As Marie (full name withheld) has discovered, being a progressive evangelical in the Mennonite world can mean a loss of friends and awkward family relationships. “When I am with my evangelical family, I often feel like I am two people,” she says.
In her world, evolution and climate change aren’t controversial, but other issues are. “I am very progressive on LGBT issues,” she adds. “I’m also attracted to women myself. I’m pro choice, though that’s a somewhat recent development.”
She says she feels like she doesn’t fit in among evangelicals because she doesn’t share their prescriptive rules. “It sucks to be a queer Christian. Over the past few years—as I’ve been in the process of coming to terms with my own sexual identity and coming out—the deepest spiritual experiences I’ve had and the times I’ve felt closest to Jesus, is when I’m worshipping with other queer Christians.”
In that context, Marie adds, “I feel like I’m allowed to bring all of myself into the presence of God, instead of just having to hide a piece of myself or having to pretend, even to myself, that this piece doesn’t exist.”