It’s a rare occasion that I voice my religious or political opinions to strangers. My friends and family know that I am Catholic and that I also firmly believe in supporting gay marriage. Most of them agree with me, so our conversations are in a celebratory context when we share news reports of any victory for human rights.
After hearing that the Supreme Court made landmark rulings for gay rights yesterday, goosebumps covered my arms and a smile formed on my lips. I refreshed my Facebook news feed many times, delighted to read every proud status reacting to this victorious news.
And then my smile twisted itself into a smirk and my eyebrows inched closer together. I re-read the status, another reaction to the Supreme Court rulings and sat there, confused and a little sad. This negative post stemmed from their belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. Something I’ve heard hundreds of times before. This time was different. These words came from someone I know, love, laugh with, admire, respect, and now I feel so disconnected, like I don’t even know them.
I’ve been searching for the right words to explain and tie together my belief in God, the Catholic Church, equality and humanity. I found a blog post that seemed to sum it up well. This is an excerpt from a blogger who prepared a letter to her son in the event he would one day tell his parents he was gay.
“Chase, we don’t believe that homosexuality is a sin. The Bible was inspired by God, but it was written, translated, and interpreted by imperfect people just like us. This means that the passing of this sacred scripture from generation to generation and from culture to culture has been a bit like the “telephone game” you play at school. After thousands of years, it’s impossible to judge the original spirit of some scripture. We believe that when in doubt, mercy triumphs judgment. So your parents are Christians who study and pray and then carefully choose what we follow in the Bible, based on whether or not it matches our understanding of Jesus’s overall message. Certainly we make mistakes. Everyone does. But it’s our duty to try. We must each work out our own faith with fear and trembling. It’s the most important thing we’ll ever do. Even so, some folks will tell you that our approach to Christianity is scandalous and blasphemous. But honey, the only thing that’s scandalous about this approach is admitting it out loud. The truth is that every Christian is a Christian who chooses what he follows in the Bible.”