Reconciliaition

Damon's picture

To clear up a few things from my last entry, Yes I realize the Catholic church has a lot of blood on it's hands but it wasn't like LAST YEAR. It's been a while. There is at least a desire to change and adapt, to understand.
Like you say, most churches do have a little blood dripping from their hands. There is a difference in what the church believes now and what they believed some years ago. Which only shows that religion is manipulated as we all see fit. Still the Catholic Church has come to terms with the fact that some of us are gay and though they are not real happy about it, they don't excommunicate us or out us to the world flagging us as sinners.
I look at things this way. I am a practicing Catholic mostly to make my mom happy. I do believe in God and I don't think he makes mistakes, I think the religions just misinterpret things grossly when it comes to homosexuality.
Some say "If homosexuality is seen as wrong by organized religion then God is dead to me."
God isn't religion. Religion is a man-made method that we created to worship God, right or wrong. When I say God doesn't make mistakes I mean that I have come to have a relationship with my creator that is independent of religion. I am not a mistake just because I am gay and He knows that.
I don't reconcile my being gay with the church, I reconcile it with God. He knows who and what I am because he is the Father. I have read the bible from cover to cover several times and I am aware that it was written by men to tell their version of what THEY wanted us to believe a very long time ago. A convenient book of rules that is somewhat outdated in society today.
The Mormon church has some very nice people among their flock, I know a few myself and the fact that "Affirmation" exists proves that there is hope for them.
Still for the hierarchy of the church, I think they need to get a clue, see what they are doing to the people they have rebuked and damaged, all because their faith in the church was strong enough to care what they thought and to care about hurting their families.
I know a lot of people here advocate coming out. I think that is something that has to be done on a case by case agenda. I can assure you that my mom would not throw me out of the house if she knew I was gay. However it would be counter-productive at this point to suddenly declare that I was gay. It is something that is still on a spiritual level with me and between me and God. I still need to sort through a lot of things, none of which are going to change who I am but better prepare me to bare my soul to my family and others.
I think a lot of people who come out are in a place where they feel they can say "Look just accept me for who I am OK?"
Not all of us are in that place in our lives. Some of us have been brought up in a world so steeped in tradition that these revelations need to be a bit more thought out. I'm one of them.
If that sounds hypocritical, I'm sorry. I know my family and friends and I think I need to gain their faith and trust before I challenge their beliefs.
This illustrates the fault of the Mormon church in my view. They have made up their mind and there is no discussion about it. They also believe what they know, should be common knowledge to all, and see to it that everyone knows, whether they are ready for it or not.
There will come a time when I will face my family and tell thrm I am gay. My mom will probably not have a problem with it.
As for having blood on their hands, the whole world has blood on their hands and it is not all about homosexuality or religion. Take our illustrious president for example. I don't know how that man sleeps at night. But that is another argument that I don't really want to get into right now.

"Being gay is not like being left handed. Being gay conjurs in the minds of people what you do it the privacy of your bedroom. This is unlike the thoughts of people contemplating heterosexuality, which is never conjured in the mind at all." -Walter Henson-

I think what Henson was trying to say was that what seems normal, need never be though about but what seems abnormal is always examined to death.
Perhaps to us, on a very primal level, it just seems a lot more normal to share our bodies with someone who has the same parts as we do than to share our bodies with someone who is different than us.
I respect all the views of those who read my journal and never intend to offend anyone. I remain open-minded so that I can expect others to be open-minded as well.

Comments

jeff's picture

Hmm...

I constantly advocate coming out, as that needs to be achieved by everyone who intends to have a full, honest life. But I don't think anyone should do it when it could affect their living situation.

I also wonder whether you really need to prove yourself to people before you can challenge their beliefs. Their views on sexuality will be at the same place then as they are now, typically. Until something causes them to question it, it won't change much. Of course, coming out before you are ready to stand up to inquiry about it isn't a good idea either.

If you look at what the church has done directly, as far as having blood on its hands, it's been a while. But a lot of things are done in the name of religion, such as shooting abortion doctors, that the church (to my knowledge) has made weak statements against, but not outright condemned. I think they empower more negativity these days than they directly cause, but they seem OK with it as long as it sort of stays on message.

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"Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there." -- Josh Billings.

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Lol-taire's picture

I can understand reconciling

I can understand reconciling faith in God with your sexuality.

But what I was wondering though, is how specificially you reconcile your Catholic faith. Not just with your sexuality but with other questions.

