Dan O'Donnell
Dan O’Donnell

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.

7 thoughts on “Rejected!

  1. Wow Dan you are in the company I think of many. After belonging to a parish for the past 10 years we had a retired priest come to our parish. To make a long story short he put Kim Davis up on a pedestal. He did not even know the whole story at the time. I was the EME coordinator for my parish for three years and then I became a sacristan. Week after week this man preached hate from the altar. People would get up and leave , sometimes over 150. Pastor’s hand was tied because our bishop feels the same way. I am now in my old parish. My life partner has now returned to the church. Life is good. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    1. Hi Terrance, Thanks for sharing. I know what a sacristan’s job is, but what’s an EME? I don’t think we have one at AGLO, the Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach here in Chicago. Glad to hear that you found a home back in your old parish. Thank God for loving, caring communities.

      1. It stands for Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister. In my old but now new parish they just call us Eucharistic Ministers. I agree with Pope Francis so many rules and regulations.

  2. It’s sad to see Christians displaying acts of bigotry, and painful I’m sure when one is affected by them. Jesus certainly gave us the message of love and mercy. Too bad that so many just don’t seem to get it in this modern era. Thanks for your post Dan. Thanks also for the work you continue to do maintaining the “blog” – appreciate your efforts.

  3. Excellent commentary, Dan. I agree 100% with you and Ms. Shields. The RCC has given me great comfort over the years despite many things I disagree with. Slowly, gradually things are changing and being accepted. Someday, like other religions, same-sex marriages will be recognized as well as the right for priests to marry, regardless of straight or gay … Pope Francis has been extraordinary in changing views and outlooks this past year or so; his pronouncement “Who am I to judge …?” spoke volumes and healed and comforted so many that had been frustrated and/or ‘lost’ in their own church … its comforting to know change will come, though, I’m afraid, not in our lifetime …..

  4. Dan take a look at AMERICA Magazine sept 14 issue …RELIGion and DIPLomacy by Sec of State. John Kerry. Understanding and respecting other religions and our own religion..and understanding the global impact of religion it behooves us to make our regligion the best it can be as Mrs Shields points out.

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