17 October 2011
3 there ain't no easy way
except for a few easters where i dragged hapless boyfriends to choral performances in suitably radical houses of worship, i didn't go to church through all of college and a big stretch after.
that's not to say i didn't believe in god. i did. but my concept of the divine was steeped in the mysticism of touched by an angel and the radical egalitarianism of dr. quinn.
in contrast, the god i enountered in church was profoundly narrow. a god of guilt and shame, who hated half the world and commanded that we pass judgment upon everyone regarding a highly specific set of social issues.
in the church of my childhood, god was a middle-aged white man. he undoubtedly voted straight-ticket republican. and even i- with my flimsy little doctrines stemming from the CBS saturday night family hour- knew any god operating in such limitations and with such intolerance was not worthy of my belief.
still, we take our bullshit on the road. and so, even when i wasn’t going to church in college, when my dear beloved kbg waxed on about how she preferred to find god in nature, i chastized her that such a thing was not possible. one could not find the almighty in the absence of four walls, a praise band and a chair.
you had to have the right building, the right answers. you had a moral obligation to tell others and it was absolutely vital to know where you stood on the virgin birth.
i said all of this despite the fact that i had looked for god from within these constraints and found nothing. in leaving church, i thought i had taken the easy way out. what i learned was that there is no easy way.
filed under: faith in the city