1. I feel for you, it sounds hard to be confronted with not only how you could have turned out, but how people you know still are. I get that you have that fear you could revert, but I’d argue it would have to take one hell of an event to do so, no? More of a case of keeping that compassion you feel you’ve learned, but also making sure that you’re not being sucked into the bigotry/old ways. I’m that way with one side of my family, of whom there are only 3 I speak to and see, and it’s very much about taking everything that is said with a pinch of salt. If we don’t, we’ll get lost in the maze of the lies, manipulation, and so on.

    I can only offer good thoughts and virtual hugs. Just sitting here drinking my cup of chai, waiting for this whole thing to blow over (the craving was so strong, I had to make some purely in order to read this. It was the right decision).

    • AbsentElemental

      The sad part is that the side of my family that I’m talking about is the more likeable side of my family, if you could believe that. I really want chai now, however I’m out of it. It’s quite a sad moment.

        • AbsentElemental

          You’re quite right. The next time I go to the store (probably tomorrow), I’ll buy more chai. Granted, considering tomorrow is Election Day, I may end up drinking bourbon or scotch instead (I do have some really, really good actual scotch from Scotland).

  2. My husband likes chai and was introduced to it while serving in Iraq…he complains we almost never get it “right” here in America.

    For me it’s almost the opposite…I have family members who I *thought* taught me to be a compassionate, Christ-like person who believed “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” But somehow the years have made them…selfish. Hypocritical. It’s astonishing to me how the people who made me who I am…somehow turned away and judge me for living out that legacy.

    • AbsentElemental

      I feel that way about some members of my family. There were a few who taught compassion. That said, age seems to have changed their minds on who you’re supposed to be compassionate to and who you’re not.

  3. I feel like some of these things (racism, xenophiobia, sexism, etc) are so ingrained into western Christianity that even if you could show a logical, obvious trail that points how the things that are said and are done fall into those categories, they still couldn’t see it.

    Even when you step out of it. My husband and I were discussing some of these things last night, particular, how one Christian friend had said something that literally suggested Scott should rape me–and yet would defend to the earth that he was not suggesting it. He could answer circles around that accusation to prove why it wasn’t a suggestion of rape, and yet when it comes down to it, that’s exactly what it was.

    It astounds me how oblivious people can be to these things. I know, even being raised as a Christian, I’ve always believed in loving and serving others first. There were times where I had skewed ideas, but when it was presented to me that I may be wrong, the first thing I did was look into it to find out.

    One example was my stance on being gay. I had an extremely close friend in high school who came out as gay–to everyone of course, except me. When I found out, I wanted to know why, and he told me he was terrified I would no longer care about him. I cried and I realized if my stance was that harmful to someone who should know how I felt about them, it was likely that I was on the wrong side of the line.

    I still try to be involved in church, but it is hard when I see such a different religious world around me than I thought it was.

    • AbsentElemental

      I truly do not believe that Christianity, at its heart, is a religion of oppression and hate towards those less fortunate. I think that the reason that many people use it that way is to further their own causes, to shield themselves from their own insecurities, and to try to “protect” themselves from the things they view as different. I don’t know at this point exactly where my beliefs lie, however I do try to make sure that as many people as possible in my life recognize that I support them, even when others in society don’t treat them fairly. I don’t know how to respond to religion anymore…though that’s not the fault of the religion itself.

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