To My Christian Friends

Perhaps this yet another post that was a ‘long time coming’ (That seems to be the start of a theme of posts for me.)

Things I yet again thought I had dealt with are still coming up and bugging me to the point where I finally have to start writing…AGAIN.  And while with this particular subject I would normally just start writing in my personal journal and not post publicly, I’m starting to believe the subject matter needs to be discussed more openly, and thus, has become another blog post.

The subject is Christianity.

I’ve written quite a bit about Christianity lately.  I’ve frequently shared articles on my Facebook page regarding the work of Pastor John Pavlovitz, more specifically, about some of the shared truths that he and other Christian pastors write about.  I’ve also gotten angry and written posts about how broken Christianity feels like to me (a post that upon retrospection, feels more like a rant than anything, but it still needed to come out at the time).

I was happy when one of my posts sparked discussion, and something from that discussion stuck with me.  It was a Facebook post where one of my other friends, a Christian gentleman, started to speak about how frustrated he was that he couldn’t speak about his religion and the comfort it gave him without being bashed about the ears by people who were expecting the next words out of his mouth to be ‘come to my church and see..’

So I guess I’m not the only one who feels oppressed.

I think the deep introspection of the past several months has caused me to realize that I need to speak my mind, but not just throw words at the topic to vent, like I did in the broken religion post.  I need to talk about how I still hurt, how I have issues thanks to someone’s interpretation of Christianity, but how I still recognize that Christianity as a whole isn’t that bad.  And maybe my being public about things might allow someone else who has some of the same issues to at least think about it.

Yes, you read that right.  I’m a non-Christian that doesn’t think Christianity is that bad.  Seriously.  The concepts of loving another as yourself, not judging another, taking care of the poor, even the discipline of going to a church and prayer are all good things.  In fact, the concept of faith is something I learned in Christianity that I keep with me even now.

But just because I don’t think Christianity is bad doesn’t mean that I don’t still have a lot of anger to deal with because of my upbringing in the church.  The fact of the matter is a great majority of people today were born into some semblance of Christianity.  Many of these people have issues because of that upbringing, and they still carry a lot of anger and resentment toward the entire religion because of said issues.  And I’m still one of them.

But – confession time – I don’t WANT to be someone who has issues with Christianity.  I want to be able to say that I can dismiss the stupidity of certain Christian followers and accept that which is good.  I want to be able to sit down with the gentleman I spoke about above, have a pint and enjoy a good conversation about how our lives are so much more enriched because we BOTH have faith in something more powerful than we are.  There is common ground here that I think is rich with opportunities for bridge building, and I’d love to have those conversations to see what specifics we do have in common.

Although I long for conversations like these, I wonder frequently if I will ever be able to have them.  A good conversation means egos, anger and any suggestions of ‘conversion’ need to be in check.  But still, many Christians I speak with find it their duty to convert heathens like me to the ‘one true’ way.

Come to think of it, now that I am someone who just opened myself to the possibility of sitting down with a Christian to talk about religious practice, or how I read the blogs of Christian leaders, did I just open myself up to people who think I am ready for conversion?  Possibly.  (And if so, I’ll give you the same response I’ve given throughout my life; No.)

Now I can’t do anything about people who feel like it is their duty to convert, but I do know that if someone whose underlying belief is to convert people because their religion is the ‘one, true way’, then you will never be able to have an open heart discussion with them.  The fact is that if someone believes truly in conversion, you will never know if what they say is from their heart, or if it is in the attempt to make you a convert.  And it makes everyone who opens their mouth to say the “C” word in any form or fashion suspect.

And the main sticking point of my anger is right around that ideal of conversion.  I call the root cause of that conversion issue the ‘fear of God’ syndrome.  People feel like they need to convert because the fear of God is something that is instilled in every young Christian in school.  You get raised with this idea that God is so nice, supportive and gentle until you do something wrong and don’t apologize.  Then this God becomes a vengeful being that shames you to eternal pain for the rest of the existence of the world because you dared to do something he didn’t like.  And when the young Christians get to the ripe age where they start to think for yourself – everyone goes through this crisis of faith and either learns to conform, or become like me and recognize things can be different. And if we truly believe in our heart that things can be different, we now get to deal with this fear of angering this vengeful God.  And that was the thing that screwed me up the most; This fact you could be doing the exact same things that the Christian God teaches AND STILL go to this eternal frying pan because you don’t do it in his name.

kenny-yolo_o_514748(Images flash in my mind of the South Park episode where the kids freaked out every time they did something they thought was a sin and had to run to church to confess it. Poor Kenny!)

