A few days ago I shared my life story to a group of catholics. Unfortunately it seemed to give them indigestion!
The subject of homosexuality is a subject that has never been properly addressed by the Church and so the spiritual care for gay people does not even exist!
The result is that good people read the bible and taking a fundamentalistic approach say things like gays will burn in hell or that they have to change…
The result is that in times gone by many gay men never told anybody. Many lived single lives and joked that they “had never found the right woman” while others ran away to big cities where they found other people like them.
Sadly many too entered the priesthood, the ideal “coverup”. Some of these had a genuine vocation, others didn’t!
But whatever the case it was never considered acceptable to even talk about homosexuality. To tell someone that you had homosexual tendencies was like telling them you were a gay activist. There was no love, no mercy, no compassion only fear and shame.
My own short life has been painful without measure, and not because I am gay, but because I am catholic!
Catholic Church teaching on homosexuality isn’t so bad if one reads it fully. It speaks of God’s love and mercy and the need to love and support these people!
But Catholic Church people so often live in the old school fire and brimstone mentality and instead of helping gay people carry their cross they kick them and push them and knock them to the ground in the name of God!
To tell a gay person that he has to change and become straight is like telling a boy that he must become a girl. This “has to” mentality is already full of fear and pressure and non acceptance.
What is even worse is to tell him or her that they have to change and not telling them how to change!
So ok guys, for those of you that believe gays must magically become straight, why not go out tonight to the gay bars and fix them all with your prayers and let me know tomorrow how it went!
I might spare you the trouble. I spent 3 years full time in Sydney working in a very well known christian healing ministry with a particular focus on gays!
I will tell you a few stories. One of my best friends, I will call him John was gay.
John was 60. At 20 he went to his pastor to tell him that he was gay and didn’t know why or what to do. He was told to pray and to get married and that the “sacrament of marriage” would heal it along with sexual intercourse with his wife.
This “holy boloney” sounded good. He got married and lived a hell for 15 years as did his wife. He couldn’t stay faithful and became an alcoholic, a sexaholic and depressed.
After 15 years he could take no more. He went to the Church for help, there was none. He even discovered that a group of old ladies were praying for him to leave their church. There was no room for John.
Eventually he left the Church and launched into the gay world. He became a drag queen and contracted HIV.
Some ten years ago John had an experience of the Holy Spirit and met God. He still struggles to find acceptance in the Church today.
John’s story was one of many. Men who got married or became priests and lived a life of hell.
Unfortunately it seems that some people in our Catholic Church today do not want to address these issues.
In a book written by a very well known christian healer and former priest, Francis McNutt one is led to believe that homosexuality can be healed through healing of childhood traumas.
On paper it sounds good. In practice it is not the case. Men after 30 years of prayer and healing still have homosexual tendancies.
Now that is not to say that prayer is waste because through prayer these men became so full of God’s love and compassion but they did not become straight and neither have I.
The other night I told the group of biblebashers that I was gay and that I had accepted it and that I did not want to change nor did I want to be attracted to women.
They quoted the “man will leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife” line at me. However Jesus never got married, St Paul didn’t marry. Where does the bible say that ” every man” will do this?
I have accepted my life and my sexuality and I do not need to be straight to be loved. Sure, I wish that I was free of all thoughts of lust but this does not mean that I desire to become straight. Do you straight folk not have lustful thoughts too? Have you not sinned sexuallly too? And even if you are married, do you not get thoughts for other men and women or turn at times to pornography? All those kids you have were not purchased at the supermarket so why the big taboo about talking openly and vulnerably about sexuality?!
In the bible there is no account of Jesus condemning gays nor is there any account of him affirming them either but what does exist is Jesus being very severe with arrogant, self-righteous, know it all, prideful religious hypocretes with hard hearts who condemn others without lifting a finger to help them!
And so today I have accepted that I am gay and I am perfectly happy this way. Jesus loves me, the Holy Spirit is with me and I am living a holy life to the best of my ability the same as a straight christian should be.
In fact as far as I can see I go places and speak to people about the love and mercy of God where other “real men” will not go. I am honest and open about who I am and my weaknesses. I am not afraid. Maybe in God’s eyes I am more of a man than you!
So maybe God has put me among you all to open your eyes to His mercy and to your judgement.
Maybe He is asking you to put down your books and bibles for a while and to start loving and listening to people with your hearts rather than your heads.
And just maybe He is asking you to be my friend as I live among you in this foreign country and so when I do leave Split I will be able to say “the catholics of Split are super” rather than shaking them like the dust off my feet like another group of hypocretes!
Have a holy day!