“Mom, why did you and dad divorce?” I asked for the hundredth time. I’m used to hearing her answer, “We can’t live together anymore.” But this time, she didn’t say that. We were on our way to the laundromat and I distinctly remember where we were when she answered.
“Because your dad is gay.”
“Oh, I know That,“I lied, trying to hide my shock.I No I know. I am 9 years old.
I do not know That.
Even though my parents raised me with a Christian worldview and I knew the Bible well, my world started to fundamentally change after my dad explained why he had sex with men. It wasn’t long before my father’s apartment and our visit began to change. A calendar of mostly naked men appeared in the bathroom, along with some revealing art. It’s uncomfortable to visit, but I try not to let it bother me.
On the weekends I visit, my dad and I head to Castro Street in San Francisco. It was a colorful place, and I quickly discovered that I had to be careful where I looked lest I see more than I thought. I learned my way around the neighborhood and knew which were gay bars and which were lesbian bars. I even went to the gay Olympics to cheer on my family.
I am very fashionable. I am open-minded. I’m enlightened.
But I was also torn. When authority figures, especially trustworthy people, tell them that something is true, children believe them. In fact, that child may build his or her worldview on this foundation. I did it. This is why pride parades, drag queens storytime, and teaching gender as a social construct are so insidious.
Out of allegiance to my father, I will never share my instinctive doubts about his way of life, but I vividly remember being upset about it at the time. However, I got rid of my feelings and ignored my discomfort so I could be a supportive daughter. As I got older, I became a good social justice fighter in school. I learned about putting condoms on bananas and the importance of safe sex no matter who your partner happens to be. I certainly don’t judge.
When I was 17, my father died of AIDS on the morning of my high school prom. I watched him go through the last few months of pain without a partner, and I listened to him express his regrets.
Shortly before my mom remarried, she and I became Catholics. But in our ultra-liberal California diocese, there is little exact catechism about what the Catholic Church teaches on these issues. However, I certainly accepted what the church taught me about sex: open-mindedness, tolerance, acceptance. I desperately need a way to explain what the Bible says so clearly, and the progressives of the Catholic Church are eager to help me.
The Jesuit University I attended did an excellent job of not only justifying the actions of my then-dead father, but wholeheartedly accepting and sanctioning the gay lifestyle. In my marriage theology class, the instructor didn’t ask a heterosexual couple to speak, but a gay couple to talk about the sanctity of their “marriage.” At the time, I said I was glad that the church was changing their backward view of homosexuality; however, deep down, the thought made me uneasy.
This fantasy of changing the church continues today.in his recent article outreach, Father. SJ James Martin explains why Pride and Sacred Heart Month are not only compatible but complementary. He thinks that our Lord loves everyone, which of course is true. But his dodgy case of Pride Month as something Catholics should celebrate is full of implied endorsements of gay relationships. First, he said, “Imagine a young LGBTQ guy who doesn’t have any kind of sexual relationship and just wants to be accepted. Where is the sin? Second, it ignores the fact that we are all guilty. Who among us is not? ”
Of course, a virgin who struggles with same-sex attraction is not guilty of a crime. But then Father. Martin turns to the argument that we are all sinners. Yes. But we should also work to stop crime. This kind of LGBTQ personal you hate chastity gives way to we are all sinners and then the reader can fill in the blanks as they please: but God loves me anyway; or, the church is wrong; or maybe, so we should never judge others human behavior.
These kinds of articles are exactly the type of evidence I held on to in my progressive, free days, when I was trying to prove not just the homosexuality around me, but my own sinful choices. Although the priest. Martin is right, we are called to love everyone, and sometimes the most loving thing we can do is call others out of mortal sin.
After I had my own children, I met several traditionally Catholic women who took the time to educate me about what the church taught about homosexuality. What makes them so effective is that they share the truth in the context of our larger relationship. Even though our family is not homeschooled, these homeschooling moms welcome me. We go out to dinner every month, and occasionally host a “Stumbling Pastor” night where we can freely ask questions and discuss faith. It was through these encounters that we were able to discuss and debate, but only after we shared our favorite recipes and lamented sleepless nights with our babies, and after we scheduled our next park day to let our Before children play together.
These sometimes heated discussions about homosexuality don’t define our friendship. They are just one aspect of our relationship and these women care a lot about me even though I am a relativist. We can move on to other topics on which we share views, which gives me space to reflect on their words and let my guard down. Often when we argue, what I say is no longer what I think is true. Sometimes, even when I believe what they tell me, I feel like I have to make every argument to the contrary.
Through the influence of my friends and the grace of God, our family began to follow the teachings of the Church. But without them being brave enough to tell the truth, I wonder if I’d change.
at Rod Dreyer’s blog, he recently described the experience of a progressive artist he calls “Jane.” One night, in the throes of depression and the clutches of transgenderism, she happened to click on a video of Jordan Peterson on her social media feed. She was surprised to find she agreed with everything Peterson said. In the sea of madness she was drawn into, his lonely voice, like the brave voice of my friends, allowed her to escape. She gave up her art career because she realized the awakening it required wasn’t worth it.
Hearing the truth was important to Jane, and it was important to me. To those in the midst of teaching others the truth about homosexuality, marriage, or transgender ideology, speak up. Fearlessly share the beauty of truth as the only voice of reason your friends and family may hear. Know that people can get angry. They may feel attacked. They may be defensive. But in a world where many people in schools, media, companies, and even within the church (like Father Martin) are teaching half-truths or outright lies, how can people find the truth if we don’t show them? The fruits of wisdom and counsel are often invisible, but that doesn’t mean the seeds of truth you sow won’t grow.
Ultimately, I was able to accept that the people who told me the truth and defended the actual teachings of the church were the ones who cared about me. They are people who love me and want me to know God’s plan for human sexuality. I don’t always respond gracefully to their corrections, there are many arguments and disagreements, but my friends – my true friends – always respond patiently to my arguments with facts, expressed compassionately . When I was in the pain of ignorance, they neither flinched nor rejected me. They told the truth in charity, and over time, softened my hard heart.
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