Friday, March 26, 2010

Hello world! And God gets offended....apparently

Ok.'s 9:30 AM and I just got home from work (hooray night shift!) and decided to throw my weight around on the blogosphere because of something that was said to me. But, first, some introduction to this idea before I get into the nitty gritty.

I am Catholic. Roman Rite. To a non-Catholic, all the Catholics are probably the same. But there are several rites and that is why I specify that I am Roman Rite Catholic when putting this stuff in print. There are other rites but this is the one to which I belong. I'm also gay. Surprised? Yeah, not a lot of gay Catholics out there. Note, sarcasm. This is precisely the little conundrum that has landed me in this blogging endeavor. Because there is still some prejudice against us homosexuals (on both sides of the gender divide) and a LOT of misunderstanding concerning Catholics, especially in our teachings on sex and sexuality, I figured it might be nice to have a little resource for those of us without many resources. I haven't done a google search yet (Oh how I love you, Google!) for similar blogs or websites, but I will surely post links as I come across them. In short, this blog is for my thoughts on how the world affects a gay Catholic man. And also how my fabulously Catholic ways affect the world. So, without further ado, let us address the main point of this particular post.

A friend of mine is a non-denominational evangelical Christian. Given the type of work I do, there is precious little social time unless you sit out in the parking lot between shifts (we work three hours at a time) and gab away. But then there are those rare moments when someone hops in the same trailer as you to help you load and conversation is sparked. Tonight, my evangelical friend (we'll call him Tom) hopped up in my trailer and we started talking about what we always talk about: religion.

Tom forgets sometimes that I'm Catholic and he needs a refresher. "You're Christian right? Oh wait, no, you're Catholic. That's right." Every Catholic hates this response to their demonym. So I responded, "Well, I am Christian. Catholics are Christian." To which was a hearty "Yeah, but I mean a real Christian." Again....we Catholics absolutely hate being lumped in with the posers. You know, the Methodists (please don't throw stones, I'm only joking!)

So I moved past this awkward part of the conversation and we began talking about sexuality for whatever reason. Oh, right, because our other friend who happens to be Catholic had said that Catholics are the whores of Christendom. Which, if you've ever come across a rigorously devout Catholic girl, you generally know that she's either destined for a nunnery or she's going to go to college and let her hair down. ALL the way down. Not bashing, just a fact. A clever inside joke for many of us, though I'm fairly sure I'm offending someone right now. Anyway....moving on....he asked what the Catholic stance on sex before marriage was, and I was kind enough to explain it to him.

"We believe that sex is the primary vehicle for procreation, and that sex outside of the spiritual union of marriage is simply fornication and sinful. This is also why we don't believe in birth control, because sex for pleasure is denying the central function of coitus."

Blah blah blah, we're in agreement on that one, and then he asked "Well, what about those gay priests?"

At first I wasn't sure what he meant, then I remembered that the buzz is all about a German priest who has recently been found to have been shuffled about after many abuse accusations. So I continued.

"I can't speak authoritatively for the Church, but I'm fairly certain that we're pretty against what he did. Actually, I KNOW we're against it."

And this is what got me and why I decided to revive the blogging: "Well, you're gay. Aren't you afraid of offending God?"

And then it hit me. Tom was more concerned about a person's sexuality than the possibility of them performing horrendous acts of abuse against a minor. For one, I don't think God can very easily get offended when Catholics view Him as love itself. For an all merciful deity as this, it is illogical for Him to be offended or even get angry. The Old Testament is full of God's tantrums, but luckily for us, He got all that out of His system when He suddenly had a family. Now He's a pretty chill dude.

So, I had to explain the Catholic position on homosexuality, which Tom wasn't really accepting. To him, it became quite apparent, sexuality itself was a definitive sin, not what we choose to do with that sexuality. So the conversation petered off and Tom left my trailer shortly thereafter. I finished the shift and went to the next one (which Tom works on as well) and then came home. All this time I've had a lot of time to think about my sexuality and my religion and how not only is it hard for a gay man to have a loving relationship with another man within the context of his own religion, it's even harder to explain this to an outsider, let alone get them to understand what's going on.

So I'm going to post not only my day-to-day experiences, but also posts where I wrangle with the big questions of sex, sexuality, and the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church and how they all affect each other. Hopefully someone reads this and finds a little bit of joy, enlightenment, or information. If I get flaming emails concerning my jokes about school girls becoming nuns and whores I'll post them for laughs. Just because I can and I'm one of those snarky gay men.

So, with love,


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