“Gays Can Be Priests; But Marriage Should Be Between a Man and a Woman.”

Below is an email I got in last week. I’m sharing it with you (with the writer’s permission, of course) because I think it so perfectly captures so much of what those who believe in full Christian acceptance of gays are up against. This woman reflects everything with which the historical Christian church has for so long been inculcating people that they now think it’s natural to their natures. And yet you can see that this woman feels profoundly uncomfortable with the Christian proscription of homosexuality. Her letter evidences the struggle she’s experiencing between her heart and her brain, between her intuitive compassion and her loyalty to what she’s been taught. She’s trying to figure out what’s right. I believe she will.

Dear John,

HA … a “Dear John” letter~!  Sorry, you must get that a lot, but I couldn’t resist. I must preface this by saying that I’m not very worldly at all, meaning that I was raised in a strict household, with very little opportunity to socialize with my peers.  I point this out because I feel very isolated, unversed and plain uneducated in what’s going on in the world, politics, and the homosexual discussion, in general.

I am a Roman Catholic who came back to the faith after a lifetime of rejecting the church, tried to be “spiritual,” but not adhering to any form of religion. I never seek to enter the above mentioned discussions because in general I have conservative views, and they clash with my friends’ views. To be truthful, at first I believed same sex marriage should not be legalized; but on the other hand, I realize that the issue would not, or might not, have come up in the first place, if the government (I’m in America) recognized their relationship, and extended them the same rights as married heterosexual couples.  I think this issue could be resolved if the government would just give them the same rights and benefits.

As a Catholic, however, I firmly believe “marriage” should be defined as between a man and a woman. I have this belief not because it’s written down in black and white, but because I am a part of what is known as a Sacramental Marriage and the belief there, as I’m sure you’re already aware, is that God is present in the marriage; and for this specific conversation, is present in the marriage bed where the couple is to remain open to making a child. Making a child is the closest we, as humans, can come to creating life as God creates life. I know that statement is far from being a good one because we cannot and should not seek to create as God creates, but I leave it in because I don’t have the words to express my thoughts accurately. Creating, loving the children we make, raising them. In doing so, we glorify God.

John, I’ve had both: a marriage that did not have God as a participant, and this one, where God is definitely a participant. Two radically different experiences. I do much prefer this one. My conviction comes from my soul, from knowing this is what is right. Our son was a miracle, and we believe that God placed him in our lives, when we thought having a family would never happen (long story).

Now, I’m not saying that homosexuals are not capable of having committed, meaningful relationships. I do believe that they should be allowed to serve God in the Catholic church as priests if they want to. It’s sad, it’s tragic, it’s majestically unjust that the Church cannot address properly the crisis going on with priest pedophiles and those preying on their flock.  It sickens me to know that the Vatican is protecting these criminals.  It sickens me that they’re projecting a phobic fear onto the homosexual community.  I know this is a tangent off the conversation, but the church should realize this is a sickness, and not in any way related to homosexuality.  They are not acknowledging that they dropped the ball when accepting these men into the priesthood.

Incidentally, I am also sickened by our bloody history, but that’s the human element showing itself to be so unreliable, so tainted.  How can we really trust anything that comes out of the vatican … whole other tangent.

Getting back to my prior thought that I am not saying that homosexuals are not capable of having committed, meaningful relationships.  Before they sought to get married, there were civil unions.  My personal belief is that the civil union should be enough — then we go back to the fact that they want to get married, and be Christians. And, as I say, I do think they should be allowed to serve as priests. So I guess I still have so many questions about where I stand on the homosexual issue. I will keep praying to God to give me the right answers to this.

LGBT ruling = Attack of the Crazy Christians = Quiet time
I love you, heathen. Now change.
Round TWO in our Big Debate about evangelizing in the workplace
She's 17 and bi--and her parents won't allow it.
About John Shore

Increasingly I want to communicate with my readers through my free email newsletter, which is just a simple, direct and personal email from me that I'll soon be sending out every three weeks or so. If you would like to receive this email in your inbox, subscribe to it on my website, or by using the subscription box about halfway down the column on the right. I wouldn't think of using your email address for anything but my e-newsletter (to which you can always unsubscribe with the click of a button). Thanks, and looking forward to communicating with you in this more intimate way.

  • http://www.beckygarrison.com Becky Garrison

    Therein lies the battle facing those who claim to be progressive – I “like” gays and want to affirm them but

    my interpretation of scripture says that gays and lesbians cannot be 1) non-celibate, 2) clergy, 3) married (choose any selection here based on how your beliefs are informed by scripture and tradition).

    Let us not forget that scripture and tradition were also used to keep women and people of color down for centuries. No only the very fundy types still hold on to that outmoded way of thinking.

    And we haven’t even begun to touch the B and T aspects of the LGBT equation.

  • http://ihopetomorrowisbetter.blogspot.com/ Molly Bandit

    I hope this doesn’t come off as snarky, because I’m simply curious. How does this idea of Sacramental Marriage fit in with heterosexual couples who choose not to have children, who married at an older age, or have disabilities that leave them unable to have children?

  • DR

    Exactly. Christians must pick a lane when it comes to this issue, if only because it’s causing so much damage to the gay community to try to float between the options you’ve provided.

  • Reed

    *Head/desk*

  • Mary

    I too am Roman Catholic. But I am excommunicated because I am in an “invalid” marriage. I would LOVE to correspond with this lovely reader. I can be reached at haxma01@aol.com.

  • Rebecca

    “Separate but equal” is inherently unequal.

  • http://www.beckygarrison.com Becky Garrison

    DR- it goes beyond that – science, psychology and theology have advanced considerably on the issue of LGBT folks in recent decades – a few examples … “homosexuality” is no longer deemed a mental illness, psychological studies prove gay couples can raise healthy children, mainline theologians offer interpretations of the “homo verses” that pretty much decimate the traditional evangelical view that homosexuality is a sin, and science continues to make advances that our sexuality is not as binary as we once thought it was. So what you’re seeing is the emergence of critical thinking Christians who embrace all these developments. Thank God. :)

  • http://leap-of-fate.com/ Christy

    What brought clarity for me was acknowledging this: love chooses us. To know this in my own relationships and to extend that to others….this kept it simple for me.

  • A’isha

    I appreciate this writer processing her feelings and beliefs openly here for us. I also really appreciate when someone admits to not knowing for sure what’s right or not. I truly hope she’ll keep searching. I have a few questions that I hope the writer will address.

    1) Early in your letter you say this whole issue could be resolved if the gov’t just gave LGBT couples the same rights. Yet, later you seem to say civil unions should be enough. Or the priesthood. So which is it and why do you think that? Do you also think that infertile people shouldn’t get married? Or is it okay to use artificial insemination/surrogacy/etc? So then what’s wrong with gays and lesbians using those methods? Another point…do you realize civil unions don’t give nearly the same rights as actual marriage? Sorry, I know I grouped all those questions together. :)

    2)Quick question here. If you think it’s okay for gays to be priest, do you also think lesbians can be priests?

    3)Do you think the government should be in the marriage business at all? I ask this because it’s obvious your Catholic faith is very important to you and it seems to me that you regard your Sacramental Marriage in higher regard than a regular marriage. I could be way off there, so correct me if I’m wrong. One thing I’ve heard is that the government should only issue civil union licences to everyone, straight or gay. Then if the participants want to have it sanctified in the church of their choice, they can. Personally I think that’s not the answer, that the government should do exactly as it does now except include LGBT couples. That seems like equality to me. Then it will no longer be “marriage or gay marriage” but simply marriage.

  • Mindy

    I appreciate this woman’s honesty, and I hope she continues to think on these matters, read on these matters – and listen to those conversations she is not yet brave enough to enter – until she feels brave enough to enter, and ask questions.

    In the meantime, I will tell her what I was told by the priest who married us. Full disclosure: I am now divorced and I was never Catholic, but my ex was and we went through the required classes to be married in the Catholic Church. Since I was not Catholic, some of what she calls the “Sacramental Marriage” did not apply to us, but during our classes, the concept of being open to creating children did, certainly, come up.

    Anyway, I had a hysterectomy due to cancer several months before our wedding, so we knew, before the marriage, that no children would be created in our marriage bed. We knew we wanted to be parents, but we knew it wouldn’t happen the old-fashioned way. So I asked the priest, probably because I felt defensive at the time, why he would say such a thing to me, knowing our history.

    He told us that he did not look at this particular concept literally. He explained that “the marriage bed” is where we would express our most intimate feelings of love for each other, the most private part of our relationship, the physical expressions of our love that would only shared by us. Through those expressions of intimate love, we would grow stronger as a couple, deepen our trust in one another, and thus create, if not the children, the bedrock of family on which the children would be raised.

    We would become the best kind of parents – parents who loved and trusted each other beyond all else. It wouldn’t matter how our children came to us. What would matter is that privately, we would strengthen our bond to each other so that as we raised the children we would welcome into our lives, we would do so as full partners and base our parenting on the deepest kind of trust.

    He was an RC priest, and when we married was in his late 60s – so this was a guy who’d been thinking and praying and learning about these things for a long time. And even as that marriage did not last, the parenting did. Our daughters are both miracles, and he and I continue to parent as trusting friends, because the children were the focus of our relationship. I see absolutely no reason why this understanding of “the marriage bed” wouldn’t also apply to committed gay and lesbian couples.

    Seems to me that Catholicism would be more opposed to couples who choose not to have children than gay and lesbian couples who do.

  • Mindy

    That sounds weirdly as if the priest and I continue to parent as trusting friends. Not what I meant – should read: “…and their dad and I continue to parent…” So sorry – back to your regularly scheduled comments.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

    this.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

    right?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

    Whoa. This is outstanding. Thank you SO much for this, Mindy.

  • http://www.poesies.com Gina Cirelli

    I’m still extremely confounded when I hear someone say “I’m Roman Catholic” and then go on to disagree with many of the church’s beliefs and policies. Why be part of something (or say you’re part of something) you don’t agree with?

    /boggle

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

    Because nothing’s perfect.

  • DR

    I’m a Roman Catholic but I don’t agree with several of their positions because I love the church that much to be critical of her, If that’s not being Catholic enough for you? Feel free to unsubscribe from my newsletter.

    /righteous jerks

  • DR

    I love this comment and want to have children with it (thank God indeed). :D

  • sayla1228

    YES! Go DR!!.

  • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

    DR,

    How much will you have to disagree with before you finally say you’re NOT a Roman Catholic? I would think their strong anti-gay stance, anti-same sex marriage, anti pro-choice for woman, anti-birth control, pedophile cover-ups, etc. etc. would be enough to disassociate yourself from them, but I suppose not. They have caused so much pain to the very segment of society you stand up for so passionately in this blog, yet you still call yourself a Catholic.

