Friday, July 20, 2007

Confessions of an Ex-Fundamentalist

I'm Micah Christian and I'm a recovering fundamentalist.

It started in my youth when my parents began attending Humongous Baptist Church. As they got more involved in church events and were 'born again' they pulled me out of the public schools and enrolled me in the HBC Christian Academy. I used to love science classes, but not after I was taught something called 'creation science' or whatever they call it now.

I was also disturbed about the outright hatred that our senior pastor displays toward gay people. How can you reconcile preaching love for your fellow man while you're spending thousands of dollars of the church's money in supporting a mean-spirited anti-gay constitutional amendment and making their lives miserable?

I also questioned why we spent so much money on an ex-gay ministry that doesn't work. The people that go through it go right back to gay life. It's also interesting some of the stories my gay friends tell me about being approached in gay clubs or elsewhere by some HBC deacons for sex. They also told me about the transgender escort that the associate pastor sees on a regular basis, but every time a television camera is turned toward his face he's condemning GLBT people.

I hate attending church with a basketball arena sized crowd. I was happy at our old church that I was baptized in and I miss it. Unlike HBC, where the minister doesn't even know my name, Reverend Jordan knew me, my parents and my grandparents.

I also hate having Republican politics force fed to me under the cloak of religion and being told that liberals are evil. How can you honestly say that people who push for social justice for all, safe food standards, 40 hour workweek with safe conditions and are trying to make universal health care a reality are unpatriotic and evil?

And why are we at HBC commanded to do whatever it takes to get GLBT people fired from their places of employment? All they are trying to do is make a living like we are. Don't they have that right? What makes us so superior that we take it upon ourselves to cause pain and suffering to fellow human beings when we aren't perfect ourselves? We violate the Ten Commandments more that the people that our pastors condemn from the pulpit every Sunday.

After seeing all that over the years, I finally got tired of Humongous Baptist Church and started attending a new one. It's an open and affirming environment. My minister challenges us to think, study our Bible and be better people, not browbeat others with the word of God or manipulate scripture to justify bigotry and hatred.

It's taken a while, but I finally feel good and at peace about being a Christian.

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