SHE’S NOT A CHRISTIAN?!!
It has been a long time, hasn’t it?
The last time I shared my writing, I was commenting on how Pete Buttigieg doesn’t represent the entire queer community. How times have changed in just four months.
This post is going to be short and sweet. It’s just an update on where I’ve been, why I’ve been absent from this platform, and where this is all going.
Long story short:
Well, not a Christian by the definition that most understand.
To understand what I’m going to say, we need to use the same language. Even if you disagree, going forward in this post, a Christian is anyone who participates in Christianity.
But wait- how are you defining Christianity?
Glad you asked.
In an American context, Christianity is not simply a monotheistic religion that follows the teachings of Jesus. In America, Christianity is the assumed religion of religious people. It is the norm. More than that, Christianity is an institution that has been at the forefront of the perpetuation of systemic racism, heterosexism, and countless other evils.
It’s what President Trump uses as a photo-op. It’s what All Lives Matter folks use to justify their ignorance of the racial injustices across the globe. It’s what mothers have used to abandon their queer and trans children. It’s what makes it okay to say “God bless America,” but not “God bless Iran,” because after all, “God bless America” doesn’t mean God bless American people. It means “God, bless this system of white supremacy.”
Christianity is the default and the assumed belief system of Americans. It claims to teach love, but somehow fails to teach us anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-homo and transphobia, anti-xenophobia, and anti-any-system-that-seeks-to-oppress-others-so-that-white-people-may-thrive.
Christianity in America most often gives permission to the privileged to ignore the world around them while simultaneously gives permission to carry a martyr complex any time a marginalized person speaks out against the hatred and bigotry that is perpetuated by Christians who are holding onto their privileges like it is their last sip of water.
If I sound angry or bothered, it’s because I am. I am angry because I bought into the Jesus that America had fed me, not realizing that Jesus was the black moms at work who told me to get home safe every time I left the office; Jesus was the gay bar owners who were taking in Black Lives Matter protesters and washing their eyes of pepper spray; Jesus was Marsha P. Johnson who threw bricks at Stonewall; Jesus was the high school teachers who let me use their rooms for study hall because high school was a difficult place for a gay black teenager.
Following Jesus means creating a new way other than the paths previously presented to me. I mean, take it from Jesus. Why use old wine skins for new wine? They’ll break and burst. The wine skin that is American Christianity burst a long time ago. It’s time to try again.
You see, I still believe in Jesus. My faith hasn’t wavered. I believe in the brown refugee who believed women and was an enemy of the State.
My faith in the Church as an institution, however, is gone. My faith in Christianity is gone. I cannot believe in a Christianity that has been institutionalized and marketed to an audience that seeks to create “us” and “them.”
If that makes me an enemy to some, then so be it. That speaks more on where their faith is than it does mine.
Anyway, I’m not going to label my faith right now because while it’s not “Christian,” it’s not agnostic, and definitely not atheist. It’s simply an unwavering belief in the Living God that does not manage to fit into the mold of American Christianity. And that’s too many syllables for the average attention span.
Basically, call me whatever you want, just don’t call me late for dinner.