Following in the Inglorious Footsteps of Saints and Martyrs

Now you know what it feels like, James Joyce!
June 7, 2007
Certain Pounds I’ve Reckoned With
June 8, 2007

Once upon a time, I envisioned myself as a Christian apologist. I would defend Christianity at all costs for the sake of a faith that I held very dear. I would be the modern world’s crusader. These days, however, I’m never sure where a deep-rooted Christian faith ends and a universalist approach to spirituality begins. In any case, I have left the realm of apology. Christian apology, that is.

But I have never stopped being a Jeff apologist. And what does that mean, you may ask? Defending myself? Well, yes, I suppose so. Although the way it usually works, I defend myself against myself, if I have the energy after attacking myself. The curious thing about this circular apology is that it has been known to fold in friends and family. Yes, I have made Jeff apologists of a fair number of people.

I will say that no one seems to enjoy being a Jeff apologist. It’s not that they loathe helping me out, or redeeming the better parts of me under attack (by me), but they feel, I’m almost sure, that it isn’t necessary. It’s ridiculous, in fact. And I couldn’t agree more. Off with the red-crossed tunics and down with the fiery standards.

But habits are hard to break. Nuns will tell you that. Jesus would. And in an effort to be like those holy people I fervidly defended some time ago, I am slowly weaning myself off of self-deprecation and apology. Slowly, I hope to find a happy balance on the see-saw of my grown-up, conscious life.

Unlike Christian apology, which always seems to need its zealots, Jeff apology would do well not to have any practitioners. After all, if my own abasement is so bad I need others to step in and defend me, what does that say about my self-afflicted incapacities? I’ll let you answer that. Or leave it rhetorical.

So that’s what this is all about: the advent and dissolution of Jeff apologists. Glorious as I once saw the Christian apologists of early church history, I now find my own apology somewhat drab, annoying, and certainly unnecessary. And for the reiteration of all of it, I apologize.

Hoping that it, too, ends up in history.

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