“They came first for the Communists…but I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the Jews…but I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the Unionists…but I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Unionist. Then they came for the Catholics…but I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me…and by that time there was no one left to speak for me.”
–Pastor Martin Niemoller
And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
–Matthew 25:40 (New American Bible)
For those who don’t know this about me, I was born, baptized, raised, and confirmed a Catholic Christian. God knows the Catholic Church isn’t perfect; they’ve certainly failed countless times to protect children from despicable men who betray their vows as priests. Having said that, when they do their job properly and honor their own vows, the Catholic Church can accomplish a lot of good in this world, especially for the poor. I’ll always be grateful for the moral guidance I received as I was raised in the Catholic faith.
However, I’ve also gained a great deal of moral insight from other sources: works of creativity such as books, music, television and film. For example, I’m not embarrassed to say that I learned a lot about what it means to be tolerant and accepting of those who are different from the Star Trek franchise, particularly Star Trek: The Next Generation, which I watched quite frequently throughout high school.
This brings me to the point of this post: the issue of homosexuality, and the sickening trend of bullying we’ve seen over the years against GLBT teens, the most recent tragic example of which is the suicide of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer…a boy who can’t even receive respect in death from the kind of cruel, intolerant individuals who tormented him & drove him to kill himself.
While I have always felt that it is unquestionably wrong and cruel to bully GLBT individuals or treat them as second-class citizens, I’m ashamed to say I’ve always kept my mouth shut about issues relating to GLBT rights because I was worried about how my views might be perceived by other Christians, be they Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox or non-denominational, and also because I take the moral guidance from the Church and the Bible seriously, whether I agree with all of it or not.
That silence ends today.
I am sick and tired of seeing good young men and women who could contribute so much to society end their own lives because they feel that there is no supportive place for them in this world.
I am sick and tired of seeing patriotic men and women who choose to put themselves in harm’s way in military service to this country be disrespected by short-sighted fools who can’t see past their own rigidly dogmatic religious views, as was the case with Stephen Hill being booed at a GOP debate.
While it is within the God-given rights of any man or woman of faith to believe that homosexuality is not a morally acceptable lifestyle, I will not remain silent about GLBT individuals being mistreated.
Furthermore, whatever the Bible or Church might say about homosexuality, I am not going to ask anyone to pretend to be something they’re not, or to live their entire lives without any kind of physical or emotional intimacy, because I certainly wouldn’t want to live a life like that.