Thursday, May 12, 2005

A Pristine Pariah

The older and more self-aware I become, I realize that quite a bit of my personality is a paradox. Most people are, actually, in some way or another. Looking back, I think people around me saw the different sides of my nature long before I ever analyzed them myself.

In my life, I have been called many things…some wonderful, some hurtful…but one of the words that stands out the most is this: pariah.

When I was a senior in high school, I went to visit a friend at college. She attended a small, very conservative Baptist College in Oregon. I attended a few classes with her, met some of her friends, all the normal stuff you do as a high school student visiting a college…bear in mind this was a conservative school. ;-) Anyway, on the last afternoon I was there, I was sitting with some of her friends talking about life, apologetics of faith, society and culture…just a little of everything.

I’m a pretty outspoken person, and while I never try to offend people, I’m not always the most tactful or diplomatic person. (Yet another paradox since I’m also usually the mediator) I apparently said things that were too liberal for that crowd…still not sure what it was exactly…but one girl looked at me and said, “I hope you don’t plan on attending here. I mean you can if you want, but you’d really be a pariah.”

Umm…excuse me? A pariah? Do you know what that means? She didn’t mean like the caste system in India either…she actually told me that I wasn’t a true believer and that because I challenged her narrow shoe-box way of thinking that somehow what I had to say must be heresy. The funny part is that I probably (even at that time) knew more about “our” faith and how to live it in a real way than she did.

I laughed at her, not in a mean way but more in disbelief. I also said that I refused to fit into a box and perhaps she should read up on some of the great “heretics” of the past: Galileo, Descartes, de Pizan… Though she’d probably have missed the whole point anyway…

Speaking of points…hehehe…I’m doing better… my point of this whole tirade…the realization more and more, every day, that I am probably the closest thing you will find to a Christian sociopath. See here’s the thing, as believers we’re supposed to have a conscience…well I have one of those…and it works well. But most Christians have guilt…I don’t…well I do sometimes…for the big things…but most of the time I don’t feel any remorse for things I do.

If it’s wrong to do something and I choose not to do it…I make that decision based on the fact that I “know” it to be wrong…not because I’ll feel bad if I do it. I don’t get buyer’s remorse…ever…even when I know damn well I shouldn’t spend whatever it is. That’s not the only example, but it is the only I’m going to give at this point.

There is more to come on this topic…and I will eventually get to my real point…but I have to sort it all out in my head first. Yes, this is going to lead to a discussion about JD. I can’t help it…but we’ll get to that…stay tuned…
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