I know my faith teaches me not to fear, to not be afraid, but I am, especially here in Texas in our current political climate. Not only is it challenging to parent my LGBTQ+ own young adult children, assist other Catholic parents of LGBTQ+ kids, but it is also challenging to do so in the state of Texas. This challenge has nothing to do with my kids actually being gay. This is almost solely to do with how families like mine are treated in Texas society and in certain parts of the Church, mostly white Republican Churches. To be LGBTQ+ in Texas is almost a death sentence if someone lives in the wrong area.
So on Sunday, I went to Catholic Mass and purchased a Sacred Heart of Jesus candle for the Cathedral votive candle holder. I am praying an ongoing prayer that God will protect not only my own children but other LGBTQ+ children and their families from the right wing. Many from the far-right wing (not all) are a clear and present danger to our children because they want to weaponize sexuality to harm LGBTQ+ people and their families.
I am going to isolate a reminder from another article I published in order to remind us that LGBTQ+ issues are life and human dignity issues.
“When we look at the consequences (the “fruit”) of rejecting the neurodiverse and LGBTQ children in the family, church, and society, we find depression, anxiety, self-hatred, shame, self-harm, substance abuse, separation from God, the church, community, isolation, anger, serious mental illness, and even suicide.
But when we teach that God, the Church, the family, and the community loves and accepts neurodiverse and LGBTQ+ people unconditionally, the fruit is health, healing, love, joy, peace, self-acceptance, stable relationships, reconciling with God and the Church, family unity, and wholeness.
Fully accepting and including LGBTQ+ youth be no different than fully including and accepting children with disabilities and/or neurodiversity like Autism. Being LGBTQ+ is not a disability, but it is part of being on a spectrum intrinsic to being human. Unless you are capable of life-long celibacy for yourself, you are not qualified to expect this from someone else. Someone’s sexuality is between them, God, their loved one/parents, and no one else.”
So why is it that many in the right wing (not all) are obsessed with “who is sleeping in whose bed” moreso than if a homeless person has a bed to sleep on?” Well, history tells us why this is the case. The obsession with the sexual activity of others to the point of overriding the sanctity of life is nothing new.
Let’s look back at a quote from the late Anne Richards, the former Governor of Texas from 1991-1995. She quoted, “Nothing gets conservatives frothing at the mouth quicker than what’s going on in other folks’ bedrooms.” Now that I have seen the Religious Right/Catholic Right in action, to a point of being willing to kill sexual minorities, I don’t think she could be more correct. Not all conservatives are like this but those conservatives who are bedfellows with the right wing of the Republican party. They are willing to allow people to die who are not “sexually pure.”
Pope Francis has something to say about it too. In this New York Times article among others like it, he states that some (not all) Catholics are obsessed with abortion, gays, and contraception. Pope Says Church Is ‘Obsessed’ With Gays, Abortion and Birth Control – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
As Rev. Jim Wallis says, to be a Christian is more than our stance on abortion and same sex marriage. I will take it one step further. It’s none of our business as to what others are doing in someone else’s bedroom. It’s our duty as Catholics/Christians to love all people unconditionally, not just to love some people, but all people according to the 2nd greatest commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves.