We Saw Someone Doing Journalism In Your Name…


So this kind of came out of nowhere for me, but Ana Marie Cox of Wonkette fame is a Christian and said as much in the Daily Beast piece I linked. I don’t think I’d ever contemplated what her religious beliefs were or if she had any. It’s not something I try to do too often with public figures, mainly because my sense is we often project our grid of what someone who believes X or Y ought to be like onto those people and force our information about them into that grid. And we end up making stupid assumptions by virtue of this practice. (I read a story once where a French journalist interviewing U2 insisted to them that their songwriting was repressed by their Catholic upbringings – even though three of them, including the principle lyricist, were raised Protestant.)

I suppose all this is to say that if Ana Marie Cox announced that she was an atheist or a Buddhist or Jewish or had some New Age practice she followed I would have been equally reacting with a sense of, “Oh, okay” much like I did to this article – at least for the most part. I don’t know Ms. Cox and so it’s not like I have anything to base my perception on other than her journalism, which I often enjoy but which, you know, didn’t scream anything to me about religion particularly. There were a couple things that stuck out to me, and I think that her reluctance about even writing on this topic was the most significant:

“My hesitancy to flaunt my faith has nothing to do with fear of judgment by non-believers. My mother was an angry, agnostic ex-Baptist; my father is a casual atheist. (I asked him once why he didn’t believe in God, and he replied easily, “Because He doesn’t exist.”)

I am not smart enough to argue with those that cling to disbelief. Centuries of philosophers have made better arguments than I could, and I am comfortable with just pointing in their direction if an acquaintance insists, “If there is a God, then why [insert atrocity]?” For me, belief didn’t come after I had the answer to that question. Belief came when I stopped needing the answer.

No, I’m nervous to come out as a Christian because I worry I’m not good enough of one. I’m not scared that non-believers will make me feel an outcast. I’m scared that Christians will.” [emphasis mine]

This should not sit well with anyone else who calls themselves a Christian. Yes, I think it’s fine that many Christians, particularly of the evangelical ilk will still insist that she change her views on any number of social or political issues, just as I think it’s fine that she insist the same of them. I hope however that I do not see an onslaught of people insisting that she is not really a Christian until thinks and acts like Sarah Palin or Michelle Duggar or whatever public figure is the celebrity Christian of the moment. Ms. Cox has also made it clear on her Twitter account that she’s not going to jump on the religion beat all of sudden. This is not religion as a career move, this is someone simply declaring her ordinary, simple faith in Jesus.

Go read the full article.