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I'm a prof at a Chr. University. And it often includes supporting students at early stages of deconstruction (awesome). I have often wondered if staying in this system is wrong, a betrayal of self. It is certainly sometimes unhealthy to have to hide beliefs. But I get to do this special, professionally risky, covert work.
That is all. I've been pretty silent so far, so I thought I'd toss something out there.

Thanks, friends, for sharing stories, encouragements, and wisdom. It was the lift I needed today!

@laurel_ann As a fellow staying in the system, this is so affirming for me. I'm in high school ministry, and attempting to similar work, keeping their minds open in the first place so that their experience might be less a painful deconstruction someday as much as a constant evolution – all under the watchful eye of Presbyterianism.

@danielkeyes137 @laurel_ann As a former church worker who struggled to make the church a safer place for outsiders and a healthier place for insiders, I so appreciate what you’re doing. This year I listened to MLK’s first book “Stride Toward Freedom”. It’s about the Montgomery Bus Boycott. At the end he asks the question, where do we go from here and I remember being grateful to hear him talk about the need for some white southern ministers to be under cover allies (my phrase).

@danielkeyes137 @laurel_ann That said, he did say that if ministers of racist congregations are comfortable, they probably need to move on.

“He must never allow the theory that it is better to remain quiet and help the cause to become a rationalization for doing nothing. Many ministers can do much more than they are doing and still hold their congregations.”

I found it to be quite a challenge about the difficulty of walking the line in order to love others well.

@Arryq @danielkeyes137
I can take comfort in my discomfort, as an indicator that the work is good, and worth doing. Thanks for sharing that!

@danielkeyes137 Stay strong, brother! So good to hear about what you're doing. Thanks for sharing. It is an encouragement to me.

@laurel_ann at the Christian college I attended, we students knew which professors we could go to to talk about LGBT stuff without judgement, and their presence was such a gift. thank you! 🙏🏽

@laurel_ann
As someone who went to a christian university and began my deconstruction with the help of a couple professors, thank you for continuing that work.

@laurel_ann I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for a professor at Liberty who I can trust. I’m still a student there, but he’s been one of the only people I can talk to about my deconstruction who understands and isn’t in mourning. And without him, it probably wouldn’t even have happened. All that just to reaffirm that you are amazing, and I’m glad you’re brave enough to do what you do.

@laurel_ann my dad, while not part of the system my dad always stayed connected to his church even though his beliefs evolved. He advocated for same sex marriage 15 years ago. I wonder if people staying in the system isn’t the best way to change it. When you stay, and do what Brene Brown says to do in her book Braving the Wilderness, people have to find room for you somehow. You don’t fit the current system, but they’re not ready to toss you out so they shift and change. I don’t know ...

@monicam I love that. This is an idea I often come back to. If we leave, we allow it to remain the same, and give those within a false sense of homogeneity. If some can stay, we can require acknowledgement of differences and have influence. And it's spaces like this that help sustain us. Fully acknowledging too that there are times for saying "I don't owe this place this much of me," and leaving or modifying engagement is healthiest.

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