Perhaps some Christians are aware of how conceited it sounds that some put the Christian faith above others.  But many don’t.  Instead, they relish in it.  It’s a perfect place for their egos to thrive and grow; as NOW they have a GOD GIVEN RIGHT to put everyone underneath them because only THEY and THEIR friends and family are CHOSEN ones.  And it’s those people that have poisoned it for everyone.  For me, who wants to reach out, and for others, like my friend who is tired of being punished for crimes he didn’t commit.

And people wonder why some of us go out of their way to avoid anything that has any Christian leanings.  It’s because the true reason for the speech or action regarding Christianity will never be known.  Are you one of the idiots trying to gain power?  Are you someone who’s trying to ‘hook’ more souls for your Christian God?  Or are you someone who is just sick and tired of the whole mess some people have made of the Christian glenda.jpgreligion and want to just have a good conversation about faith and how it can truly move mountains no matter what you believe in?

In short, “Are you a Good Christian, or a Bad Christian?” I ask, as I hold my ceremonial drinking horn. (I gave up the wand – and the athame might scare people.)

I jest.  But if I don’t jest I might get mad again.  And I don’t want to be mad.  Sure, I’ll have to talk about my hurt for a while longer.  And perhaps I’ll have that pint and hear about another’s hurt and how they feel just as oppressed.  But what is more important is that I want those good Christians to know that my anger isn’t directed at them.  There will be things I post – Stuff that needs to be said, to use the title of Pastor Pavlovitz’s blog – but I don’t do it to directly make someone else feel uncomfortable.  I do it to heal.  I do it to express how much anger I still have left within me.  I do it because someday, I don’t want to have that anger.  I want to shed that anger and pick up that pint and talk about how excited I am to share my practices with another person.  I want to share about how my faith in my Gods makes me feel connected to everyone around the world, how we all need to respect each other.  I want to talk about how when I make a mistake I have to do more than just confess it.  I want to talk about how I don’t bow to my Gods, just as I don’t bow to my boss, my mentors, my teachers or my husband, but instead I show respect in other ways.  I want to share how my vows to be a better person mean I have to push myself out of my comfort zone and force myself to do more to raise my energy and understand my fellow human being better.

Now, more than ever, I truly believe we need these bridges built between communities.  Bridges are the only way we are going to understand each other, and once the understanding is there, compromise is possible.  We see every day how non-compromise is causing trauma and pain and fear.  And if it means having more semi-open conversations before we can get down to business, then I am all for it.

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Issues with A Broken Religion

Pandora really pisses me off sometimes.

I started building a new radio station to listen to at work based on one of my favorite bands, Breaking Benjamin.  I’ve been in a bit of a melancholy mood for a while now so it fit to create a station around them.  (For those that don’t know, the lead singer of Breaking Benjamin has been pretty public about his personal issues with anxiety and phobias, and to me you can feel that in his music.  You can also feel the strength he uses to fight those illnesses, and that is what appeals right now.  Times are tough, and we can be upset, but we also have strength in spades to get through).

So everything is going pretty well, and of course, as Pandora is designed to do, new music pops up.  And it’s from the band Skillet.  This is a band I wrote about awhile back.  They are Christian, and don’t shy away from speaking about that.  In fact, the reason they are still together is because one of their pastors counseled them to keep pushing forward and continue to speak about the “Glory of God”.   In other words, keep that recruiting up!  We need the revenue! (Yes, I’m aware my bias is showing here).

So that song got the Pandora thumbs down.

Then Ashes Remain came on.  Again, another Christian Rock band.  I looked them up, and they are too much like Skillet for my tastes.  So another thumbs down logged.  After the third Christian band popped up, I just decided to start looking up a list of “Christian” rock bands.  I found out there are quite a few.  The Color Morale, Red, Beartooth, Thousand Foot Krutch and many others I listen to identify as Christian.  And that really bothers me.

So my choices now were that I’m going to have to either keep logging thumbs down on songs a lot more than I thought, or I’m just going to have to accept that there are a lot of Christian bands out there and pick and choose what I like.  And if I just listen to them anyway, I get to do this despite the fact that I feel like most of these bands are out there specifically to recruit people to a religion broken by the people who identify with it.

