Posts tagged “faith”

  1. Every Sunday afternoon for two or three years, my parents took a long drive across town to attend Chinese church.

    We were guests in the building, renters. The hymnals and Bibles of the church’s own congregation stayed in the pews. Every week, an usher hauled in the church’s box of books, with the name of our church written in marker.

    Sometimes I suspected we were guests in Christianity, too.

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  2. I’ve always had the belief that all of this is my fault, everything that I’ve experienced while at the mercy of my own brain. I believe in a sort of Old Testament karma, only as it applies to me.

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  3. This is how things used to be: you opened your mouth or you kept it shut. If you spoke up, there were risks.

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  4. It’s a perennial question—whenever I meet someone new, be it at a bar or at church coffee hour, the question arises with a renewed intensity. The questioner grasps my hand, peers into my eyes, and sweetly asks: “But what do we call you?” It is one of those unique queries reserved for female clergy—right up there with “Where do you find decent-fitting clergy shirts?” and “Do you have to have a horrible haircut?” The handful of women…

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  5. Dear Aunt Acid and Businesslady,  I'm writing to both of you as my question is both professional and deeply personal. One of my coworkers is my age, but she has a much more senior role. She is sort-of-not-really my boss but she is also clearly interested in finding a work friend. To this end, she asks me numerous personal questions that are not entirely appropriate for our relationship. While I have no problem not answering many…

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  6. Felix Kent's previous work for The Toast can be found here. When I was applying to colleges a lifetime ago, my atheist father suggested I write my application essays about Sai Baba. He said there were lots of smart kids more or less like me applying to college -- this part of my life set me apart. It was good advice, perhaps. I didn’t follow it. Sathya Sai Baba, who died in 2011, was…

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  7. Genesis

    The knot descends on the pit of my stomach when I cross the Potomac, tightening as I make my way south. I barely notice Virginia. North Carolina greets me with tobacco farms, their large green leaves rolling out before me for acres. They die a bit each year, a cancer wrought on the terrain. I pass the pig trucks on the highway, their cargo tainted with purple blotches, bound for the slaughterhouse. I meet the…

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  8. Maybe this has happened to you. You take the sheets out of the dryer and there’s something wadded up inside a big sheet. The big sheet has twisted around it, creating a large, round pocket filled with whatever is wadded up. As you start to untwist the sheet you think, “What if this is a human head?” Then you stop untwisting the sheet because, although chances are it is not a human head, if it…

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  9. “There are years that ask questions and years that answer” –Zora Neale Hurston   1. The three years I’ve lived out of the closet have all been question years. I’ve marked them with my own rituals: around March first, my “official” gayversary, I reread The Miseducation of Cameron Post, which wasn’t my first gay book, but rather the first gay book I read after I started to believe I could be gay. March first is an approximation,…

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  10. AXIS 1 Anxiety as Birthright So Jesus asked [the mute boy’s] father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood.” —Mark 9:21 For Maren and Nathaniel—may you be spared. —Scott Stossel’s dedication to his children, My Age of Anxiety We entered in together. Not like a man and woman in marriage. Nor a boy and his saw at the base of a tree. I’m convinced that even as my head…

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  11. When you grow up believing both God and your mom think you are awesome, you become woefully unprepared for the banalities of life. This is a side-effect of growing up self-assured and evangelical, a case-study in what happens to a teenage girl’s psyche when she believes that she truly can do anything she sets her heart on. My mom is important here; it was from her I learned that intense, interesting women were the backbone…

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  12. Take a moment and try to conjure up a TV Christian in your mind. Is it a member of the Camden Family? Ned Flanders? Kenneth “Science is my most favorite subject, especially the Old Testament” Parcell? Whoever it is, I’m willing to bet their confidence in Christianity is near absolute -- usually played to comic, if cringeworthy, results. These characters, coupled with the poised Midwestern Christians I grew up with, tricked me into believing that…

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  13. The first woman I loved was another writer, a woman I met in my second year of university. Let’s call her Emily. She had blonde hair and blue eyes and when I first knew her she wore her hair long, parted straight down the middle. She looked like she was fifteen. She had a boyfriend and she wore shorts even when it was cold. She was sarcastic and angry and hopeful and sad. She was…

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  14. My favorite story about my mom is not a flattering one, but it is one that I tell most people who don’t know her. It involves her attempting to leapfrog the security counter at JFK airport to the horror of a Delta Airlines employee. I was eleven years old and coming home from a summer in Pakistan. Mom met me in New York, and the plan was to fly the rest of the way together.

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  15. On Friday afternoons, we do our best to meet up somewhere in the city. Sometimes it’s my apartment, sometimes his; maybe the park if it’s nice out and we can find a space with some privacy. Privacy is important. We lay out a patchwork of blankets and sit in silence for a while, taking in the day or letting go of the week behind us, depending on what kind of week it’s been. After

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