A few days ago, Quaker Dave considered giving up blogging because:
the Left wing of the "blogosphere," the folks who call themselves tolerant and open-minded and "progressive" - some of them - are amongst the most abusive, intolerant folks I have ever dealt with. Patronizing, sneering, dismissive, smirking, condescending, mean-spirited, insulting. I'm tired of it.And when does this happen? Whenever I mention God or my faith.Ohhhh, he's so right. Now, I haven't caught that much flak in the blogosphere, but that's because I purposely don't write much about religion. I know the eyerolls I get from some of my more secular friends.
Real life is another story. I have a dear friend who often laments that it's too bad that I've been brainwashed. I'm continually surprised by the people who smirk or give me a gentle, sympathetic look when they find out I'm Christian. And to be a "practicing" Christian in the academy? I get the feeling that some people are thinking I should know better!! I think the assumption, in my case, is that because my parents (and especially my mom) are devout and brought us up in the church, I've never taken the time to question anything, to reason and think analytically, to consider how and why and where.
But my faith is not inherited. And the one thing I will say is that my life has been too extraordinarily blessed, that I have survived too many situations, that I have triumphed way too many times for me to think in terms of luck and coincidence. Not to get too Baptist on y'all, but when I think about what He's brought me from and through...
Don't get me wrong--I poke as much fun at Christian fanatics as anyone. And I think I'm pretty vocal about how I feel about the hijacking of Christianity by conservative Republicans and the "Jesus or Hell" crew. But just as Christianity doesn't equal Republican (or mentally ill or vapid or whatever), progressive doesn't equal secularist.
For people who call ourselves progressives, I think we need a closer examination of our own politics of exclusion.