After an apology from one kind Christian for all the evils Christianity has done against her, she looks at him with a mixture of anger and aplomb and asks: Why don’t you just jump ship? And it’s such an honest question? If you have to apologize for it all the time. If you have to justify it. if you have to make excuses for it. If it’s so bad, why don’t you just jump ship?
That’s it I tell you, it’s unfixable.
I’m not one to give up on something I love. Even if it tears me apart. And I do love Christianity. I love talking about it. I love the barriers and the restrictions and the freedom and the fear. I love to criticize it and cling to it. I especially enjoy the fringes of it’s functionality. That opportunity to play with deciding what about it truly matters. What is the base? What is the point? but why do I keep coming back to it and thinking that it’s salvageable?
I’ve been asking myself that question for years. Sometimes I answer that it’s not the religion I love, it’s the relationship. But the relationship without the intellectualizing is a little empty. I mean, would I even be allowed to have an opinion on the religion if it I left it? Reza Aslan on FoxNews flashes in my head. He wasn’t allowed to talk about Jesus and he’s got a PhD in the history of religions and worships a religion that even believes in Jesus. Then again, if I’m looking to be justified by FoxNews for my views, I might as well just quit writing right now. So, this logic leads me to believe that I certainly can discuss the religion without being a part of it. That’s one barrier down.
Sometimes, I think that I can’t love Christ without loving Christianity. It’s like loving a teenager and hating drama… oh wait…. I can do that. I don’t have to accept everything that is remotely connected with Christ to love Him. Maybe I’m a little afraid that the drama is part of the allure. Maybe I am a little addicted to the highs and lows. Maybe I’m not ready to be stable. What if it’s not really the relationship I love, but the intellectual aspects? But if I don’t really love the relationship, letting it go should be easy, right?
Christianity is my hiding place. It expects clear things from me and though I push the boundaries out, I am safe in it. I feel like I am good at it. But is that a good reason to stay? What if I had no relationship and was starting from scratch, how would I pick a religion? Wouldn’t I choose one that matches me, that nourishes my spirit, and helps to encourage my connection with the divine? Wouldn’t I choose something healthy? But what if healthy is… I don’t know…. boring? What if healthy is no highs or lows? Is it a good thing to just sail along not feeling anything rather than feeling too much?
I’d say I’m over labels, but that seems just so incredibly weak.
“On comes the panic light
Holding on with fingers and feelings alike
But the time has come
To move along”