When I was around eight or nine, two older ladies with interesting pamphlets came to our door. My mother, being in a chatty mood that day, opened the door and invited them in. The conversation that happened after that was very odd and interesting to me and inspired vivid imagery in my mind; but I largely relegated it to that, a good story.
When I was growing up, school was my refuge. What I learned from books was my key to acceptance and encouragement from my teachers, something I didn’t get from anywhere else. My introversion caused me to study everything I was interested in very closely.
From music to books, from books to movies, and from movies to television and all the fandoms in between, endeavoring to completely understanding everything in my world was a coping mechanism. God was a scary, abstract concept that I didn’t necessarily understand or believe in.
I remember having strong debates in high school with people of faith about religion. It just didn’t make any sense. I debated every single point of what they were saying, feeling superior because I was reasoning out something that they just trusted to blind faith. Idiots.
Fortuitous things some would say. Coincidences. Tricks of the mind. Chemical reactions in the brain. Long story short, I became a person of faith, and the faith I have is to be a follower of Jesus, a Christian.
And it’s the most important thing in my life.
I try to live in service to others. I don’t pretend to be perfect. In fact, I have made some horrendous mistakes in my life. And that has only made my faith stronger. And showed me that I. Cannot. Judge. Anyone. Because “she who is without sin…”
Now some would say that being a nerd and a person of faith don’t go together. How can one believe in such an outlandish story? The patriarchy. They misogyny. The homophobia. The horrendous things that have been done in the name of that religion. I felt the same things myself. My spiritual journey has led me to believe that my faith supersedes all of that.
But this is not an attempt to convert anyone. This is just a comment among the range of voices in the nerd community. Intelligent, discerning people who seek to understand can be anything we want to be, including people of faith. I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self that.
Please don’t assume that every person who is brave enough to say they have a faith is a fear-mongering zealot who seeks to beat you over your head with their primitive views.
You don’t have to believe what I believe to engage with me in conversation and healthy discussion about mythologies, inclusion, race, popular culture, love, religion and sex. My faith has not dulled my critical thinking skills.
So if you want to talk about, or even challenge my beliefs, I’m down to have a discussion with you. I still love debate.
Pamphlet-free of course.
Love Jones is nerd of faith that is also an educator, a parent to her own black girl nerd child and spouse to a comic-book blerd. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading, television, and being caught in an angle of sound.