losing my religion

Why Christian?

I mean, really. What’s the point anymore?

I know some people are asking themselves that question. Especially in an age where fundamentalism seems to be the dominant public face of the religion.

That question is also the title of a conference headed by Rachel Held Evans and Nadia Bolz-Weber: Why Christian?

I found out about their gathering yesterday. It’s definitely piqued my interest.

When I saw the page featuring their speakers, I smiled.

If I may be frank with you, I’ve never seen so many women of colour on a conferenced helmed by two Caucasians. From what I’ve seen, such diversity is normally included when a conference’s founders are people of colour.

Although I still know very little about Why Christian?, there was something else about it that struck me as unique. I couldn’t put my finger on it at first…And then, Rachel dropped this tweet:

Confession: I don’t think I’ve ever been to a Christian conference (hereafter called a “CC”). Yet I’ve seen plenty of their websites.

Why is it that many CCs that have predominantly (white) male speakers are marketed to everyone within their demographic? (By “everyone” and “demographic”, I’ve seen pages for conferences for church musicians, youth leaders, you name it–yet there’s no discrimination among the gender of those who are expected to attend.) Meanwhile, when a CC lineup features a predominantly black or female group of speakers, then that’s exactly who I see in footage of its audience. (The only exception are a handful of Caucasians or men that I’ve observed.)

I used to assume that these unique attendees were family or close friends of those who are a part of said conferences’ mainstream. However I realize that in making such a conclusion, I’ve ruled out another option. What of the man or woman who has looked at a conference’s web page and said, “I am a Christian. I believe that the people who are going to to speak will be saying something that is relevant to my walk with God….”?

Hence, they decide to attend regardless of the risk of being perceived as an outlier.

Our perceptions of who belongs where need to change. Especially in religious circles. Or for the sake of this piece, Christian ones. Just because a speaker doesn’t appear to match perpetuated norms, don’t assume that you won’t learn from them.

I'm just sayin'., losing my religion

A time to rant.

Maybe it’s because I’m black. Maybe it’s because–no matter what others say–today’s homophobia smells a little too much like Civil Rights Era racism, but I’ve grown tired of not saying anything.


Yesterday on the Huffington Post I found this article regarding evangelicals and homosexuality.

Apparently the authors are bothered about the fact that some Christians’ actions/words are referred to as “hateful”.

Did you read that entire post? If so, bless you. I couldn’t make it past the introduction. And believe me. I tried.*

Via Twitter today, I discovered this article. Andrew Marin, proprietor of The Marin Foundation, wrote a response to the aforementioned piece.

I started to check out the comments. And made one of my own.

In fact, I said

It has occurred to me that a lot of people’s resistance to gay marriage and gay rights comes down to a matter of ego and selfishness.

I was inspired after reading another user’s words:

If the likes of Focus on the Family came out and said something like, “We’ve said some horrible judgemental things about the LGBT communities in the past and we’re sorry for them – they were wrong”, would they then no longer be “haters” if they still opposed marriage equality on the religious basis that “marriage can only be between a man and a woman”? At that point would it itself be “hateful” to launch huge PR campaigns to demonise people and institutions just because individuals hold to traditional religious views and wished to see them enshrined in the laws of the land (in the same way that some wish to see non-religious perspectives become part of the State’s formal framework).

Just wondering where the balance in all this lies.

(emphasis added)

Which were written in response to someone else…

I’ll tell you one thing, friends…I am sick and tired.

I am tired of the pointless blame and immature whining of Christian conservatives regarding homosexuality.

A lot of folks want to blame gay people for ruining the definition of marriage.

Well. Would you like to know what I think makes a mockery of marriage?

1. Divorce. If you’re going to claim that heterosexual marriage is where it’s at, then what of that 50% divorce rate? I don’t believe that divorce should be banned outright. Yet some people give up on their relationships far too easily.

2. People who think that marriage is a game. Let’s face it. Far too many folks take greater care in their vetting process when they decide to buy a car or a piece of cheese.

I once heard of an instance where a man (an artist? a pro-gay-rights activist?) met a woman, went to (his city’s) city hall, and married her. Not out of love. Not even because he thought she was hot. But because, hey. She was the right gender. As was he. They fit the combination concerning what constitutes a “lawful” marriage in various states and provinces, so–what the fuss–why not make a go of it?

He did it to prove a point, and I believe he made it.

All that sarcasm to say this.

Why do some Christians feel compelled to adopt a superiority complex concerning those who do not hold the same views as them?

As for the commenter that I responded to above, I remember feeling angry as I wrote. And sad over what some people of faith have become. Many of those institutions who want to uphold “traditional” marriage are vilified. But is it without reason? They often use hyperbolic rhetoric, depicting homosexuals as inhuman.

And for what?

To make gay people feel like the odd persons out?

Is it because the Word says so?

As much as I love my Bible, there are A LOT of regulations within it that Today’s Good Christians do not follow.

Goodness knows, if some literalists had their way, I wouldn’t have been seen in public this week.

(For reasons that are…You know…Womanly.)

But I digress.

For now, I will close with remarks from the end of yet another comment that I made on that very same blog post:

…people can believe what they want. I’m old enough to be used to folks being hard-hearted. However that shouldn’t stop them from treating their fellow human beings with respect…

Knowing Jesus–or, rather, THINKING that one knows Jesus–does not make one person better than anyone else.

*After I wrote this post, I went back and read the article in question. Its content was no different from what I expected.