The Christian way vs. The Right way.
I’ve had this saved in my drafts for a long time but I was too scared to hit the publish button because I didn’t think I had found the words to properly articulate how torn I am.
As you might guess, I finally put the right words together (I think) so here goes……
I introspect a lot, which is something I hate and Love at the same time. I love it because it helps me reflect on past decisions and the different ways I could have handled different situations. So in essence, it helps me work towards being a better person.
However, introspecting often leaves me confused and struggling with beliefs and ultimate principles so I try my best to avoid reflections but the lockdown hasn’t helped at all (lol).
I have always loved and belived in God. I wasn’t anywhere near being a perfect Christian but my imperfections were merely a result of non-adherence to the scriptures but by the time I turned 22, I began to struggle with both unbelief and non-adherence. Becoming feminist at 22 was the first big step in embracing liberalism. Understanding the existence of things that were not a core part of my belief as a Christian led me into accepting things that I ordinarily wouldn’t have tolerated.
The “much younger version” of me was straight up homophobic anti-abortion and extremely uncompromising.I simply couldn’t understand why people would ‘choose to be gay or abort an unborn child from God’. I had my shortcomings but as far I was concerned, abortion and same sex relations were bigger sins and people that indulged in them were a lot worse than people who committed other sins. They did not align with the Christian doctrine and if anything was against my Christian beliefs, then they simply shouldn’t be the norm. Looking back now, I understand how much my hatred for homosexuals and abortions wasn’t even in any way Religiously motivated but rather a reflection of my own hypocrisy and homophobia.
Being a feminist made me more open minded and so instead of completely disagreeing with things that were in direct contradiction to my Christian faith, I tried to understand the logic behind them instead.I became more accommodating of conversations around Same sex relations and pro-choice and slowly, I grew to respect people’s individual autonomy regardless of whether I agreed with them or not.
So instead of openly speaking against same sex relations and advocating against pro-choice laws, I grew to respect people’s decisions especially because they had no direct effect on my lifestyle as a Christian woman.
By respecting people’s sexualities and lifestyles, I thought I had found the balance between believing in one thing as a Christian and respecting people who don’t share in those beliefs and values.
But I would soon find out that this balance was probably next to impossible.
People who strongly oppose the pro-choice movement and the LGBTQ community often push for laws banning such acts. For the Christians who belong to this class of people, their motivation for the creation of these laws is “Religion"
“Create laws prohibiting same sex relations because the bible says its wrong"
“Ban abortions because its “murder" and God condemns murder”.
Again, my “balance” was threatened. “How could I respect a person’s decisions and still join the “anti abortion and anti gay movements”.
A cognitive dissonance.
I thought it was very intrusive and dangerous to push for national laws simply because those laws reinforce our beliefs as Christian’s or muslims or whatever Religion we identify as.
What of people who dont share similar values or beliefs? What of people with contrary opinions?
As difficult as it was, I had to admit to myself that Religion can indeed be selfish and unnecessarily cruel to people who do not share similar sentiments. (Religion in this case is all encompassing).
I understood that a better approach (as much as we would all like to deny it) is to adopt more neutral and Liberal laws because it’s actually such laws that give people the right to “choose either to do or not to do" as opposed to stricter religious laws that tells us simply “ You must do A and not B" without considering people of diverse schools of thought.
I had to really ask myself why I felt the need to “tolerate" people for living in a way that has no direct effect on my personal life.
Did I really believe the Christian teachings against abortions and same sex relations?
Was I simply scared to admit that my initial values as a Christian had been upturned by my acceptance of Liberal views? ( I would bet my last coin that the answer to this question is a simple “Yes".
Homosexuality comes as naturally as heterosexuality. So why place heterosexuality on a higher pedestal and consider all other forms of sexuality as “abnormal".?
Who are we to normalize or condemn a person’s idea of love and partnership?
Homosexuals all over the world are going through a lot of human rights violations and these violations are even worse in Regulatorily homophobic countries. Sadly Homosexuals are unable to seek redress against discriminatory practices in Nigeria ( and several other countries) because the judicial system is in itself, homophobic.
Maybe when you figure out that the first step in tackling discrimination in this sense is a decriminalization of same sex relations, then you’d realize that it’s impossible to sit on a fence.
The same goes for the push for stricter anti abortion laws. Pushing for laws that align with your religious beliefs is selfish, impository and indicates a superiority of a single belief over all others.
This article is not supposed to be logically flawless. It was never my intention. I simply wanted to put down my internal struggles on paper and share it on here, for people who might be going through the same thing.
What kind of Christian am I?(You might ask)
My honest answer: I don’t know. I struggle with this all the time.