This week, I was told I was godless.
That was news to me, but in this era when people can post anything on the internet and pretend it’s the truth, I have forever been labeled godless.
In reality, that doesn’t actually mean that I don’t believe in God. It just means I don’t share the narrow-minded, judgmental views belonging to some people who call themselves Christians.
Because I support gay marriage, believe in comprehensive sex education, will always fight for separation of church and state and don’t believe that Christianity is the only legitimate religion, to them, I am godless.
This isn’t the first time someone has questioned my faith.
When I was a teen, I often attended youth group activities with a friend at a fundamentalist church. Upon arrival, my friend always got the attention of boys while I always watched from the sideline. One evening, I just couldn’t deal with the situation, and the youth pastor picked up on my petulance and jealousy. He asked me to come to his office, and I agreed because I thought he was going to provide some words of wisdom and solace.
Instead he interrogated me about my religious beliefs.
“Are you saved?” he asked me.
“I go to a Methodist Church,” I said, thinking he would understand that most Methodist weren’t real big on going up to the altar, getting on their knees and proclaiming they were “born again.”
He didn’t like my answer.
“Well then, you aren’t a real Christian,” he said.
Even at fifteen, I knew he was full of it. But, in order to escape his small office, I promised I would think about his advice.
I never talked to him again, which probably wasn’t real Christian of me. Instead, it was actually rather godless, because the God I know is loving and forgiving. I wasn’t being either.
There are times, like this week, when I’m still not.
I question people who wrap themselves in Christianity and proclaim that the way they live their lives is the way everyone else must live theirs. I swear when those same people call me a hypocrite for saying I believe in diversity but don’t believe in exposing kids to the lies they want to perpetuate. And I have a hard time loving and forgiving people who are more intent on justifying their own beliefs rather than caring for others.
I was too angry to truly exemplify God’s love and ability to forgive, so maybe people were justified in calling me godless.
But I’m pretty sure God understands and forgives me.