As a result, I've spent a fair bit of time today reading about other people's experiences and comparing them to my own. It's interesting to me because even while I was blogging through my gradual descent from grace, I didn't seem to meet many bloggers that were having a parallel experience. Now it seems everywhere I look, people are telling stories that are strikingly similar to mine.
It's been a long time since I left the church. Coming out to my parents as a non-christian was almost as bad as coming out as gay. To this day, I'm not sure which they're more upset about. They tell me all the time about how much they love me even though I be so gay. It would be easy to blame my gayness or my non-christian-ness, or even the thousand miles of highway between me and them, for the distance I feel from my family, but if I was going to be really honest, I always felt like I didn't belong. I was always the odd one out.
I could say we're not close because our values are so different, but I think that's just the thing that gave me the excuse to.... excuse myself. Sometimes I feel like I must be a bad person because I don't have a harder time being separate from them.
My stepsister has a blog which I check in on from time to time to see pictures of my niece and nephews. From there I can spy on her friends, who used to be my friends, people I used to go to church with. I can also follow a link to her church, which used to be my church, and read the statement of faith. It is fifteen-fold, comprised mostly of the jargon you're used to seeing in an evangelical theological document. Jesus, blah blah.... Trinity and so forth, sin and redemption. All the minutia that makes this particular evangelical church separate from the one down the street.
Number fifteen, however, is not a theological description. It's merely a social stance.
Personally, I don't think this sentence belongs in a statement of faith. It's a perfect example of how sidetracked the church in general has become. More importantly, however, it is a wedge. A wedge between a girl and her family. It is the strange tone of a sister's voice on the telephone. It's just one of the many ways a dogmatic religion robs from its followers.
On the upside, next time I visit and my mom tries to drag me to church with her, I have a valid excuse not to go. After all, it says "the exclusion of all others." They don't want me there.