It bothers me to know that fundamentalism has made such a mess of Christianity that progressive people are leaving it in droves. Without the voice of the progressives, it leaves religion, an important cultural space, for those that would advocate intolerance towards others. I came across this story on a gay blog where the author was celebrating and I could not help but think of the cruelty of this action. A loss of faith is deeply a sad thing and is not something to be celebrated no matter how hateful various Christian churches have been. It is a sign of resignation, of giving up what is most dear because of the criminal actions of others and not because of the actions of God. Anne Rice losing her belief is not a victory, in fact it is a loss.
Since publicly saying that I am a Christian woman, I have been inundated with commentary from fundamentalists claiming that I am perverting the religion, and from atheists accusing me of not have a rational mind. No matter where I turn there is censure, but it is a price I am more than willing to pay because my faith does not make answerable to anyone besides God. I don’t intend to get into doctrine, and I believe that my beliefs are quite evident from reading this blog. I decided to share with everyone my Christian beliefs to simply offer another vision of what loving God and therefore his creations could mean, if we were to radically remove the fundamentalist element of the equation.
Before even getting to know me, the fact that I am Christian will be enough for many to assume what my beliefs are based on the bully pulpit various denominations have employed to oppress so many. As much as this may hurt me personally, I recognize the legitimate fear of my religion. We cannot reclaim what has been perverted when the the righteous and tolerant deny their faith. There must be some middle ground from which to wage battle. I have certainly had many internal conflicts and times when I have walked away from God because of the actions of others, but in the end, I decided that my faith was too important to lose because I did not agree with their perversion. Today I am a non-denominational Christian and I do not support any institutions. I do not tithe to any church. I will not sit and listen as any minister uses the Apostle Paul to attack the powerless and I will not be denied my autonomy. I do this all in the name of my faith.
When I see another tolerant person being driven from the faith, I cannot celebrate this as any sort of good. You cannot abstain and bring about a metamorphosis. Any movement for change requires pressure from without and from within, and if the Christian warriors forsake their role in battle, I fail to see how we can bring about a lasting change. It was Blacks and Whites marching together that brought attention to the Civil Rights Unions, just as it will be Christians and non Christians who stand as comrades in arms to bring an end to these usurpers of Gods words. Let me say this again to be absolutely clear, you cannot for one moment believe in a Christian God and support the many perversions of the various denominations. Christ is of love and what these people practice is the antithesis of this. So it is my hope that Rice will find her way back to her faith. It is my hope that she will find the strength to wage a righteous battle in the name of God because I believe that it is only with hir help that we shall reach a place of peace.