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Introducing Myself


John Ryan
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Hallo everyone.

 

I am a 22-year-old college student, who will be starting an M.A. in politics at NYU in the Fall. I have a profound interest in philosophy and theology, as well as politics (obviously), sociology and economics. At the age of sixteen, I de-converted from Christianity and became an atheist, due to a lack of evidence for God, and because of the absurdities of Christian Orthodoxy/Fundamentalism. However, over the past six months or so, I have slowly returned to the Christian faith, and now consider myself something of a Progressive Christian, or Christian Agnostic. I never know how to write introductions, so I figure I will briefly describe my re-conversion story:

 

After spending six years as an atheist, I started reading more philosophy, and began to feel a sense of wonder at the Universe and Existence. At the time I was horribly depressed after losing my best friend (since I fell in love with her and she did not feel the same, it destroyed the friendship), and life seemed hopeless. Yet, I kept having these little moments of what felt like the sublime. I began to pray again, asking the God I did not believe in that if He is real, to reveal Himself to me.

 

I am one of the few heterosexual males who is not attracted to lesbianism. For me, lesbianism is just adorable and uber-cute. It is like it strips away all my own sexual desires, and when I read a story about it or watch a film about it, I feel like I can see unadulterated pure love. Crazy I know, but bear with me. So, I noticed that after reading different lesbian romance stories that I would often feel this overwhelming sense of love - a sense of the subliminal. At this time I was still an atheist, but I wanted to explore this further.

 

On Christmas Eve, I woke up around 8am before my family was awake. I read a lesbian fan-fiction story that was like a mix of The Family Man with Nicholas Cage, and It's a Wonderful Life. It moved me so beautifully, because it was about God giving these two girls a second chance at life and love after a tragic suicide and a traffic accident. I cried uncontrollably for a little under an hour. After this moment, I have known that even though depression would knock me down, life was beautiful, magical and wonderful enough for me to get right back up. I was given hope, and even though I did not believe, I thanked God for giving me that.

 

So for a long time, I started exploring Christianity, but I was still an atheist re-exploring something I had previously written off. I had been asking God for a sign of His presence, and somewhat frustrated. Then one evening, I turn on the television and it was turned onto FX to a presentation of Jennifer's Body. I had thought about watching this movie in the past, but had written it off as a stupid film that just used girl-on-girl kissing to get stupid boys to watch. So, when I turned the television on, it happened to be the exact scene where the two main characters end up kissing. And I was wrong. The story is not using lesbianism as a marketing ploy, but tells the tragic love story between two best friends. I realized this two minutes into watch the narrative, which I had previously written off as trash.

 

So I went back and watched the whole movie about a week later, and "coincidentally," I realized that the film was written as a Christian Allegory. That fact hit me like a freight truck. I had been feeling these subliminal emotions with reading same-sex romance stories, I have been re-exploring the Christian faith, and I am presented with a narrative that mixes lesbianism and Christianity in such a perfect way. It spoke to me on such a deep, heartfelt level. Now, it is possible this is all random coincidence, and I am inventing these connections in my head. Yet, maybe they are not. I could not think of a more perfect "hello" from God than this. What are the odds that all these threads, that I would turn on the film at the exact time that I did to realize it was a great movie, would converge in my life? I do not know, but after watching Jennifer's Body I began to attend weekly Mass and believe in God again.

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John,

 

Welcome. An interesting and quite unusual story. You say, "I began to attend weekly Mass and believe in God again." So, what kind of God? As presented by orthodox Catholicism?

 

George

Well, I think coming to God through lesbian narrative precludes me from embracing orthodox Catholicism. I reject orthodox and classical conceptions of Christianity, in favor of a progressive view of the Christian legacy. Marcus J. Borg has been a profound influence on my beliefs.
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Welcome - I look forward to reading posts from your point of view.

For reading, I recommend the book "Tomorrow's Catholic" by Michael Morwood, It is very progressive, almost Buddhist. I think you would get a lot out of it.

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Welcome - I look forward to reading posts from your point of view.

For reading, I recommend the book "Tomorrow's Catholic" by Michael Morwood, It is very progressive, almost Buddhist. I think you would get a lot out of it.

I have bookmarked the book on Barnes & Noble in my browser.

 

John welcome and I appreciate your playing with fire and your search. May you find the center where everything is united.

