My name is Cody and I believe in God.
I also believe in Marriage Equality.
And a Woman’s Right to Choose.
And Universal Health Care.
And that it’s okay to get a little drunk sometimes and dance scandalously and make bad choices and still wake up in the morning and be a good person.
I’m a deeply blue-stained liberal and I believe in God and sometimes that means that things get messy. Because I don’t believe in a nameless, trendy spiritual deity that is equal parts Mother Nature and Buddha and “The Self” — I am a Christian who believes in the big G O D and the trinity and that Jesus was a man who walked the earth as the son of God, our father who art in Heaven, the same father that pop culture would have us believe only belongs to the wonky extremist political right who manipulate and warp the message of God into supporting rights to guns and to denying sinful homosexuals the right to be married in front of a God who is just as much their father as anybody else’s.
And maybe it’s because of this perception that I’ve always been pretty quiet about my faith. I keep a Bible by my bed and try to read it as often as possible. I pray every night and every morning. There is no spectacle to my belief. I don’t attend Church every Sunday and I’m not part of religious life on my college campus. I’m fairly certain that most of my friends assume that I’m either an atheist or agnostic or that I don’t care very much either way. I read a lot of books and wear a lot of scarves and drink a lot of coffee and write a lot of poetry and have a lot of loud opinions about my disdain for conservative politics — how could someone like this believe in God?
There are a number of reasons why I believe in God. The first and probably strongest reason is because I grew up in a very Christian family deep in the Bible Belt. Faith and family are intrinsically linked in my mind and when I think of what it means to believe in something, I think of the unshakable, soaring faith of the men and women who raised me. Believing in God is as natural to me as drinking water, mostly because of the kind of God my family taught me to believe in. There was no fire or brimstone in my household, no damnations to Hell. The God of my home (and the family that believed in him) was loving and kind and accepted everyone for who they were — the only sin that we kids could commit was one of denying others the sorts of unconditional love that God showed us.
For this reason, it’s never been difficult for me to reconcile my relationship with God and the ways in which I choose to live my life. My God is a God of the unwashed, of the crippled, of the fallen. My God does not have time for the political quibbles of selfish men and women and he does not believe that it is any human’s place to tell another human where they will end up after death. My God knows that we all struggle with right and wrong and that right and wrong aren’t necessarily as clear or distinct as we’d like them to be. My God loves us for our imperfections and all he asks of us in return is to love one another for our imperfections as well. My God is for all people of all races and all sexual orientations and all gender representations — there is no room for discrimination in this kind of love because it is sweeping and total and complete.
I like getting red wine drunk and clubbing and Obama and I believe in God and sometimes that means that things get messy. And sometimes that means that things are difficult and stressful and that sometimes I fail at being the kind of Christian that the various worlds I inhabit would have me be. But, as my Grandmother says, if it were easy, they wouldn’t call it faith. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be worth it.
I am a Christian and I am proud to love the God I love. And at the end of the day, that is all that matters.