A popular author and blogger who recently "came out" publicly as a Christian has shared what she learned from her experience and has apologized for using the language of the LGBT movement to describe her newfound belief in Christ.
Last week, Ana Marie Cox, who often writes for The Guardian and founded the political blog Wonkette, wrote an article for the Daily Beast in which she opened up about her Christianity. In the article, titled "Why I'm Coming Out As a Christian," she writes, "I'm not scared that non-believers will make me feel like an outcast. I'm scared that Christians will."
The 42 year old blogger explained that she had not previously been public about her faith because she was more tempted by an image as a "progressive, feminist, tattooed, pro-choice, graduate-educated believer".
However, she then remembered that "believing in God is about as punk rock as wearing pants"--or even less so, provided the millions of Americans who adhere to the Christian religion.
After sharing the article, which has since gone viral, Cox tweeted: "Humbled by positive reactions to my DB piece. They prove how selfish my fears about 'going public' were. Thank you everyone; thank you, God."
Then, on Sunday, Cox wrote a follow-up article, titled "Thank God, I Was Wrong: What I Learned From Opening Up About My Faith," explaining that she felt a "coda" was needed.
In the article, she reiterated that she had feared Christians would not accept her as one of them, and that she would be guilty of "humble bragging" because humility and testimony are "difficult to square."
"There was a part of me that knew the article might be praised in some quarters and I worried that the praise would unravel whatever humility I have learned in becoming a follower of Christ," she wrote.
However, Cox says she was astounded to discover that she was wrong.
"I found amazing warmth and generosity that far outweighed criticism and negativity. Support came from the right and the left, believers and non-believers, dog people and cat people," she writes.
Due to her advocacy for LGBT rights, Cox expressed her regret at using the term "closeted" to describe her relationship with Jesus Christ.
"A few of my colleagues in the movement wrote to take issue with my borrowing the phrase 'coming out', especially since I applied it to something (Christian) that's hardly the kind of stigmatized identity that LGTB individuals still have to overcome," she admitted. "So I apologize for using that language; it is an obviously imperfect metaphor - as I note in the piece, there is nothing marginal about believing in God."
She added, "Conservatives' genuinely affectionate responses to my piece underscored even more the gulf between how little I risked in "owning" my religion and how much is at stake for those struggling for complete acceptance from that same group."
Publically proclaiming her belief in God and adherence to Christianity, Cox writes, elicited "the best response I've received in my professional life."
While Cox says she is unlikely to write about her faith anymore, she believes the Lord will still work through her-"and I hope to be His vessel," she writes.
"The ego is a nasty little man; a false beggar who only gets hungrier the more you feed him," she said. "I hope any new readers I've gained won't be disappointed to find me still Tweeting more about cats than Christ, more columns about progressive causes than piety."