  • http://www.poesies.com Gina Cirelli

    I understand that nothing’s perfect, and that sometimes it’s better to try to make something better than to ditch it, but I still have a hard time with the choice to stay when one disagrees on main beliefs.

  • http://www.poesies.com Gina Cirelli

    This is what I am getting at. If something is causing so much pain in the name of love, why associate with it? To me it seems like staying in an abusive relationship.

  • http://www.nathantaylor.net.au/ rabid_womble

    You do not choose your parents, and you do not choose the world in which you grow up. What the author has done is chosen to examine her beliefs and worldview rigorously. This is a beautiful thing. The fact that she spent a ‘lifetime’ rejecting the church before returning to it means she is on a journey to sort the chaff from the wheat.

    The fact she is struggling to reconcile this aspect of her faith is indicative of a mindset/inclination to not passively accept tenets of belief without examining them and integrating them into her life. Hopefully (and presumably) the issue of gays and lesbians will not be the most significant she confronts.

    To my mind, the capacity to ask questions (not to arrive at any particular answer) and to struggle with reconciling belief with your experience of life, is the core of Christianity.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

    But she’s not saying she disagrees with its main beliefs. She’s saying she’s in the process of thinking about ONE of its main beliefs.

  • sayla1228

    I understand but its more complicated that though. It reminds me of a friend who made this similar comment, only more snide, when I talk how pro-gender equality, Middle Eastern Muslim women feed my feminist/womanist inspirations. There are things I disagree with American and Filipino culture that are racist, sexist and ethnocentric but I will not stop identify as Filipino-American.

  • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

    Gina,

    Yup, or like what the Bible says in Proverbs 26:11 , “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his stupidity.

    .

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

    People abusing people in the NAME of God hardly proves an abusive God. I disagree with all kinds of stuff about the way Christians conceive of and practice Christianity; but that’s a universe away from disavowing God. I fight FOR God against people and ideas that I think run contrary to his will and nature; I think that’s an honorable and right thing to do. I’m not leaving Club God just because some people keep getting wrong what should be the house rules.

  • http://www.nathantaylor.net.au/ rabid_womble

    Didn’t say it was a main belief. I interpreted this particular example of integrating theological belief into a lived experience as being part of a broader journey because of her positioning comments about having rejected the Church only to return to it in later life.

    PS. I said I hoped it wasn’t the only belief she questioned because the Roman Catholic church has some pretty whacked out ideas (from contraception through – more relevant to any woman than my marriage to my partner – through to the requirement for priests to be celibate) that are not particularly compatible with modern life. Not that the church should be thrown out – just some of its loopier thoughts.

  • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

    Agreed, but still if the “house rules ” (i.e Catholic doctrine) is hurting a segment of society, would it be rigt and reasonable to leave that house a find another one that doesn’t and live there instead?

  • http://leap-of-fate.com/ Christy

    Would you feel the same way, Brian, if we exchanged the word “Catholic” for “Protestant”? And how would that influence your response?

  • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

    Pretty much the same, but the Protestants protested much of what the Catholics stood for, that’s why they pulled away from them – they disagreed with their beliefs and practices.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

    I’m sorry, rabid: I was answering Gina.

  • DR

    Who is disagreeing on the church’s “main” beliefs?

  • DR

    Well Gina, I’ll let you know the second that becomes any of your business. Keep checking back (this is such a ridiculous – not to mention, offensive question – that I’m not going to dignify it with a response).

  • DR

    Hey Brian, let’s do this, How about you tell me if you’d vote for gays to be married in your state – yes or no – and then I’ll answer your question.

  • DR

    Gina, if you’re someone who throws out the baby with the bathwater? So be it. I’m not going to let some horrible policies and theology change my faith in Christ. Through the sacraments. I’m no longer allowing other people to change my relationship with Christ.

  • DR

    Exactly. Thanks for having the patience to answer this.

  • DR

    Brian, you didn’t answer your question. If, for example, Protestants allowed gay men and women to be married in the church, would you leave?

  • http://www.nathantaylor.net.au/ rabid_womble

    My bad. Too sensitive.

  • Mindy

    Isn’t it, John? I hadn’t thought about that in long time, but when she said “the marriage bed,” it came back to me. I remember feeling that this priest was particularly wise.

  • DR

    Brian, to date, you’ve gotten a number of things wrong about Catholicism. You’re wrong here, you were totally inaccurate when you suggested that catholics believe that Protestants are “sinning” going to hell. You’ve been wrong in trying to describe the intent of the Inquisition. Those are just the few that I remember. Please stop talking about the Catholic church as if you know what it really teaches, it’s really disrespectful. Particularly when it’s clear you have a lot of hostility towards it. Thank you.

  • http://www.poesies.com Gina Cirelli

    Agreed, she did say that she was only questioning one belief. To me, depending on how important I thought the church’s doctrine was, it would be enough for me to find another denomination, for her, obviously not. This is a personal decision, assuredly. I guess for me it would be the same as saying one thing and doing another.

    I really can’t believe the hostility here on this forum, John. Thank you for respectfully addressing what I am expressing.

  • http://www.poesies.com Gina Cirelli

    God Club does not equal the Catholic Church. Sorry for not being clear about that.

  • http://www.poesies.com Gina Cirelli

    And thank you, Brian, for understanding what I obviously had trouble saying.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

    Has someone been hostile to you? Did I miss something? It’s all seemed civil to me. But … maybe I missed something? (Ah: you must be referring to our great lioness, DR. Well … well, for one, lemme say that on my new blogsite, which’ll launch in August, I’ll be using a comments management system that will make everyone’s comments … make sense, where they’re supposed to be. And … sometimes, I’ve noticed, people think comments directed toward others are directed toward them. So. There’s that. But, yeah: DR’s a take-no-prisoners kind of gal. Which is why I stay on her GOOD side, see….)

  • DR

    Gina if you felt like I was attacking you, then I’m sorry you feel that way. Let me explain (I don’t know you so you’re owed that).

    Catholics are under constant attack from Christian evangelists, making assumptions about our faith, incorrectly stating them (as Brian has been prone to do) and then demand we defend the incorrect positioning. It’s exhausting and I should stop investing energy it it all-together (I’m not sure if you fit this category). . But it’s annoying and offensive to be on the receiving end of really general statements like that, though I didn’t take the time to explain that to you and for that I apologize.

  • Brian W

    I did answer the question but since I’m not a Protestant it is a moot point, what really needs to be answered is why you haven’t left the Catholic church over the pain they have caused to so many gays and their anti-gay church dogma. Some people would call that hypocritical, D “I am a Catholic” R.

    I guess if your church spews anti-gay hate policies, that’s ok, but if anyone else has an opinion contrary to yours, they’re narrow minded, self-righteous bigots.

  • Brian W

    Ok, so the millions they murdered weren’t sinners, Luther wasn’t ex-communicated because he was a good Catholic, please don’t try and cover up the death and murder of the Catholic church , history aside the Catholic church is anti-gay, anti-same sex marriage, anti-womans choice, anti-birth control, covers up known pedophiles and on it goes and you try and defend them, why? You come across as some sort of gay activist but your church is dogmatically anti-gay, D “I am a Catholic” R. They have hurt so many gays yet you have to “correct” me about Catholic history, but you still never address their anti-gay doctrine.

  • Brian W

    Does your church believe it, D “I am a Catholic” R? Your church has hurt so many gays yet you come across so pious about their anti-gay doctrine, trying to make it about how I vote when hundreds of millions, if not a billion Catholics follow Catholic beliefs, which include anti-same sex marriage. My vote means nothing compared to the millions of Catholics in the USA that vote the “Catholic” line. What are you doing to change the anti-gay policies of the Catholic church? When you say, “I am Catholic” that tells every gay on here you agree with their anti-gay doctrine, because if you didn’t you would denounce them and leave the Catholic church for the pain, hurt and suffering they have caused so many gays, but D “I am a Catholic” just gives lip service.

  • DR

    Brian, if I wanted to I’d drag up how it was the Evangelical church in America that used the Bible to keep blacks from marrying their white women (and worshipping with them in churches). But I don’t do that because I realize that for most people, while the revelation of Jesus has been fully provided to us via Scripture we see through a glass that is cloudy and most people/organizations are evolving via education and often it is the atheists as well as non-Christians that teach us. So no, I’m not going to indulge your total hostility toward the Catholic church (which I find chilling that you don’t even try to hide). But it certainly makes me understand your hostility toward the GLBT community. One is generally, not to far from the other.

  • DR

    It’s a yes or no answer, Brian. Right? Yet still, no answer.

    I knew you wouldn’t and frankly, I don’t care about the answer (I know it already anyway, we all do). What I’m doing is showing you how frustrating it is to dialogue with someone who demands that you answer something according to their – in this case – my terms. I’m taking what appears to be a very layered, personal issue for you that doesn’t find its roots in “yes” or “no” and I’m trying to help you understand that it is this rigidity with which you consistently approach others on this forum yet when it comes to you? You want some flexibility to address an issue with some complexity. . There have been so many people who’ve tried to communicate this to you and I like them should probably just stop trying. But it was worth one last shot.

  • Brian W

    D “I am a Catholic” R,

    What lane does your church take? O yes that’s right, anti-same sex marriage, homosexuality is immoral and a sin according to your church.

  • Brian W

    You made a mistake, you’re not going to let horrible doctrine and policies cause you to denounce the Catholic church and it’s “sacraments”. I notice how you relate “faith in Christ” with Catholic sacraments…..how many more gays does the Catholic church need to hurt before you’ve had enough?

  • Brian W

    I’m not hostile toward anyone D “I am a Catholic” R. It is now becoming sad how you try to twist and turn the fact that the Catholic church has hurt so many gays and you do not denounce them or sever your association with them, yet you try and make it that I have hostility to the GLBT community when YOUR church has a world-wide anti-gay policy…..that is classic D “I am a Catholic” R. Your unwillingness to denounce the anti-gay policies of the Catholic church and leave the church, then all your pro-gay rhetoric is empty words.

  • http://kenreads.wordpress.com KenLeonard

    So, the homosexual priest can ordain your marriage?

    I’m not quite sure that cognitive dissonance covers this.

  • Brian W

    No D “I am a Catholic” R it’s only pretty much you trying to convey what is important to you MUST be important to everyone else and you claim I’m rigid? Honestly gay marriage is not that big of an issue to me since it effects such a small percentage of the population, if gays want to get married go to NY for now, what effects everyone on earth is the Gospel, that’s what is important.

