Have you every believe something so strongly that you would bet your life on it? What I mean is, that your conviction ran so deeply that you would chance being "cast out" by friends and family?At one point in my life I did. In my teens I became a Born again Christian. My life at the time was not so hot at home, lets leave it at that. Two local families took me under their wings. Somehow I ended up going to church with them. The short of a very long story is that I became a die hard believer. You don't know me too well, so let me tell you this. If I set my mind on something I take it on. Whole hearted and devoted. As I've gotten older I've found more of a balance with this part of me. But anyway.... So yes I was a Jesus loving crazy on fire Christian. Not only did I study the bible I taught old testament. Then I became a missionary and went to Africa. After that I moved to Miami and taught more old testament. While I was there I preached in a very Evangelical way.Then life started to flow together in my mind. I began to look at all the different people around me. My friends in Africa, who were Muslims or just tribe people. In Miami I became friends with people of all different ways of life.My mind started to change. It was hard at first because that meant I had to be OK with being wrong. Making a change after stating so proudly and strong that this was the right and only way.At this I was again cast out by all the people I loved as family. Yet I could not go on one more second saying that I believed when I found I was unable to believe in a God that discriminated. My point in telling you this is not about religion or faith. This was a time where I was not concerned with the reaction I would get. It just had to be done. I made a loud statement in what I believed and now I had to stand up and say...ya know what....I might be wrong. Whew! It was a humble time for me. The reaction was crazy to say the lest. At the time I was a youth group leader and a missionary at my church. They took this as a sign of weakness. Of loss of faith and of sin. One of my most dear friends told me that I would be going to hell for being gay and for denouncing Christ. The point? I hope I would be that brave again to say that I'm wrong to be open to new thinking and new ways. That as I age and get more set in my ways I find it within to be flexible with my convictions, not weak just flexible.