A few weeks ago, a friend posed this question to me: why does it seem that furries go to the furry fandom for comfort instead of to Christ? This is a fair question, and one that I have wondered in the past. The answer is simple, yet it is disheartening.
For those who do not know, the furry fandom sees itself as very accepting. Possibly due to the negative image the outside world has of the fandom, it is willing to accept other outcasts of society: sexual deviants, the irreligious, even anarchists. Put another way, the otherwise-minded. I could discuss the feedback loop this mentality creates – and probably will in another post – but for now we can leave it alone. But let me provide you with some data. According to the State of the Fandom 2008, approximately a quarter of furries are homosexual, a quarter heterosexual, and a third bisexual (the others gave no preference). Fewer than 20% of responders identified themselves as “Christian,” with the majority being agnostic and atheist. There were more pagans than Protestants. And furries tend to be much more open about their sexuality, their (anti)religious beliefs, or other behaviors. This adds another dimension to the analysis. But the overall attitude is one that will allow most any socially-marginalized mindset.
In other words, the fandom gives furries an opportunity to “feel good” about themselves, where they can experience what passes for love.
What does this mean for Christian furs? We find ourselves a minority in the fandom, generally opposed to the filth that makes up no small part of it. We are a sub-class of sorts.
Now, I said the furry fandom came across as accepting. I will maintain this position. However, there is a mindset that they are not as willing to tolerate, and that is evangelical Christianity. Why is this? I offer one primary reason: a perceived lack of love.
Mainstream furries see a crowd that has sacrificed the love of God for traditions of man, erecting an arbitrary standard based not on the Scriptures but on what they feel is acceptable. There is no love here. Instead, there is coldness, a silent look that tells the furry that “their kind” isn’t allowed here. And sometimes it isn’t silent, but a word of condemnation. So furries see a Church that is distant, that openly condemns them without knowing them. I think this is the largest hurdle Christians in the furry community face. And some in the fandom propagate this attitude. Without taking the time to see furries as humans, they instead focus on their sinful behavior and rail at them until the furries return the favor and respond with similar, hateful words. Our reputation has been tarnished by those who speak before they think.
This is not to say that we should ignore the darkness in the fandom. We can’t do that; we’d be abandoning our duty as Christians if we let them wallow in their chains, without declaring freedom. But we also can’t treat them as inhuman filth. God created them. They have value. And we must not forget that we were in darkness too, once.
I want to be like Jesus. He went to the ones who needed Him, speaking truth and love because He IS the truth and love! I do not want to wink at the works of darkness, but neither do I want to place myself on a pedestal, viewing those around me as lower than I am. I want to live my life in full surrender to God, seeing His creation as He sees it and doing as He directs, no matter what.