I was inspired to start the group by the Spirit during the fall 2013 Call To Action conference in Milwaukee. There I met tons of young adults passionate about Catholic social justice, particularly about LGBTQIA equality in the Church. Most of the people I met were out of college already. I realized still being a student at Catholic college gave me a critical advantage to reach out to other progressive young adult Catholics. Continue reading
In humble prayer, I approach this blog post despite my own fears. But in trust and obedience to God, my love, here it goes.
Homosexual sex can be a sin, but so can heterosexual sex. Neither is inherently sinful. Sin does not come from our actions but in our intentions behind our actions. Allow me to explain through experience:
Much to my surprise, I fell in love my best friend, a fellow woman. When I told her with wet red eyes, she responded with true friendship. “Rach, I thought you were going to tell me someone had died or something! You don’t have to be worry about me. This doesn’t change how I feel about you, honest to God. You have taught me so much about friendship this year. I’m not going anywhere.”
Although she said she could not reciprocate love for me in the form of physical intimacy, I did not love her any less. What wondrous new love this was for me—something truly unconditional. I thought, “This is the healthiest love I’ve ever felt.” But before the thought had a chance to settle, I grabbed it and tried to smother it. I lay awake for hours that night, disgusted that I could call these feelings healthy. I was confused at my disgust because I always supported the LGBT community. If it wasn’t wrong for them, why did I think it was wrong for me?
The next morning, I remember stepping in the shower and thinking, “God, it would be so much easier if I were just dead and did not have to deal with these feelings.” God scolded me with hot water and slapped it in my face. He washed me, purified me, and quenched my thirst. When I turned off the shower, the noise of my mind was silenced and all was quiet. I stepped out of the tub and vowed never to turn back to that place.
I allowed myself explore why I thought this love was healthy. I processed it they best way I knew how—writing. I wrote this:
“In the past, my physical attractions to men have been greedy and lustful. It was not about love. Now, I see it less as something that I want to receive and more of something I want to give… I want to show her that I trust her with all of myself, the good and the bad, the physical and the spiritual, the past and the future.”
I could not define that kind of love as sin. The devil does not have dominion over love. The devil was tempting me with suicide, not sexual attraction.
About a month after I told my best friend I had feelings for her, God sent me to a Bible Camp for a week of scripture reading with other college students. It certainly was not my idea. I thought I was far too fragile to be trapped in a room with Evangelical Christians reading the Bible that I they used to condemn me. But I trusted God to take care of me.
We read through the first half of the Gospel of Mark. Homosexuality was never specifically mentioned in the scripture. Instead of condemnation, I found a lot of affirmation. As Christ said,
“Whatever goes into a person from the outside cannot defile, since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer… It is what comes out of a person that defiles. For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come” (Mark 7: 15-20).
Jesus went on to list things that defile including fornication and adultery. I sat by a creek to process this passage. What was God saying about sex? As I watched the water, noticed its clarity. As I listened to it dance, I realized that God was saying that what makes sexual acts sinful is the evil intentions behind them. The acts are actually made clean by God and beautiful as this water, but we make them murky by bringing our dirty intentions to it.
Although I never physically acted on my attraction to my friend, I could not say that act would have been inherently sinful. It could be sinful if I touched her without her consent or tried to pressure her into becoming physical. Even if she did consent it could become sinful if we used each other for selfish gain. But just as God blesses a married husband and wife when they honor each other through sex, he blesses a committed same-sex relationship when they honor each other through sex.
Sex can be sinful if it comes from a place of lust. Love that is unconditional, selfless and pure is not sinful. May Christians recognize that same-sex relationships are not any different than opposite-sex relationships; they both face the same temptation for evil and potential for good.
For more posts like this, please read my blog “Christian Bidentity” about my experience as a bisexual Catholic woman.
“Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.” – Maria Montessori
I love taking my kids to church. I used to be anxious about disruptions, but I got over that a long time ago. As it turns out, I only get complaints from fellow parishioners when I don’t bring them. My children also remind me from time to time that they are more spiritual than I am.
“No one ought to consider himself a true servant of God who is not tried by many temptations and trials. Temptations overcome are a sort of betrothal ring God gives the soul.” – St. Francis of Assisi
Going through rough patches, it becomes easy to descend into a lazy prayer life, if prayer doesn’t halt altogether. In one such recent trough of emotional health, I caught myself heading in that direction. I missed daily mass.
“Great and glorious God, my Lord Jesus Christ! I implore thee to enlighten me and to disperse the darkness of my soul! Give me true faith and firm hope and a perfect charity! Grant me, O Lord, to know thee so well that in all things I may act by thy light, and in accordance with thy holy will!” – St. Francis of Assisi
This year was the first time that I observed Easter in the purpose for which it was intended: a 50-day celebration of Jesus’ sucker-punch into the face of death; a 50-day party at the end of a three-day test match that ended with the score, Jesus 1, Death 0. The joy that comes with a true Easter has carried me through one of the most difficult times of my life.
This post is the first in a series I’m calling The Badattitudes, which are Beatitudes that did not make the cut at the Sermon on the Mount, but are followed as though they were.
I know what you’re thinking. “Apologeticists” is not a real word; I meant to say “apologists,” right? Just bear with me.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” — Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)
A man of complicated contrasts, French Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) was a mystical scientist and an obedient rebel. And after reading Amir D. Aczel’s The Jesuit and the Skull, you are left with the decision to either admire him, scratch your head in bemusement, or both.