Story of Recovery: Michael

All was well until my father "got religion" when I was an early teen (of the "independent Baptist" / Jerry Falwell fundamentalist political-Christianity streak). Up until then, my mother was our sole religious guide - albeit in a mainstream Presbyterian faith more rooted in deeds and love instead of words and an either-or/us-against-them mindset.

Let's just say that I never quite "got with the program" on the new breed of religiosity per my father's conversion. As someone who is more cerebral than emotive, my abandonment of fundamentalism boiled down to having too many questions and too few answers. I guess you could say I was a "Doubting Thomas" by instinct.

In any case, I parted ways with fundamentalism shortly after my first year of college at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University. The road since then has not been easy. The rest of my family (four siblings and their children) remain immersed in fundamentalism, including the ugly mix of right-wing politics with their faith.

Nevertheless, being an "outcast" has afforded me the opportunity to experience what it means to be different and to represent a minority position. It has given me empathy, which inspires me to fight for the rights of other minorities - e.g. gay couples looking for equality under the civil law.