My name is Aaron Parsons. Some of you know me as Double A Ron, A-Ron, or The Rapper from Glenlawn. I’m a Canadian autistic hip-hop artist, a writer, and am training to be a progressive Christian apologetic. After being steeped and burned by Evangelical Christianity, purity culture, and attending two local mega-churches in Winnipeg for fifteen years, I’ve recently became what is called an “ex-vangelical.” I did the whole church thing. I played all the games. I tried to convert my high school to Christ. I tried to convert members of web forums I participated in to evangelical Christianity. I street evangelized, I drank the prosperity gospel Kool-aid. I tried to go on tour as a Christian musician with John Reuben and Fresh IE. I tried to run my own app design business while working that hustle culture my mega-church was preaching. Throughout all that, I barely survived and have been asking so many questions about life, Christianity, and the world around me. Through the whole process of being religious, I became so horribly disgusted and ashamed with myself and realized I could never measure up to what “the church” wants me to be. I lost my job while trying to convert a co-worker and almost lost my wife trying to build another “kingdom-based” business just to get us out of our poor financial situation. I knew something had to change. For the last 5 years and Trump’s shocking presidential term, I saw the faith I grew up with for what it was: an immoral majority trying to force their ideology on a world that will never meet their unrealistic standards. My deconstruction became official after local radical Manitoba Christians opposed Covid lockdown orders and took the government to court to preserve their selfish freedom. Soon after, new Covid cases took the life of a friend’s mother while almost infecting my own grandmother. I’m done with the evangelical church. The scales were removed from my eyes and I’ve seen what a real Christian should look like.
I don’t just believe that Christ died for my mistakes and my sins while setting me free from bondage. I also believe:
1. – the selfless example and teaching of Jesus are the gold standard to which all Christ-followers should aspire.
2. – the image of God shines brightly and clearly through my LGBTQ brothers and sisters as well as those who are heterosexual.
3. – the character of a nation is best reflected in the way it cares for its weakest, sickest, poorest, and most vulnerable.
4. – nations built by slave labor taken from my indigenous brothers and sisters should, at the very least, welcome immigrants and refugees with open arms.
5. – anybody who works a forty-hour week job should earn a living wage and no one should be denied a college education or comprehensive health and dental care because of inability to pay.
6. – no one should own a firearm designed only to kill humans
7. – American Christians must call out the NRA for enabling a culture that values weapon sales over children’s lives
8. – anyone who practiced any form of sexuality outside of a marraige between a man and woman may still know God.
8. – the validity of scientific exploration and in the accuracy of scholarly consensus on vaccines and the facts and causes of global climate change.
9. – failure to act responsibly in addressing the climate crisis is poor stewardship of the natural world and could result in catastrophic consequences, especially for those least able to cope
10. – we are consistently pro-life but are put to shame, not by gun-slinging, anti-abortion fundamentalists, but by peace-loving, peace-seeking sisters and brothers in all faith communions as well as those who find organized religion offensive.
This is who real Christians are. These are Christians who love the Lord with all their hearts, souls, minds, and whatever makes them strong while loving their neighbors as themselves.