Ana Marie Cox, the founding editor of the sassy and secular leftist blog Wonkette and now a Washington correspondent for GQ, recently came out of the closet as a -- gasp -- Christian! Cox’s “coming out” was revealed in The Daily Beast, where she is a contributor. The article sounds like something written by a recently converted clergyman, rather than a recently converted liberal blogger.
On being a Christian, Cox explained:
Here is why I believe I am a Christian: I believe I have a personal relationship with my Lord and Savior. I believe in the grace offered by the Resurrection. I believe that whatever spiritual rewards I may reap come directly from trying to live the example set by Christ. Whether or not I succeed in living up to that example is primarily between Him and me.
Cox states that she isn’t afraid of the non-believers making her feel like an outcast, rather Christians, even using Obama as an example for her fear: “I’ve lately observed conservatives questioning Obama’s faith with more than professional interest. Because if Obama’s not Christian, what does that make me?”
Well, in her words, she is “… a progressive, feminist, tattooed, pro-choice, graduate-educated believer.” There are many progressive Christians, feminist Christians, tattooed Christians, educated Christians, and for reasons unknown, “pro-choice” Christians. All one needs to do is look at Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Dick Durbin, Joe Biden, even Republican Rudy Giuliani. Each of the aforementioned are Catholic (which, yes, is also Christian) pro-choicers.
However, what would make someone wonder about Cox’s Christian conversion is that no more than six months ago, when talking about the Value Voter Summit, she compared the conservative Christian agenda to that of Islamists:
So you said a little while ago about the Syria situation that Americans are in and the incompetence and lack of accountability but Americans are souring on our form of government? Well, the Value Voters conference has another idea about what our form of government should be. It looks a little bit like what the Islamicists want.
Ironically, after saying she is afraid Christians will make her feel like an outcast, not the non-believers, Cox says writes that the only place she feels her spirituality feels volatile is in her professional life when she talks to colleagues about her faith. Since leaving Washington, she says she is “happier, freer, and healthier in body and spirit and apparently it shows.” When others ask what Cox did, she writes:
I have a litany of concrete lifestyle changes I can give them—simply leaving Washington is near the top of the list—but the honest answer would be this: I try, every day, to give my will and my life over to God. I try to be like Christ. I get down on my knees and pray.
She describes her mother as an “angry, agnostic ex-Baptist; my father is a casual atheist.” When it comes to discussing her faith to those who have none, Cox believes she isn’t intelligent enough to argue with those who “cling to disbelief”, but rather leave those arguments to ancient philosophers.
There wasn’t an actual time or moment in which her conversion occurred, though she says: “In my private life, and very cautiously on social media, the people close to me can see evidence of my affiliation. Tweeting out prayers and quotes from Scripture still feels subversive. But until now, I have avoided publicly aligning myself with one of the most popular beliefs in the world.”
After revealing why she is a Christian, she confesses to feeling “intimidated by a conservative culture that seems intent on creating boundaries around Christianity rather than open doors.” But she knows it’s getting too self-involved to sell her blend of Christianity and progressivism as a “newly hip fusion genre.” She writes that there's nothing exceptional about being liberal and Christian:
On some level, I still want credit for the spiritual makeover—I was lost, but now am found, and I am the one that found me. But if I understand God’s grace correctly, the miracle of redemption is that I was found all along. God does not see charming dissonance in being a liberal who follows Christ; He’s not looking for that New York Times Style section trend story. I do not get to think of myself as “edgy” for being just another believer. There is nothing to reconcile.