Dating Liberal Christians

A guy in the Liberal Christians FB group was feeling depressed about his inability to find compatible women to date. I wrote a bunch of barely pertinent autobiography in response.

I can't help you really, though if you can find a decently large church whose religious and implied political views aren't too far away from your own, I'd say that might be a good place to attend church. I've been married twice. The first time I was a 25-year-old practicing alcoholic and dedicated agnostic, and I married a Hindu woman from Fiji, Shakuntala, who came over to marry me (leaving her ten-year-old daughter in Fiji) mainly to get away from her drunken Dad. So no dating was necessary. I wanted to convert to Hinduism because I thought it would help our marriage, but she always told me "No, Leland, you should be a Baptist" (because she knew that was my upbringing). I would reply that I didn't believe what the Baptists believed, and she'd say "Then you should be a Methodist." She'd gone to a Methodist mission school as a kid and had fond memories of it. We had three clergy at our wedding, 1) her drunk dad who came over, dressed up, and acted the pandit, not sure if he had any qualifications; in Fiji he owned an auto repair shop; 2) a DOC minister who'd been my dad's understudy in campus ministry; and 3) one of my Esperantist buddies, who was ordained in the Universal Life Church, and who actually administered the vows and signed the certificate. We were married four years, managed to get her daughter over here and bought a house before my steadily progressing alcoholism and newfound unemployment led her to divorce me. The second time, I was 49 years old and had been sober 18+ years. None of the start-from-scratch dating you are looking for was involved this time, either. We made email contact in the aftermath of our 30th high school reunion; in the book published for that event, Paula saw where I wrote "Alas, no lass!" and decided this was her big opportunity. But then I was sick and missed the reunion. So she sought out my email and got in touch. We had first met 34 years earlier in beginning Russian class on the first day of 9th grade; we had been lab partners in HS biology; but other than that our contact had all been at church or more precisely mostly in the church's high-school youth group. Paula dated a number of boys in high school, and I don't think I had a single date. I was too busy learning languages and wrestling with God; by the time we graduated, I was more or less determined to convert to Judaism, hoping that Jesus might turn out to have been the fly in the ointment. I went off to Yale to work towards my life goal of becoming the USA's leading civilian authority on the Albanian language and literature, but within a semester I was headlong into alcoholism, and before the end of my freshman year I took a medical leave of absence for depression, and never went back. The next 12 years, including the four with Shakuntala, were basically devoted to drinking for ten of them and just prior to the Shakuntala episode a year and a half of abstinence while in intensive outpatient therapy for my depression. I dated a couple of my fellow therapees briefly, even wrote a story book in Latin for one of them. A little over a year after Shakuntala divorced me, I spent a month planning to rob a bank