Choosing Science and Reality is Choosing Life and Love fits a pattern I’ve not only witnessed but experienced in the conservative Church for many years. Parentally, ministerially, and professionally, this is why I shifted to progressive Catholicism. I am not saying that all conservative people are willfully-ignorant, but this mindset tends to be very prevalent in conservative religious circles. The reality is, many conservatives (not all) and many conservative ministers are willing to risk peoples’ lives and tear families apart before they are willing to face reality in a number of areas, particularly the LGBTQIA+ issue. I have personally watched ministers physically close their eyes and hold their hands over their ears before they are willing to face reality. This is costing people their lives and destroying families.
A few years ago, I published an article for a Catholic LGBTQ+ publisher called Outreach. I am going to paste it here.
It speaks of the life and death issues families with Neurodivergent and LGBTQIA+ children are facing, particularly in the Church. In the very last paragraph, I state this. “Overall, the church must move to reconcile with the LGBTQ community and provide safe and affirming pastoral ministry that aligns with current science. Anything else will continue to endanger and disrupt the lives of LGBTQ people and their families.” The longer chosen ignorance occurs, and the longer ministers refuse to deal with how their application of theology is endangering people, lives will be lost, families will be torn apart, and peoples’ health and well-being will be damaged. Nothing is more true in the ultra-conservative church, especially trad Catholic circles.
So what do we do about this? Education will many times not work with the types of people I mentioned because they are choosing ignorance. For many conservatives, death and tragedy must knock on their own door before they are willing to face truth and reality. It had to happen to me as a parent. I believe the only thing that will work is to follow the words of Martin Luther King.
Many times when I see this quote, I only see the second half speaking of love and hate. But today, I paid careful attention to the first half about darkness and light. In regards to the LGBTQIA+ issue in the Church, many ministers choose to face the light of truth. They willfully choose to face science and reality, that LGBTQIA+ people and their families are made in the image and likeness of God, that they are created as equal human beings, and that most of them are incapable of a life of celibacy or being forced to marry the opposite gender without incurring lasting psychological damage, lasting spiritual damage, or even death.
I am going to conclude with a quote with a quote from AOC that resembles the quote I posted above from Martin Luther King. I will add that courageous love is facing reality with courage. I had to do it as a parent. If I hadn’t, I believe that my daughter wouldn’t be alive today. I will close last with a quote from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health which is embedded in my article. It is in alignment with every major medical association in the world.
“The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health states that every word and action of love, affirmation or acceptance can be the difference between the difference life and death for LGBTQ people.”
Conservative ministers, it’s time to face reality. It’s a matter of life and death.