"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Unorthodox

Friday, February 24, 2012


"Later, in my adulthood, I will . . . understand that I wasn't equipped, as a child, to make room for arguments that would undermine every single choice made for me, that would shatter the foundations of my very existence. I would see that I had to believe everything I was taught, if only to survive. For a long time, I wouldn't be ready to accept that my worldview could be wrong, but I do not look back with shame on my ignorance. It was that innocence that (grandfather) tried to distill in me, the sweet, childlike naivete of my ancestors that is supposed to to last on into adulthood and even old age, and that I would eventually shed almost all of, except the very basic root of it at the heart of my nature. years later, even when I gazed at the world with eyes wide open, I would still be innocent in my heart." This is a quote from "Unorthodox, The Scandalous Rejection of my Orthodox Roots," by Deborah Feldman, which I've recently downloaded to my Kindle, where it joins "Leaving the Saints," by Martha Beck. (Is there a term for this genre? Heretic narrative?)


  1. I finished the book and give it a qualified recommendation. Part of me was fascinated by the details of Hassidism and its parallels to the fundamentalism of my childhood, while part of me was repelled by the author's callousness in publishing negative personal details as well as photos of her relatives. I love my family, no matter how much I disagree with them about religion. I can't imagine shaming them intentionally. Read and judge for yourselves.

  2. I would tend to disagree- I think there are instances where people should be shamed. Perhaps my personal experience is my guiding light, though. The book sounds interesting- Apostate narrative?- I'd like to read it! (I would put Jesus Camp and Foreskin's Lament in this category, too.)