I have decided that I am now a “Leftie Fundie.” In mirror reverse of the Religious Right, I am going to cherry-pick Church teachings/Biblical Teachings and hyper-focus on them until I achieve my “agenda of love,” the goal of safely including Neurodiverse, disabled, LBGTQIA+ people, other minority groups, and their families into the life of the Catholic Church where the Church is no longer endangering their lives and the lives of their families. I no longer want Catholic families to have to choose between their child’s right-to-life or stay in the Catholic Church. I believe that once this happens, society will be safe for these populations due to the influence the Catholic Church has on the world. In my last Patheos piece within the first paragraph, I mentioned that I cannot understand the rejection and callous dismissal of LBGTQIA+ lives, especially LBGTQIA+ children when a third of them also have a diagnosed disability such as Autism. Psychological and neurological variances are brain-based and interrelated, so when there is one variance, another variance is more likely. How can people who profess the name of Jesus Christ not care if marginalized groups of people live or die?
In order to understand how we’ve reached this apathetic and grim point, we have to examine the history of the Religious Right. Please note that I do not include conservatives in this definition who do not wish harm on others. I define the Religious Right as a minority group of mostly white Christians who formed in the Reagan era. They think that through political power that they should rule over everyone else through Manifest Destiny by any force possible because they believe that God has given them the sole right, power, and supremacy to dictate how everyone should act and believe while not caring in the slightest if people unlike them are incapable of living up to their standards. It’s especially true in the various Church bodies like the Catholic Church. The Catholic Right is a small and mostly white Republican minority within the Catholic Church who uses Church teaching as a weapon to destroy and kill others who are incapable of measuring up to Church Teaching, and they are willing to use any means possible to achieve their goal, including ripping apart vulnerable families and causing irreputable damage to their non-Republican, non-white, Neurodiverse, and especially LBGTQIA+ Catholic brethren, including youth. Never mind that the Church teaches us to not kill and to love our neighbor. Never mind that The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, “To receive in truth the Body and Blood of Christ given up for us, we must recognize Christ in the poorest, his brethren” (no. 1397). “Catholic social teaching is a central and essential element of our faith.” Never mind that 2000 Bible verses tell us to care for “The Least of These.” Never mind that the Catholic Church teaches that all life is sacred from conception to natural death and that the Sanctity of Life and the Dignity of the Human Person are non-negotiable.
Over the last 50 years, The Religious Right has taken the one issue of abortion and a few others related to religious freedoms and sexuality, and they have used these as weapons to coerce other white Christians to vote Republican out of “Christian Duty” to the point of abuse. They have done this in exchange for life-giving services and safety for millions of Americans over 50 years: disability, nationalized healthcare (not socialized), Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, WIC, food stamps, living wages, gun safety, environmental safety, etc….and they call these safety nets and safety precautions “Socialism” or even “Communism” yet we are the richest country in the world who can well-afford to care for the most vulnerable in our society, and they can well-afford to keep our citizens safe. Yet, they discard all of this in the name of fruitlessly saving the unborn and voting against people they hate instead of for people. The Church/non-profit cannot and will not do all of these things alone. I know this from serving disabled children in my profession, raising a disabled son for 20 years, and battling Parkinson’s Disease myself. The Religious Right elected the most abrasive, dishonest, corrupt, hateful, un-Christian bully they could possibly elect in the name of Jesus Christ to “get even” with Democrats (including the most vulnerable) while mimicking Trump’s cruel and hateful behavior to others who do not agree with them or look like them.
Within my core of very conservative sexual ethics, I will always promote (not force) a life-long monogamous sexual ethic for those who are not called and capable to a celibate life. Only a small percentage are capable of celibacy without significant threats and harm to their health and lives. It cannot be at this cost and the cost of inclusion within the family and Church. To include is to follow science. Following science is pro-life.
I am deeply saddened to say that this political agenda lead us to this point in history of “hating the other.” The Rev. Jim Wallis explains this well.