You told me non-Christians were the problem.
You told me Christians were always better.
You taught me to look for the fish on the sign to know a business wouldn’t cheat me.
You bought me Christian music and books and movies. You sent me to Christian schools and did Christian work and did all the Christian things.
You told me there was a “gay agenda” that wanted to destroy the American family.
You told me about the abortionists and the Democrats and the environmentalists and the academics and the yogis and the scientists and the sluts and the trash.
You told me Christians were persecuted.
You told me hanging out with heathens and sinners would corrupt me.
You told me they had no answers. No peace.
You told me they couldn’t love like we could.
You told me Jesus was the solution for every problem.
Abuse, divorce, immorality, crime, drugs, mental illness, violence.
“They just need Jesus,” you said.
And then when I had doubts and struggles and failures, you told me I just needed Jesus, too.
I thought I already had him. But you said it wasn’t enough.
Try harder, pray more, deny more of myself. Here’s another Christian book.
You told me to confess and repent. And I did. And honestly, it actually was freedom.
But you never did. You never did.
You told me we were all sinners, including you. Except for you. You never acted like you knew you were a sinner. Not even once.
You told me not to believe my own eyes. My own heart. My own mind. Certainly not the wisdom of “the world.”
You told me the answers were simple. A book from a time before science, before democracy, before human rights, a time of slavery and subjugation and empire and tribal conflict was all the knowledge we need. It was right there written in English on the page.
You told me God spoke once for all time. You told me I could hear him clearly. But you could hear him most clearly.
You were the heroes of all your own stories.
You told me all these things, and I believed you. I wanted your approval. I felt ashamed when I didn’t get it.
But then I kept watching.
I watched you shame a rape victim.
I watched you attack the weak.
I watched you marginalize the vulnerable.
I watched you rewrite history.
I watched you gaslight those with broken hearts.
I watched you tear up stories that made you think. Or made you squirm. Or made you wrong.
I watched you brutalize people with the Bible.
I watched you put belief before people.
I watched you put certainty over love.
I watched you clang so many cymbals, I could not hear the music.
I watched you prop up evil men.
I watched you hunger after power.
I watched the power eat you up.
I watched you sweep everything under rugs.
I watched the filth leak out the edges.
I watched you turn no cheeks.
I watched you call evil good and good, evil.
I watched you lie, cheat, and steal.
I watched you refuse to lose.
I watched you pack up your toys and go home.
I watched you celebrate violence.
I watched you try to wash the blood off with self-righteousness.
I watched you deflect the blame.
I watched you play the victim.
I watched you claim it was all for God.
But there was no God in it.
Your moral authority is spent. You bought with it cheap, worthless trinkets. You have none left.
And I am finished with you, so that I might continue to look for God.
I don’t know where he is, except that he is not with you. That is one thing I know for sure.
I take your scorn as encouragement, your advice as warning, you opinions as tragic comedy.
The prophet Nathan told King David a story of a lamb that was stolen, his owner slain.
And David was filled with moral outrage at the sins of others.
All the while knowing he had raped and killed.
Nathan let him go on, let him preach his sermon. Let him gratify himself.
And then he brought out the mirror.
You are that man, he said.
David was at least shocked. He heard. He saw. He repented.
But not you.
You just keep going on, fingers in your ears, head in the sand.
La la la la la la
At least you have exposed yourself to others, if not to yourself.
We thank you for that. We now know who you are.
And we are finished with you.