“I came out on Instagram,” She said. “Oh?” My casual reply to this type of admission within our household, especially from my thirteen year old daughter. Still, I had to pry a little further.
“No, No, Noooo…..” Chuckling now. “I posted that I was Atheist on my Bio.”
This didn’t surprise me. Hell, I had discovered by the age of six that, try as I might, I was incapable of belief in a higher power, but that I had better play along, not just to keep the adults in my life happy, but to avoid being awarded the title “Devil Worshipper” in the small Bible Belt community where I grew up. After all, I went to Sunday school and church every Sunday, I could recite The Lord’s Prayer, I knew the Ten Commandments, and I had even memorized Psalms 100 in return for an irresistible candy whistle. Still, as I sat in the plush green pews Sunday after Sunday in beautiful dresses, I realized I was a fraud by participation; I didn’t belong. The individual inside me that was awakening did not agree with the harsh world that was being taught within these walls. I approached my parents to confess in different ways over the years, but doubt is easily written off in the church as work of the devil. In the deep south, the devil is tangible; a real force that moves about causing mayhem and wrecking lives. Teenage rebellion and rock music. The wrong crowd. That’s what this is about.
I asked of the Instagram Bio, “So what happened?” She plopped down next to me, unconcerned at this point, and sighed, “I lost some followers but gained a looot of hate.” She cracked a smile. Ah yes, I smiled back. I remember those days.