I was born into a Pentecostal family. My dad was the pastor.
All versions of my story start the same way, with that line.
For decades, I was stepping further and further away from the faith I was taught as a kid. But the emotional core of my faith was still fundamentalist, and I still thought of myself as an Evangelical. And I still believed in fundamentalism (kind of like Daniel Dennett’s “belief in belief”). By the end of 2013, there were two of me living inside my mind. There was the fundamentalist, who believed in some version of Evangelical theology. And then there was the rationalist, who would admit that it’s all just a story, a religious narrative, but—I believed at the time—a useful narrative. I thought of myself as an agnostic Christian, because I didn’t think you could prove whether God existed—all the “evidence” people cite are just stories—but I believed in him anyway, just because.
And at the same time, I didn’t feel I could talk openly about these thoughts. The few times I had cautiously put out feelers in front of religious friends, or even worse, religious leaders, I had been been soundly thrashed with them. Click to continue »