  • DR

    LOL. Brian, I’m not a “gay activist”. And the criticism I’ve offered to the Catholic powers-that-be on this forum is in a million places (as well as to them directly) and would singe the hairs on your head. You seem a bit desperate to play a “tit for tat” game here but it’s not going to work. I am catholic, but I attend a gay-affirming parish. As I’ve said a thousand times before, I don’t give money to the church and I’m part of an organization inside of the church that is actively fighting against any current thinking that I believe causes harm (the GLBT community is just one of those areas, let’s talk about the lack of condoms in Africa, a very Catholic country).

    I know you’re probably upset with me for keeping your feet to the fire and perhaps, you exposing some of the hostility and ignorance you have toward the gay community and your unwillingness to change. (the Catholic faith as well). And frankly, I don’t care much about that, your feelings are secondary compared to the damage you do to the community. But at the end of the day Brian, I don’t teach any theology that tells gay people that they are not of God. I don’t give money to spread that theology. You do. And as hard as you try to draw a correlation to me remaining a Catholic in hopes that the church one day sees the light? It just doesn’t connect. I know you want it to but again, it’s a “look over there” tactic you deploy so your own inconsistencies don’t show up as clearly. You can do that, I guess, but it’s not going to fly (at least not with me).

  • DR

    Oh Brian. You don’t know what you’re even talking about. The Catholic Church *is* the sacraments, you don’t understand it at all, it’s so basic. Just do some real reading on the sacraments of the Catholic church, start with the Eucharist. If you really want to learn what it is instead of your version of what it is, then you’ll find it. I’m tired of trying to educate you under the guise of you really being curious when you have some other agenda in mind.

    I know you’re angry with me but if you were willing to in a quiet moment really consider what I, what Suz, what Christy and so many others have offered to you here? It’s not me you’re uncomfortable with, it’s how your own words here about homosexuality being not of God is totally inconsistent with – well, everything we know about a loving God who created human beings in His image. Before you respond, realize that I’m not the problem, Brian. I’m not what is making you angry and uncomfortable. Consider that we are just the messengers of a Truth that you are fighting against. I’m not your enemy, your own theology is.

  • denver

    Gina,

    Catholics are different than protestants because we believe in transubstatiation, and that solo scriptura is not enough. Basically that means that the eucharist is LITERALLY changed into the body and blood of Christ, and “the word alone” that is, just the bible, no eucharist – is not enough. If you believe in that, you don’t have any other place to go than the Catholic church. You can disagree with EVERY other point of dogma, but if you believe in transubstantiation, there is no other denomination to go to. There can be a progressive protestant church that aligns with your every core belief, but if you believe in transubstantiation, that church is not an option for you. So, it’s this one core belief vs. everything else. That’s why you’ll see a lot of Catholics (much to the chagrin of the Vatican) who don’t agree with all of the church’s teachings, but they don’t schism, because then they believe they are denying themselves the eucharist.

    I should amend that statement with the fact that there are ecumenical Catholics who did schism, though, and who believe they are still receiving the eucharist, because their priests were ordained by other Catholic priests, and so they are still Catholic, though not recognized by the Vatican. But that’s a whole ‘nother enchilada.

    Anyway, that’s basically why.

    Also, it should be noted, that being Catholic is kinda like being a nationality… it’s just a piece of you, even if you leave the church entirely. It’s a culture, a religion, a heritage… tell another former Catholic that you’re a former Catholic and they all will nod knowingly. It’s like being an expat – you can move away from America, but somewhere at heart you’re still American, or pieces of America stay with you. You don’t say “I’m an ex-American”: you’re an American abroad, or away from your homeland, or an expat, or an immigrant, or something, but… it’s still there. The saying “once a Catholic, always a Catholic” is a saying for a reason. It’s just so much a part of your identity that there it is, even if you’re a Wiccan high priestess who HATES Catholicism and all it stands for anymore, there’s still a little nugget that is so embedded you’re just never going to excise it. At least, I’ve never met any “recovering” Catholics that have excised all of it successfully. ;) It’s more than just “that church we went to growing up”. If that makes sense. :)

  • denver

    May I recommend reading “Since My Last Confession: A Gay Catholic Memoir” by Scott Pomfret?

    There are LOTS of gay Catholics. And straight Catholics who support gay equality.

  • denver

    Ooh, I have another book recommendation regarding the eucharist and solo scriptura, etc.: “I’m Not Being Fed!” by Jeff Cavins. This is a guy who left the church, was a minister in a protestant church, and returned to the Catholic church because of the eucharist… he felt like in his protestant life, he was still missing something necessary, and it was the sacraments. Explains it all very well. If you really want to know about it.

  • denver

    Thank you for this LOL, DR. XD

  • DR

    Denver? I love you. Thank you for saying this so much more eloquently than I ever could! (Gina, this is the response I wish I would have offered to you).

  • denver

    I have to say, please stop saying DR’s name “D ‘I am a Catholic’ R” – it’s inherently hostile. DR doesn’t call you “Bri ‘I’m not Catholic’ an”. It comes off as though you are saying it in the snarkiest, accusatory, dripping with venom voice possible.

    Signed,

    Den “I’m a Catholic Lesbian” ver

  • denver

    LOL. I love you too, DR. :)

  • DR

    It’s OK denver. Brian is having a temper tantrum. This really isn’t about me at all, Brian is simply demonstrating what a lot of people do – the emotional immaturity that seems to accompany those who want to believe that homosexuals are somehow not of God yet not be willing to accept the consequences that come with it (which include being called out and countered online). When faced with the anger a lot of us feel toward the damage he’s done? He tries to deflect it instead of just deal with it (like we all do). It gets awfully creepy to watch, but it’s not the first time we’ll see it and certainly not the last. People running from themselves and from God get awfully angry with everyone else first.

  • DR

    Brian at the end of the day? The blood of gay children who kill themselves as a result of the theology you yourself have claimed to be “Biblical” is on your hands if you choose to continue vocalizing what you believe about them so publicly. You become part of a larger narrative that these children are facing and are condemned by. Think of the hundreds of gay men and women who’ve read your consistent message to them on this forum, that homosexuality is “not of God”. They have directly provided testimony of how devastating that is and not once did you ever address them or their story directly (and I was watching for it, hopeful that you’d actually talk *to* them and not *about* them. Didn’t happen.)

    I’m sick and sad for you that you can’t face that. How awful that must be to have the burden of now knowing the pain you’ve caused and the truth of you perhaps, not being motivated enough to really listen and do what’s needed in your church to make sure no one is even listening, not even talking to your pastor about it.

    I hope you’re still here because you really are changing, that there’s some part of you that keeps coming back because you want to find the courage to face this in yourself and change it. I hope so. It’s very hard to do but you’re hurting people and there’s just no kind, gentle way of telling you and others like you that. If you need to focus on me somehow to do keep running from the reality of who you are vs. who you’ve believed yourself to be? You can do that, it doesn’t impact me, that’s fine. It’s obvious what you’re doing. But it’s not going to change anything, Brian. When you go to sleep tonight, you now have the stories of those who’ve shared them on this forum. You either fight for them or against them. There’s no middle ground.

  • Mindy

    DR, keep fighting the good fight. I, too, was watching and wondering if Brian will ever engage in direct conversation here with one of the openly gay commenters, but he does not. He doesn’t respond to any of them. He can’t seem to grasp the difference between what he does – going along with a church, regardless of the denomination, blindly following and parroting its bigotry – and what you do. Which is participating in the worship and ritual of your faith while simultaneously speaking out against what it does wrong and speaking up, actively and vocally, for those who have been harmed.

    He resolutely refuses to answer when you, we, ask directly if he would vote to support gay marriage in his state. He hides behind those few tiny Bible verses, every time. He openly hurts gay people with his words here, yet will not own it, will not take responsibility for his words.

    His silence in that regard speaks volumes, to me, about the kind of man he really is. And, like you, I am saddened by it.

  • Don Rappe

    I like your explanation very much, Denver. It reminds me of my childhood upbringing in the Lutheran parochial school. We learned that the Sacraments and the Scriptures were both of essential importance. We learned the Augustinian view of the sacraments, and that the Thomistic or Aristotelian notion of transubstantiation was OK but not necessary as long as we understood that the Body and Blood of Christ is Really Present in with and among the bread and wine of the Eucharist. Thus, besides us (Synodical Conference) Lutherans who had all these things just right, there were two other larger groups, Catholics who prayed to other than God and Protestants who denied the Sacraments. I like the sacrament of the altar because even when most of the messages of the day seem to be bs to me, I may still receive the body and blood of my Lord. I still prefer a liturgically oriented church home.

  • Don Rappe

    Maybe an ordained homosexual priest can witness and assist a couple in celebrating their marriage in the presence of God and his people.

  • DMK

    Hey Everybody… I am the original poster and want to thank you for the feedback. In an effort to address some of your responses, I’ve put together a pretty lengthy comment and hope I express myself clear enough. Here goes:

    The first comment by Gina: Yes, I call my self a Roman Catholic because here is where my spiritual foundation rests. Best expressed by sayla1228. “I identify as a RC.” I wise man once told me that one

    should not convert to another religion until they first know everything about their own. Wise words. There is always something to learn. On my own, I’ve learned that all spiritual paths lead to the same source, given different names by man. Whether it’s known as God,Yahweh, Allah, or “Universal Energy”. A major thorn in my side over the years has been RC’s bloody history. I could not reconcile it at all. I was ashamed of being a Catholic. Then a priest told me that was committed by man and that man was fallible. He told me to focus on Jesus and his teachings. Man will always mess things up, you know?

    Also, every religion out there has skeletons in the closet…. just like at home. Just saw John’s comment about “People abusing people in the NAME of God..” and this is how I feel, too.

    Exposure to various different faiths have given me understanding into my own faith. I don’t particularly believe that one religion is superior over another. There are snakes in every den and blood writes history. What a horrible, horrible thing, especially when a religion preaches that we should love and not judge one another. We, as humans, do NOT have that authority. So, my choice of RC is just as good as another. It’s how I, myself, practice my faith is what truly matters. For the record, I have found out how the two collections at my church are divided up. The first, goes to the archdiocese and the second goes directly to my parish. I have chosen to direct my money to the second collection and not to the first. I absolutely refuse to donate my own money to a fund that is meant to silence victims of pedophile priests.

