Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dialogue with an LGBT ex-Catholic

Richard Evans responded to my post on gay marriage below. 
Is it not also circular reasoning to assume that the Roman version of Christianity is the only correct one as well? And even if she is, that all of society must follow it in the areas of sexuality, even if it differs from their personal morals and understandings of life?
It is not circular. You might say it is ad hoc if you were going to associate it with a logical fallacy. Of course, I would say there is good reason to believe that Christianity is the most correct sexual morality. The point is society has to do something. If I was the only Christian then your point would make some sense. But there is nothing Christian about letting society go in a wrong direction because a minority claim the right to take it there. If you really believe Christian sexual morality is true, and you should, then you should want society to be built on true principles.
Full disclosure I lived as a "same-sex attracted" Roman Catholic, nationally published and interviewed, for 7 years--until this summer when a well-known priest unfriended me and blocked me from FB for asking, in a polite manner, that we simply be careful in the way we approach others during the Chic-Fil-A controversy and protests.
Who cares what a well-known priest does? People treat each other badly over this issue a lot. I would say the pro-gay side has been much more mean-spirited and hateful but there have been incidents on both sides. It is sad. Still I don't understand changing your opinion of Jesus or His Church based on that. Jesus never promised us every Catholic would be nice.

While I did not leave the Church over this issue solely, it did influence me. When ecumenical Councils such as 4th Lateran can both begin to define Transubstantion (more fully developed at Trent) and then in the same documents define circumstances where land (which in those days usually meant a person's entire livelihood and even life at times) could be taken from "heretics," where this same Church can claim to have never, not once in 2000 years, erred in "faith and morals" but yet Popes have issued decrees, ones that any good Catholic at the time would have considered infallible, about not just if but how to proceed in burning infidels, meaning other Christians who did not agree with them,
First of all, the doctrine of infallibility was not defined until the 19th century. So the idea that any good catholic would find papal decrees infallible in the 13th century seems a bit anachronistic. Still heresy was taken seriously. The concern was more that it could lead to civil unrest and political instability. Doctrine does matter.
when this Church claims to believe in natural as well as Divine law and then uses that claim to stop people from simply living their lives such as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) or others who are different in various manners, and onward to many other examples, then she is a Church drunk with power--and wears the blood of others on her vestments.
So exactly how does the church stop LGBT people from living their lives? It simply teaches that certain sexual acts are gravely immoral. That list includes acts commonly committed by heterosexuals as well as some more common with homosexuals. People are free to ignore what the church says.

It is quite a claim to say something is immoral. You need to be right about it. Jesus gave us one institution that could get questions of faith and morals right. That is my faith. I pray it is yours as well.
I am no longer Roman Catholic--and no longer defining myself as "same-sex attracted." I am humbly but gladly LGBT and still a "catholic Christian" within Anglican/Episcopal circles.
The question is whether you were following God or following your own desires.  How do you know? You have tried to get rid of a church drunk with power. You have ended up with all that power yourself. Can you do better at discerning God's will than the successor of Peter and the successors of the apostles? I can't. My sin is too great and I end up arriving at all sorts of false doctrines.
And if you and I or some of those who have blogs in your roll had lived 500 years ago, you likely would have torched me by now and felt justified. Thank God for secular law which stopped them from such horrendous practices post-Reformation on both sides. There is a reason for separation of Church and state. And yes it is a delicate balance for either.
The same-sex marriage issue is not about separation of church and state. It is only to the extent that people don't understand what separation of church and state means. People feel some sort of obligation to not oppose same-sex marriage if their opposition is rooted in their faith. They should not feel that way. That is a twisted notion of the non-establishment clause. No church body is trying to control the government. We have individuals exercising their democratic rights to fight for a government that reflects their values. Chris Kluwe calls that "unamerican." He could not be more wrong. 
Though it may seem it from this comment, I do not hate Rome--far from it. But Rome does not authentically accept me, except in the far back row of the Cathedrals and some parishes.
The Roman Catholic church accepts everyone. What they don't accept is serious sins. If people are in a state of mortal sin then their communion with the church is going to be limited by that. The hope is those obstacles are eventually removed and communion can be restored. That can only happen when we repent and allow God to change us. God is not going to start accepting sin. We have to start accepting holiness.

Jesus does not want you to define yourself as same-sex attracted or LGBT. He wants you to define yourself as a child of God. Everything else about you needs to be seen in the light of that central truth.
That is what is at issue here. Not some secret "gay agenda," and I do not deny that some activists go too far, I have been one and done that at times, nor some conspiracy against the Church and all she stands for. Live and let live is at issue here. And that is something Rome at times seems to forget how to do. 
I don't think there is some secret agenda. I do think that evil grows. When people start attacking the church and calling her evil for teaching what she has always taught that tends to get more intense over time.  Nobody plans that. It just happens. In the Chic-Fil-A controversy we have government openly stating that they will try and destroy a business because of their religion. If you would have told me five years ago that big city mayors would publicly call for the state to discriminate based on religion I would have said we are decades away from that. Now we have seen it. Where does it go next? Anti-Christian bigotry and hatred will get worse.

1 comment:

  1. I had not heard from Richard but saw he had closed his blog. This is the first I've heard from him. God bless y'all.