Believe it or not, this is a pretty hard decision for me.  I’ve done my best to steer clear of Christianity for many years.  Christians can go live over there, and I’m here in my own belief system that suits me just fine.  And occasionally, on my own terms, I’ll seek out those that I know don’t ‘recruit’ and see what they have to say.  Speak to me about learning to become a better person, helping the planet or helping others gain their basic human rights and we will have things in common.  Talk to me about how my religion is somehow wrong or beneath yours, and the conversation will very quickly be over.

However, times are changing, and perhaps the mix that Pandora chose for me is just a catalyst for the realization that I have more lessons to learn.  Sooner or later, I’m going to have to accept that those of the Christian faith who look at me differently are integrated around me more than I feel comfortable about.  Right now I just keep that out of my mind.  However, perhaps that habit is a negative response, especially because of the amount of anger that comes up when I think about it.  And sooner or later, I’m going to have to deal with that anger; the real reason my bias exists.

So here is the crux of the matter: I have more issues with the Christian religion than I thought.  And now, I’m going to have to get off my gluteus maximus and figure out what those issues are and deal with them.

I talked about the fear of God syndrome once before.  And I thought that once I wrote that post, that I had dealt with my issues regarding Christianity, and that was that.  I thought I was doing a good job separating the religion from the people.  Because honestly, the religion itself isn’t THAT bad.  Love one another.  Judge not lest ye be judged.  Be still and know that I am God.  Let him without sin cast the first stone.  All of these things have profound meanings.  And they are meanings that transcend the Christian religion.  To me, it’s the PEOPLE who claim to be Christian that cause 90% of the problems with that religion, maybe even more.

I don’t need to go far to come up with excellent examples.  Look at those who are against abortion.  Sure, they are pro-life while the child is in the womb, but the minute the child is born there will be very little support it if the child was born outside of a strong family unit.  Look at the prosperity gospel and how many people who have given up their entire life savings hoping for a miracle.  Finally, and what angers me the most, is the issues in the current situation.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard ‘Christians’, in the current political climate argue against verses from the book that they claim to follow.  “Oh, that verse is just hyperbole.  Verses like that are throughout the entire bible.”  Or, “Sure, it says turn the other cheek, but at the same time, Jesus wouldn’t want me to stand by and watch as my family gets robbed and killed.”  Plainly put, these people will twist things to match what they want to believe, and they don’t give a shit about the true meaning of that religious text.

Perhaps I’m tired of seeing how people twist religion to make it fit what it is they want to do.  It’s the same with the racism in Heathenism.  There are interpretations of many religions that inflict more harm than they do good, and when that happens, there is something seriously wrong with the people that profess to be following that religion.  Perhaps it wasn’t the case in older times, but in the current age I firmly believe that religion is meant to help us understand the world around us and how we fit in with that world.  I firmly believe that the times where religion divided us should be over.  We have evolved further than that.

But unfortunately, power over people is still something that is strived for by many.  And religion is a tool that has been used for thousands of years to do just that; get power over people.  And for the most part, people are programmed to accept that when it comes to religion, you are expected to relinquish your power to get anywhere.  And thus you have the strife and conflict that we see today.  And that leads me back to my current dilemma.

But at least now I can speak to the issue more clearly.

I am pretty damn angry at people within the Christian churches.  I’m angry at how they failed me in my upbringing, how they didn’t answer my questions and how they forced me to follow along in a religion even though I felt so very different in my soul.  I’m angry at the strife they caused me and so many other people like me that felt different.  I’m angry that they made us feel like outsiders unless we conformed.  I’m very angry they caused us to be afraid of the very Gods that were there to help us the entire time.  And I am mad as hell that I have to deal with all of the leftovers of this upbringing.  I get to deal with all of the confusion and pain as to why I can’t understand or fit with the people who call themselves Christian.  I get to deal with them time and time again telling me that I still am wrong and that I need to ‘get with the program’ in order to save my soul.   I get to deal with the embedded ‘fear of God’s wrath’ if I dare try to be myself.  I get to deal with how I felt back then because I dared ask questions that people couldn’t answer.  And last but not least, I get to learn over and over again how to be a survivor in a country that claims to be Christian, yet refuses to treat people the way their own Jesus said to.

And I’m allowed to be mad.  I’m allowed to be mad as hell.  I’m allowed to be so mad that I can spit nails anytime anyone asks me if “I’ve found Jesus” yet.  Yeah, I found him, and he’s over in the Middle East doing what he can for the refugees that are dying.  And now that you mention it, I saw him the other day in your church, bent over the altar weeping at those using his house for their own personal gain.