    Thank you, rabid_womble. I like to say that people are mindless sheep… and I’ve been one for a while, too. When I was a grade student, I did ask some questions about my faith but was dismissed by an answer that was not really an answer. Something along the lines of “because the Pope says”… NOT really those words, but you get the idea. This was in the sixties and now attribute it to adults not prepared or trained to answer significant questions posed by kids…. ah, just brush the kid off. So totally WRONG, especially if you want that kid to grow up and remain a Catholic. I do struggle with several beliefs, but I think it’s to be expected. Ours is an ancient religion and we do not see the world as the ancients did.

    I do hold the conservative belief about contraception, but here I stress that I’m not going to judge someone else for making that choice. I believe that priests should be allowed to marry… and I believe that all women should be allowed to be priests if they want to, including lesbians. At one time priests did marry and banning it was done by a man, human, motivated by greed and power. The early history of the church oppressing women is known. Peter actually was jealous of Mary Magdalene because she was closer to Jesus than he was… so when he came into power, I’m sure he put that stuff in there

    about her being a prostitute. She WAS actually superior to him because she understood Jesus on deeper levels than he did. Yes, my uneducated opinion… but God has a purpose for all of us, flaws and

    all.

    Mindy: Thank you so much for your comment. When I read it, I was inspired to hurry up and clean my bedroom, after procrastinating all day, just so I could comment. Yes, I DO listen to the conversations in my circle of friends and there are a couple with whom I know I can talk to openly. You wrote beautifully about your priests’ response to your question about the marriage bed. I agree with you in that you

    would think that Catholicism would be more opposed to couples who choose not the have children than gay and lesbian couples who do want them. Worldview is changing, but the older generations with old

    fashioned views are still plentiful among us. When we got married, I also knew that I would not have children because a doctor told me I would never have them. So, I had to tell my husband to be, who wanted children, that it probably would not happen. We were an older couple and so we did not think that we would be approved for adoption, plus we really don’t have much by way of financial resources. We just placed it in God’s hands. Though I never for a minute thought that I would, I actually got pregnant very quickly, too quickly, but it happened 5 months after our marriage. We remained “open” to having children.

    A’isha Thank you for your response. I will try to address your questions to your satisfaction:

    1) I hope I can be clear now about LGBT couples’ rights. Let me preface by saying that I will show myself as being totally ignorant of these relationships (except what I heard on the news), and probably

    also my inability at the moment to adapt myself to the current time. I’m just going to be blunt here. Yes, I do realize that civil unions don’t give nearly the same rights as actual marriage, but I think that should be corrected. I remember hearing about G&L couples seeking civil unions, then I seem to remember, and it must have been about the time HIV virus was running rampant and killing a lot of people. Their partners were not given legal status as spouses and that caused widespread problems. The reasoning by lawmakers was that those couples were not “married”. Then couples were seeking to get married. So,

    my statement was meant to express my thought that if the government recognized and gave LGBT

    couples the same rights and benefits as heterosexual married couples, that this never would have came up. Later on, when I said that “civil unions should be enough,” that was if the government had given them rights at an earlier time, when it should’ve happened. Was that clear? Not sure. While thinking about this, other aspects have popped through, but I just wanted to answer your question.

    When I mentioned the priesthood, it was in reference to gay men and women being allowed to serve as priests. It was a side comment, like a thought bubbling through to another topic. I think that any man or

    woman who is called to the priesthood should be allowed to serve, going through the normal education and processes before being ordained. I think women would make great priests and have several

    inborn qualities that would lend themselves to a successful vocation.

    I don’t see anything wrong with artificial insemination or surrogacy, but for myself, I don’t think I would’ve gone that route because again, I am adhering to the concept of “Sacramental Marriage”. I do believe that God moved His hand to give us our child.

    Regarding the government being in the marriage business at all, my first thought would be “no”, but then I’m thinking about all the people who are not religious at all and wondering what would they do if they could not go to city hall. I guess also for legal purposes, we’d need to have that marriage license, but to me, it feels like too much to have to do and that everyone wants a “piece of the action.” I like your idea of it being simply marriage. I’d like to know why/how it separated in the first place (civil union/marriage), because straight couples can get a civil union and I’m wondering why. A note about Sacramental Marriage. My husband and I did not seek this state of marriage out. We just wanted to get married. Not even Pre-Cana prepared me for this. I knew about it, but didn’t see the importance or connection. It just unfolded more and more every day and it came to be something I felt right with. Then one day I read an article about SM and I got the first click. I’ve tried (and failed) to explain this to others, but it’s just something that you have to experience to know what I’d be talking about. It’s a mystical experience for me and I’m grateful for it. I do not claim to understand it totally, but every day I learn more.

    Molly Bandit: Molly, I don’t believe that the idea of “Sacramental Marriage” can fit in with heterosexual couples who choose not to have children. The whole idea is to be “open” to creating children. I got

    married at 44 and my husband is 6 years older than I. To be very honest, though I was open to having children, I did not think it would happen because I had never gotten pregnant before and also my doctor

    told me it was impossible. My husband was the one who had unwavering faith that we would conceive. He always just said, “We’ll see…,” with a look and a smile that told me he knew something I didn’t.

    I believe that God would want every married couple to love each other and express their love to each other. In reference to those who cannot conceive, the idea is that they “remain open” to the idea of

    creating children. If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. Also, I’d like to bring Mindy’s post to your attention again. It’s beautiful. Love, respect for one another. The experiences of the marriage bed also benefit the couple and not just a future child.

    Beck Garrison: I’m sorry, but yes it does seem like I’m sitting on the fence. This is because for one, I’m still hashing out how I feel about these issues. Another, very important reason is that I am not going to judge anyone. I do not take that upon myself… I am just a woman. Jesus said, “Those of you without sin, cast the first stone.” There is no one alive or dead who qualifies. Who am I to say what is right or wrong. I’m exerting enough energy just figuring out my own life. I guess what I’m trying to say is does it really matter? I don’t want to be known as “progressive” or anything else. I pray that I’m remembered for my actions and not how many times I point out to other people what wrong they are doing. As Christians we must not try to force our beliefs on anyone. We must teach by our actions, our example. “They’ll know we are Christians by our LOVE”….. Excuse me, but I love hymns, “Let our light shine before all. Let them see the good that we do and give glory to God.”

    Well, I think I’ve taken up enough space here. Have a great day, everyone!

  • DMK

    As it stands now, priests should be celibate, so what does sexual orientation have to do with a priest being a good priest?

  • denver

    See? Learn something new every day. I thought Catholics were the only ones that didn’t think solo scriptura was enough. I had no idea that there were Lutherans who believed in the eucharist. Thanks for sharing that, Don!

    “Liturgically oriented” is a good way of putting it, too. I remember when I was about smack-dab in the middle of my stint of being away from the church, I was discussing with a friend what I hadn’t liked about a different friend’s born again church that I had attended for a while while searching for where I belonged. Right off the bat I said I missed the “formality” and the “ritual” of the Catholic church, which was the only way I could think of at the time to express it. She thought I was the strangest. Creature. Ever. Because non-Catholics generally in my experience think the rigidity of Catholic Mass is *hilarious* and/or something we endure but no one likes. I like it. LOL.

  • denver

    Hi DMK:

    I’m getting ready to go somewhere right now and there is a lot to reply to in your post. As a Catholic lesbian, I appreciate your willingness to say, this is how you understand things right now, and you are willing to pray about it and see where God leads you. That’s all I really ask of people.

    But I wanted to see if you had seen this article from NCR about the equal marriage vote in NY:

    http://ncronline.org/news/gay-marriage-bishops-and-crisis-leadership

    From the article: “The statement might raise legitimate alarms if, indeed, the state law signaled that the Catholic ideals and sacramental life were actually under attack. They aren’t. Nicholas Cafardi has some excellent advice for the bishops (see story) regarding their ongoing battle over same-sex marriage: ‘We need to give it up. This is not defeatism. This is simply following Jesus in the Gospels, who besides telling us not to act on our fears, also told us to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. Civil marriage is Caesar’s. If Caesar wants to say that you can only get married on Tuesdays, wearing a blue suit and a red tie, that is Caesar’s call. The sacrament of matrimony is God’s. It is valid only when invoked between a baptized man and a baptized woman, in the presence of two witnesses and the spouses’ proper ordinary or pastor or his delegate. Caesar has no say in this.’”

    I think that’s a good way of thinking of it, and that’s what I try to stress to people: CIVIL marriage is a different thing than SACRAMENTAL marriage. Civil marriage is what makes yours, an atheist’s, an Episcopalian’s, a Buddhist’s, and a Muslim’s marriage all on the same legal ground. Sacramental marriage is what makes it Catholic.

    Anyway, I thought it was a good article, and relevant to the discussion.

    Have a great day!

  • http://leap-of-fate.com/ Christy

    Mmmm, gotta love Wisdom. You know it when you experience it…..

    Thanks for sharing this memory, Mindy. It was lovely.

  • DR

    I appreciate you being honest about where you are, it provides an opportunity for all of us to weigh in on it and then also gives God an opportunity to show us where our hearts are as well. God bless you in your journey, it’s so great that you’re willing to acknowledge the inconsistencies you’re experiencing. I hope this can be a place where you keep talking about it. Growth is difficult and lots of grace is required. Thanks for allowing us to be part of your journey.

  • Brian W

    I was raised in the Catholic church from infancy to about Jr. High, so I’m well aware of Catholic teachings and I have read much more about their beliefs since then.. I know all about the sacraments and how essential they are to the Catholic faith. In fact so essential the sacraments are equated to a persons sanctification before God and ultimately their very salvation.

    I’m not angry with nor uncomfortable with anyone on here at all.

    I do not believe being gay is not of God, all that comes to pass and all that there is, is of God or else it wouldn’t have come to pass or it wouldn’t be. God is sovereign over all things, even sexual

    orientation. Clear enough?

    No one person is “the problem”, what is the problem anyway? Actually the problem is all gays and straights are sinners and are in need of a Savior. The Gospel saves gays and straights alike and God the Son – Jesus Christ (thru the Bible) teaches us how to live the way God wants us to.

  • Brian W

    I suppose there are, but the official Vatican position is decidely anti-gay

  • Brian W

    The pain I’ve caused? Really? I proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer for all people, the Gospel saves and heals and loves and gives hope. You keep claiming that I am somehow guilty for the suicide of young gay people when in fact a large majority of the suicides were kids with Catholic connections, since the official Catholic position from the Vatican is homosexuity is immoral and a sin. I don’t say that, but your church says that to 1.125 BILLION Catholics world-wide. Now who is sending the message to young gays, D “my church is anti-gay” R?