Thank you for the warm welcome.
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Hi John. Welcome to the forum. Wow what a story. I can understand being driven to atheism because I cannot accept the picture painted of God as described by the bible and yet I believe there is some force out there. Something that means there is always hope and always love. That I can believe in when the God as presented in the OT is something I personally cannot. I hope your journey of discovery brings you many blessings and I look forward to hearing more from you.

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Welcome, John.

Thank you kindly. I love Aussies.

 

Hi John. Welcome to the forum. Wow what a story. I can understand being driven to atheism because I cannot accept the picture painted of God as described by the bible and yet I believe there is some force out there. Something that means there is always hope and always love. That I can believe in when the God as presented in the OT is something I personally cannot. I hope your journey of discovery brings you many blessings and I look forward to hearing more from you.

When I read the Tanach (i.e. Old Testament), I discern an evolution of the concept of God from a tribalistic deity in the early books to a more universalistic conception of God in the later prophets. Despite the many horrible morals of the ancient Israelite society, the Tanach remains an intrinsic part of Western culture, so I am willing to engage in its narrative and withdraw as many positive and poetical morals and concepts as I am able from it.

 

I am much more of a New Testament person. God is love, do good unto them who hate you, and all that good stuff.

Edited by John Ryan
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I do not know, but after watching Jennifer's Body I began to attend weekly Mass and believe in God again.

 

LOL! What a great story.

 

Welcome to the Forum. I would PAY to see you present that testimony in a fundamentalist church.

 

NORM

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LOL! What a great story.

 

Welcome to the Forum. I would PAY to see you present that testimony in a fundamentalist church.

 

NORM

The warm welcome is very much appreciated.

 

And yes, it is a cool re-conversion story, or at least I think so. Some of my old friends want me to participate in a Bible study at their fundamentalist Church, so I might just use that opportunity to share my story. It will be hilarious me thinks. I am aiming for gaping mouths. Ironically, homosexuality was one of the main reasons I de-converted from Christianity, and it is also an integral part of my re-conversion. I am guessing God has a sense of humor.

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I am guessing God has a sense of humor.

 

Maybe so, but many fundamentalist-types don't.

 

I had a habit of "re-dedicating myself to the L-rd" whenever I got into trouble. So, one particularly bad time (I was arrested for marijuana possession - it used to be a MAJOR crime with possible jail time), I went the Full Monte and got baptized.

 

Well, I had very long hair at the time, and the preacher that was doing the dunking (Baptist; you know) used to tell me routinely that I was going to hell because I listened to rock music and had wimmen's hair (he was from West Virginia).

 

So, when I was "raised in the likeness of Christ's resurrection," I whipped the dude with my wet hair right in the kisser. It was sweet revenge!

 

Unfortunately, I was the only one in the room who saw the humor and the irony.

 

That pastor had it in for me after that.

 

NORM

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Maybe so, but many fundamentalist-types don't.

 

I had a habit of "re-dedicating myself to the L-rd" whenever I got into trouble. So, one particularly bad time (I was arrested for marijuana possession - it used to be a MAJOR crime with possible jail time), I went the Full Monte and got baptized.

 

Well, I had very long hair at the time, and the preacher that was doing the dunking (Baptist; you know) used to tell me routinely that I was going to hell because I listened to rock music and had wimmen's hair (he was from West Virginia).

 

So, when I was "raised in the likeness of Christ's resurrection," I whipped the dude with my wet hair right in the kisser. It was sweet revenge!

 

Unfortunately, I was the only one in the room who saw the humor and the irony.

 

That pastor had it in for me after that.

 

NORM

I am a little dumbfounded why you would be baptized in a Church, where you vehemently disagree with the Pastor. One of my attractions to Catholicism is the rather generalized Mass sermon. It is usually about social justice or some such common Biblical message. It is not like Baptists and many Protestant denominations where if you disagree with the pastor's theology, you will have a difficult time fitting in with the service and congregation.
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I am a little dumbfounded why you would be baptized in a Church, where you vehemently disagree with the Pastor.

 

Guilt is a powerful thing. Also, I took a LOT of drugs in those days.

 

One of my attractions to Catholicism is the rather generalized Mass sermon. It is usually about social justice or some such common Biblical message. It is not like Baptists and many Protestant denominations where if you disagree with the pastor's theology, you will have a difficult time fitting in with the service and congregation.

 

I concur with your assessment. My best friend was Roman Catholic, and I enjoyed going to the Folk Mass on Saturday nights. The Priest would challenge everyone with some social issue.

 

I would have joined the RCC, but I couldn't get past the cookies and punch test.

 

NORM

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