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The Place Where Everybody's as Special as You (Even in L.A.)

Dorothy Fortenberry, a screenwriter for Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale, takes her 5-year-old with her to church every Sunday, even though when she was the kid being dragged by her mother, she was convinced she would never go to church again of her own free will.

 

One reason Fortenberry keeps going back is because she is able to leave her life as an L.A. screenwriter behind when she's in church, where "we are all exactly the same amount of special."


Fortenberry is Catholic, but in this Los Angeles Review of Books piece, she is not trying to explain Catholic doctrine. She is simply expressing what going to church means to her, in a refreshingly honest way. A few highlights:

 

♦ "The things that I feel proud of can’t help me here, and the things that I feel embarrassed by are beside the point."

 

♦ "[S]ometimes I wish I had the certainty of an atheist. I wish I could be positive that there was no God and that Sundays were for brunch. ... But I believe too much, at least sometimes, to be certain about that."

 

♦ "I do not find religion to be comforting in the way that I think nonreligious people mean it. I do not believe that everything in my life will necessarily be all right and I certainly do not believe that everything happens for a reason. ... Thanks to church, I have a much stronger sense of the sort of person I would like to be, and I am forced to confront all the ways in which I fail, daily."

 

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