  • sayla1228

    This is true for so many current Catholics and ex-Catholics I come to know. I would like to mention also that it is true for many people who are Eastern Orthodox or former Eastern Orthodox

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

    Brian: I think DR’s position is that she wants you to join her in denouncing the position on gays held by your respective churches.

  • DR

    Yes, exactly this. Brian, the Catholic church’s position on gay men and women has contributed to and is responsible for the condemnation and spiritual rejection that many gay children feel and respond to by ending their life. And when I accepted this teaching? When I gave money to the church and enabled them to keep spreading it through my financial support? I was also responsible, we’re all responsible if at any point we are actively promoting this message that homosexuality is not “Biblical”. Not of God. I’ll never be able to undo my part in it but my goal now is repairing the damage and actively fighting for change in the church. It’

    Anyone who says we are “Christian” is responsible in varying degrees. We’re either responsible through actively promoting this theology (as you have on this forum consistently and refuse to denounce) or we’re responsible for giving those who believe as you do positions of power in our respective churches to promote your interpretation of Scripture in ways that have a very large, public impact. We’re responsible for funding churches that refuse to change, ministries too. We’re all responsible to some degree.

    I’m looking for exactly what John has said here. I want you and those like you to pick a lane, to ether acknowledge that you believe homosexuality is against God’s plan and actually admit to the damage that does based on what the gay men and women have said here directly. At least that would be honest. Or to denounce these harmful views as perhaps, an interpretation you’ve gotten wrong. I think I speak for a lot of people here that those are the choices Christians have.

  • DR

    One more thing – you’re right to challenge me on why I still identify as a Catholic given their horrifying position on the GLBT community. I’m glad you did, I think it’s fair given how much I’ve pushed you to a wall here. I would have done the same thing, your questions are valid and I hope I answered them. The goal here is for all of us to be reconciled to the truth. So I welcome that.

  • http://leap-of-fate.com/ Christy

    I’ve chosen to stay out of this one thus far, but I’m wondering, Brian, if the disdain you have voiced here for the Catholic church is not dissimilar to my own for the Fundamentalism of my youth. ?

    DR has said that she participates in a Progressive Openly affirming Catholic community. She does not have the luxury as Protestants do to choose a different flavor of Catholicism as we do denominationally. I’m curious about your response that you are not Protestant.

    I have said here that we participate in a United Church of Christ which is open and affirming of both gay members and clergy. So in leaving the bath water of fundamentalist dogma behind I still kept a Protestant religious structure of God. You have rightly observed and deduced that I have spiritual leanings.

    Mindy has also been forthright with her self-identification. Are you willing, Brian, to share with us your denominational connection? An observation if I may? I suspect from my own Baptist experience and your admission that you and your wife never obtained a state marriage license, that your self-identification as Christian may be so evangelically separatist that you cannot even claim to be Protestant? Because that is too “wide open, vague, and inclusive”? I could be way off, but I don’t know.

    I understand the point you are trying to make with DR. I think she is more than willing to renounce (and has) the aspects of Catholicism with which she disagrees while finding a community that affirms her understanding of God and works to make that difference in the world.

    What I think we all haven’t seen is a willingness on your part to:

    1) Identify as an evangelical

    2) Admit the pain and suffering caused by evangelicals

    3) And either take ownership for or renounce those aspects of the evangelical movement which have been injurious

    4) If you deny that they have done any harm, then DR has rightly lumped you in together with them.

    There are overt acts of commission: Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church. There are acts of omission: LaLaLaLaLaLaLa, what who me? There are acts of denial: We’re not like them. We love homosexuals. There are acts of contrition: Yeah, we messed up. Let’s do better. And there are acts of compassion: If I were you, I wouldn’t want to be treated that way either. I refuse to do to my brother, what I would not want done to me.

  • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

    OK, you’re not an activist, I thought you were by the passion of your posts concerning same-sex marriage, I assumed wrongly, sorry.

    Since your parish is gay affirming isn’t that violating the direct position of the Pope / Vatican? As to an African condom distribution program through the church(can’t make people use them), it won’t deal with the root sin problem rampant on that continent. -African’s need the Gospel to change their beliefs (mind and hearts) that will then change their actions (keep penises in your pants and legs closed). If Africans need/want condoms, go to a clinic, not the missionary.

    Keep my feet to the fire, I admit John’s writing and this blog has given me a new insight to a segment of society I don’t have a lot of interaction with (not by choice, it’s just they way it is.) admittedly I was and I guess still am “ignorant” and far less well-informed than most bloggers on here. Let me assure everyone I’m not nor ever been “anti-gay”. I’m not anti-anyone, everyone needs the Gospel.

    Ok here I go again, you claim that I have been causing damage to the GLBT community, how? My theology is at is foundation the Gospel of Jesus Christ that saves gay sinners as easily as straight sinners – the Gospel is freely given to all people, ALL PEOPLE, it truly is an equal opportunity, non-discriminatory Gospel.

    You claim my church and churches like mine “hurt gays” and are somehow responsible for gay suicide yet the Catholic church with all its anti-gay teachings is just, well, a bit confused about homsexuality and since nothing is perfect, its OK to stay in a Catholic church that has an official anti-gay belief and teachings and perhaps a few other flaws. But if you’re in an Evengelical church that believes that (even if some or many members don’t) then those Christians are hurting gays and are guilty of causing gay suicides, are idiots, morons, self-righteous and judgemental, bigots, ignorant, can’t think for themselves (because if they did they would believe just like you) etc. etc.

    You chose to stay and practice your Catholic faith in a church that has a world-wide teaching that is anti-gay, but you personally are not, if others chose the same situation (but not in a Catholic churhc) then let it be.

  • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

    Denver,

    Small correction “solo scriptura” (the Scriptures alone) was to affirm that there is no other Divine authority (written or otherwise) for mankind aside from the Bible. This was in opposition to then Catholic teachings that the words and writings of the Pope were as equally authoritative as the Bible. The Pope’s words (verbal / written) were to be considered words from God (or God approved). In fact to this very day the Pope’s word (written and verbal) are infallible regarding moral issues (which includes homosexuality).

  • DR

    Sigh. No Brian, the teaching on homosexuality is non-essential teaching. As for the rest it’s been answered.

    It seems as though your goal here is instead of really examining yourself and getting very specific as to the impact that you are inadvertently causing is defending yourself and staying “right”. which says a lot about where you are and what you care about. Perhaps you don’t have the capacity to see what others are pointing out to you or you do and don’t quite have the courage or conviction to address it yet. I pray that you do and I prey in the name of Jesus, for the sake of His work on the Cross, that you would be given whatever grace needed to see and hear and then do. If not today, then someday.

    In the mean time, God forgive all of us who hurts His little children whether we know it or not. God forgive us for pishing away those who would cind Him out of our own need to control our world and manage our own discomfort. God have mercy on us we truly don’t know what we are doing.

    Take care.

  • DR

    Brian, there is only a small, select amount of teaching by the Pope that carries this infallible weight and it is offered quite formally witha lot of deliberation. Not all of the Pope’s words are considered in his light, this is an important distinction and your summation is inaccurate. Thereis no teaching on homosexuality that has been given this weight, popes have been wrong about a number of things and have historically made corrections, it’s part of the sanctification process of the deposit of faith given.

  • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

    D “I’m a Catholic” R is hostile? Really? Kinda sensitive there Denver? She has made the claim in a post to me so I’m just repeating what she says she is, also how can you possibly know or say it is in the snarkiest, accusatory, venom dripping voice possible?

  • Mindy

    Aside from my own personal opinion that forced celibacy creates far more problems than good, the idea of being HONEST about one’s orientation, if one chooses to enter a profession that will enforce celibacy, seems at the heart of one’s ability to share and communicate God’s message to His people. Not that a priest needs to go around discussing it ad nauseum, but that a priest should never have to hide a core component of who he is.

    If a young parishioner comes to said priest for counsel about relationships, about concern of his or her own orientation – the priest cannot legitimately comment on a matter about which HE has to lie. Celibate or not, who you’ve chosen NOT to have relationships with forms who you are and how you view the world, does it not?

    No doubt there are many gay priests already out there – probably a good portion of whom entered the priesthood in order to avoid a part of themselves they believed to be “wrong.” The fact that they are forced to live a lie, no matter their honorable intentions and decent souls, has to have an affect on them. It has to affect how they counsel young gay people who might come to them. It has to heartbreaking for them. And that is no way to live, and no way to effectively share God’s love with the world.

  • DR

    Brian I don’t care if you want to play games with my name. It says a lot more about you than it does me (seriously I don’t care).

    John and Christy have made some comments to you this morning. Perhaps you can stop fixating on me and address them, you seem to have a very good replied wth them and they deserve the respect of an answer from you.

  • DR

    “repoire”, not replied. IPhone!

  • Mindy

    ::::::heel of hand to forehead:::::::

    Brian! Can you really not see the difference? Are you really that obtuse, or is this just a game to you? Yes, traditional Catholicism is damaging to gays and lesbians – I’m certain DR has never said otherwise. Yes, so is traditional, fundamental Protestantism of nearly every stripe. But you DO say otherwise.

    DR speaks out against BOTH her faith and yours with regard to how the LGBT community is treated. I’m betting that even her parish priest knows how she feels. You, though, you defend yours. Over and over and over, without ever once answering the one direct question we’ve asked.

    Would you vote for equal rights for LGBT citizens in your state? This is about equal civil rights, which they are currently denied. DR has spoken up to say that she would – even though she is a Catholic, she will loudly and proudly and firmly denounce this tenet of her Church’s doctrine, because she knows it is wrong. Will you? Will you stand with her for equal rights?

    Or will you continue to “share Jesus’ love” by telling gays and lesbians that you love them but they are “not of God?”

    Surely, Brian, you can see the difference here. And surely you are man enough to give us an answer and to engage in conversation with the people who are affected most by what you write. If not, you will remain part of the problem, an agent of pain and discrimination.

    The whole debate is actually very, very simple. I dare you to say you don’t see that.

  • DR

    The power that comes from privilege is so fascinating. I can see how people want to just check out from those who have it and the institutions that are fueled by it all-together.

  • Mindy

    Your honesty is touching. I’m happy for you that your marriage has been blessed with a child. Speaking as a mother, I can say without hesitation that nothing is better. What will you do if your child grows up to be gay? I’m guessing, based on your compassion, that you will want him to be able to marry his soulmate if he so chooses. I hope you can balance that with your faith if you are called to do so.

  • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

    OK fair enough John, DR, Christy.

    I identify myself as a non-denominational some-what Calvinistic orthodox Christian, not really Evangelical but some may call me that, it doesn’t offend me. Some may label me a fundy, no big deal there, I’m a Christian.

