I still say that it was primarily LGBT issues that led to my disillusionment with the majority of Christian religions.
I was reading some threads on Twitter, including one by a fairly popular Twitter figure (would that be a Twit? I amuse myself) whom I started following when I was more earnestly trying to make Catholicism work for me. The thread was about how a family member was getting heat for not allowing a gay couple to come to their Catholic wedding. He and most commenters agreed that one should stand up for their faith in such a way and that it was especially important that children not be exposed to the gay couple.
My evangelical church that I attended for nearly two years had a similarly anti-LGBT stance, though they softened it on the surface. Like most local churches that are Baptist in theology but not in name, it was all about trying to cover up their true beliefs in order to get more people through the doors.
I still think that my true beliefs are some weird mishmash that is closest to Buddhist and I struggle to believe in Christianity in general. If I were to join any church that actually matches my beliefs, it would be UU. But the thing I don’t understand is how any Christian can say that the Bible or Jesus were so clearly against LGBT people that they aren’t even worthy of attending a family member’s wedding. It’s like LGBT people are the new untouchables.
But the thing is that not only is that not anywhere in the Bible, it’s actually completely contrary to what Jesus actually taught. He spent time with all of society’s untouchables: prostitutes, thieves, anyone that was considered the lowliest of the low in society. There was absolutely none of this bullshit that he came to only save certain people, coincidentally the ones who condemned others in his name.
If I could believe in Christianity, it would have to be a progressive form that believes that Jesus’ grace is for everyone, especially society’s current outcasts: the immigrants (making the border situation even more horrific since so many politicians claim to be so Christian), addicts, LGBT, single mothers, the disabled, people of color, people with criminal records. Not that I am comparing them to each other in any way other than that they are all society’s current version of the untouchables.
There is the point that neither the Bible nor the Catholic Catechism speaks so strongly against LGBT. But Catholicism in particular takes half measures, saying that LGBT people should be treated with respect (which an increasing number of Trump-loving Catholics ignore) but also saying that being gay is “intrinsically disordered.”
That brings me to another challenging point I’ve been wrestling with lately. The editor of a Jesuit Catholic magazine sent me an unsolicited email inviting me to pitch them. It’s rare that editors send me those kinds of emails so it’s an opportunity I don’t necessarily want to let slide. And the Jesuits are a branch of Catholicism that is more “liberal” and is supportive of LGBT rights, including this particular magazine.
But I also feel like a hypocrite even thinking about writing for a Catholic magazine unless I can write about LGBT issues. I could write about having an LGBT kid and how that issue was so galvanizing for me that everyone must be included in God’s love. But I don’t know if my LGBT kid will give me permission to write about that so publicly and I want to respect his boundaries.
And furthermore, I feel increasingly less sure that I believe in the Catholic view of God for myself. I could “talk the talk” and use the right Catholic references to write about it. But I don’t feel like it would be honest, like I was representing myself as something other than I really am.
But there’s still that issue that the church itself does consider LGBT people (like my kid) “intrinsically disordered.” I don’t agree: I think he was born exactly as he was intended to be and it’s my job to love him as such, not change him. And more and more, I feel like such views that it’s intrinsically disordered are extremely damaging to LGBT people and are not in line with my definition of God.
If I don’t believe in any particular Christian definition of God, how can I write about it as though I’m anything else? Even if I leave out the fact that I don’t believe in that and just write how supporting LGBT people is indeed in line with what Jesus really taught, it feels like a lie by omission.
And ultimately what drove me away from the churches I was pursuing was the fact that I couldn’t reconcile any of the Christian/Catholic churches I was attending with my unwavering support for LGBT people. This is personal, my line in the sand. Any definition of God that leaves out anyone is one I can’t believe in.