Disagreement does not equal hate!

Disagreement does not equal hate!

Tl;dr: I am against the Supreme Courts redefinition of marriage. My belief is based on years of struggle and prayer not simply on blind faith. I don’t have simply religious objections but political, sociological, and philosophical opposition to the decision. I would love to have a discussion (and not a debate) on this issue with anyone that wants to know more. I don’t hate people with same sex attraction and I don’t hate you for disagreeing with my beliefs.

I was going to stay semi-quiet about the recent ruling by the Supreme Court on Same Sex Marriage. I say semi-quiet because I was a little passive aggressive by sharing thoughts of other people that shared my belief on the ruling. Yet, for some reason I was afraid to come out to state my personal belief. As many of you know I have a problem of being abrupt and sometime tactless in my comments. It is even worse online. Online no one can see my face, the smile I have when I discuss the issue, or the look when I go into deep thought on something, or even how much I truly wrestle with my own personal beliefs and that of my religion. So, I held off. I stood back and allowed others to talk for me. It was safe and it was easy. Then my friend Mark posted a message which really challenged me and partially due to his statement, partially to my belief in the importance of allowing my faith to be who I am and not what I do on Sunday, “I’ve come to the conclusion that it is both my duty and my right to publicly reaffirm my opposition to the government’s redefinition of marriage,” (to steal Mark LaBelle words).

As I have stated before in other posts if I post something it is because I am passionate about it, I am sure my friends will not attack me as a person, and I honestly want to enter into discussion with my friends about it. So please read on with charity and love. One final caveat, please do not label me as homophobic or bigoted. I do not hate people that have same sex attraction (as I hope many of you already know), I do not believe that people with same sex attraction (anyone) should be bullied, I don’t believe people with same sex attraction have less dignity than anyone else. I hope that my actions and words in the past have been a witness to all of you about what I have said.
Many of you know of my passion for my faith, spending 3 years (2 at a Seminary) discerning if I was called to be a Priest, and now dedicating my time and talent as a full time Lay Minister of the Church.

What few of you know is how much I struggle with some of the teachings of the Church. I was formed (spiritually and intellectually) for 30+ years in a world that taught me one thing and only 4 years being formed by the Church who is very counter-cultural. It has led to me wrestling with what I knew to be “truth” and what I now know to be Truth. The Church’s stance on Same Sex Marriage is one of those things I struggle with. I spent many hours delving into the theological, philosophical, sociological, and political reasoning about Same Sex Marriage, both for and against. It was a constant battle between the reason of my mind and the emotions of my heart.

To make it even worse…the Church teaches that sexual relationships between homosexual people are wrong. She teaches this through Scripture, Tradition (writings from the Saints in the Early Church till now), and Reason (Anthropology, Philosophy, etc…). She also teaches that those with same sex attraction must be treated with respect, compassion, and sensitivity but most importantly with love. Then to top it all off the Church teaches how marriage is a sacramental sign of the true love. That in marriage we have a reflection of the love the trinity has within itself. That through marriage the two become one and help sanctify each other so that they both can achieve Heaven.
HOW could I not want that for every person; how could the Church not want that for every person. Yet some are not called to marriage and some must carry the cross that God’s plan for them is celibacy.

It is a very complex issue that takes lots of prayer, studying, and understanding to fully understand. I wish I had the space or the writing skills to explain it. But know that I see truth in the Church’s teaching not simply because I have blind faith but because I have spent years wrestling with my own beliefs, the beliefs of the more prolific LBGT community, and that of the Church.

Before ranting about how our Bishops are wrong, or how can the Church not love those with same sex attraction, or why are so many Catholic bigots (don’t get me wrong there are some Catholics that are); please have a discussion with one of us. I am always here to discuss and to inform, especially to those that are open to listening.