Categories
Faith LGBTQ+

When a Pope Speaks Love to a Marginalized Community

During the filming of a documentary, Pope Francis spoke out for the LGBT+ community. We are children of God, he said. We deserve to be a part of and have a family. And we deserve to have legal protections.

The Pope said this! This is amazing! And huge!

I don’t ever expect the Catholic Church to come down on the side of marriage equality. That marriage is (or should be) between a man and a woman only is a major tenet in most Christians beliefs. It is woven so intricately throughout the Bible that the Church simply can not endorse marriage equality. And that’s fine. I don’t need them to, really. It would be unfair of me to ask them to give up such a huge part of their belief system. I would love it though if they could stop fighting it so hard.

Not children of God?

This news from the Pope came at the perfect time for me. Just the other day, I had come across a conversation between a friend and someone that they knew but I did not. Both of them are Christian, I assume, based on their conversation. And this person that I do not know kept saying that we – the LGBTQ+ community – were not children of God. Because we were living in sin and, presumably, not saved. That, of course, we are loved. But we should be loved through the lense God’s truth. Our “lifestyle” could not and should not be accepted. We should instead be reminded that homosexuality is a SIN. Over and over she said this. We are not children of God.

It upset me.

Some important points

#1 – It is not a “lifestyle.” It is life. Period, full stop.

#2 – Every human on this earth is a Child of God. He created us. We are His children. Every. Single. One. Of us.

#3 – Loved by being told that we are an abomination, our love sinful? That is some Westboro bullsh*t. (Pardon my french.) And not at all what Christ calls for. Also, fun fact, Christ never speaks on homosexuality. And here’s a bonus fun fact. The original Greek word arsenokoitai more closely translates to “boy molesters.” It was not replaced with “homosexual” until 1946 in the Revised Standard Version Bible.

I am glad that person was unknown to me. I am glad my friend pushed back against them. But I am still saddened that someone would think and say such hurtful things in this day and age. (No, I am not living in a bubble. I know it happens, and worse.)

We deserve family and legal protection. Specifically, he is advocating for civil unions for same sex relationships. Not marriages. A very different, but supposedly equal arrangement. Separate… but equal… Where have we heard that before?

Let’s be clear. Separate is not equal. Civil unions are not the same as a marriage. They do not offer the same legal protections and benefits that a marriage does.

Even so, the fact that the Pope, the man closest to God on this Earth, said something like this… It’s amazing. And must be a blessing to all of the Catholic members of the LGBT+ community, in particular. Their life, their families, were acknowledged, and not judged. And the figurehead of an institution that has done so much harm to them, is fighting for them.

A reminder of acceptance

It reminded me of the episode in the Netflix show One Day at a Time. In it, there is a scene where the daughter Elena comes out to her deeply Catholic grandmother. In <60 seconds it seems Lydia goes from “No, it’s a sin,” to “Okay! I’m good!” And all while following her faith through the reasoning. It is an amazing scene. (And a reaction I wish more devout Christians would mimic.)

We deserve family. We deserve legal protections. Because we are children of God. Every one of us.

Tell me what you think? Are you surprised by what the Pope said? Please keep it civil.

Categories
Faith

Love God: It Really Is That Simple

It’s complicated. Yet so simple. As Jesus says: Love God. Love your neighbor.

Check and check… mostly.

I think we all struggle with that last one, regardless of beliefs. We are human after all. But that first one? Check. Simple enough. Love God.

It took me a while to get there though. I was not raised in the church. Nor in a particularly religious family. My mom is not at all religious. My dad has his faith but it’s his, and he is not one to really share unless asked. I’m sure it has guided him throughout life. But quietly.

Feeling His Influence

My grandparents and aunts and cousins (on my dad’s side) are slightly more religious. They have their bible studies and church on Sundays and prayers. Okay, so maybe more than slightly. But we moved a lot (military brat!) so their influence was from afar (if at all).

I grew up knowing who God is, knowing the important commandments, and the big bible stories. There was church and Sunday School and youth group depending on where we were stationed.

But it wasn’t until Lovey and I got serious that God and church became a real part of my life.

So we “shopped” around town for months before finding a church we both felt comfortable with. We “plugged in” to the studies and ministries. And I found a safe place to wonder and explore.

“All the questions just faded to the background and it was just peace.”

I made great new friends who were patient and loving and ready to help me find whatever answers I needed without being pushy. And then it happened, driving in the rain with Lovey, off to explore a nearby city for the day. A peace I had not felt before just washed over me. All the questions just faded to the background and it was just peace. Like standing in the middle of a forest, surrounded by a silence you can feel, with none of the dark and foreboding ickies surrounding it.

Since that day, I have grown and read and still sought out answers. But I also settled into a peace that those questions may always be there. That He will give me answers on His time. It has been a lesson in trust and patience. And love.

Love God. Love your neighbor.

It’s just that simple.

Tell me about your journey. Do you still have questions? How has He answered those for you?