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The Election, My Conservative Family, and Biting My Tongue

By Thomasina Belle ~

I know a lot of you can probably relate to me, so I'm going to use this platform to vent. I really really appreciate this site. I am the lone liberal ex-christian in my large devout conservative family. I am the “donkey” in a room full of elephants yet I am the “elephant in the room.” With our election over and my anger somewhat subsiding, I just need some fellow ex-Christians to share the love. I have friends who think like me philosophically, but not many who have a similar background.

The following is a perfect vignette to illustrate my family and me: A couple of years ago with my parents and two of my siblings, we got on the subject of gay marriage. I try, I really try to keep my mouth shut, but this time immediately after my dad said “it’s in the Bible!” I blurted out “The bible’s full of contradictions.” You see, I had been reading some Bart Ehrman and Skeptics Annotated prior to that and was well on my journey to agnosticism. My sister cried, “Katie! You can’t say that!” You would have thought I had just shouted “Kill and eat all the babies within a mile radius!” I felt dirty and alone. I have kept my mouth shut ever since.

The bible is absolutely worshipped by my family as God’s perfect and holy word. It is a magical book. My retired mother listens to it with her earbuds while she busies herself around the house. It is her way of “growing in the Lord” and resisting temptation. Devotions are had every morning with coffee. Prayers are said aloud for everything; meals, car trips long and short, stressful situations and unreasonable and/or unsaved people. The ritualism and superstition is undeniable, but because they are ex-Catholics, they would vehemently deny this.

This election. This unbelievable maddening shocking presidential election. Donald Trump could be a serial killer, rapist, cannibal, an extra-terrestrial, a cross-dresser, half-monkey or maybe even GAY! Doesn’t matter. He is a Republican, therefore representing the pro-life platform, so my family voted for him. Plus he just got saved, right?! He’s a babe in the faith, newly born-again (gag).

I love my family. My sisters and I have a great relationship, yet the great sadness of my life is that they are still blind to the truth and I don’t see a change for them anytime soon. Constant Facebook posts of Bible verses and Christian music videos and warm fuzzy stories about God working in lives. And of course, they see me as blind to the truth, having “strayed” from the faith.

Global warming. Virtually all scientists agree that we are destroying the livability of our planet, but that doesn’t matter because “This world is not my home, I’m just passing through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.” I was reading yesterday that the great Noam Chomsky stated that the Republican Party is “the most dangerous organization in world history” because of their denial of manmade climate change. Trump supposedly plans to scrap the United States’ ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Arghh!

Okay, that’s my venting for now. Some might call it a miracle that my family and I get along so well. I call it me nodding my head in person and saying uh-huh on the phone and biting my tongue.