Alexandria Beightol always based her votes on the candidates and issues her conservative Christian church supported, registered Republican and never questioned life inside her religious bubble.
But after heading off to college, the now 22-year-old realized that perhaps her long-held beliefs were not as Christian as she had always believed — and Beightol eventually decided, “God is going to have to forgive me. I am not going to die in this culture war.”
As she wrote to The New York Times:
> I was pulled out of Smith College in 2015 when I told my parents that I was rethinking the legitimacy of anti-gay theology. I thought, “God is going to have to forgive me. I am not going to die in this culture war.”
> I was Republican like them. Before, I supported whatever my church told me about candidates and issues. I never questioned or read outside material on these subjects. I secretly started borrowing books from the library.
> I gave a communion message in 2016 — it was, “Our God chooses to die the death of all these marginalized people. He dies like Matthew Shepard, like a kid at the hand of the state. He was a refugee.” My church reprimanded me for “abusing the pulpit.” Other members used it to openly stump for Trump and say hateful things about Muslims and L.G.B.T. citizens.
Beightol said she discovered that the world she dreamed of was the world conservative evangelicals were afraid would become reality — and she worried that such beliefs have “done immense harm to the marginalized in the name of God.”
> I don’t feel so much like I am leaving conservative evangelicalism. I worship like one, I talk like one. It’s not like I can pull myself out of this relationship. I feel incredibly guilty for attending a church I can’t invite people to. But I love the community that raised me. A lot of evangelical parents are judged by the successful transmission of values to their children. I haven’t wanted to shame them.
> I am very excited to vote for Andrew Gillum. It is not that you have conservative evangelicals suddenly becoming liberal. It is more a realizing that you could be practicing something that isn’t even Christian at all.
Read more stories from evangelical Millennials here