As a leftist lesbian professor, I despised Christians. Then I somehow became one. The word Jesus stuck in my throat like an elephant tusk: no matter how hard I choked, I couldn’t hack it out. Those who professed the name commanded my pity and wrath.
As a university professor, I tired of students who seemed to believe that ‘knowing Jesus’ meant knowing little else. Christians in particular were bad readers, always seizing opportunities to insert a Bible verse into a conversation with the same point as a punctuation mark, to end it rather than deepen it.
Stupid. Pointless. Menacing. That’s what I thought of Christians and their god Jesus, who in paintings looked as powerful as a male model in a shampoo commercial.
As a professor of English and women’s studies, on the track to becoming a tenured radical, I cared about morality, justice, and compassion. Fervent for the worldviews of Freud, Hegel, Marx, and Darwin, I strove to stand with the disempowered. I valued morality. And I probably could have stomached Jesus and his band of warriors if it weren’t for how other cultural forces buttressed the Christian Right.