Obviously I’m showing my anger.  I’m trying to get it out; to get a name to it.  I need to identify and deal with it.  I need to deal with it because of people like John Pavlovitz, Rob Bell, Michael Beckwith, Revered Ed Bacon and many others.  Although these people are only a few of the vast number of Christians out there, they believe differently.  They believe like me; that God is large enough to be involved in many different religions.  They believe we are stronger if we support and take care of each other, no matter what religion you profess.  And their beliefs contain the possibilities of what Christianity could become.  So there is hope.  Further, and thanks to the current political climate,  I’m reminded that I, someone who is in a religion in the minority, needs to learn to work with others who are in the minority.  Get enough of us together and we will become the majority, forcing change throughout the country.

Even if it is for that last reason alone, I need to deal with this anger.

I’m not sure where this thinking is going to lead me.  I hope it’s someplace positive.  I don’t want to dismiss good people trying to do what is right.  And I know the people I mentioned above are trying to do just that.  But the tenant of my faith says that I must work on myself; that I must overcome my own shortcomings and strive to be a better person.  This is what it means to me when I say I stand with my Gods.

So I guess because of my faith, my religion, I need to figure out a way to be more accepting to those that truly profess theirs.  But that doesn’t mean I’m going to feel bad for not listening to Skillet and bands like them that profess the current status quo of this currently broken religion.

 

Photo from Deviant Art

I Won’t Give Up Hope

 

Many times when I visit her, my mother likes to start ranting about her feelings about politics and the generations of people after her own.  She is of the baby boomer generation, and, of course, is also a child of two of members of greatest generation (those who endured World War II).

Some of her most repeated gripes include the level of stamina between generations.  She feels the greatest generation was the strongest generation we ever had; in work ethics, in principals and in morality.  Her generation, she believes is strong as well, but not as strong as her parents.

And then, there are the Gen-Xers, the millennials and the other generations that followed. In her mind, we all have significant weaknesses, specifically when it comes to ethics and when we need to put in a hard day’s work.  She gets mad when I speak about the work that my husband and I do, how we don’t depend on anyone else but ourselves and haven’t for a very long time.  She also gets very mad when I talk about how there are a lot of very good people in this world – my age and younger – that happen to work harder and longer than I ever would.  Some of these people have done significant things to change the world.

My father tries to chime in too; but only to throw a more judgmental spin on things.  He believes everyone from California are just too liberal for their own good, and that there is such a thing called reverse racism.

My parents are role models to me, but not for the reason you think.  They are role models for me to learn what NOT to become.  But thanks to this election, I almost got there anyway.

All the way through the primary, I was one of those people who were posting about how one candidate is bad for the country.  I was posting about the concerns of racism, the bigotry, the narcissism, and on and on.  I became polarized on this candidate and his supporters.  I focused on how horrible things would be if this person was elected, and expected everyone else to see what it was that I saw.

This polarization made me miss something else entirely.  I missed the fact that people are scared.  They are genuinely afraid of how things were going, afraid of the change that the past 8 years has brought, and fueled by that fear, they came out in mass to vote.

Now yes, many people are going to pour over the data of this past election for years to come, many much smarter than I, and give other reasons why my candidate didn’t win.  But no matter what they say, however many years from now, they won’t remember the underlying fear that was carried in the hearts of Americans through this entire process.  They won’t remember the media that fueled that fear, the memes on Facebook and other social media.  The polarization, the ‘what ifs’, and everything else that went along with it.

Now I see one way my parents could get so carried away into their judgement and hate.  And now I’m doubly determined not to do the same.

I’m going to make more changes now so that I don’t become polarized again.  I’m putting filters in place on my social media sites, and am going to strictly limit my news intake from now on.  I’m going to do my best to check all sources as I go.  And most of all, I’m going to try to remember that we are all human first.

I’m not going to give up hope that people can still be helped, love can still win, and that we are all striving to be better.

I’m not going to give up hope that we are all doing the best we have with what we are given.

And I’m not going to give up hope on my country.

Don’t get me wrong, when I see bullying or actions against others I’m still going to call it out.  That is my duty now more than ever.  I still have to do what I feel is right.  But now, I have to consider other actions.  Those actions might be donating what I can to more organizations, volunteering my time, saying prayers, doing ritual and just doing more to carefully consider someone else’s opinion.

