That is an AWESOME op-ed on the state not only of the Catholic church, but of all churches. I know that for me, my heart broke, and almost my spirit of faith, in the midst of the “coming out” process and how the church really looks at gays in its midst. I know that it takes more commitment/courage now to go into ANY Presbyterian Church, because I know that in the eyes of most there, I am “not worthy” nor welcomed. Especially when I have made the rare venture back to First Presbyterian to attend a funeral, I can not get out of there quickly enough after the service is over. I never thought I would feel that way about the church, as it was always the one place in life where I felt secure.
That sense of security has now changed….perhaps been refocused into finding God’s spirit and presence inside and not requiring validation from “The Church” or other human entity. Rather, now I can look in the mirror and rather than asking God, “Why did you do this to me (making me gay)?” I can say, “Thank you God for making me the way you did. Now just help me out a bit, okay?!”
There are so many of my friends here who hurt so much inside, but have no where to turn as their own churches have turned from them, and in the process of that turn, made those folks feel all churches are against them.
It is interesting to me that so many faith-full gays/lesbians I know…just want the church to welcome them. For some, they have attended a variety of MCC churches and not found that to be the place for them because, as several have put it, “It is just TOO gay.” They just want to be accepted as who they are and not relagated to a “gay ghetto.”
Well, enough of my preaching.
I had an interesting conversation last night with David Berry. Met with him and talked to him about the fact that I was speaking at the World AIDS Day event on December 1….and would be talking about my HIV-status. He is FLOORED that I would do that publicly and asked, “How do you think the people at First Presbyterian will react?” To which I responded, “Fuck ’em.” Oops, guess that got me one more flame.
I told him I had spoken publicly about it at the MCC, and his response was, “Yeah, but that is also a completely other world than what most of us live in.” Perhaps not…but perhaps it is the choice of worlds which we prefer to protect us. I told him, “David, whether you or others at the church want to admit it, there are HIV folks there. For me, if just one person hears me speak and gets tested, or realizes that anyone can become infected, then it is worth the anguish of speaking openly in a non-all-gay setting about it.”
He wants to be there to hear me.
Wish you and Tom could be there, but know that is a work-day for you.
Thanks for sharing that op-ed with me….and sorry for preaching at you…but the article hit my heart.