Nov 13, 2013

Ex-evangelicals don't think your evangelical jokes are funny

There's a difference between critical outsiders and critical-outsiders-who-used-to-be-insiders-and-still-value-some-of-the-insidery-stuff. A subtle difference, maybe, but a difference still.

From Newsweek, the story of a support group for ex-evangelicals. "Beyond Faith" is an organization for "happy godless heathens," but specifically "heathens" who are ex-evangelicals who are tired and frustrated by their secular friends' misunderstandings of evangelicalism. 

It's like they're not even trying to understand:
Roth, a 24-year-old queer artist and activist who was raised in a Maryland megachurch and once proudly wore a purity ring to symbolize sexual abstinence, says it's difficult to relate to New Yorkers who see evangelicals as nothing more than a punchline. 'Being an ex-Christian can be so isolating, even in a liberal open-minded progressive city,' Roth explains. 'It's true that I was raised in a bubble -- my church was my entire life, and I've let it go -- but it was fulfilling and meaningful, and everyone here thinks I was, like, in a cult.' 
Socially, there is a bit of space in America for those who were raised extremely religiously, but who aren't religious anymore, to trash the faith of their youth. It's much more difficult, though, for them to find ways to talk about what they valued and what it meant to them while maintaining, still, the distance of their current disbelief.