Now more than ever, we need to unite with each other, our community and try to step forward as a whole.

Photo from Deviant Art

God Save Me From Your Followers…Sometimes

 

 

I listen to a hard rock/metal station that plays lots of new artists as I come into work each day.  Heavy metal and hard rock are both types of music that I can pull energy from when I am having a hard time with my fibro, and I’m always on the lookout for new bands to add to my playlists.

This morning a band came on however that gives me significant pause.  Don’t get me wrong, I like their music, and even occasionally sing along when they are played on the radio.  But this band prominently puts it out there that they are a Christian band.  And because they are so open about it, whether it’s real or imagined for me, I can hear Christian themes throughout their music.  And for that reason, I can’t bring myself to patronize them.

This isn’t because I don’t believe the Christian religion is a decent path.  And this isn’t because I don’t see the fact that many other people feel comfort and solace from it.  This is because of the significant number of people that are on the Christian path that try to tell me what I do and believe in is wrong, and that I need to be ‘saved’ or recruited somehow to become Christian again.

Like I have said before in my posts, I was raised Roman Catholic.  And for many years I struggled with trying to find my place in that religion.  I also gave many other denominations of Christianity a try, and still struggled.  None of these denominations were a fit with me; and many of them looked at the metaphysical gifts that I possessed as things that the “devil” was tempting me with.  Yet those gifts never went away, no matter how much I wanted them to when I was a child.

I don’t think a Christian can imagine that – I, a small child back then, able to see other’s pain, spirits and energy, and being told that those things were evil.  And no matter how I tried, I could not stop seeing things.  How much do you think that hurt?  Here I was, a child who desperately wanted to fit with the religion of my parents, but never truly did because I had these ‘evil’ gifts?  And even worse, because I was so ‘evil’ I was going to go to a place that would cause me great pain for eternity for things that I had no control over.  That was damaging to me.  VERY Damaging.  It’s something I hurt from for many, many years.

And even now, I still have people ask me to turn back to Christianity because I must not have found the ‘right’ niche for me back then.  I’ve dealt with the pain and hurt that I experienced as a child, and I’ve found a religious and spiritual path that makes me feel more connected to the world around me than I ever have, yet I’m still being asked to go to a totally different religion that has more people in it who think what gifts I have are evil, and will cause me strife for using them.

No.  Just.  No.

I know also that the inclusion of Christian rock in my playlists will just be an opening to be confronted about converting.  Someone may think I’m going overboard, but if comments on my Facebook wall become openings for Facebook friends to pop in and tell me I’m on the ‘wrong’ religious path (which I still get!), what would admitting and patronizing a Christian rock band do?

The thing that gets me the most about this whole situation is that I understand.  I understand how someone could feel so passionate about a Christian God.  I understand how someone can feel so happy being connected to a church, and how they feel so content in their soul by speaking with others about their religion.  I understand, because I feel it too about my Gods.  And I wish Christians well with the path that makes them so happy.  But until they understand that MY path makes me JUST AS happy, and that I don’t need to be ‘saved’, I cannot have any relationships with them.  And that is very disappointing, because there are beautiful things in that religion.  But just because I find something from another religion beautiful doesn’t mean that I am destined to become a member of that religion.  Until those Christians who are out to save souls realize that, they are going to continue to be shut out of conversations that would be inspiring, powerful and beneficial for everyone involved.

Photo from Deviant Art

Paganism, Christianity and the Fear of God Syndrome

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Tansy Pat wrote a post yesterday regarding the compelling topic of the Christian God.  His post is reminiscent of things that I have had to deal with, being raised in a Roman Catholic family and then dealing with family members that went to the ‘ultra’ conservative side of Christianity.  This is also something a significant amount of pagans have to deal with, and ultimately also has other facets including feelings toward family, our Christian upbringings and all sorts of other pain and problems that make the entire topic a frustrating ball of crap.

Personally, I think it was awesome of him to bring up this topic.  I think it is something that needs to be talked about.  It takes a lot of guts to start thinking about and dealing with feelings and thoughts about a God that so many of us were taught at a young age to love and abide by.  Quite a few pagans I know get so angry about their upbringings that they never reconcile this.  Instead it becomes locked in their memories, where quite a bit of energy is needed to keep it locked, and lots of anger and negativity is thrown around in defense of anyone trying to suggest to them that they open it.

If people realized how much energy that they spend trying to avoid things and how much less they would use if they just dealt with their hurts, perhaps they would be more willing to dig into it and get it over with.

