Why I Left the Right: How Studying Religion Made Me a Liberal
Susie Meister

Interesting read. I think there is a paradigm shift quietly occurring in the evangelical Christian community. I was a middle class, Texas born and raised, evangelical teenager during the Reagan years so for most of my adult life, I could not understand any other world view that opposed the Republican perspective. I grew up in a generation that was programmed to believe that conservatism and Christianity were not mutually exclusive but a philosophy of entirely interdependent beliefs…no matter how dissonant they could be. It has only been through gradual discovery over the past several years of my mid-adult life that I have begun to question the politics of my young adult years as I embrace revelation from God’s Word. I can trace most of my errant conservative dogma back to bad theology if I am totally honest. The saddest part is that this bad theology has grown out of subtle concepts rooted in the idea of achieving goodness through personal responsibility (an inherently good idea in the right context). It was a theology that I could some how achieve salvation or God’s blessings through self-control…an insidious belief that my salvation did not actually rest on the finished work of Jesus and was ultimately outward rather than an inward change of the heart (you can whitewash a tomb, but there’s still a dead body on the inside). Once I understood real grace epitomized by a loving God that would give all He could for the sake of total reconciliation did I realize that I could only give once I learned to receive. That’s a difficult concept for a man who was taught to be self-reliant even if indirectly. Best of all, these revelations have set me free from the need to feel any sense of identity as conservative or liberal. Policy aside, they are really one in the same…a counterfeit for real identity. (Romans 5:12–21)

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