To what extent are you Catholic rather than just a Christian believer? Does your belief in other tenants of Catholicism hold?

I understand I'm being rude (so tell me to stop asking questions if you want), but I'm just very interested and it's easier to ask people on the internet where they can write things down than expecting real life people to answer. And I'm honestly not asking in a snide, trying to catch people out way- I'd just be interested to know.

Damon's picture

On being Catholic

Being brought up in the Catholic church has a lot to do with either abandoning your beliefs or continuing them. I think from an insider view it may be hard to say what it is about Catholocism that still attracts me. I defer to a friend in Los Angeles who was Methodist, by religion and attended mass with me on occasion.
"Catholics seem to be very demonstrative in their religion and for no other reason than this I give credit where credit is due. In my church a lot of time is spent telling the congregation about the up-coming social events but in your church I get the feeling that we are really here to worship and to learn or be reminded of certain Christian values."

You either respect the church or you don't. I am not here to gather any converts and I realize that religion is something that is hard to come to terms with in this particular age and time. It is sort of like believing in Werewolves, you either do or you don't. As with any society founded in a dogma, Catholocism has its wavering truths. The vatican thinks one way and in varying degrees Catholics think in another while still trying to adhere to a basic belief. For me it is not so much the vatican that dictates my beliefs as it is the individuals with whom I have constant contact.
There are the "Jack Mormons" who drink coffee and take a nip now and then. Maybe I am a "Jack Catholic", someone who is comfortable with the church simply because I have spent time as an altar boy and gotten used to standing up and sitting down a billion times during a mass.
I suppose that makes me a rather bad Catholic since I pick and choose what I wish to believe. Still I find it easy to talk to a priest if I want to and find an acceptance there where I have not found it elsewhere.
I think the defining factor for me is that I still believe in God and I find that the Catholic church offers me a way to do that which has just the right amount of respect, reverence and pomp involved without making me feel like a hypocrite though I know I probably am one.
Please understand that this has nothing to do with my personal righteousness. It is more about a church that accepts that I have many faults and even questions about why I should be there. Or perhaps it is about a church that will take you as long as you are breathing now days and if you fail to breathe, they will splash some holy water on you and put you in the ground as long as you come to mass at least once a year.
I have great respect for most of the priests and sisters with whom I have come into contact. I have never been molested by a priest. I have had them answer some very difficult questions for me when I was in need, much to my satisfaction.
The Catholic church has many tenants that require blind faith. Take confession for instance. I am aware that if I feel I have something to confess I would be much better off going directly to God than to tell a priest and ask him to absolve me. Still there is a psychological advantage to having a person who is non-judgemental, hear what you have to say for yourself. He will ultimately send you off to pray anyway so you kill two birds with one stone.
Baptism, confirmation, communion and confession all have their place in helping me find balance. Some of it is a right of passage and other parts of it serve to remind us of our reverence for our deity.
The real question is, if you believe in God then you want to do what makes you feel as if you are giving him credence in your life. If you don't believe in God, then dogma is probably something you avoid like the plague. I don't believe it matters when it comes to whether you are a good person or not. I have some friends who are atheists and still have a heart of gold and the capacity to love just like anyone else.
I also have friends that are such zealots about religion that I can hardly stand to be around them.
One such friend insisted that I pray with him after my dad's funeral. I didn't feel much like doing anything that day. They were so insistant that I literally had to ask them to leave. He told me that if I would just accept Jesus Christ into my heart, He would take away all the pain. I don't remember God ever promising to guide us through such events in our lives without some pain.
Reconciling my faith with the Catholic religion is done mostly out of being comfortable with the church and its ways, not necessarily its complete dogma. I am comfortable there where I have found that I am not comfortable with "born again evangelical Christianity". The church gives me a certain "non-door-to-door, have you been saved?" dignity.
Finally I have to say that I never intended for this to be a statement about my belief structure. I was simply and maybe over zealously concerned about suicides in the Mormon church born out of a gestapo-like force that seeks out and persecutes homosexuals.
I don't in any way take offense to your questions and in some ways, it has helped me at least to mentally define to myself, what I believe and where my failures may be.

Lol-taire's picture

Confession is a beautiful

Confession is a beautiful sacrament- I can understand it's appeal entirely.

Thankyou for responding- I really appreciate it and I found your answer very interesting. I honestly do appreciate you taking the time to give me an answer- even though I am clearly just being horribly nosy and it is none of my business. Thankyou.