Catholics getting pissed off are pissing me off.

I haven’t written much lately because I’ve been busy. I don’t get a lot out of my calc II lectures, so I have to “teach myself” at home. Physics is also proving to be a huge, time-consuming, soul-destroying (just kidding) pain in the neck.

Also, I’m not sure I’ve had much to write. But one thing I have been thinking about in recent days is this:

Why do we Christians, including Catholics, mostly find ourselves in the news when it has to do with homosexuality? Is that really what we care about most? Are we really more upset about gay people’s marriages taking away the sanctity or dignity of our heterosexual and/or Sacramental marriages? Oh — and does anyone honestly believe that two gay people being married takes away from the sanctity or dignity of one’s own marriage? Other people’s marriages don’t concern me, and if they did, I’d probably be more concerned about all the people divorcing and subjecting their kids to a bunch of bullshit, than all of the really loving, committed, faithful gay couples I know actually getting some marital rights/privileges.

My point writing right now isn’t actually about gay marriage at all. It’s about Christians, and how we keep pushing people away because we’re so obsessed with affirming and reaffirming and reaffirming what we think is sinful. The synod is in the news, and conservative Catholics are going nuts just thinking about divorced people getting to receive the Eucharist, among other things. Why? Why not go nuts over the thousands of impoverished people who are dying of ebola (or malaria, polio, the flu, or various other diseases which hardly kill anyone in a rich nation)? Why not go nuts over how endlessly shitty the situation in the Middle East is — where innocent people are being displaced, tortured, and/or killed every day? Why not go nuts about how many people are living in the streets?

Oh, or what about going nuts in a more positive way. Not being mad, but being passionate for a cause. Could be healing, teaching, serving in any number of ways. Could be talking about the Faith — could even be living the Faith, and making people actually want to learn about Christ. But so many people aren’t interested in anything but incessantly declaring what is sinful and must not be permitted by the church. Why is it that when we get a new pope, people are grateful and glad and say that the Spirit chose the pope? We have confidence that God wanted this person to be pope, but then as soon as that man says something along the lines of, “We should consider the possibility that we’ve been going about some things wrong,” we forget that we thought God chose him. Instead, we start attacking him. Does this make sense?

To me, the way some people are talking about Pope Francis right now is the same way people talked about John the Baptist or Jesus. John and Jesus both said, “Repent!” and interestingly, they told people to repent who didn’t expect that direction to be given to them. The same thing is happening today.

My Christian brothers and sisters (of course not all) are so sure that the message of repentance is for gay, divorced, and other people, that they get totally indignant and start crying “blasphemy” now that the pope (and others) are suggesting perhaps we should repent of the ways we have treated others. Are we called to judge and exclude others? I don’t think so. Is there precedent for ostracizing members of our own community? Well…. in the New Testament, yes. Paul suggested such a thing in certain circumstances… and he also said women should not speak in church (though conservative Catholics don’t seem to have an issue with female lectors) and that we should have our heads covered. A sensible person should realize that adhering to the Faith — following the will of God — is not such a black and white matter as looking up a few words in the Bible. How can we cite a few references against homosexuality and divorce, and ignore the many long passages of the Word which talks about mercy, love, humility, non-judgment, justice, and equity?

I’m not down on the church at all. I’m not down on most of my fellow Christians. I just think we’re doing a TERRIBLE JOB representing Christ on earth when all we do is point out others’ sins, ignore our own, and argue. Being a good Christian is not about stopping other people from sinning. It is not about having the most theologically defensible position on gay marriage. It’s about faith in the one true God, and following him. If God himself broke bread with sinners, then why shouldn’t we?

I’d write more, but I must must must work on some physics problems. Peace, joy, love, mercy, justice… these are more important than if someone with a different sin than me is receiving the Eucharist with me. It doesn’t diminish me or God! Giving food to the hungry, defending those who cannot speak for themselves, and treating all of God’s creation with dignity is more important than whether a couple lives together before marriage!

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