I like to pretend that things don’t bother me, that I’m tough and sarcastic and let things roll off my back, but that’s not really true.

I’m not sure how I didn’t know this already, but I discovered tonight that the inaptly named Alliance Defending Freedom helped draft Arizona’s bill, that, unless it is vetoed, will legalize discrimination against LGBT people in the name of religious freedom. There’s nothing in their arguments for the bill that I haven’t heard before. Heck, I heard ADF attorney (and once upon a time HSLDA staff attorney and former faculty member at Bill Gothard’s fake law school) Jordan Lorence make those same arguments when the Federalist Society brought him to speak at UF.

In a staggering display of bad theology, in their minds discrimination is what god would want and so when they fight to usher in Jim Crow 2.0, they’re really standing up for religious freedom. I can’t even capitalize the word “god” in that because the god they worship may be a lot of things, but it’s not the one, true God. It’s a twisted perversion of the Gospel that gives a middle finger to everything Christ said and did while He was on this earth.

That’s not why I’m sitting here wanting to cry though. On their own, hateful organizations doing hateful things make me angry; I don’t get emotional over the shenanigans at Family Research Council or NOM, I get mad.

Alliance Defending Freedom is different. See, they’ve got this program called the “Blackstone Legal Fellowship” designed to train the next generation of lawyers. It’s a program that more than a few of my friends have done or will be doing.

I’m probably a coward, for everything I’ve said and done elsewhere, I haven’t ever brought it up. I don’t know how to. What am I supposed to do? Say, “Hey, you’re really excited to get accepted into this program that’s really selective and I really, truly am totally happy for you and it’s quite an accomplishment, but at the same time I’m sick to my stomach every time I hear the name, ‘Alliance Defending Freedom’”?

I don’t even know.

All I know is that it hurts when I’m happily going along minding my own business, and something like this Arizona bill (or Kansas tossing around the same idea, and now Georgia, the state I have no choice but to drive through to get to anywhere else, is considering the same thing), comes along like a slap to the face reminder that I’m not equal. Who cares that I was a missionary who picked up and moved halfway around the globe to share the Gospel, only one thing matters to these people.

As much as I may make sarcastic comments about destroying Western Civilization, it’s easier to crack jokes because the alternative is acknowledging that there are people who believe that’s true. That my existence is so unspeakably horrible that laws need to be passed to protect the good Christian citizens from the indignity of having me set foot in their place of business.

Do you have any clue just how much it hurts to know that people think your very existence is an abomination against God?

I don’t know why I don’t say anything about the Alliance Defending Freedom thing. I don’t know if it’s because I’m afraid to know the answer if I bring it up or what. I hate that this is even something that I have to think about and wonder about. Will people reject me if they know that I really think this organization that sells themselves to Christian law students as just being about thinking Christianly as a lawyer is really a bonafide hate group?

I’m supposed to be studying for a test but instead I’m here writing with mascara probably smeared all over my face because this is fucking hard. It hurts. I don’t know how other than this blog to express how I feel because vulnerability is hard and it’s risky and I hate that this is even a vulnerable sore spot.

I hate living in this tension. I hate that I’m feeling like it would be easier to walk away from Christianity and the church altogether and stop caring or believing because at least that would be one way of resolving the tension. I hate that even as I think that, I know walking away isn’t possible because every one of these stories of Christians behaving badly brings back memories of past parts of my life, and whether or not I believe in God won’t change that one bit.

I’m tired.

Published by Kathryn Brightbill

I was born at a very young age.

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