Ana Marie Cox works in the publishing business and has edited several popular magazines. She also founded her own secular online blog Wonkette, and later became a TV news correspondent and political columnist (1). She has since converted to Christianity and describes herself as “a progressive, feminist, tattooed, pro-choice, graduate-educated believer” (2).
Cox’s upbringing wasn’t Christian. She says that her mother was an agnostic and her father “a casual atheist,” “I asked him once why he didn’t believe in God, and he replied easily, “Because He doesn’t exist.”” Her dad didn’t justify his atheism beyond that. Surprisingly, Cox still attended church as a child. Later having lost her faith in God as well as living out her life in this lack of faith she experienced being in “a deep, personal, dark hole” (3). She felt that her worth was only measured by her latest column, “That’s where the concept of grace, and a belief in God, and a belief in Christ as my savior comes into play, it’s that I don’t have to do anything to really be worth something.”
Then Cox “came out” as a Christian, and that took many by surprise. She was seen as being largely unconventional as she still held onto being pro choice, supportive of LGBTI rights and critical of right wing politics. Although Cox maintains that being a Christian isn’t too challenging outside of her interactions with peers in the workplace, she still experiences a tension in her personal life, “I am somewhat tempted to embrace the punk-rockness of being a progressive, feminist, tattooed, pro-choice, graduate-educated believer—and then I have to remind myself that believing in God is about as punk rock as wearing pants, maybe even less so” (4).
But what changed Cox? And why did she undergo such a transition? She says it was the illness and eventual death of her mother that put God on her radar. Once her mother passed, Cox begun praying as well as seeking God. Her faith, Cox explains, doesn’t seem to be so much intellectual as experiential. For example, when people ask her how she did it, or what her “secret” to change was, she simply says that, “I try, every day, to give my will and my life over to God. I try to be like Christ. I get down on my knees and pray.” This is an answer that has brought its fair share of awkward moments, “The last time I tried giving that answer was in the Fox News green room and it stopped conversation as surely as a fart, and generated the same kind of throat-clearing discomfort… After all, my day job is all about expressing my opinions and beliefs – some of them unpopular.”
However, today Cox is clear about what she believes, “I don’t just believe in God. I am a Christian. Decades of mass culture New Ageism has fluffed up “belief in God” into a spiritual buffet, a holy catch-all for those who want to cover all the numbers: Pascal’s wager as a roulette wheel and not a coin toss. Me, I’m going all in with Jesus… Here is why I believe I am a Christian: I believe I have a personal relationship with my Lord and Savior. I believe in the grace offered by the Resurrection. I believe that whatever spiritual rewards I may reap come directly from trying to live the example set by Christ. Whether or not I succeed in living up to that example is primarily between Him and me.”
Cox has been greatly humbled by God’s grace, “One of the most painful and reoccurring stumbling blocks in my journey is my inability to accept that I am completely whole and loved by God without doing anything.” This is accompanied by a corresponding truth, “There is nothing so great I can do to make God love me more… What Christ teaches me, if I let myself be taught, is that there is only one kind of judgment that matters. I am saved not because of who I am or what I have done (or didn’t do), but simply because I have accepted the infinite grace that was always offered to me.”
1. Is There A God? More atheists convert. Available.
2. Mullins, M. 2015. The Original ‘Wonkette,’ Ana Marie Cox, ‘Comes Out’ As a Liberal Christian. Available.
3. Lewis, M. 2015. Ana Marie Cox Talks About Faith And Journalism. Available.
4. Cox, A. 2015. Why I’m Coming Out as a Christian. Available.