My millennial friends ask me all the time: why don’t Christians speak out against the crazies like Westboro Baptist Church, or evangelicals who strong-arm a Christian institution that feeds hungry children into continuing to discriminate against gays in their employment process at penalty of un-adopting children? Even writing that sentence makes my heart hurt. This is not the religion of my youth, and yet it is. Controlling, abusive, narcissistic, bullying. It was all there from the beginning, and now it’s raging full-blaze. Writing Music of Sacred Lakes was not just a novel for me: it encapsulated a major change in my worldview, in which I finally discovered how to reconcile my Christian faith with the mystical, creation-loving sides of myself I had always known were okay but didn’t fit Christianity, according to everyone I grew up with. But that’s not where most of my peers, whom I serve with my writing, end up. So, a friend of mine asked me to write up a guest post on this topic to complement the perspective of a millennial atheist on his blog, which is also focused on speculative fiction and spirituality, like mine. Because I honestly have had my life so torn up by this dynamic, the evangelical craziness, I have had my fill of the conversations of why millennials are leaving the Church, why gays are right/wrong/loved/hated, and so this will be my only full post on this subject, laying out from beginning to end what happened to me and what I think is happening to the corner of Christianity where I grew up. And how it affects us all. I’ve already been called just about every name I can think of, and I trust my own audience will largely be more respectful than the average in discussing these sensitive topics, but if you must send me hate mail for this, please know I’ve already heard it, so make it tell-Oprah creative. I grew up being treated that way. I’m a professional-grade bullied millennial Christian. Give it your best shot because the opportunity won’t come again. :) Thanks. Here it is.