There’s an inherent difficulty in walking away from organised Christianity and still trying to remain true to the essence of its spirituality. One can be open minded enough to find the truths of other religious traditions, especially when those traditions are foreign to you like Taoism or Buddhism. But what happens when the “other belief” is not some far flung religion from the other side of the globe, but the truth you left behind?
It is hard not to ice up inside when I hear evangelicals talking about the need to protect the definition of marriage or congratulating themselves over getting “adult entertainment” knocked off of my tv screen. When you’ve left creationism, literalism and the notion of exclusive truth behind you it is hard to feel accepted as an equal in the presence of someone who wants you pull you right back into that world view. It is even harder when that someone thinks that you are not “saved” because you hold your beliefs differently to them.
The community many of us walked away from is easy to criticise because they stand for something that can be criticised. But there’s a hypocrisy in throwing stones at stonethrowers.
It is childish to define oneself only in terms of the opposition to the “other”. You can define your post-fundamentalist life as “I hope to one day become a Christian” but if you silently add the words “but not like those Christians” you undo yourself.
But how do you avoid that hypocrisy when the starting assumption of the other is that you are backslidden and under deception?
“I wanna know who are these people
blaming their sins on the fall?
Who are these people?
If I’m honest with myself at all
these are my people”
~ David Bazan