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I am wracked with confusion. Though nothing in my outer world has changed unexpectedly, my inner landscape is a wasteland, devastated by some war of which I was not even aware. I knew when we moved to our new home that I would embrace a new life, and I had the sense that I would embrace my inner longings for a new religion. I didn't anticipate the way everything would get all torn apart though.

I am torn between loyalty to a comfortable and repressive faith that would more deeply connect me to others, and a faith that promises to dishevel my life with controversy, isolate me from others and color me with stereotypes.

It is a matter of how I can bear to live. Can I bear living with an inherited faith, fighting down my own convictions, for the rest of my life? Can I bear becoming even more isolated from the rest of the world, my own family, perhaps even my husband, even being stigmatized?

I do not want to abandon the personal faith I have felt as a Christian, the world understanding or ethics I have held previously. But as I think more deeply on life I feel a deep revulsion for the Christian religion. I don't know how to separate it from the teachings of Jesus. I have a sense that seeing Christianity as the be-all and end-all has led to great chaos in my society. A patriarchal society reigns, deriving confidence from a deeply patriarchal religion. I am a nameless form in my society and my religion, a second-class citizen. Jesus's teachings haven't given me the philosophical structure to combat this. There is something deeper, more powerful, that has been repressed for centuries, the balance of the masculine and the feminine, the reverence for the woman and for the earth.

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