I have a confession to make. I confess because I have been ashamed of coming out and exposing myself to the world, well, at least whoever is reading this blog that I’m a Christian. Did I mention to you that sometimes I don’t talk about photography?
A few years ago, I was looking for a spiritual home so to speak after my dad died. Just like everyone else who loses someone close to them, you start to take a hard look at your life and wonder how you can better yourself. At the time, I was giving professional tarot reading at a local metaphysical store in Honolulu. I was teaching classes on spiritual development, and doing quite well at all of it, until about two years later I found myself fall into a depression that lasted almost three months. Before all of this, and after Dad died, I did a google search for “churches who are liberal”. I didn’t think anything would pop up except the Universal Life Church. But then I saw something that grabbed my eye. The ELCA Lutheran’s. I started attending the local church here in Honolulu a few times here and there. But I was uncomfortable with the hugging and saying at the end of the sermon, “Peace be with you”. While I felt those words, it was hard for me to be comfortable going to church at all since I grew up in a home void of religion.
Just recently, I started going to another Lutheran church (The Prince of Peace) across the street from my apartment; who still hugs and say’s “peace be with you” but it feels more like home there. It’s lovely really. It’s located in a rented out space in a small office building. It’s modest, and like home. Most of the attendees are elderly and there are a few of us younger people that are there. I started taking communion recently, and am being baptized on Easter this year. I’ve come a long way in three years.It’s not easy though being a Christian today. It’s almost like we’ve been thrown into the dark ages and now we’re the ones being persecuted. All Christians have been categorized on the Christian Right and viewed as asshats. What I mean by asshats, is that Christians think that homosexuality, and abortions are a sin; and being a patriarch racist bigot is in the name of God. However, that’s not how all Christians are. Just like Democrats and Republican being labeled as the left and right, you can also find in Christianity. In our church, everyone is welcomed. We do not discriminate. We feel that Jesus would have brought everyone in, and did, regardless of race, gender, or religion. He fed the needy, healed the sick, and gave love to those to whom they thought didn’t deserve it. He represents how the modern day liberals now have categorized themselves. Except this…liberal have become asshats. Somehow, if you’re not an atheist or spiritual but not religious, you belong to the Christian Right, and this is a horrible, terrible thing. Trust me, I know because I used to be one of those people. After all, war is based off of religion, right? While that statement is true, and you can find it throughout history, and it continues today, there are those of us who have learned from past mistakes and have instead come to terms loving Jesus as he was truly depicted in the bible. An all inclusive man who served an all inclusive God.
We’ve also been labeled as hypocrites. Also true. I’d like to state for the record though, that all of us are hypocrites, and I mean every living breathing human on this planet. And while some Christians are oblivious to this statement, the liberal Christians know this to be true. We are human, we have our faults. Taking communion does not mean that we are all set to go out and sin for the rest of the week. It means that we are asking for forgiveness and we’re going to try to be a better person that week. Some of will succeed, other of us will fail. We do though, get back on that horse and try again, just like everyone does. We know that we’re not perfect, but we also know that our love for everyone doesn’t stop at the moment we pass though the church doors after Sunday mass. We know that our work begins when we leave.
The world right now is pretty messed up. We have gotten ourselves here in the U.S. in a pretty big pickle. While this is new to us, this isn’t new to millions of people who face this sort of mutiny of a daily basis. Still I pray that things are going to be alright and President Asshat will find some sort of redemption out of his horrible behavior. Every time I log into social medial I see some post about how Christians are representative of Republicans, and I wanted to go on record to say, no we’re not. In fact, I feel upset that I have to hide because I’m ashamed of being a Christian. I have to wear a scarlet letter when ever I say to my liberal friends that I’m a Christian that still offers tarot readings and tea leaf readings. I’m upset that in my own family, I feel like I have to hide my identity from them because of ridicule. Today though, is not one of those days because I feel it’s time for all Christian Lefts to come out and not be ashamed of who they are. That’s its okay to say that you believe in God and the word of Jesus. That we are all sinners, and that’s okay, we do the best that we can. And we’re not asshats, but rather good people trying to do good in this world.
I haven’t drunk the kool-aid, and am not some born-again Christian whose had this new epiphany in God. I’m just a regular liberal woman, who wants equal rights for all, doesn’t want war and conflict, and doesn’t want to be labeled as an asshat. To do that, it looks like I have to come out of the closet.
* For the record, I also know a lot of republicans who are not asshats