Many of my gay brothers and sisters ask me why I bother to continue associating with a church that considers my sexual orientation as “intrinsically disordered” and I must admit, I often wonder why as well. There truly is not one simple reason and this simple post can only brush upon the reasons. First and foremost though is that my church has been good to me. They have provided me a loving and caring community in which to grow up in as well as a great many friends who continue to help me grow and follow that person we call Jesus.
Chelsea Shields in her August 2015 TED Talk presents her reasons for staying in her church of birth. One very good one, is the tremendous influence organized religion has for both good and bad . She gives an enlightening witness as to why she remains a Mormon despite the second class citizenship she experiences there. I totally relate to her experience.
Mrs. Shields in her willingness to confront the bigotry she finds in her religion reminds me of Jesus. She’s a brave woman and tells of the consequences of her actions–much the same as Jesus experienced. More importantly Mrs. Shields tells us what I believe is the proper response to religious bigotry and why I continue to confront it today, especially in my own church.
We are a community of laymen and laywomen who, with vowed Passionists, seek to share in the charism of St. Paul of the Cross through prayer, ongoing spiritual formation, and proclamation of the message of Christ Crucified.