    I don’t disdain Catholics or the Catholic church in fact some of their doctrine I agree with 100% because it is biblically sound, much of the doctrine, however I don’t agree with. As a Christian we should not disdain anyone really. I try not to, but I’m sure I have or have come across that I have, but I don’t.

    The past sins of Christianity I can’t do anything about (slavery, woman’s sufferage, racism, murder) It’s in the past and was wrong, as is any Gospel message that is anti-any person of society. Some churches and organizations that call themselves Christians have indeed hurt gays, I have never condoned such actions and once again admit it has and does occur. We are a sinful people, even believers are not perfect and have caused pain to many people, I’m sure I have too, guilty as charged.

    Theology is the study of God, so I don’t see a “theological” position in the context of homosexuality.

    Personally I believe Christians should focus on as much of society as possible, not just a small segement (like homosexuals), but God works the way He so choses, for example God has laid on my heart years ago a burden for missions in foreign lands, to propogate the Gospel to people groups who have never been given the Gospel and for works that translate the Bible into their native tongues. I give financially and personally to such endevours. Others, like many on here, your burden is for the homosexuals among us, that is a burden given to you. Others have burdens for those in prisons, or homeless shelters, or battered woman homes or nursing homes, or neglected / criminal children etc. etc. God burdens our hearts for people in all different ways. Can anyone here really say they have a God given burden for every segment of society or every person in the world? No, I’m sure, but we all do our part the best way God enables us and burdens us for the people of this lost and sinful world, through the Divine love others should see in our actions. Some of us plow, some plant, some water, some prune, some pick, some gather up, God uses us to the degree we let Him. I’m in no position to declare what God’s plan is or isn’t, therefore I’m not going to judge anyone.

    What is central is the Gospel, the love of Christ for all of humanity. It is about Jesus and the pureness and simplicity of His Gospel message.

  • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

    Once again, my personal conviction is no one should seek a license from the state for approval to get married. All citizens have Constitutional rights and privileges. Civil rights laws have had sexual orientation clauses in them for years. Are you harping on same-sex marriage is that the “right” you’re referring to? I don’t believe that state has any business allowing or licensing who a person marries. That is my position and that’s whty I don’t vote on thos eitems on the ballot.

    I have never told anyone on the face of the earth, they’re “not of God”, the fact that they’re here is proof they’re of God. I’m not going to judge anyone, I want to share the Gospel, all else is secondary to the Gospel, perhaps to you the most significant is same-sex marriage, to me it is the Gospel that is for all of humanity. I guess I just have a wider vision than you do, yours is more secular and narrow in nature – same sex marriage, my vision is for the Gospel to be given freely to all people.

    Our burdens are different but equally important to both of us.

  • DMK

    DR… Thank you… Just when I think I’ve come to a conclusion in my thinking, another aspect pops up that throws me off… It’s a hard thing to sort out and I’m glad that there is a place to talk to people. I’ve read so me of your comments here and admire your thoughts and the fearlessness with which you present them.

  • DR

    Brian when you say that someone’s sexual orientation is not supported Biblically while at the same time, telling us that “what is of God” is exclusively defined by Scripture? The only conclusion one can draw is that you believe homosexual orientation is not of God because according to you, Scripture says it is wrong.

    Are we wrong? Do you believe that being a homosexual is something that God approves of?

  • DMK

    Thank you, Mindy. You pose a question that has been in my life for a while because my first husband was adamant should a son of ours turned out to be gay, that he would disown him. I was horrified. I am choking up right now thinking about it. I never got pregnant by him though we did not use contraception and were trying for eight years. I believe that God Withheld a baby from us and inside I didn’t want him to be the father of any of my babies.

    If my son turns out to be gay, I would not reject him. I would be as protective of him as any mother looking out for her child’s best interests. I’d be in an unfamiliar position of trying understand something I don’t get and that is the attraction same sex couples have for each other. I mean, I can see something very sexy and sensual about the female body, but for me, it’s not a desire to be sexual with that female.

  • DMK

    I totally agree with you and thanks for adding more dimension than I could muster.

  • DMK

    Thank you, Christy… A pure and simple idea that often is overlooked.

  • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

    Agreed, not all the words and in fact a small percentage is infallible, BUT in the area of moral issues, it is still considered infallible and yes, their position has changed on issues over the years.

  • DR

    What is central is the Gospel, the love of Christ for all of humanity. It is about Jesus and the pureness and simplicity of His Gospel message.>>>

    And it’s one that gay men and women are told they only get to experience if they “repent” which for many Christians means, “stop being gay”. Which they can’t stop being. So your message about their orientation being unbiblical prevents them from believing that they get to experience the salvation you’ve accurately said is available to everyone.

  • DMK

    Hi Denver… I did read your article, but to be truthful, I’ve not had a chance to focus on it and need to give it another try later on tonight. I was wondering if you could direct me to where I can find transcripts of the debates that Gov. Cuomo had with the bishops when fighting for this law to be passed. I’d really be interested in this. Thanks.

  • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

    I’m sorry but you lost me when you said:

    “It seems as though your goal here is instead of really examining yourself and getting very specific as to the impact that you are inadvertently causing is defending yourself and staying “right” ”

    What impact am I “inadvertently” causing in “defending” myself and staying “right”, right based on what? I don’t know what you mean, I make comments as do others. What am I defending? I have opinions like everyone else. I have said emphatically that discrimination based on sexual orientation is wrong. A person who is gay can in fact be a Christian. I have ever said to the contrary?

  • http://leap-of-fate.com/ Christy

    I will interject again that God is bigger than Sola Scriptura. If we limit God to this book, then we necessarily are saying that God does not and has not chosen to reveal Godself in any other way since the book was assembled…..and that just isn’t so.

  • Mindy

    Because you’re straight. I can’t either, DMK. But just imagine if the situation were reversed, that you were unable to feel attracted to men – yet everyone expected you to be with one. That is what lesbians go through on a regular basis. What if you thought the only way to get to heaven was to “pretend” and force yourself to be with a woman, because you’d been taught all your life that only lesbians and gays can get into heaven. What would you do? Spend your life alone, or living a lie?

    We don’t have to fully understand what they feel to know they deserve the same rights as everyone else. I don’t know what it feels like to grow up black in this country, but that doesn’t stop me from understanding that they are still suffer discrimination in some ways and that even though I can’t speak to being of a minority race, I know bigotry is flat-out wrong.

    I didn’t used to know what it would feel like to parent a child to whom I didn’t give birth – would I love a baby not genetically connected to me? And I can’t compare it entirely to having a birth-child because I never gave birth. But I know what it’s like to love my little ones like a mother tiger, knowing that I’d kill to protect either one of them without hesitation. I know what it feels like to inhale their scents and believe to the core of my soul that I’m inhaling God. I know what it’s like to feel completed by two sweet girls I was entrusted to love, to feel pride in knowing that I played some part, no matter how small, in the incredible young women they are becoming.

    I have no clue what it would be like to feel attracted to women, no. The concept seems foreign to me, admittedly. But I know enough women who are – women who are in stable, committed relationships, deeply in love with each other and raising amazing, wonderful children – that I simply don’t worry about the mechanics of how they love each other. I don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me. It doesn’t affect me. They’ve lovingly accepted children and are phenomenal parents. I know at least four devoted lesbian couples through adoption connections and my kids’ friends’ moms to know that there is simply no way their families are not “of God.” They are. I see it in the peace on their children’s faces when they are in either of their mothers’ arms.

    So I simply accept that they are somehow wired differently than me, and who cares about the rest? They have the same emotions that all couples feel – love and joy and frustration and fear – the whole gamut. I only wish I could find a partner as devoted as those women are to each other.

  • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

    Well the Bible says “by grace are you saved through faith and that not of youselves, it is gift from God” Repentance is the result of salvation, not the cause. As to what sins a person is to repent from, well that is laid on the sinners heart by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. If the Holy Spirit doesn’t convict them of homosexuality and if they believe the Bible doesn’t require repentance from homosexuality, then I’m not going to play Holy Spirit and tell a gay person, “You’re not of God”. I have a enough issues with my life than to judge others……

  • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

    I’m not God, so what God approves of or doesn’t I will not do that, in fact the Bible states we shouldn’t do that. Did I say the someone’s sexual orientation is not supported by the Bible? Did I say it was wrong? You keep putting words in my mouth that just isn’t so. A persons sex life (homosexual or heterosexual) is between them and God, not me, I’m not going to judge a straight /gay man or woman for example that sleeps around. I’m not going there.

    All what God wants us to know about Him in written form is found in the Bible but all God is can not even be contained by the entire universe.

  • Mindy

    Brian, I’m sorry, but that is nothing but double-speak and dodging the issue entirely.

    I respect your political beliefs, but the fact is that in this country, in order to receive tax and inheritance benefits, our citizens do have to apply for a license to marry. The combining of households has many financial ramifications, the right to survivorship excludes anyone but spouses, and on and on. Even though you may not believe in those licenses, should you fall in love one day and decide to marry, you can. Simple as that. You can create a stand-alone family household with a spouse, legally, with no one batting an eye. You can have kids, adopt kids – on and on – without anyone questioning your motives, your abilities, or the fiber of your being simply because of who you choose as a spouse.

    Since that IS the way our country works, do you believe that gays and lesbians are undeserving of those same benefits that straight people take for granted? Understanding that you think all marriages are malarky – legally-speaking – do you still believe that straight people deserve the legal benefits but gay people do not?

    You not being willing to commit to one side of that question or another speaks volumes, Brian, whether you think it does or not. You are living in a la-la fantasy world if you think you can write that homosexuality is “not of God” and believe that it hurts no one. You are lying if you continue to say you believe everyone is deserving of the love of Jesus, yet “they” are not of God.

    You may not have looked a single soul in the eye and told them that they are “not of God,” Brian, but you’ve cavalierly written it here and defended it til you are blue in the face. And you refuse to own it. You refuse to own that saying it, and telling them they can still enjoy the love of Jesus, is completely incompatible and achingly hypocritical.

    It’s like you’re a little kid who has scrunched up his mind’s eye, crossed his little arms and is holding his breathe until people stop arguing with you, believing in your little-kid mind that when you look again, everything will be as it was.

    But it won’t. Because finally, the world is changing. Finally, you archaic religious belief is being exposed for the bigotry it really is. Finally, you are in the minority. And it will only keep getting better.

  • DR

    Brian, come on. You’ve stated a number of times that the Bible has stated homosexuality is wrong. It’s what everyone here has been reacting against. If you’ve changed your mind? Fair enough. But come on dude. you are completely reversing what you’ve been offering as your stated beliefs.