Sorry, just a short healer rant there.  But I digress.

Years ago, while trying to get a pagan group together in the town I lived in at the time, I came across a woman who would cast protective spells on her things.  She was very outgoing, and spoke often about different Gods and Goddesses.  However, when I approached her about the meetup I was trying to form, I got a very peculiar answer.

“I don’t want to get any other Gods mad at me”.  She replied.

When I pressed further, she changed the topic, and taking the hint I dropped it.  I found out later that her mother was a devout Christian.  And because she lived with her mother, she did a significant amount of work with her mother’s church.  So she was saying she didn’t want to get the Christian God mad at her for going to a Pagan meetup.

Her response to me was a clear and classic case of the “Fear of God” syndrome.  It is something that until recently I dealt with too.  And I think it is also the thing that Tansy Pat speaks about in his post:

When I feel my heart flutter, when I feel anxiety, when I encounter hardship, when my blood sugar drops suddenly and I am faced again with the reality of being diabetic…I have this ingrained urge to believe I am being punished by this god I no longer worship, that I have brought these things upon myself.

When we start getting called by other gods growing up, or when we realize we have gifts that no other playmate or friend has, we start to become torn.  Our heart and gut says we have to honor ourselves.  However that is quickly overridden by our minds, which tell us that doing something like that is “bad” and will push us towards the path of “hell”.  I think the ‘Shit happens’ joke was right when it classified Christianity as “Shit happens because you are bad”.  We get that slammed into our brains so much it becomes a part of our DNA.  And no matter how much we fight it or lock away our feelings about our past, the fear is always there.

Tansy speaks to how he started figuring out how to deal with this Fear of God syndrome in his next post, where he talks about starting to recognize the origins of the Christian God.  By doing this, the Christian God starts to fit in within his framework of Divinity and thus he becomes more comfortable with it.  That was huge.

I am doing my best to handle my own Fear of God Syndrome.  But unlike Tansy, I have to fit it into my own personal framework.  It doesn’t fit to me to look at the history of God, and that is OK.  For me, I had to recognize where it fit by my discussion with the Christian God when I was still forced to attend mass.

As a minor, I was still forced to go to Roman Catholic mass, and of course, take communion.  At that time I was already a full-fledged witch and working with the native spirits where I lived.  However, not wanting to be totally disrespectful, I recognized the importance of communion to the Catholic tradition, and thus said a prayer to the Christian God to remove the blessing associated with the host after I consumed it.  I did this every time I took the host.  And every time, the reply I got was a joyful feeling that I could keep the blessing, even though I considered myself outside of the Christian religion.

It wasn’t until more recently that I recognized what the rest of the message was.  By the Christian God’s allowance of my keeping that blessing, I realized the Christian God isn’t the type of God that most Christians today believe or pray to.  The Christian God is a loving, caring god that is higher on the stalactite spectrum and excludes no one, unlike what most of his believers say.  If you pray to him, he listens, and if you don’t, that’s OK too.  If you have to recognize what his historical origins are to accept him, that is awesome.  If you have to just look him as divinity as a whole and not use his name, that’s fine too.

What makes things uncomfortable around the Christian God are his believers.  99% of the congregations in the United States don’t have a true home for the real Christian God in their churches.  There are a few that get it; the “Christians Tired of Being Misrepresented” group on Facebook, Pastor Rob Bell, who wrote the book “Love Wins” and immediately lost his congregation because of his writings gets it.  John Pavlovitz, whose blog “Stuff that Needs to be Said” has over 17,000 followers and over 18,000 Facebook followers also gets it.  They are the minority right now, but the movement has started to find a place back to what Christianity is supposed to be.

All of this recognition has allowed me to stop looking at Evangelical Christians with anger (although people like Kim Davis still get me in an uproar at times).  Instead, I look at them with pity.  If they knew the God I felt in that church all those years ago, perhaps they wouldn’t have so much anger and hatred for others.  Perhaps they would stop judging and start truly loving as they claim.

We as human beings are too individual to fit under one religion.  It was never meant to be.  We need to not be afraid to broaden our own horizons and find where we fit, where our soul can call home.  And we also need to be courageous enough to deal with the damage caused by trying to fit us into a ‘one size fits all’ belief system that truly doesn’t exist.   I believe doing both of these things is required for us to truly be free enough to worship our Gods and Goddesses with a complete body and soul.