Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Catholic Church Gay Folks Can Encounter Daily: "The Religious Left Is All about 'Faux Love.' Two Gay People 'Marry,' That's Supposedly an Increase of Love"

Meanwhile, in the real world — in the real Catholic world that many of us who are gay encounter on an everyday basis as we interact with members of the Catholic community — here's the kind of thing with which those of us who are gay often have to put up:

Yesterday, in my Facebook feed, a glowing recommendation of this article pops up. This is real Catholicism, the person recommending the blog posting, tells me and others receiving his recommendation. It's not political. It's neither to the left nor the right.

Just plain, vanilla, old-fashioned holy Catholicism.

I read the posting, and am . . . disconcerted . . .  to discover that the author is recommending to me the following way of looking at my life as a gay Catholic:

The religious left is all about "faux love." Two gay people "marry," that’s supposedly an increase of love.

This is plain, vanilla, old-fashioned holy Catholicism without any political agenda at all. 

I really do not know the person recommending this tripe to me. He's a friend of another Facebook friend of mine, and it's apparently through the Facebook feed of that other friend that this tripe pops up on my own Facebook page.

I object to it. I post a comment that I consider the posting recommended to me to be tripe, and I don't think that the person writing the posting is in the least apolitical: she has a decided political agenda, and it's one inimical to me as a gay person. 

"Faux love," indeed! Gay people "marry," indeed!

This is being recommended to me via a Facebook friend within a week after I marry? What respect for me as a human being and as a fellow Catholic does this recommendation indicate?

The person who had recommended the preceding posting then responds to my objection. He does so with an ugly, immature taunt. It's an immature taunt about my "buddy" in my Facebook profile picture.

That "buddy" is my husband Steve, whom this fellow Catholic recommending an "apolitical" posting about same-sex marriage wants to reduce to the level of a roommate via his taunting insults.

The man issuing that taunt, who had recommended the preceding article, is a fellow of the graduate program in pastoral ministry at the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University. Lisa Fullam, who issued the call for respectful dialogue between the gay community and the Catholic community on which I just focused in my previous posting, teaches at the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara.

I don't mean to say that she has anything at all to do with the person leaving the ugly slurs on my Facebook page. I just want to point out the interesting synchronicity between her call for respectful dialogue and listening between the gay and Catholic communities, and the interaction I have had within a day or so after she opted that call at Commonweal — interaction with someone studying pastoral ministry (!!) at the school at which she teaches.

As I say, this is the Catholic world with which many of us who are gay interact on an ongoing basis. It can pop up when we least expect it, when we're minding our own business, exchanging information and comments with friends on a social networking site.

And, in the name of Jesus and "pastoral ministry," it can bring such misery into our lives without any warning at all, by way of taunts about our loving relationships and our legal marriages, that the only option left to many of us is to distance ourselves as quickly as possible from a religious institution that is capable of making us so miserable, while it defines itself as holy and loving even as it rides roughshod over the human lives and loving relationships of those who happen to have been made gay by a loving God.

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