Thursday, July 8, 2010

Why I don't wear my cross.

I have a really pretty cross. Gold, tiny diamonds, thin gold chain. It’s not nearly as gaudy as it sounds from that materials list. I wore it a lot when I was in high school and most way through college. Somewhere along the line, though, I stopped wearing it. I don’t even remember why; it’s not like I stopped going to church. Maybe it was something as trivial as wanting to wear a different necklace to go with my earrings. I think I would have remembered if the reason had been more ideological in nature.

Now I’ve started to wonder why I’m not wearing my cross. Is it simply passive laziness? Or am I actively refusing to wear it and why? Is it because it doesn’t go with my earrings or my wedding ring? Or is something else bothering me?

I don’t wear my cross because I generally don’t live up to the expectations that most people have of cross-wearing Christians. I don’t want to come off as a nutjob Christian. However, maybe I should wear it to show that not all Christians are nutjobs.

Hardcore crazy Christians bother me. They’ve done so since college freshman orientation. I’m not the only one who is bothered by hardcore crazy Christians. This video (Bishop Alan via Episcopal Cafe) shows that although people nowadays have very positive views of Jesus, Christians bring up a lot of negative connotations.

I don’t want to be associated with nutjobs. I really don’t. I wouldn’t want someone to see my cross pendant and think, “homophobe, pedophilia supporter, Bible literalist, creationist, anti-science, anti-abortion, anti-divorce, anti-birth control, red state Republican, etc.” I am not like that at all.

Furthermore, I wouldn’t want some hardcore crazy Christian to see that cross and, knowing my views on social justice and science, then tell me I am a bad Christian. Judge not, lest ye be judged, douchebag.

Yeah, I’m bad at it. Have you seen the title of my blog? So I leave all of that in God’s hands. I leave a lot in God’s hands. My not wearing a cross takes the potential judgment away from other people and spares me their critical assumptions.

However, one could argue many points about why I should wear my cross. For one, I should be really thankful that I don’t live in, say, France, where there are stupid laws on outwardly religious symbols. If I worked at a French analog of my current job, it would be against the law for me to wear my little gold cross at work.

One could also say that I should wear my cross precisely because of my non-typical, personal theology of deist universalist of Catholic persuasion. Perhaps if more progressives like me were more visibly Christian (i.e., wore crosses), maybe we could open some dialogues and all be a little more happy-clappy and less afraid and judgmental of each other.

Nevertheless, my easy answer is that my cross doesn’t go with my everyday earrings.

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