I did. In an interview. For a position at a public institution.
It surprised me, quite frankly. They asked if I could work with people whose values are different than mine. I told them I could. I figured I should explain my position, since anyone can just say “yes,” knowing that’s what they need to hear.
My answer was not the standard evangelical “love the sinner, hate the sin” drivel. (I really hate that phrase, but that’s another story.) As I finished my statement, I looked at the interviewer next to me — the tech guy — and said with a grimace, “So…did I just pour hot water all over myself?” He said, “Well, you’re not melting yet!” Gotta love the tech guys. They’re always my favorite people.
The thing is, I’ve never been openly verbal with people about what I believe. If my religion required a quota for new conversions, I’d have been excommunicated long ago. So I did a lot of head scratching over why then, at that moment, did I share my beliefs.
I realized that in the last few years, I’ve become authentic. A few quality crisis-of-faith moments will do that to you, I suppose. I realized that for most of my life, I’ve had a problem with some evangelical stances on certain issues, but I was never able to discern why, much less figure out what it is I do believe.
So when I did make a statement about it, it didn’t come from religious obligation — it came from authenticity. That’s why I said it, and why I apparently had no hesitation — because I know it to be my true beliefs. I forgot for a moment that it was an interview, because it felt that we were having a real conversation about meaningful things, like values and religion and humane behavior in the workplace.
It may have cost me that job — I’m really not sure. Next time, I’ll simply say “Yes,” and leave it at that. But I don’t regret it because it’s one of the first times in my life I was authentic and comfortable with who I am and what I believe to be true.
That’s something money can’t buy.