Coming Clean: A Confession | Sojourners

Coming Clean: A Confession

I have a confession to make.

Some of my friends and colleagues are already fully appraised of what I am about to say. But for many other family members and peers, all they know is what they have heard in rumors or gleaned from suggestive comments on previous blogs.

Today I must put this mystery to rest. Today I must accept myself for who I really am and trust that others will learn to accept me for who I am too.

The reality of who I really am inside is something that I have been coming to grips with over the last few years. At first I tried to fight it. I even wrote a lengthy treatise against it in college. But, alas, it is who I am, and I must accept it.

Some might ask whether I was born this way or if this was a choice I made at some point in my life. This is not a question that I can answer. All I can say is that for the first couple decades of my life I truly believed that I was not one. I grew up in an environment where it was not an open option for me, and it was thus not something that I ever seriously explored (or even casually experimented with). No one that I knew was one, and if anyone was, they chose to remain in the closet about it.

Several family members and even my former pastor have recently expressed concern over the rumors they have heard about me. For the most part, these inquiries have resulted only in mild teasing, but underlying the teasing there seems to be serious concern for my well-being and my standing as a Christian. But no matter how they choose to respond, I believe that they do have a right to know.

I can say that my wife, Andrea, is fully aware of what I am about to say, and thank God, she is fully supportive of me. Moreover, my church accepts me fully for who I am as well, and for that I must thank God too. I can only hope that those in the larger church community and even in American society will learn to accept people like me as well. Unfortunately, those prospects do not look promising on either front.

In following posts I will explain my situation in greater detail and answer any questions that anyone has. In the meantime, I must confess that it is true:

I, David Cramer, am a Christian pacifist.

portrait-david-cramerDavid Cramer teaches philosophy and religion at Bethel College, Indiana, and is an editor for the journal Ethics and Medicine. He blogs at Cramer Comments and contributes regularly to CC Blogs and Young Anabaptist Radicals. This post is the first of his series The Folly of the Cross: On Christian Pacifism.

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