“Coming Out” as Christian, or Why I Write

“Coming Out” as Christian, or Why I Write March 11, 2015

At the end of February, Ana Marie Cox, journalist at GQ and blogger at The Guardian (among others), “came out” on the Daily Beast as Christian:

It does come up: Since leaving Washington, I have made my life over and I am happier, freer, and healthier in body and spirit and apparently it shows. When people ask me, “What changed?” or, “How did you do it?” or, sometimes, with nervous humor, “Tell me your secret!” I have a litany of concrete lifestyle changes I can give them—simply leaving Washington is near the top of the list—but the honest answer would be this: I try, every day, to give my will and my life over to God. I try to be like Christ. I get down on my knees and pray.

In no uncertain terms, Cox revealed that she is “going all in with Jesus.” The post got nearly 1500 comments (to date) and Cox wrote a follow-up on Sunday.

Both are highly recommended reading. Cox is an accomplished writer and firmly a mainstream media figure. I have never read a mainstream journalist’s confession of Christianity–if you know of any others, please do leave a link in the comments–and this one is admirably without qualification.

Photo of a giant cross in MO, taken through a car window
Photo c/o tinkerbrad

Cox’s need to “come out” as Christian encapsulates one reason I wanted to start this blog: there are a lot of Christians in the US. Cox cites an ABC News/Beliefnet poll that found that 80% of adults identify as Christian in America. How can someone who belongs to an 80% majority possibly need to come out?

The answer is complicated, but one reason I find is that Christians are pigeonholed in the mainstream media. Either you are a Bible-thumping evangelist, or you’re pretty cool with whatever–and please, let’s just not talk about it.

Yet I’ve lived somewhere in the middle for most of my life: I went to Catholic Mass every Sunday until I was 24 and cheerfully espoused all the tenets of liberal feminism that I also grew up with. I was neither a Bible-thumper nor an agnostic. I believed (and continue to believe) in the importance of my faith to my life.

In seeking out interesting Christians, I’ve found that faith plays out differently in everyone’s life, but its centrality to each person’s existence cannot be ignored. Why don’t we share these stories with each other? What are we afraid of? Appearing anti-intellectual? Admitting that we don’t really think we have all the answers?

I am excited to be here, exploring the religion that falls in between the talking heads.

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