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Thursday, April 04, 2013

How I got here

I have been going to church every Sunday and really focusing on being a good Christian lately. Part of it is pure enthusiasm for having a new Pope (as you know, I was not a fan of the last one) and part of it is the serious commitment that I have taken to be Sofia's Godmother. I've made my peace with the fact that I don't get to birth my own babies, so Sofi is all I've got. I'm so serious about being there for her that most likely in a few years I will be heading to the Sunshine State permanently. (Also, I greatly underestimated my grumpiness caused by living in a land-locked state.)

I'm reading my Bible, I'm praying, I'm going to Church and I am really minding my Ps and Qs where the Ten Commandments are concerned. I've had the opportunity to do some pretty fun sinning and I have ZERO interest in it. Not that I'm a jezebel, but I have had my occasional lapse of judgment, and now such things are not even on my radar screen. In fact, I'm a little insulted that folks would even ask me such things. After all, I am a Christian who's been tasked with the responsibility of guiding a young child on her faith journey.

Now growing up Catholic (you know, some people don't think we're Christians even though we can track our church right back to J.C.'s original followers), I was taught that being a Christian is about more than reading your Bible and going to Church every Sunday. Christians are responsible for helping their fellow man and fighting for justice, which is something I've been deeply committed to. In fact, at my former parish St. William, our priest asked me to serve on our social justice committee. I believe in following the golden rule and helping those who can't help themselves. Between that and studying political science and Constitutional law in college, I aligned myself a lot closer to the left than the right.

My politics aren't a struggle for me even though there have been plenty of people who told me that Democrats can't be good Christians or good Catholics. I read my Bible and I read my Constitution, and I'm pretty sure they're not intertwined. In fact, I'm pretty sure some of our Founding Fathers were atheists or at least agnostic, not a Christian nation, but that's cool. A Christian nation would be boring.

Sometimes I wonder what my Christian friends think of me, especially my Kappa Phi friends and especially in the age of Facebook. I'm exactly the same person I was when I joined Kappa Phi in 1994, and even back then there were plenty of different viewpoints because it's an organization of Christian women of all denominations. But sometimes I wonder if I'm a bit too controversial and not a good Christian role model, especially because of my stance on gay marriage. It's not that I think I'm wrong about gay marriage; I just think too many people are being inflexible about the evolution of our society and using the Bible to justify hatred and hurt.

Aside from the fact that Jesus commands us to love everyone, my views on being gay come from a very personal place. And I feel like if more people had experiences similar to mine that maybe they'd be a lot more understanding. After all, conservative Ohio Senator Rob Portman (still hard to type that) changed his view on gay marriage after his son came out to him.

For those of you who are newer here, you may not know that my best friend -- the only man I've ever really loved, my soulmate -- is gay. It was a long, hard journey of fear and self-loathing on both of our parts, but we love each other as much as we always have and we realize that sometimes soulmate doesn't mean happily ever after with two kids, a station wagon and a golden retriever. We still finish each other's sentences; he still has the uncanny ability to know when I need him; and we still love each other with all our hearts, but we also both love men. And, when he finally came out to me, he told me about his journey to get to this point. A journey where he struggled with being Christian and gay and prayed to God that he would love me as more than a friend. And, of course, I had my own journey. My journey where I didn't understand why he just stopped talking to me (he shut everyone out because he was afraid of how they'd react to him being gay) and thinking that I was incapable of ever being loved by another human being because I didn't understand why he didn't love me as much as I loved him. Basically, society's thoughts on what's right and what's wrong almost killed both of us. I'm not being dramatic; we both had some very dark and dangerous days along the way. He probably many more than I.

My best friend didn't choose to be gay. For years, he prayed every night that God would make him straight in the morning when we woke up. The fact that God never did and the fact that every single person I've ever met who was gay has told me that it was just how they were, not something that they chose, leads me to believe that God knows that folks are gay and it's part of His plan. And if it's part of God's plan, much like the sun rising and setting every day, we should probably just get used to it. Spiders and snakes were also part of God's plan, and I'd rather not have them around, but I've adjusted.

A lot of people who are against gay marriage have their whole "love the sinner, hate the sin" mantra. The problem is that as long as we are against gay marriage it's our fault that folks are sinning. Because if God makes people gay and gay people can't get married, then the only way they can express their love is to be sinners. If they can get married then they don't have to be sinners anymore. And, in this era of divorce and rampant infidelity, I think anyone who can stay together for 20, 30, 40 years should be allowed to get married. God bless them for finding someone they want to spend the rest of their lives with, because believe me that is a very special gift from God that not everyone gets to experience and shouldn't take lightly.

I guess there will always be people who think you are wrong. There will always be people who judge you. But I guess maybe I feel like even if people don't agree with me, it'll be helpful to understand where I'm coming from. So, now you know. If you made it all the way to the bottom of this way-too-long post, thanks for reading.

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