It seems the traditional way to start any new blog is for the writer to introduce himself. I would hate to break with tradition right off the bat and it would probably be helpful for me to let you know what you’re in for! First, it is my intention to remain generally anonymous in this blog. Many of the things I wish to discuss would be bogged down in hurt feelings and personal arguments if I named names or gave away specifics. Not that anyone who truly knows me would have trouble figuring out who I am, but I would like to keep this blog about stories, experiences, question, and ideas. Now, the basics: I am a married, father of three in my early 40s, and I am an American expat settled in the UK. Mostly, I am a man trying to make sense of a life that I have begun to look back upon in a very new light and I am finding that almost all of my most basic assumptions were based upon very shaky ground; namely deeply flawed people and a dangerously unsound belief system.
The point of this blog is, I suppose, a bit of therapy for me and a chance to share my thoughts and stories with others in an attempt to help us all make sense of our lives and our beliefs. I find myself regularly trying to balance a nostalgic attitude towards my past with a growing realization of what was really happening and how screwed up it all really was. I am a survivor of Evangelical Christianity and everything that that worldview has done to the culture and lived reality of the Deep South. Not that The South is the only place that has suffered, I now see that Christianity has left a wake of destruction wherever it has gone. I talk about The South because that is the world I know and it is the quicksand from which my personal journey crawled. I am also a survivor of a deeply dysfunctional family that I thought was the definition of stable and normal until I had the gall to grow up and try to have a family of my own, to have a wife from a different culture and point of view that showed me how my “normal” wasn’t really normal to anyone else, and to mature enough as a man to stand on my own feet in terms of behavior and belief.
Dear reader, please understand, I am not seeking to attack the very lovely people of The Church or of The South. Both of these intertwined institutions are absolutely overflowing with remarkable people that do wonderful things for their friends, their families, their communities every single day. But I simply cannot be silent regarding the flaws that are doing so much damage to so many people. I am writing to let people know that it is OK to not be OK. The system sucks sometimes. Families suck sometimes. The Church sucks sometimes. But it is OK to be different, to disagree, and to find your own way.
For those of you who are still with me, I’m sure what I’ve said here has probably raised more questions than answers. I suppose that’s kind of the point. The stories, questions, and ideas that follow in the posts to come are intended to be a journey, not a destination. My story is evolving and developing. My point of view continues to change. I invite you, dear reader, to journey with me, interact with me in the comments if you feel moved to do so, and let us all be OK with not-OK-ness we each live in.