"you became a clone"

An excerpt from Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller:
I felt like both churches came to the table with a them and us mentality, them being the liberal non-Christians in the world, and us being Christians. I felt, once again, that there was this underlying hostility for homosexuals and Democrats and, well, hippie types. I cannot tell you how much I did not want liberal or gay people to be my enemies. I liked them. I cared about them, and they cared about me. I learned that in the woods. I had never felt so alive as I did in the company of my liberal friends. It isn't that the Christians I had been with had bad community; they didn't. I just liked the community of the hippies because it was more forgiving, more, I don't know, healthy.

The real issue in the Christian community was that it was conditional. You were loved, but if you had questions, questions about whether the Bible was true or whether America was a good country or whether last week's sermon was good, you were not so loved. You were loved in word, but there was, without question, a social commodity that was being withheld from you until you shaped up. By towing the party line you earned social dollars; by being yourself you did not. If you wanted to be valued, you became a clone. These are broad generalizations, and they are unfair, but this is what I was thinking at the time. . . .

The problem with Christian community was that we had ethics, we had rules and laws and principles to judge each other against. There was love in Christian community, but it was conditional love. Sure, we called it unconditional, but it wasn't. . . . Christianity was always right; we were always looking down on everybody else. And I hated this. I hated it with a passion. Everything in my soul told me it was wrong. . . . Hatred seemed, to me, the product of ignorance. I was tired of biblical ethic being used as a tool with which to judge people rather than heal them. I was tired of Christian leaders using biblical principles to protect their power, to draw a line in the sand separating the good army from the bad one. The truth is I had met the enemy in the woods and discovered they were not the enemy. I wondered whether any human being could be an enemy of God.