimes get distracted and forget stuff… so, I didn’t want to have this go “off my radar.” Wishing you all the best, Andy. It is somewhat funny that a straight gal, a “recovering evangelical” would google Gay & Evangelical Christianity in my own quest for integrity, and stumble on your response, wonder how you faired, and then be rather intrigued to care for your spiritual journey… well… for your life journey in general. Wish you well! (and no more comments on your blog… feel free to delete if I’ve said anything too out there… and sorry for cursing, but I think your Twitter account said you have a propensity for these words, too!)

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