The Mirror

Ana Marie Cox: ‘I Believed I Was A Bad Person’

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Guardian‘s Ana Marie Cox continued her rebirth this morning with an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

She’s been receiving a heap of attention from a recent Daily Beast column in which she comes out as a Christian. A number of Washingtonians and MSNBC “Morning Joe” hosts are noticing a major change in her as of late. As some may recall, in 2011 she fled this town for a new life in Austin and ultimately Minneapolis.

And now she’s explaining why.

Well, sort of.

She’s explaining it as a “deep, personal dark hole” in her life, as she told The Daily Caller‘s Matt Lewis on his podcast Wednesday. He didn’t press her to say more on that, but he did probe her newfound beliefs in Jesus juxtaposed with her online paper trail and her time at Wonkette, a now talentless site that initially put her on Washington’s map. In those days she often peppered her blog with the phrase “ass fucking.” She really has no regrets and said she thinks of her online travails as something that keeps her humble. She said part of her shtick was dirty jokes, which she said was supremely lacking in Washington. She says her potty mouth isn’t entirely gone: “I do try to measure my language for the appropriate audience, I will say.”

She noted that when this immediate media blitz on her Christianity is over, she’s going to back off talking about it for awhile.

On “Morning Joe” Thursday, both Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough marveled over her change.

Joe said he noticed it — her Christ-like glow? — immediately when he recently saw her.

He said when Mika saw Cox, she said, “Oh my God, she is so beautiful.”

Mika was more pointed in her observations. “The girl I saw before was tied up in knots and unhappy,” she said. “The woman I see now is at peace. For whatever it’s worth, it’s working for you.”

For her part, Cox made some remarkable TV admissions.

“Before I found this faith and grace, I believed that I was a bad person,” Cox told Mika and Joe. “But not just a bad person, an unforgivably bad person. What faith has taught me is I may have badness in me as everyone does, but I am saved despite that. …No matter if I am liberal or conservative. …I found something incredibly precious and it’s too precious not to share with others.”

As for her beauty, she blamed yoga and Botox. Later on Twitter, she clarified that Botox means “stillness.”

In her Daily Beast piece, she wrote that when people notice her change, this is what they’re noticing: “I have a litany of concrete lifestyle changes I can give them—simply leaving Washington is near the top of the list—but the honest answer would be this: 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.”

On the topic of the hour — her miraculous self-change — she went beyond the superficial for “Morning Joe,” but never shared specifics on that “dark hole.”

In Lewis’ podcast, she mentions 12 step programs more than once, so it’s a safe guess that addiction is part of her story.

She said both her mental and physical health were at stake. Her marriage ended. Her career was “in trouble.”

But coming to Christ doesn’t have to be that drastic, she says.

It can be far more ordinary.