Here’s A Reason Why I Bother Writing– “Frank, I need the rawness. I need the dirt. I need the profanity.”

I got this email from someone I’ll call “Wounded Recovering Evangelical”, who gave me permission to post it here but says “That being said, please remove all the identifiers. When I say we’re from rural parts, I mean that. Everybody knows everybody. Our people are bible thumping (and twisting), Obama hating, tea party rednecks, bitter and broken and full of indoctrinated blame… ”

So here’s the letter emailed from somewhere in the South:

“My name is —, 43 years old, husband, father. I was raised up in —, the Church of Christ. Dad (deceased) was a deacon. His brother, father and grandfather were elders. My Mom’s folks were ruined by Jim Bakker and all of those folks.

Dirt farmers and ranchers and poor white folks in church every Sunday—it breaks my heart to see what the hard right has done, what we have to ourselves. It’s a bent and twisted cycle. It perpetuates and feeds on itself. They’re good people. It (religious right) makes me sick.

I struggle with my faith, have so very many regrets (and an ego that drags me back to them time and time again). My troubles have always been of my own making. I long for honesty, for humility. I do.

I just read And God Said, “Billy! Wow. I know that kind of delusion well… It’s a good read as well as commentary on Martin Buber’s I and Thou, all of Joseph Campbell’s stuff. Stepping out of it…that’s what I would call being born again. Tarantino needs a copy.

I got lucky to stumble on your book—just dumb luck (sure makes me think that randomness is baked into the cake—thank God).

I’m looking forward to your other books. I wanted to thank you and to urge you to continue writing and appearing to speak. I need the rawness. I need the dirt. I need the profanity. It’s helping me to define and frame my faith (a working faith that functions here and now) in a way that I can better articulate for my own sons (God bless them for having to deal with me as their father).

Transcendence of self, a path that allows God (I still capitalize the pronoun) to participate in my life…this, I believe is the result of practicing the Golden Rule. Something happens to me when I do this. My life gets better (idolatrous, hedonistic, fallen sinner that I am).

And I’m pleased to let the hereafter take care of itself.

Keep the faith Frank. We’re all growing—all of us. And even the worst of us is doing the best that he or she he has learned thus far. Best is best.

Much love, respect, and appreciation,”

Now tell me your story. Post it here below and lets talk.

Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book — And God Said, “Billy! exploring the roots of American religious delusion, and offering another way to approach true spirituality, is on Kindle, iBook and NOOK for $3.99, and in paperback.

About Frank Schaeffer

Frank Schaeffer is an American author, film director, screenwriter and public speaker. He is the son of the late theologian and author Francis Schaeffer. He became a Hollywood film director and author, writing several internationally acclaimed novels including And God Said, "Billy!" as well as the Calvin Becker Trilogy depicting life in a fundamentalist mission home-- Portofino, Zermatt, and Saving Grandma.

  • Meredith Gould

    I’ve long been a fan of yours, as far back as when you actually used “Franky Schaeffer” as a byline! Yes, that long and so I want you to know that your book, Addicted to Mediocrity: 20th Century Christians and the Arts” has been on my bookshelf since the 1980s. It’s as true today as it was then and so are you.

  • Dwayne Walker

    Okay, I get it. You have a book. If every single article starts looking like SPAM, I’m gonna stop reading and delete. Give us substance!

  • Lothar Lorraine

    Dear mister Schaeffer, I like the fact that in several of your writings you exposed the paralells between religious fundamentalists and the New Atheists.

    But frankly speaking, I understand why American atheists are so aggressive and even mean. My heart sunk after I saw these pictures.
    Such an atheist-bashing is utterly immoral, disgusting and ignoble. It is terrible that these fundies pretend to be speaking for the whole (“true”) Christendom.
    It is humanly perfectly understandable that atheists react to this by becoming belligerent against ALL religions.
    But it is the wrong way because it fosters a vicious circle of hatred, as I observe for ethnic strifes in my native country, France:

    Do you have written a book where you go in more details into the similarities between Christian and atheist fundamentalism?

  • Joe

    This is a powerful letter indeed. For any Christians or myself (agnostic) who takes the time and effort needed to go beyond personal dogmas and biases I tip my hat. Because of our finite nature no one has certainty or a copy-right on life’s’ answers. As described in Schaeffer’s new book the forlorn Billy thinks he does but is only a fool instead. Thus the problem with fundamentalism or any other form of though that one must hold onto certainty is that it is not a respecter of religion. Religion is merely an easy meme to attached those uncertainties of life to. In regard to Schaeffer’s more recent work I must agree that all good people, regardless of faith or lack there of, need to stand together in hope and humility for a common cause reality.

  • wiggly

    hey mr. Schaeffer I was wondering have you ever encountered a lady named Johanna Michaelsen?

  • Lee

    It is always nice to see a “Man of God” threaten senseless violence. It sure makes me want to join…