I’ve mentioned before that I was born and bred as a Southern Baptist, raised to walk along the narrow path of the most conservative interpretations of the Bible and vote within the guidelines set forth by the Jerry Falwells and James Dobsons of the world. Luckily, I was also born with a good set of critical thinking genes and a hunger for knowledge, so in my grown-up life, I was able to walk away from organized Christianity — which I believe has entered into a mutual hijacking situation with the Republican party, the goal of which is to consolidate power by exploiting ignorance and fear — and reconcile my Biblical knowledge with my life experiences with my intrinsic value system of mercy and goodness.
Funny thing about spending all those years in church, though: I know more about the Bible than I will ever know about anything else. I studied it like it was my job for two decades of my life.
I often have run-ins with former buddies from church, all of whom are really wonderful people on the inside, but most of whom do not have a particularly thorough or enlightened understanding of politics or history or religion. What usually happens is they do some Bible verse-slinging at me, and I patiently try to explain where they’ve been duped by their church or their politicians or their own ingrained prejudices.
Today, I realized it would probably be an even better idea if I just made a reference post so I can point people here and save myself some typing time. Hopefully, you guys will be able to use this as a resource too.