Neither/Nor

It’s been a while again since I wrote last.

After writing my last post about being determined to carry on with Queerrant, I decided I had nothing really worth saying.

Yes. I am that wishy-washy.

Another reason I haven’t written is that many of my thoughts lately are not easy to explain and I’m not comfortable divulging many of them. Or rather, I’m scared of how they might be misinterpreted.

Often I find myself leaving a thought, be it out of busyness or because it’s simply too hard to grapple with. Checking Facebook to see the latest meme or watching a TV show or doing the dishes, even, is much easier than coming to terms with your own mind.

I’ve always struggled with belonging; I’m a perpetual outsider.

As a kid, I attended a 99% white school. My classmates were almost all fairer skinned than me. My sister and I had olive skin, dark brown hair and brown eyes. I got used to people asking, “What are you?” As an adult, it’s subsided. I guess adults are less curious or better at filtering their curiosity. It never bothered me to be called out as different; I took it as a point of pride to not be blond and blue-eyed.

In high school, however, I felt a much more painful wedge between me and my friends. Being gay was a big deal in West Michigan in the 2000s – as I think it still is, by and large. Without a safe space in which I could exist, I lived with a wall between myself and everyone else.

At the same time, I rejected the conservative ideology of my upbringing in favor of a more “progressive” or “liberal” view of the world and yet, to this day, I stubbornly refuse to identify myself as anything besides “independent progressive.” I don’t think of politics as something that should divide us, and I’m not interested in perpetuating the unhelpful Right-Left divide in our country.

And, after years of searching, I feel ready to let go of one more label – one which was even more important to me than Republican: Christian.

It’s a scarey thing to think for a boy who grew up in Grand Rapids, let alone write down.

I feel no pride in saying it. But I feel no shame, either. I feel regret, if anything, for uncovering one more area where I don’t quite belong; my rejection of Christianity doesn’t equate with an unequivocal  rejection of religion or God. I’m not an atheist, I’m not agnostic. I still believe in God, actually. I’m not a Christian, but I am a theist.

The instinctive reaction of the Christian, as I was trained, is to reach for a Bible verse to use as a sword against the unknown or the different. The arrogance, too, of the atheist eagerly dismisses that which can’t be explained through pure logic or science.

I neither believe religion to be the answer to everything, nor do I believe science to be an infallible guide to the universe.

I believe our perception of everything is flawed and our understanding can never be perfect in our limited state as humans. I don’t know how many answers that I’ll find on my way, but I hope to be a better person for being a more honest one.

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One response to “Neither/Nor

  1. Pingback: Neither/Nor (Part 2) | Queerrant

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