(Photo credit: David Blaikie via Flickr. Some rights reserved)
A poster full of different cross designs hangs on Pastor Kay's office wall. Her computer chirps occasionally with the latest storm warning. Indeed, it's getting darker outside, so the pastor turns on the overhead light. At first we chat about college. I tell her that I've got at least another year before I get my BA in English. After that I plan on trying to be a Library Assistant, which doesn't need a Masters.
Then she finally says, "So, I heard you've been having questions lately. Tell me about that."
This isn't the first time we've met to talk about my doubts. We met back in September when the doubts started. Actually, I've had brief periods of doubt prior to that meeting. But this was the first time the doubts lasted more than just a week. Pastor Kay and I had a good talk then, although she didn't give me any concrete evidence that God existed.
Now several months later, I don't think I can call myself a Christian anymore.
The best word to describe what I currently believe is pantheist. I'm not so sure about a bearded man in the sky who breaks the laws of nature to help football players score touchdowns anymore. If there is a God, then it would have to be synonymous with nature. My religion is a cosmic religion. I'm made of star stuff, and the universe is inside of me. As Neil deGrasse Tyson says, "We are all connected. To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe, atomically."
I've also been attending a Unitarian Universalist fellowship during the past few Sundays. I already knew some of the members from a local LGBT group. After reading up about Unitarian Universalism, I finally decided to give it a try, thinking that it might be a better place for all my uncertainty. So far it's been great. There's no creed I need to recite. The people there are really nice. And it's great to be in a place where being queer isn't a "controversial issue."
I tell all this to Pastor Kay. Surprisingly she doesn't tell me what I should do. She just listens. She does, however, tell me that I don't need to read the Bible literally in order to be a Christian. She also says that because I'm still technically a member of the church, everyone is there for me if I ever need anything. I thank her.
Outside, it's raining. I run quickly to my car and drive off, with the church in my rearview mirror.