Former Preacher Turned Atheist Bruce Gerencser on Lumping All Christians Together

I am sure my more liberal, progressive, emerging/emergent, non-conforming Christian readers are upset at me because I lumped them into the same group as all the Christians I mentioned in my previous post.

I understand why you are upset. I used to get upset too when I was lumped together with people I despised or disagreed with.

However…when I join a group, church,political party or family I have to accept the baggage that comes with the association.

Three of my children have taken classes at NW State Community College in nearby Archbold, Ohio. Each of them has had someone make the connection between child and father. Imagine being asked “Is Bruce Gerencser related to you?” or “Is Bruce Gerencser your father?” or “Are you related to that guy who writes in the newspaper?” or “are you related to the Gerencser that was a pastor in West Unity?”

I am their father. They bear the burden of being my children. They are judged because of what I have written or said. It’s part of the price they pay for being my children. That’s just how it is.

Several years ago I visited a Church in the area where an older member of the Church, upon hearing my name, decided to interrogate me.

* “Are you THAT Bruce Gerencser who writes in the newspaper?”
* “Are you related to ___________________ (fill in the name of one of my uncles)”

I have never hid who/what I am. I don’t write under a pseudonym. I don’t hide behind a screen name. People know where I live. (and I don’t judge people who do otherwise) I own what I write and say. However, I DON’T own what is not mine. So, I answered “yes I am THAT Bruce Gerencser.”

The second question? I thought Oh no not THAT uncle! :) But I had to own my uncle. He is part of my family.

I am a progressive. I am a liberal. I am a Democrat. I voted for Barack Obama. I am very disappointed in Obama’s first year in office. However, when I voted for Obama I bought the proverbial farm. I must own what I bought.

My wife and I were married over 31 years ago. We became one flesh. We live with that fact that what each of does reflects on the other. That’s life.

Unless my children disown me, my wife divorces me or I renounce my family association with my uncle I must live with what comes as a result of the relationships I have.

Unless I am willing to repudiate my vote for Obama and leave progressive, liberal politics then I must live with the political decisions that are made on my behalf.

I am a pacifist. Yet, when the U.S. military kills people I know they are killing in my name. This is the burden I bear as a citizen of the U.S. I am unwilling to move to Canada or Fiji (though I have had thoughts of doing so) so I must live with what people do in my name.

That’s just how it is.

As a Christian you must live with the family association UNLESS you are willing to divorce yourself from the family. That’s exactly what some of us have done. We were no longer willing to be a part of the family. We became agnostics, atheists, universalists, spiritualists, or joined another religion that offered a better family.