I live in perpetual fear that someone is going to ask me where or with what frequency I've been going to church lately. The answer -- "eh, nowhere, really" -- isn't the scary part so much as figuring out how to respond to the inevitable follow-up: "Why not?" The core of my religious convictions, the part that lends itself toward attending an Evangelical church, hasn't changed, but something about the thought of attending a church -- of even finding a church to attend -- fills me with a palpable dread. And hey, since I just outed myself to the entire freaking internet, I think I'm going to try and think through where that feeling comes from.
So, the plan is to spend a few posts reflecting on the language I've encountered at the churches I've attended and see where the hostility originates and whether it's real or all in my head. Some things I'd like to cover include:
Expectations - Statements and questions that reflect an expected way of doing things, the most common of which is the "When are you getting married/having kids?" series.
Divisive language - Situations in which an "Us vs Them" mentality is expressed/encouraged. Pretty much any time politics are mentioned.
Falsehoods and damn lies - I once listened to a dude go on a 30 minute tirade against gay people using all of these made up sounding statistics about their sexual proclivities. He did not cite a source. This may be bundled with divisive language.
Control - I may need to save this for last because it can be a part of anything people say. The sad fact is that some people just want to control what other people think.
These and pretty much anything else I can think of, or anything that may come up in the comments.