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After searching far and wide, I’d thought I found a church that was a perfect fit for me: An Episcopal church in a neighboring community. Very traditional, with all the comforting rituals I found lacking in other churches. The church itself is old, and absolutely beautiful, the congregation warm and friendly. I felt comfortable there, and at home--happy, even--and was looking forward to attending Christmas Eve service there.

I especially loved their “all inclusive” aspect; in their Sunday program they always include a flyer claiming to welcome everyone—paraphrasing here, but not making this up—“fat or skinny, black or white, gay or straight, drunk or sober, liberal or conservative,” etc.

Note that last part: “Liberal or conservative.” Yes, I’m conservative. Yes, I’m a Republican. No, I am not what many people believe a “typical conservative Republican is.” As anyone who knows me personally will tell you, I can be astonishing liberal in many respects. I'm a writer, for pete's sake. How uptight can I be?

So, for a moment I had a church, and a Sunday ritual: Church service with my daughter in the morning, then Barnes & Noble for an afternoon of coffee and writing. What better way to start off a week? We didn't attend regularly because of our work schedules, but we went when we could. We'd already discussed the possibility of joining the congregation. Again, with our schedules, it’d be difficult to regularly attend classes, but maybe the pastor could meet with us personally…? We tossed the idea back and forth, not quite able to make a firm commitment.

Then I happened to come across the pastor’s Facebook page. The same genial pastor who gave the greatest, NON-boring sermons, who displayed such a charming sense of humor, who shook our hands on Sundays, and always made us feel welcome.

The dude is a raging conservophobe--if that’s even a real word.

Post after post about rotten Republicans. Rotten conservatives. How we are “horrible people, period.” Political rant after political rant. My jaw hit the keyboard.

What’s interesting is that some of his posts I actually AGREED with. Many I found relevant and thought-provoking, never mind that the Average--what was the word? Oh yeah: "Horrible"--Republican undoubtedly would shit the proverbial brick. However, I also learned that the government shut-down a few weeks back was caused by Republicans SOLELY because they hate having an African-American president. The idea that people actually believe this crap boggles my mind. Oh, and I especially “loved” the cartoon of the GOP elephant saying to Santa: “Let me tell you want I don’t want OTHERS to have for Christmas.”

On and on and on.

People on my friends list who post this dreck on Facebook (and anti-liberal rants as well, which I find equally tiresome--though there is far, far less of that) have long been kicked off my newsfeed, along with tortured pets and people, plus the usual 1,000 selfies/recipes/shared cartoons/slaughtered animals i.e. you-suck-if-you-eat-meat/minute-by-minute developmental charts of their kids/food porn/racist rants/atheist rants/Jesus rants/endless self-promotion for self-pubbed books/general TMI/ and endless snarky bitchposts a day. I simply don’t want to read it. I'm sorry I read this. I'd have preferred to remain blissfully ignorant, to simply attend church and enjoy it, and continue to feel at home.

It's easy to say "don't take it personally." But I'm taking it personally. How can I not? It's everywhere I turn as it is. Free game. Conservatives, possibly the last group of people who can be bashed with impunity.

I totally “get” that this is the pastor’s personal Facebook page and that he, like everyone else, has the right to voice his opinion. In my opinion, however, he, as a pastor, represents his church. Don’t pass out that flyer week after week, claiming everyone is welcome regardless of political affiliation, then jump onto Facebook and insult every one of us. You, sir, are a flaming HYPOCRITE. Right now I’m more frosted than Frosty the Snowman—and, once again, without a church home.

But that’s okay. I’m beginning to understand that not everyone “fits” into a church. It doesn’t make me less of a Christian not to sit in a pew every Sunday morning. I’m comfortable with my spirituality, confident in my faith. Maybe one day I will find a place…but, I can safely say, it won’t be in time for Christmas.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 10th, 2013 06:28 pm (UTC)
Back in the day they used to have the Radical Republicans with Teddy and President McKinley. It's just not a combination you see much these days -- too bad, too.

Sorry your preacher turned out to be a raging liberal. I'm a progressive gal myself, but I'm not down with cussing people out for having a different point of view. That's what got Washington into this mess -- the idea that we have to fight over differences instead of working out a compromise.

Man, I hope you find a church with a pastor with an open heart. Good luck!
Dec. 16th, 2013 04:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Me too. One of these days...
Dec. 10th, 2013 11:01 pm (UTC)
Dec. 16th, 2013 04:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Dec. 15th, 2013 01:28 am (UTC)
Aw, I'm sorry your pastor ended up being so narrow-minded. I'm not a conservative, but it does make me uncomfortable to see that side bashed so much. Hopefully one day you'll find a church that is as open-minded as they claim!
Dec. 16th, 2013 04:32 pm (UTC)
All I could think of was "practice what you preach." I guess he never heard of that expression.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


Jeannine Garsee

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