Dark Christianity
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May 2008
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An evolutionist and a creationist

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]vanar_en_daeor)

Here's a story I stumbled onto today. I thought it was an interesting take between an evolutionist and a creationist. It'd be nice if we could all get along like these two.

Don't forget to look thru the comments after the article as well. They're pretty interesting too.

Comments link: http://myturn.talk.newsweek.com/default.asp?item=417106


Loving the Enemy
I thought creationists were monsters, until I married one.

Web-Exclusive Commentary
By Tatiana Hamboyan Harrison
Special to Newsweek
Updated: 5:02 p.m. ET Jan 4, 2007

Jan. 4, 2007 - It was only a little while after our first lunch as a married couple that my new husband got a test of faith. It came from my grandmother, who said that she didn’t know how anyone intelligent could be a creationist. Not that I could blame her. Before I met my husband, Rob, I would have laughed and agreed with her. This time, though, I glanced at my new husband, inwardly sighed, and wondered how he’d respond. With grace, as it turned out. “I’m a creationist,” he calmly said. Grandma quickly changed the topic.

When I first met Rob four years ago, I had no idea that he was a creationist. He had told me that his parents were fundamentalist Christians, but was silent about his own beliefs. At the time, I was between churches. I had left the Roman Catholic Church of my youth when I was 16 and would spend the next eight years searching for a new religious home before finally settling upon liberal Quakerism. It was only months into our relationship that he broke the news to me, while I was wondering aloud how different shapes of noses evolved. “I don’t believe in evolution,” he said. “I’m a creationist.”

Before Rob, I hadn’t known any creationists. I assumed that they were people who believed in the Bible more than in scientific data, probably out of stupidity. Whenever I imagined what a creationist might look like, he or she was always standing up on a podium, passing judgment on all evolutionists, condemning them as nonbelievers and scorning them with hateful words. I wasn’t sure where these people lived, but I figured it was probably down South somewhere, or in the Midwest. Surely I’d never have to interact with any of them.

But falling in love with Rob changed everything. Though he was a creationist, he didn’t condemn me for not being one. On the contrary, he accepted my beliefs as legitimate and never tried to convert me. Still, it was hard for me to accept that my image of creationists could have been wrong. Instead, I made an exception for Rob, reasoning that he was different. But then, after a year of dating, the time came to finally meet his family.

I was terrified. Rob had been hesitant to let me meet his family, mainly over fear that I wouldn’t approve of them or that they wouldn’t approve of me. I wasn’t going to a fundamentalist Christian college; I was a liberal Democrat; and, perhaps worst of all, I was an evolutionist who didn’t believe the Bible was the literal word of God. My perception of what a Christian should be was different from theirs; while I called myself a Christian, I could not take the Bible literally, which, to Rob’s family, was a requirement for a Christian.

The first family dinner I attended was held at the home of Rob's aunt and uncle. From the moment I walked in, I felt uncomfortable. Could these people ever accept me for who I was? Rob’s father did his best to engage me in conversation. When the dinner ended, Rob and I stayed to play a couple rounds of dominos. I ended up having fun, and even had moments where I forgot that they all believed that the entire universe was created in only seven days.

After that, things got both easier and more complicated. I’d received a unanimous thumbs-up from his family, but topics that were avoided at my first dinner weren’t out of bounds for subsequent ones. I uncomfortably listened through conversations about Rob’s aunt and mother’s quest to find a good gynecologist who didn’t perform abortions. His relatives talked about the churches they were attending, but they never asked Rob or me which one we were going to. Which was convenient, actually, since Rob and I were not attending any church at the time.

Shortly after my graduation from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Rob and I were married in a private ceremony at the local courthouse, with two friends as witnesses. I found that I was completely accepted into Rob’s family. As time passed, I learned that there was more to them than being creationists. The more time I spent with his family, the more comfortable I became around them. I came to realize how kind and loving they were and the image in my mind of the hateful, unintelligent creationist slowly began to fade.

It has now been more than two years since Rob and I were married. Since then, I’ve become a convinced Quaker who attends meetings nearly every Sunday. Rob, on the other hand, spends his Sundays sleeping in, preferring to worship in private when he chooses. Every Sunday evening, we have dinner with his family. Though I’ll never be a creationist, they accept me for who I am. I now realize that I was the one passing judgment on the creationists instead of them passing judgment on me.

Harrison lives in Grasonville, Md.

© 2006 Newsweek, Inc.

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