Thursday, August 25, 2022

Good News for Christian Furries

An article from Religion News Service about Christian furries has been making the rounds lately on the Internet. Apparently, Christian furries worry about their religious communities rejecting them because they are furries, and at the same time fear the furry community rejecting them because they are Christian.

All the same, Christians in the furry community are cautious about who knows about both their furry and faithful selves. Christian furries interviewed for this story, including leaders of the group that calls itself the Christian Furry Fellowship, asked to be anonymous, fearing “doxxing” from within the largely secular furry community for their Christian identity and ostracization from their professional lives for their furry hobby.

“My furry friendships are a blessing,” said one CFF organizer with a red fox fursona who asked to be called “F.” “And for that reason, I am sad to see so much grief within the fandom that could be helped by the knowledge of the Lord.”

Founded in the late 1990s on internet chat forums, CFF is a ministry that views furry fandom as a mission field. In 2010, CFF members converged on Anthrocon in Pittsburgh. Another leader, who asked to be referred to as “AD,” described the 10 days he spent picking up members in their hometowns to share the event with 4,000 other furries in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center as one of his “most dear memories.”

While I'm not that familiar with furry fandom, from the perspective of being an occultist I think that have some good news for these Christian furries. A similar dynamic exists in the magical community. There are occultists who are down on Christianity, and others who point out that much of the Western Esoteric Tradition is rooted in Christian ideas - even though it generally rejects Christian orthodoxy.

So here's the good news as I see it - nobody really cares that you're Christian. If you've explored various spiritual traditions and have decided that Christianity is right for you, that's great. Go for it. Practice your religion as you see fit. But there is a caveat - nobody wants to be evangelized or preached at or have to deal with conversion attempts. That's as true for occultists as I imagine it would be for furries.

When you are "sharing your faith" with others and that faith happens to be conservative Christianity, what you are literally saying is "I can help you, but only if you follow all the rules of my religion." According to the article, many furries are LGBTQ+ folks, which means that those rules are going to require them to reject who they are. And I'm sorry, but nobody is going to be down for that. As a Christian, the best thing you can do in those situations is nothing at all.

The basic problem with conversion-oriented Christianity is not that it's Christian, but that it's annoying. If you really feel like a fundamental tenet of your faith is to recruit everybody, those beliefs essentially turn you into that friend who's in an MLM and wants you for their downline. And just like with MLM's, most of us who aren't already involved really aren't interested.

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