  • DR

    Brian per Mindy’s comment, are sure in the event that you die (God forbid) that your wife, property should you own it and your assets are protected? I think it’s cool if you don’t want to legally marry and consider your marriage in the church enough, I respect that actually. But it does leave memslightly concerned about everyone being protected legally. I’m sure you thought of that but just in case…

  • DR

    No, that is just not accurate, Brian, you contradicted yourself with these two sentences. You need to listen. Please. Things that are issued as “infallible” go through a very rigorous process. If it was a blanket “morals” infallibility then everything that Popes have said about being homosexual = the pedophilia scandal would have been “infallible”. This recent Pope has since retracted such ignorant statements (the two are not connected) and apologized for them.

    The people of the church – when faced with a moral dilemma that goes against what we believe our deposit of faith supports and upholds – are to follow our conscience. Catholics are instructed to do that. If we didn’t, then the corruption that is often a part of what is considered official “theology” would still stand. Just because someone is in authority does not mean they’re always right.

  • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

    Of course we don’t limit God to the Bible, I have said all that God wants us to know or what we need to know about Him is contained in the Bible, but all that God is cannot even be contained by the whole universe.

  • DMK

    Mindy…Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment….” just imagine if the situation were reversed, that you were unable to feel attracted to men – yet everyone expected you to be with one.”~ No, I can’t say that I know what these experiences feel like, but I’ve experienced other forms of discrimination and abuse that left me feeling alone and isolated from society. I was a cast off from society. I know the pain of being rejected by my peers. Peers that, to this day, have no idea what they had done to me. I might not know the pain of lesbians and gays, but I know pain. I thank God that I lived long enough to mature enough to come into my own and make my own life.

    I can’t say at all that I ever thought I’d have to “pretend” and not be myself in order to get into heaven. There have been times that I thought I was condemned to hell, though; but you give me a lot to think about. A lot. I guess if you’re not in a situation, you don’t think much about it on a personal level. It’s easy to comment on an issue without true understanding and empathy. With that said, I can only guess how I would live my life if I were gay. In my younger years, I’d probably live the lie; but now I’d say that I’d not want to live a lie. God would know if I were living a lie anyway.

    You brought up discrimination against minorities. I can tell you that I’m white, so not an “official” minority; but I’ve been living in an urban area in which white people ARE the minority and I’m feeling it on a level so deep that I can hardly believe what I’m feeling. I’m aware that this is nothing as compared to other minorities, but I am affected and wanted to mention it.

    Your experience as a mother touches me. I do also feel that God has entrusted us to love, nurture and protect our son. It’s nothing short of amazing. I am amazed at myself, someone who never thought she’d be a mother; and now I mirror yourself in how I can feel my instincts anticipate and respond to my child.

    I have known gay and lesbians throughout my life, and most currently, I have friends (and family members) whose children have come out, a lesbian couple that I know who have a house together, but not sure of their marital status. They live in NY, so I’m guessing they will get married. I know another gay couple, or one part of that couple. I like or love all of these people, yet I’m not close enough to have a conversation with them… BUT I am trying to plan on how I can initiate one with at least one of them whom I think would be receptive to my questions. I’ve got to say that the concept of a male couple is more foreign to me than the concept of a female couple… I have no idea why.

    “So I simply accept that they are somehow wired differently than me, and who cares about the rest?” I think that just about sums it up. As they say, “We are ALL God’s children,” right?

  • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

    Mindy,

    To you, same-sex marriage is your big issue, fine. If you have structurred a proper estate plan, what happens to your estate will be detailed in your trust or will or prenup, no big deal. You do not need to be “legally” married to set-up trusts and wills and prenups, there are countless anounts of unmarried hetero couples that decide not to be “legally” married and have structured their financial plan accordingly. MANY couples have remained unmarried BECAUSE of tax laws.

    You want everyone to believe like you and they don’t. I have never said the Bible says homosexuality is wrong. Finally it doesn’t matter what I think, all that matters is what does God think and what do YOU think, because I’m not going to answeer to God for anyone else but myself, if someone thinks homosexuality is wrong, then its thier right to believe so, if someone believes Christians are wrong and bound for hell (like Muslims believe) then they can believe that, if someone believes homosexuality is ordained by God and perfectly allowable in the Bible, then you’re free to believe that too.

  • DR

    Brian, this is what you said to Zach in an earlier thread who stated very clearly that homosexuality was an abomination. You said “that’s how the plumbing works”. This is exactly what you posted to him in response, I didn’t edit a thing. You’ve said that Liberals “revise” what Scripture states. So please, stop with the back tracking. It’s right here.

    What “stand” on homosexuality are you referring to here?

    For reference, it’s this thread:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2011/06/20/am-i-seeking-the-truth-because-i-want-to-justify-my-sin/

    **************

    Posted by Brian W on June 21, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Zach, if you have a Bible based belief using the historical – grammatical hermeneutic method and you then state that God’s plan is that marriage / family / sex was intended to be exclusively male – female (that’s how the plumbing works) in the bonds of marriage and any other way is not the way God intended, you’re a narrow-minded, homophobic, bigot. It’s that simple. Liberal apologists have always attempted to “revise” biblical interpretation in order to “soften” or out-right remove God’s condemnation of sin. I will also agree they have done the same to condone sin too. You’re entitled to your opinion but if its contrary to the “politically correct” one, be prepared to experience the wrath of many on here.

    I have a brother-in-law who is gay and I love him dearly as do my kids and when they were young I had no problem with them staying at his place over-night and baby-sitting them etc. etc. I don’t get to see him very much (he lives 2,000 miles away) but when we do see each other I cherish the time togther. We have many similar interests and the practical jokes we pull together at big family reunions are classics.

    He knows where I stand on homsexuality and I know where he stands but that doesn’t effect our love we have for each other since we’re family.

  • http://leap-of-fate.com/ Christy

    I shared a story with Brian the other day here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2011/06/26/blog-power/#comment-71935

    about a gay couple that might be helpful in reinforcing the idea that love chooses us.

    It seems too often people get hung up on the sex aspect of people’s lives (go figure – hang ups about sex) when so much of a long term committed/married relationship isn’t about sex. I spend exactly zero time wondering about my heterosexual friend’s sex lives. But I do notice when they are kind and tender to one another and caring, when they are good to one another, when they take care of each other, when they seem happy together. It seems to me that a relationship is so much more about love and companionship and building a home and sharing a life together than it is just about sex. I think we are attracted to people we want to BE with, spend time with, enjoy life with…..not just have sex with.

  • http://leap-of-fate.com/ Christy

    So, now you’ve got me wondering how you file your taxes, Brian. I’m not asking, but I surely am curious.

  • denver

    Can I just say re: Mindy’s thought about how it feels…

    I couldn’t admit to myself until I was 29 and had walked away from the church that I was gay. When I did, it was the most liberating feeling I’d ever had. I cannot equate the joy I felt in that moment to anything else I have ever experienced. I will never forget it.

    Living the first 29 years of my life thinking I was a freak, it was freeing to admit to myself that I wasn’t.

    It wasn’t that I lusted after women and denied my gayness. On the contrary, I had only experienced attraction for the first time ever in my life just a year or two prior to my private revelation. I had turned myself utterly off.

    I tried dating a boy when I was 18. I burst into tears the first time he tried to kiss me. I felt bad; he was a perfectly nice boy and I wanted so much to be able to like him and be “normal” and have a boyfriend and get married one day to a nice guy and be like everyone else. But I knew I wasn’t. Because when he touched me, I recoiled. When he kissed me, I was terrified. When men hit on me, I felt nauseous. When my gal pals got boy crazy I was dumbfounded. I was stuck on “boys are gross” and they were having sex. For years I thought I was a late bloomer. Then I thought I was just really devout. Then I thought I was a freak. I truly thought something was wrong with me and I was broken. Why couldn’t I be attracted to anyone? Why didn’t I have a sex drive? I seriously considered a vocation to become a nun, and one of the main reasons was that I knew I would never get married, fall in love, and have someone to spend the rest of my life with.

    I was so certain that I had no chance at a future that included love of any kind, when academia failed to be enough to fill the gaping hole of never knowing what love is (I came from an abusive family, so there was none there, either; doing well in school was literally the only pillar I had left to stand on), I attempted suicide. I had zero hope that I would ever, ever be happy, or normal, or not a freak, or not alone. I literally hated myself for being broken.

    Given that I wasn’t out, even to myself, I didn’t get teased for being gay, I got teased for being a prude, or naieve, or innocent. I was – I still am. I will never understand the drive people have to put other people’s appendages in their orifices, or vice versa. I killed any thoughts of intimacy in myself so long ago I doubt they will ever be resurrected. Even blatant innuendo and come-ons I was generally oblivious to (or scared stiff, if it was some pervert following me home, which happened). The nice boy literally took me to lookout mountain in a van and I had no clue he wanted sex. Luckily he was a nice boy and didn’t force anything on me. How stereotypically teenager is lookout mountain in a van? I’m sure I had even seen that stereotype in a movie before at that point. Not a clue when he did it.

    So, now I know I’m gay, but I’m still facing a life alone and without love. I still feel broken. No one is patient enough to fix this. I can’t unkill what I killed so long ago. I’ve accepted that I can admire but never expect to have what my partnered friends have. No one ever tries to set me up on a date or invites me to go to the gay bars with them, because all of my friends know I’m not dating material.

    Of course, men still continue to hit on me simply because I am in possession of a hole in the right place. And it still makes me want to vomit.

    What does it feel like? Like murdering a part of your soul and never being able to get it back. Because the alternative was just too much to bear. When you’re told your whole life that there is no option B, well… there is no option B. I wasn’t a candidate for option A. So I strangled off any possible other thoughts before they could take root.

    I don’t pretend that my reaction was normal – there are plenty of Christians that knew they were gay early on and accepted it. There are also those that killed themselves. I just killed part of myself.

  • denver

    I haven’t seen any transcripts – I don’t know that they directly debated, per se, as in, two of them stood behind podiums and hashed it out. I just did a google search and didn’t find any such thing. I think the term “debate” was just being used in a broader sense, in that Cuomo (who is Catholic) stood for marriage equality, and the bishops did not.

    Gavin Newsom, also Catholic, was the mayor of San Francisco when he became the first US politician to make gay marriage legal for a brief period in SF about a decade or so ago (I think it lasted about a week or two before some court struck it down).

    He felt it was the right thing to do. I would recommend looking for some of his thoughts on the matter (I’m sure Google would unearth many articles) as well.

  • Brian W

    Ok, I stand corrected

  • Brian W

    DR, you can’t see the sarcasm dripping from that post, surely you must.

