If you met me when I was in college, I might have described myself as a Christian. (Or not. I was all over the place about that.) There were a few things I meant by this. One of them was, "Don’t try to convert me, I’m already as converted as
So, there I was, fifteen or so years old, and I had decided that the religion I had been raised with was clearly nonsense. It’s a fairly common teenage experience, I suspect. You see things from the other side, you know the adults have been lying to you about what
At the age of thirteen, I also discovered rock and roll. (Busy year, I know.) I met a girl who was as obsessed with The Lord of the Rings as I was (we watched the Bakshi film over and over. That’s right. The Bakshi film.) She was also really into
Another thing that happened when I was thirteen or fourteen, was that I became briefly worried that I might be gay. This was because I didn’t like any boys. I thought they were all stupid and irritating. I knew there was this thing that was supposed to happen during puberty,
I was thirteen or fourteen when I learned about abortion at religious summer camp. The camp was connected to Lake Sawyer and followed the same general Chickian doctrine, but in a lot of ways it was like every other summer camp. There were crafts and altar calls and junk food
Here’s what happened to me during the year I was twelve: I started junior high. The other kids hated me. I hit puberty. We moved to a completely different part of the country. My family stayed with some friends of my parents for a couple of months. I went to
When I was twelve, we left Orange County, California and moved to King County, Washington. Where we lived was like this: go to Kent, and then start driving east. Go up the hill. Keep driving. Pass Lake Meridian. Keep driving. Pass a bunch of housing developments. Keep driving. Keep driving.
Between the ages of 10 and 12, I was mentally committed to the church, to being a Christian, but there were still things that troubled me. I was worried about how you could know it was all true. How could I know God really existed? How could I know Jesus
When I was in kindergarten, the teacher had us write stories. It was the first time I had ever done such a thing. It was a revelation. A mind-blowing, life-changing moment. Until then, it had never occurred to me that stories had to be written down before they could be
Kids (and kids in church) like to tell stories with weird superstitions and urban legends and dark rumors and wacky conspiracy theories. I remember being highly skeptical of this stuff. It seemed to me that kids were kind of gullible. I didn’t want to be gullible. So if some kid
When I was a kid, church seemed pretty much like school. Adults made me go. People told me stories and showed me pictures. Sometimes they asked questions about the stories they told me, and if they asked questions it was important to tell them the right answer. Church was different
One of the things I never do anymore is skip church. That used to be one of my favorite things to do when I was a kid. I couldn’t do it on my own — it had to be because my parents had decided we were going to skip church.