Image via Vanity Fair

Turns out, I have much more in common with Katy Perry than I’m willing to admit. We both grew up in borderline fundamentalist “born-again” churches, never read any books other than the Bible as children, weren’t really supposed to listen to secular music, and we’ve both appeared near-naked on the cover of Vanity Fair.

Well, three out of four ain’t bad.

I was struck by these similarities this morning in light of the long and laborious comment chain on Sessions’ post from yesterday. Somehow, his assertion that nonpartisan language is actually hurting those with strong, liberal views turned into a close reading of David’s life and the motivations behind the change in his political views over the years.

Though I will continue to insist that the comment section of a blog is not the place to speculate about a writer’s personal life, some truth was brought to light in the midst of that exercise. Namely, when it comes to the politics and philosophy of any of us who call ourselves post-evangelical, personal biography is an important factor. Just as it is impossible to define postmodernism without an understanding of what modernism wrought, so too is it difficult to understand a post-evangelical perspective without understanding how growing up in fundamentalist Christian communities affects one’s eventual outlook on life.

What’s interesting, but not totally surprising, is the multitude of resultant lifestyles that a fundamentalist upbringing can lead to. The way I see it, you can remain in the cage of your rigid beliefs or reject them altogether. You can be like me, and spend the rest of your life wrestling with them, or, I suppose, you can set your beliefs aside for the time being and become famous by singing about kissing a girl.

Fear not young fundy friends, the world is your oyster.

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Jonathan D. Fitzgerald

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