Before you nail me to a cross, hear me out.
I'm a born and raised Roman Catholic. I went to church every week without fail for majority of my childhood. Needless to say, me and the "big guy in the sky" have a pretty good relationship.
The church I belonged to all my life taught me one thing: we need to live the way God intended us to. To me, that means being giving, loyal, dependent, and loving — even to those who tear you down. That was (and still is) my take-away from Catholicism.
My best friend, and fellow Catholic, came out to me when I was eight years old. I had no prior knowledge of homosexuality since my parents sort of skimmed over that chapter of life while I was growing up. I only knew what the kids at school spoke of (because everyone is SO smart in the third grade).
Thankfully, my parents had the same point of view on being gay that I did: a person is much more than their sexual orientation.
(I never got a solid answer on why my parents never explained what "being gay" meant. Maybe they skipped over it because so many people focus so intently on dividing people into groups based on their appearance and life style, instead of accepting people as is. Maybe they wanted me to think differently.)
Without missing a beat, I hugged my friend, wiped away his tears and said, "Everything will be OK. Nothing about you has changed to me. You're still my best friend and I love you."
I continue to have that mentality toward other people in my life who identify as gay, lesbian and/or transgender.
I'll never turn away a friendship because someone lives a different way than I do. If you respect me, I'll respect you, no matter who you are or who you love.
How dare I condemn anyone? I'm imperfect; we all are. I'm just trying to be happy with myself and bring positivity to the world.
That being said, I'm extremely annoyed with a select few comments made on my Facebook newsfeed recently. As we all know (unless you're living under a rainbow-colored rock), the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in all 50 states this past week.
Everything was splendid ... until I saw my Facebook newsfeed, where a few ignorant "friends" of mine claimed that Christians are the reason why this decision took so long. They went on to stereotype Christ-followers as horrible, judgmental, and homophobic.
Gays and people of the Catholic religion have a messy background — I'll give you that. But I can assure you that not all Catholics are extremists.
(In fact, these socially-constructed groups are the reason why there will never be peace.)
The Westboro Baptist Church, for example, has made it abundantly clear that God hates gays, but I beg to differ. It's easy to read a verse and immediately find fault with it — like Leviticus 18:22, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination."
Yet I find it interesting that verses like Galatians 3.38 — "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus," or, Romans 12:9, "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good" — are rarely ever brought up in arguments against Christians.
The Bible is a life-time instruction manual for the Catholic/Christian religion, but I think we can all agree that some verses need to be updated. That's what the New Testament is for.
It rectifies some concerning verses about who is defined as a "inferior beings" from the Old Testament and the revelation of God comes about. If we were to live by the Old Testament word for word, I wouldn't be able to write this post because catering to my husband and raising a billion children would be my full-time career.
There are thousands of Bible verses about love and forgiveness, yet none of them are brought up when the topic of homosexuality comes about.
Most in the Catholic religion say that "traditional marriage" is the only one that has validity. But there are some men and women who get married only because they want each other's money and benefits.
And how is it OK that people with a 30+ year age gap can get married and no one bats an eye, but when two women want to, it's "unethical"?
No one can voice their opinion on this topic without being called a "Jesus freak" or a "f*ggot." There's no middle ground. I want to make it known that it's okay to love God AND support gay marriage.
Do I believe that gay people should just get married just because they can? No. Is it my place to tell anyone what they can and cannot do? Also, no.
I simply believe when two people love each other and have done so for a significant period of time, there should be no reason why they can't live a life full of happiness and have the same rights as anyone else. Because everyone is entitled to happiness.
Marriage is still something that's sacred and shouldn't be abused. The foundation of marriage is LOVE. If there is true love, then God did his job.
In my life, God taught me how to love unconditionally. I'm not Him and neither are you. We need to stop tearing each other down for what we think is right and learn to coexist peacefully.