On Facebook, there is this man who went to the same school as I did – and before I go on, this has to be said: the high school I went to was terrible. It was an extreme-right parochial Christian school aimed to stamp out people cookie-cutter-like and seed them into the world so as to cover the planet in brambles and nightshade. And I should say here: #NotAllChristians. I’m specifically talking about the horror show I was raised in.
This was about the BLM riots. He (the high-school person, not someone with the initials BLM) said that the police should surround the rioters and force them to rebuild at gun point. So, of course, I had a response but (again, of course) it turned into some lengthy thing too long for the format. What I wanted to say to this man was this:
Each day, Christians like him showed me the shallowness and hypocrisy of their convictions. Each day, Christians like him showed that they care more about property than people. Each day, I see Christians who support a system that kills black people for minor infractions and easily forget the Jesus who held a riot against the moneymakers in the temple. I see entitlement instead of mercy, moral posturing instead of love, fantasize of violence against the “other” instead of hope, false certainty versus faith.
You have shown that my path away from that flavor Christianity was the right one. My path started with listening to people instead of preaching at them. I learned from my “enemies” and found friends instead. It continued with learning compassion for those who suffer, whether I “agreed” with them or not. With checking what I heard via third-party sources and statistics rather than let anyone interpret “truth” for me. With seeing the togetherness of humans and realizing that their injustice is mine, even I sought to hate and instead found people so capable of love and in so much pain.
It is evolving in me – not perfected, NEVER perfected, but always being built.
You have given me a gift. I am not being sarcastic. I mean this from the bottom of my heart. I am glad, because rarely does anyone get so clear a view that one did the right thing. We are mostly living blindly in this life. People like you show me what I left behind – how dead and cruel that faith was. How devoid of mercy or love of other people – only for the people who agree with what you say and look like you.
I am liberated. You and yours gave me a place to run from until it turned into something I can run towards. I never learned to really love others until I left your Christianity. And I do this not because I am afraid I will be damned if I don’t. I do this because I only receive this life, and I don’t want to spend it in hate.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.