(Disclaimer: I’m very cranky.)
So people are talking a lot about gay marriage because SCOTUS (The Supreme Court of the United States) is hearing arguments on the issue. What did I do? I got on Facebook in the middle of working and posted some comments/updates and I ended up with a million messages asking me if I supported gay marriage and if maybe I needed to have the Church’s teachings explained to me. I have talked to most the people who sent those messages (if you are one of them and you’re reading this, please don’t message me asking me if I hate you. The answer is no, but I have to get some things off my chest). I thought I should just go ahead and write this blog post. I think it’s crazy that people can jump to assumptions that I am a heretic and/or need “help” understanding teachings when I express an opinion that is anything other than “gay people are going to hell”.
Here are a few of my thoughts aka opinions. Last time I looked, I was allowed to have opinions. Someone let me know if there’s been a memo that I missed that states that I can’t.
Legally speaking, I think that gay people should have all the same rights as everyone else, even be free to live in committed relationships if they want to. They should be able to work, have a person they love make health decisions for them and keep their kids if they have already adopted them and their partner dies and everything else, just like the rest of us. But that doesn’t mean they have to have a marriage license to do that. Plenty of couples live together and have kids and work and own homes without being married. Think Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. In fact, if you talked to straight couples a few years ago you would have heard “We don’t need a piece of paper to prove we love each other” from a lot of straight couples living together without being married or planning to get married. So why the big deal about that piece of paper now when it comes to gay couples?
Then there are the signs people are holding outside of SCOTUS. I don’t like signs that say “Homo sex is a sin”. Why? Because so are a lot of other things. Like being a self-righteous jerk face who thinks that none of their sins are worthy of being put on poster board, but those of others are. I have been on the other side of those signs and they did nothing but make me never want to be part of a religion who thinks that is “love”. What difference does it make if you are right, if nobody cares and wants to get as far away from you and your faith as possible? If you are supposed to be bringing people to Christ and your actions make people want to have nothing to do with Christ, then I think you are failing. I know that we are supposed to speak the truth and I know that we aren’t always supposed to say what “feels good” but there is a difference between speaking an uncomfortable truth and being a jerk. We all know that because when someone is a jerk to us, even if they are telling the truth, we are hurt. Think about that when talking to people because hurting others isn’t how to be the light of Christ. Calling them “homos” and blasting them as the end all, be all of sinners isn’t kind, it isn’t loving and it’s not going to help anyone understand that they are loved by God. And that is the first step of evangelization.
For everyone wondering if I understand the Church’s teachings on Marriage. Yes, I do, thanks for asking. I am also aware that mercy and love go a lot further than stupid signs and condemning others. I have great priests who help me navigate through this life of mine which is now ruled by Jesus who doesn’t let me cuss people the eff out anymore which is what I want to do 97% of the time. I am Catholic, I know the Catholic teachings are Truth Himself, but I also know that I can not force anyone to follow my Lord and even He doesn’t force Himself on anyone. I can’t force Protestants to be Catholic, I can’t force Atheists to go to church on Sunday and I can’t force gay people to understand the difference between legal “marriage” and Sacramental marriage. All I can do is be the best version of myself so that every person I meet wonders what it is that makes me who I am and when they ask I can tell them: Jesus. And if they don’t ask then they know that they are loved even if it’s just because they are a drag queen who had a Catholic ask them how their dress project is going. If that makes me a heretic who needs to be told the Church’s teaching on marriage, then I must have missed something in RCIA because Catholics loving me even when I was a sinner (who, unknown to them, was planning a welcome home orgy party for her boyfriend while going through RCIA), is why I ended up in this Church (and not having said orgy party).
I became Catholic with the help of great priests and people who refused to see me as my sins but instead loved me because I existed. They told me that God loved me just as I was, not that He would only love me if I was “good”. It is because of those people that I came to encounter Jesus and fall in love with His Church. Because of that, I am married. And on the days when I want to walk away from this marriage, this Church, this life, I remember that I am loved and I stay. I was so hard hearted and if I speak against things it is not because I don’t get Church teaching or because I am opposed to those teachings, but because I know what helped break through my deafness. Maybe that won’t work for everyone, maybe some people need tough, in your face, you are a huge sinner, signs to help them see Jesus, what do I know? But I am gonna go out on a limb and say that that doesn’t work. No more than yelling at women going into abortion clinics to not murder their babies works.
Just because I disagree with the use of signs and that I think laws are no way to force morality on anyone doesn’t mean that I am a heretic.