‪Story time.‬

‪When I met my husband, he was a Christian. He believed Christians shouldn’t date non-Christians, meaning me. That was a rude and surprising slap in my face, after I had got up my eighteen-year-old courage to tell him I liked him.‬

‪I was raised actively outside of any religion. That was a purposeful choice on my mom’s part. So, I was baffled when Christian boys were cute and kind and… weirdly unavailable because of something that had never mattered to me.‬

‪So, I decided if this Christian boy I liked wouldn’t date me for this obscure reason, then since we were friends, I was gonna talk to him about it until I understood why.‬

‪I had also been bewilderingly dumped by a Catholic boy earlier that year, and I wanted to -understand-.‬

‪So my husband and I spent two solid months our sophomore year in college debating and discussing Christianity from every angle. He gave me C.S. Lewis essays to read, often dropping them off at midnight while I was working on homework. I almost flunked out of college.‬

‪In the end, my husband concluded he couldn’t tell whether I was connected to the god he believed in or not — my unwillingness to be called a “Christian” or ascribe to a particular mythology were more indicative of nomenclature than fundamental nature.‬

‪We started dating, and I tried attending his church, then over the summer, each of the churches in my home town.‬

‪Here’s what I learned: white Christian churches are cold and subtly hostile to intellectually minded new-comers. This is not the sign of a healthy group.‬

‪It became increasingly clear that my attending church, looking for one that would be accepting of me, made my husband uncomfortable, and then it became clear that he’d simply grown uncomfortable with church himself.‬

‪Together we learned through experimentation that it was true: Christians can’t date non-Christians.‬

‪Either the relationship won’t work, or the Christian will stop being one.‬

‪It wasn’t a rule based on theology. It was the practical matter of keeping members from leaving a cult.‬

‪Most of my husband’s family and friends hated me. Some were subtle. His nana called me a viper. They clearly blamed me for him drifting away from the church, but I learned the seeds had been planted long ago when his own dad left the church.‬

‪As a kid, my husband wished on his birthday candles every year that his dad would find Christ again so he would get to go to heaven with the rest of the family.‬

‪I just… when I think of that, it’s just so sad. What a thing to do to a kid. What a mind fuck.‬

‪Why am I telling this story? Because I’m really angry.‬

‪Over the years, I invested a lot of time, energy, and emotion in connecting with my husband’s family. Mostly we all just stayed weirdly quiet about religion, but come the 2016 election, I don’t stay quiet anymore.‬

‪Needless to say, when I confronted my in-laws about the fact that they surround themselves with people who FIGHT to take away my fundamental bodily autonomy (among other crimes), they preferred politeness to having me, my husband, or my kids in their lives anymore.‬

‪My experience has been that white Christians in America are AT BEST deeply Nice people who weakly tolerate horrible people who use the name Christian, while coldly cutting off or ignoring those who don’t, because speaking up about their morals would cause them to lose friends.‬

‪My point: if you’re a white Christian benefitting from the privilege of being acceptable to a white Christian church and the sense of camaraderie and family those churches foster, you have a RESPONSIBILITY to speak up in defense of basic morality.‬

‪And if speaking up in defense of basic morality causes you to lose your friends? Well, join the rest of us in the real world, outside the artificial walls of the white Christian church.‬

‪People are hurting out here. Kids are in cages. Women undergo the physical torture of forced birth. People can’t afford food.‬

‪Much of that lays at the feet of the white Christians who supported Trump, including the ones who were just too Nice to be rude to their friends.‬

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