    Christy, I file electronically

  • denver

    I already wrote about how I considered the convent, but I wanted to add a story I just read in the book “Self Made Man” by Norah Vincent. She posed as a man for a year and a half, not because she is trans, but just to explore what it’s like to live in the world as a man in ways that most women could never experience. She spent some time in a monestary as a visitor, wanting to know what an all-male environment was like, especially when you took sex out of the equation. Not only was her male character deemed gay by the monks because “he” was too “feminine”, and they effectively tried to squash that out of her, but when she flat said to one of the other monks that she had picked up on the fact that HE was gay, he became hostile and one of the most negative ones when it came to her perceived gayness (the author, by the by, is really a lesbian). How different might that experience have been if he didn’t hate that in himself? What if there really was a young gay postulant who went there seeking vocation, and got the smack down from the brothers, instead of a wise mentor that could have discussed what that meant to him?

    In the same monastery, there was another monk who was gay, and at first had been really friendly, but when the other brothers decided that her character was falling in love with him (she attached to him because he was friendly and she genuinely liked him, though of course not sexually), he abruptly turned around and essentially “cut her off” to be sure she didn’t get attached to him. Again, her like of him was not sexual, and of course, gay guys can have other gay guy friends without being sexually attracted to each other, but it was just that presumption that it was inappropriate. It was kind of sad to read, really.

  • denver

    “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism” can also be applied to religion, I think. :)

  • DMK

    Thanks, Denver. I’m very much interested in what he had to say. I’ll google it, as well. I’m on the East coast, so will have to wait…

  • DR

    Brian, you are once again, dodging the question.

    Is this what you believe? Yes or no?

    “God’s plan is that marriage / family / sex was intended to be exclusively male – female (that’s how the plumbing works) in the bonds of marriage and any other way is not the way God intended…”

    Is the above the “stance” on homosexuality you refer to in this quote of yours?

    Brian: “He knows where I stand on homsexuality and I know where he stands but that doesn’t effect our love we have for each other since we’re family.”

  • DR

    So Brian, you live as man and wife based on your church marriage but you don’t file taxes as a married couple? Is that accurate?

  • DR

    Mindy, I’m confused as well.

    Brian just said:

    “You want everyone to believe like you and they don’t. I have never said the Bible says homosexuality is wrong. ”

    But in his response to Zach, he said this:

    “God’s plan is that marriage / family / sex was intended to be exclusively male – female (that’s how the plumbing works) in the bonds of marriage and any other way is not the way God intended…”

    Immediately after Brian said the above, he went on to say how Liberals twist “biblical interpretation” in order to soften/remove God’s “condemnation” of sin with this statement:

    “Liberal apologists have always attempted to “revise” biblical interpretation in order to “soften” or out-right remove God’s condemnation of sin. I will also agree they have done the same to condone sin too.

    So he views the Liberals on this forum as revising “Biblical interpretation” as we were talking about homosexuality. Though in an earlier comment to you, he said he never stated the Bible condemns homosexuality.

    We’ll see what he comes up with next, I guess.

  • DMK

    Denver… I’m not going to be available today but Before I can give proper attention to your post (but really, I can only express what I feel and have no same experience to draw upon), I want to share with you this writer, whom you might already be familiar with. His name is Henri J. Nouwen, and I believe he was a priest. “The Wounded Healer” which was brought to mind when some on here used the expression, “broken”. I have almost all of his books and cherish his writing. This is the quote from today, plus a brief description:

    Henri Nouwen’s book, The wounded Healer, is one of my favorites.  He speaks of being a agent of healing from the places of woundedness and brokenness within our own stories.  We are called to offer to others the comfort which we have received from God (2 Cor.  1 ) and in doing so we allow our lives to be poured out like a drink offering for another. 

    Here is today’s quote from the Nouwen society: 

    “Nobody escapes being wounded. We all are wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. The main question is not “How can we hide our wounds?” so we don’t have to be embarrassed, but “How can we put our woundedness in the service of others?” When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers.

    Jesus is God’s wounded healer: through his wounds we are healed. Jesus’ suffering and death brought joy and life. His humiliation brought glory; his rejection brought a community of love. As followers of Jesus we can also allow our wounds to bring healing to others.”

  • DMK

    Oh what I want to add to this is that he writings have been instrumental to my own healing and hope for my future.

  • DMK

    Although it is known now that he identified with homosexuality, he never publicly claimed it. He is a much beloved writer, here is his wikki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Nouwen#Sexuality

    and here is a page dedicated to him:

    http://www.henrinouwen.org/

  • DMK

    I like how you extended the thought of your comment to ALL couples… So true. A lot of valuable insight at this blog. I’m happy I found this place.

  • DR

    Brian, would you please clarify what you offered to Zach via the questions below? Thank you.

  • Mindy

    Brian, you keep saying that you never said the Bible is against homosexuality.

    “We as Christians should love all people as yourself, regardless of sexual orientation and no, God has intended marriage to be between a man and a woman, marriage is always in that context biblically. Society probably will soon accept same sex marriage, that is not the way God intended it however.”

    That was you, in response to Zach a few comments ago on a few posts ago.

    The only way you “know” what God intended (or think you know, anyway) is through the Bible. So . . . .

  • DR

    It’s useless, Mindy,. He doesn’t seem to have the courage of his convictions to just be honest like others have done here. He’ll probably blame us for that, I’m sure.

    Brian, there is a type of deception called “lying by omission”. It’s what you’re doing here, it’s quite obvious that you agree with Zach’s position and you just won’t say it. I don’t know what kind of games you’re playing here, what kind of appearances you’re trying to maintain or – really anything, your motivation for doing so is. I’ve never quite seen anything like it.

  • Diana A.

    “There are things I disagree with American and Filipino culture that are racist, sexist and ethnocentric but I will not stop identifying as Filipino-American.”

    I totally get this! I am a feminist, liberal, Christian (among other things) and I refuse to give up any of what I am just because some of it seems contradictory.

  • Diana A.

    Yes indeed!

  • Don Rappe

    It’s really good to hear you say this Brian. I think my friend DR, the warrior princess had somehow sniffed out that your mind was really open. I believe this Catholic/Protestant discussion is not entirely off the track of DMK’s thoughts. I’m going to plop one more comment up above where there’s plenty of space on the “solas”, my opinion as recently refreshed by Wikipedia.

  • Don Rappe

    I really don;t want to be misunderstood about sola scriptura. It is not something in opposition to the sacraments, although it affects our understanding of them. Sola scriptura, along with sola gratia, sola fide, solo Christo and soli Deo gloria are five principles which the Reformers hoped to use to make some correction to the catholic Church they loved at the ecumenical council they wished the pope to call. This never happened, but these principles are used by the Lutherans to distinguish themselves from the other main liturgical groups, the Roman Catholic(latin and eastern rites), Anglican Catholic. Coptic and various branches of Orthodoxy. The principles are intended as a source of teaching authority to stand against the “majesterium” of the bishops of these other groups. Thus, they claim to base their understanding of the Eucharist on the scriptural words “This is my body … This cup is my blood, of the new covenant, shed for you … etc.” Thus sola scriptura is the basis given for trust in this sacrament. There is an article on this stuff in wikipedia “five solas” which is about all I care to know about it’ For practical reasons I transitioned from Evangelical Lutheran to Anglican Catholic (Episcopalian) without blinking an eye. I did so because I wanted to receive the sacrament in a church which I hoped would be preaching something close to what I believe. When I receive the sacrament in a RC church, even though i Know their canon law prohibits it, It is because I also hear the words directly from the altar: “Take and eat …” I hear two contradictory instructions and so I choose. My choice will be affected by whether or not I think someone will get their panties in a knot.

  • Brian W

    I’ve answered it already, you cut and pasted only part of the post with Zach that was sarcasm. I’m not lying about anything

  • Mindy

    It’s hard to respond inside a series of nested comments at the end of the nesting. So I’m just going to start fresh and call Brian out on his “truthiness.” Brian, you insisted to DR that you have not lied.

    Yet you clearly wrote, on an earlier post, that “God has intended marriage to be between a man and a woman, marriage is always in that context biblically.” And since you’ve stated repeatedly that the bible is the word of God, well, you can see why someone would assume to know your position. After which, in comments on this post, you have insisted that you never said the bible says homosexuality is wrong. I am having a hard time reconciling those two positions – so the bible doesn’t say it is wrong, but it does say gay people shouldn’t marry?

    DR has called you out for belonging to a denomination that preaches the former and not speaking up against it. Not doing so implies agreement. Rather than take a stand, you simply turn the tables on her, as if it even applies to DR. While she, too, belongs to a church that also discriminates, she speaks out against it and refuses to provide any financial support to said church because of their positions. You, apparently, can’t see the difference between you and her. I find that strange.

    You insist that it isn’t your job to speak out against your church’s stand, because it just isn’t a big deal to you. You are nice to everybody, including gay people, so who cares if your brother-in-law knows you don’t believe he should have the right to marry? If he can love you anyway, why can’t everyone else? Why does it have to be such a big danged deal?

    Well, your BIL is family. Other gay people are not. Your church hurts its gay children by holding onto antiquated interpretations of the bible, and without members speaking up for change, well, there won’t be any. So gay kids will continue to suffer – but it’s not your problem, I guess. Not up to you to fix it, especially since you don’t think it should be fixed.

    You wonder why DR and others keep harping at you, and half the time I think that you’ve made an overt choice to bury your head in the sand and make this someone else’s problem. Yet you keep coming back to John’s blog, a place where this is one of the most oft-written and discussed topics. If it doesn’t matter to you, if your solution is simply to disavow all marriages and be nice to everyone, why do you keep returning to the debate? If it doesn’t matter to you, why do you act, here, like it matters a whole lot?

    Personally, I’m going to assume the best of you, Brian. I’m going to assume that you know, in your heart, that your “belief” about gay marriage is wrong. That the biblical interpretations used against it are not correct, and that your church should change its doctrine. I think that you don’t want to rock any boats by bringing it up in your church community, but I think you return to these conversations over and over in order to find the right words to refute that doctrine, should someone else eventually bring it up. Right now, just saying you don’t believe in marriage for anyone is an easy out. It may be true, but it gives you a pass of sorts on the discussion. I’m hoping, that when it does finally come up at your church, that you’ve taken enough of John’s words, and those of DR, Christy, Suz, Don, Ai’sha, Denver et al to heart that you’ll be able to speak up for change. Perhaps that’s just my pie in the sky interpretation, but a girl can hope, ya know?

  • Diana A.

    Thank you!


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